Biographies & Memoirs

Shakespeare: The Biography

Shakespeare: The Biography

Drawing on an exceptional combination of skills as literary biographer, novelist, and chronicler of London history, Peter Ackroyd surely re-creates the world that shaped Shakespeare--and brings the playwright himself into unusually vivid focus. With characteristic narrative panache, Ackroyd immerses us in sixteenth-century Stratford and the rural landscape–the industry, the animals, even the flowers–that would appear in Shakespeare’s plays. He takes us through Shakespeare’s London neighborhood and the fertile, competitive theater world where he worked as actor and writer. He shows us Shakespeare as a businessman, and as a constant reviser of his writing. In joining these intimate details with profound intuitions about the playwright and his work, Ackroyd has produced an altogether engaging masterpiece.


Chapter 1: There Was a Starre Daunst, and Vnder That Was I Borne

Chapter 2: Shee Is My Essence

Chapter 3: Dost Thou Loue Pictures?

Chapter 4: For Where Thou Art, There Is the World It Selfe

Chapter 5: Tell Me This: Who Begot Thee?

Chapter 6: A Witty Mother, Witlesse Else Her Sonne

Chapter 7: But This Is Worshipfull Society

Chapter 8: I Am a Kind of Burre, I Shal Sticke

Chapter 9: This Prettie Lad Will Proue Our Countries Blisse

Chapter 10: What Sees Thou There?

Chapter 11: I Sommon Up Remembrance of Things Past

Chapter 12: A Nowne and a Verbe and Such Abhominable Wordes

Chapter 13: That’s Not So Good Now

Chapter 14: Of Such a Mery Nimble Stiring Spirit

Chapter 15: At Your Employment, at Your Seruice Sir

Chapter 16: Before I Know My Selfe, Seeke Not to Know Me

Chapter 17: I Can See a Church by Day-Light

The Queen’s Men

Chapter 18: To Tell Thee Plaine, I Ayme to Lye with Thee

Chapter 19: This Way for Me

Lord Strange’s Men

Chapter 20: To Morrow, Toward London

Chapter 21: The Spirit of the Time Shall Teach Me Speed

Chapter 22: There’s Many a Beast Then in a Populous City

Chapter 23: Sir I Shall Study Deserving

Chapter 24: I Will Not Be Slack to Play My Part in Fortunes Pageant

Chapter 25: As in a Theatre, Whence They Gape and Point

Chapter 26: This Keene Incounter of Our Wits

Chapter 27: My Sallad Dayes

Chapter 28: I See Sir, You Are Eaten Vp with Passion

Chapter 29: Why Should I Not Now Have the Like Successes?

Chapter 30: O Barbarous and Bloody Spectacle

Chapter 31: Ile Neuer Pawse Againe, Neuer Stand Still

The Earl of Pembroke’s Men

Chapter 32: Among the Buzzing pleased Multitude

Chapter 33: An’t Please Your Honor Players

Chapter 34: They Thought It Good You Heare a Play

Chapter 35: There’s a Great Spirit Gone Thus Did I Desire It

Chapter 36: The Hath a Mint of Phrases in His Braine

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men

Chapter 37: Stay Goe, Doe What You Will

Chapter 38: We few, We Happy few, We Band of Brothers

Chapter 39: Lord How Art Thou Changed

Chapter 40: Bid Me Discourse, I Will Inchaunt Thine Eare

Chapter 41: Doth Rauish Like Inchaunting Harmonie

Chapter 42: To Fill the World with Words

Chapter 43: See, See, They Ioyne, Embrace, and Seeme to Kisse

Chapter 44: What Zale, What furie, Hath Inspirde Thee Now?

Chapter 45: Thus Leaning on Mine Elbow I Begin

Chapter 46: So Musicall a Discord, Such Sweete Thunder

Chapter 47: I Vnderstand a Fury in Your words

Chapter 48: So shaken as We Are, So Wan with Care

Chapter 49: Ah, No, No, No, It Is Mine Onely sonne

Chapter 50: What Are You? A Gentleman

Chapter 51: His Companies Vnletter’d Rude, and Shallow

Chapter 52: You Haue Not the Booke of Riddles About You. Haue You?

Chapter 53: You Would Plucke Out the Hart of My Mistery

Chapter 54: And to Be Short, What Not, That’s Sweete and Happie

New Place

Chapter 55: Therefore Am I of an Honourable House

Chapter 56: Pirates May Make Cheape Penyworths of Their Pillage

Chapter 57: No More Words, We Beseech You

Chapter 58: A Loyall Just and Vpright Gentleman

The Globe

Chapter 59: A Pretty Plot. Well Chosen to Build Vpon

Chapter 60: Thou Knowest My Lodging, Get Me Inke and Paper

Chapter 61: This Wide and Vniuersall Theatre

Chapter 62: Then Let the Trumpets Sound

Chapter 63: Why There You Toucht the Life of Our Designe

Chapter 64: See How the Giddy Multitude Doe Point

Chapter 65: And Here We Wander in Illusions

Chapter 66: Sweete Smoke of Rhetorike

Chapter 67: Well Bandied Both, a Set of Wit Well Played

Chapter 68: Now, One the Better; Then, Another Best

Chapter 69: I Must Become a Borrower of the Night

Chapter 70: Cut I Am in Their Bosomes

Chapter 71: And So in Spite of Death Thou Doest Suruiue

Chapter 72: I Am (Quoth He) Expected of My friends

Chapter 73: My Lord This Is But the Play, Theyre But in Jest

The King’s Men

Chapter 74: Hee Is Something Peeuish That Way

Chapter 75: I, But the Case Is Alter’d

Chapter 76: I Will a Round Unvarnish’d Tale Deliuer

Chapter 77: Why, Sir, What’s Your Conceit in That?

Chapter 78: The Bitter Disposition of the Time

Chapter 79: Oh You Go farre

Chapter 80: My Life Hath in This Line Some Interest

Chapter 81: That Strain Agen, It Had a Dying fall

Black friars

Chapter 82: As in a Theatre the Eies of Men

Chapter 83: And Sorrow Ebs, Being Blown with Wind of Words

Chapter 84: And Beautie Making Beautifull Old Rime

Chapter 85: So There’s My Riddle, One that’s Dead Is Quicke

Chapter 86: When Men Were fond, I Smild, and Wondred How

Chapter 87: Let Time Shape, and There an End

Chapter 88: I Haue Not Deseru’d This

Chapter 89: My Selfe Am Strook in Yeares I Must Confesse

Chapter 90: The Wheele Is Come full Circle I Am Heere

Chapter 91: To Heare the Story of Your Life



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