What’s So Special About Shakespeare?

Publisher: Walker Books

Why is William Shakespeare so famous, and why do we still have to study his plays at school? What was life like in Shakespeare’s time? What was happening in London, and why is Shakespeare so obsessed with kings, queens, rulers and power?

In this accessible, short read with amusing cartoon illustrations from Sarah Nayler, Rosen describes Tudor England and all its bloody conflict as a context for Shakespeare, who was very much chronicling his time. He tells us about Shakespeare’s life and his own rather perilous adventures, including moving the Globe Theatre from one side of the Thames to the other, his family life and the life of the theatre at that time. Rosen also outlines four of Shakespeare’s major plays – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, Macbeth and The Tempest – and discusses Shakespeare’s legacy for us today.

This is a really fascinating, bitesize introduction to Shakespeare, ideal for children in Years 5-7 who may be studying the Tudors or Shakespeare and would like some background information. Written in Rosen’s clear, simple style, it’s nonetheless full of brilliant detail and a thoroughly absorbing read.

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