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A deeply personal journey into Shakespeare's work that explores how it remains relevant and always has something to say about the times we are living in.

About the Author

Robert McCrum was born and educated in Cambridge. For nearly twenty years he was editor-in-chief of the publishers Faber & Faber, until he suffered a severe stroke, the subject of his acclaimed memoir, My Year Off. From 1996 to 2009 he was literary editor of the Observer and associate editor until 2018. He is also the author of Every Third Thought (2017); Wodehouse: A Life (2004); six novels; and the co-author of the international bestseller The Story of English (1986).


Shakespearean is a remarkable book, an illuminating and personal journey that takes us to the heart of Shakespeare's art and influence. From his account of the plays' quintessential Englishness to his exploration of what he shrewdly terms their 'negligent ambiguity,' McCrum's insights are hard-earned and deeply rewarding -- James Shapiro
I can't think of anything better than listening to Robert McCrum talk about Shakespeare. And this enchanting book is the next best thing - like a gentle chat with a genuine expert. -- Sir Simon Russell Beale
Robert McCrum beautifully connects Shakespeare to ourselves in a way I've not come across before. I love his curiosity. He seems to live each day as if he's talked to Shakespeare on the phone that morning. So far, it's the best thing that has happened during lockdown.' -- Michael Grandage, Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, 2002-2012
Shakespearean is a brilliant, wise, elegant and profoundly moving book . . . Beautifully written, inspired and inspiring: a captivating portrait of Shakespeare and ourselves -- Joanna Kavenna, author of The Ice Museum
If you ever had any doubts about the relevance of Shakespeare to the modern world, read this book! -- Henry Marsh, author of Do No Harm
Wonderful and inexhaustibly fascinating -- Richard Eyre
Wonderful . . . a beautiful personal testament to why Shakespeare continues to matter so much. It is crammed with original insights, and springs equally from a deep knowledge of Shakespeare's own world and a totally persuasive conviction that his plays speak to our own world, and our own selves, as cogently as they did to the Elizabethans. It is compulsively readable and I loved every page of it. -- Nicholas Hytner, theatre director
Reading Shakespearean was a joy . . . by far the most accessible and erudite contemporary critique evoking with wit and profound insight that conscious (and subconscious) acknowledgement of the degrees to which Shakespeare's work continues to influence our cultural and political lives. It is also an essential entertaining book for anyone who like me shares a love of the great man's plays and sonnets. -- Don Boyd, film director
McCrum writes brilliantly about writing . . . there is much here to stir the blood * The Times *
Engaging and animated . . . McCrum guides us rather like someone walking through a gallery . . . McCrum's Shakespeare for "times of disruption" is a welcome participant in the contemporary conversation -- Rowan Williams, New Statesman
Excellent . . . the winning combination of McCrum's own insights and sparkling language lifts Shakespearean to the must-read list . . . an ambitious and exhilarating ride * Daily Mail *
A beguiling mix of memoir, literary criticism and biography * iNews *

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