My grateful thanks to Lizzie Curtin at Summersdale Publishers for a copy of For the Love of Shakespeare by Beth Miller in return for an honest review. For the Love of Shakespeare was published on 13th October 2016.
For the Love of Shakespeare
Did you know…
• Shakespeare is the most filmed author of all time: he’s been credited on more than 1,000 movies and TV shows.
• ‘Obscene’, ‘gloomy’, ‘fashionable’ and ‘generous’ are among the countless new words that Shakespeare introduced. (Actually, ‘countless’ is one of his too.) It’s also because of the Bard that we say ‘catch a cold’, ‘naked truth’ and ‘green-eyed monster’.
• Almost all the moons of Uranus are named after characters from Shakespeare, including Titania, Oberon and Puck?
For further fascinating insights, dive into this masterful miscellany and become a Shakespeare buff.
There’s never been a better time to take a fresh look at William Shakespeare’s eternal works. A treasure trove of wit, imagination and emotion, his plays and poems continue to surprise, inspire, console and delight us. Whether you’re a lifelong lover of the Bard or a curious newcomer to his world, this companion will lift the curtain on the unforgettable characters and stories of Britain’s greatest dramatist.
My Review of For the Love of Shakespeare
Everything you thought you knew about Shakespeare and an awful lot more besides!
I’d have thought that Shakespeare had been done to death and that there wouldn’t be much more to offer but Beth Miller has come up with a fresh and vivacious book that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Divided into clearly defined sections, For The Love of Shakespeare is designed, as Beth Miller herself says, for the reader to dip in to and I must mention the lovely attached silk bookmark that allows this so easily. I began by flicking through and allowing aspects to catch my eye but then became hooked on the ‘In a Nutshell’ summaries of each play so I went back and read them all in order and before I knew it I was reading the whole book exactly as presented.
Beth Miller has such a natural and lively writing style that she made me laugh out loud on several occasions with her wry and witty comments. I loved the description of Sonnet 73 as wise, ‘If a bit gloomy…’ As well as being massively entertained I was also educated. I studied English at University, I’ve taught Shakespeare to A’level in schools and to adults in college and I still learnt all kinds of things from this smashing book. I had no idea Richard Burton was so put off his Shakespearean performance by Winston Churchill! When reading bits aloud to my husband he said in a tone of awe, ‘That must have taken some researching. I don’t know how people do it.’ And he’s right, the depth of research is outstanding, but never pompous or dry in its presentation. And one of the joys of For The Love of Shakespeare is that it is a book you can share with readers of all ages. I’m sure younger readers will be entranced by the body counts at the end of the play sections , for example.
For The Love of Shakespeare is certainly an erudite, educational and entertaining book about Shakespeare with a Foreword by the eminent Director of the Shakespeare Institute, Professor Michael Dobson, but it is so much more besides. It’s partly an autobiography of Beth Miller as we gain a real insight into how her passion for Shakespeare has evolved from that first live performance of Richard 111 to sniggering at Bottom’s name in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s partly a social history and a literary one. It’s partly a joke book and an insight into modern media of stage, film and television. But most of all, For the Love of Shakespeare is an absolutely brilliant read and I loved it and yes, there is more faith in me ‘than in a stewed prune’!
About Beth Miller
Beth Miller’s varied career has included roles as a sexual health trainer, journalist, psychology lecturer, PhD student and inept audio-typist. She is the author of two novels, When We Were Sisters and The Good Neighbour, as well as For the Love of the Archers.