Happy Birthday/Death Day Shakespeare! - with a Shakespeare Reading List

Vivat Rex: Volume One (Dramatisation): Landmark Drama from the BBC Radio Archive - William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Martin Jenkins, Christopher Marlowe, Full Cast, Richard Francis Burton Shakespeare's Wife - Germaine Greer Wyrd Sisters: A Novel of Discworld - Terry Pratchett William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope - Ian Doescher Reduced Shakespeare: The Attention-Impaired Reader's Guide to the World's Best Playwright [Abridged] - Reed Martin, Austin Tichenor

A big birthday calls for a very big cake. #Shakespeare450th:



(photo credit -Shakespeare Birthplace Trust on occasion of his 450th b-day)


For the reading list, I am not including the plays in general.





Ian Doescher - various works.  He married Star Wars and Shakespeare; and Dickens and Shakespeare.


Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett.  The late, great Sir Terry delivers a brilliant retelling of Macbeth. 


"Gertrude Talks Back" - this short story by Atwood is where Hamlet's maligned mother takes her son to task.  You might also want to check out Gertrude and Claudius by John Updike


Alas, Poor Yorick by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.  Yorick finally gets his own story.  


Weird Tales from Shakespeare ed. by Katherine Kerr - Shakespeare meets fantasy and ray guns.  Lear as a computer program, and R &J get real.


Asterix and the Great Divide  Once there was a group of Gauls that beat up Romans.  Then they ran into Romeo and Juliet.




The works of Harley Granville-Barker and Dover Wilson are particularly interesting in regards to staging.



The Millionaire and the Bard by Andrea Mays.  The history of Folger and his quest for the first folio as well as the founding of the Folger's Shakespeare Library in DC.  (You should visit it).


How Shakespeare Changed Everything by Stephen Marche.  Nice little book about how Shakespeare has influenced things we don't normally think he did.


Shakespearean Afterlives by John O'Connor.  O'Connor looks at how certain Shakespere characters liver long after the play is over.


The Great Shakespeare Fraud by Patrica Pierce.  Pierce chronicles the very famous and infamous discoveries of William Henry Ireland.  You might also check out the fictional The Lambs of London by Peter Ackroyd, which includes Ireland as a character.


Henry V, War Criminal?  by John Sutherland.  Sutherland untangles all those knotty problems in the plays, or at least he tries to.


Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare by Issac Asmiov - a really good source for journeying though the plays.   


Shakespeare's Lives by Simon Schoenbaum - wonderful chronicle of Shakespeare's rise to fame after his death.


Shakespeare the Biography by Peter Ackroyd.  If you are going to read one bio of Shakespeare, read this one.


Shakespeare's Wife by Germaine Greer - Read too many biographies of Shakespeare that pick on his wife?  Greer has the cure.



Don't feel like reading all the plays, well you can check out Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb.  Or Reduced Shakespeare by Martin Reed of the Reduced Shakespeare Company.


It is also highly recommended that you check out the Vivat Rex series by BBC Radio.  Done in the 70s, the series starts with Richard II and goes all the way down to the Tudors.  It has quite a few famous voices too.