Bard of Avon

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Overview

William Shakespeare was the son of a glovemaker, a small-town boy with a grammar school education. Yet he grew up to become the greatest English-speaking playwright in the world. Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare is both his story and that of a great art rediscovered in the modern world.

Drama had been forgotten since the days of ancient Greece, but it reemerged in Elizabethan London with the building of the first modern theater. Its impact can still be imagined ...

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Overview

William Shakespeare was the son of a glovemaker, a small-town boy with a grammar school education. Yet he grew up to become the greatest English-speaking playwright in the world. Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare is both his story and that of a great art rediscovered in the modern world.

Drama had been forgotten since the days of ancient Greece, but it reemerged in Elizabethan London with the building of the first modern theater. Its impact can still be imagined today. There were the theaters, open to the weather and featuring neither sets nor curtains, but equipped with dramatic special effects. There were the companies of actors—the leading men, the comedians, the boys who played women's roles—and the playwrights who gave them all lines to say.

Best of all, there was William Shakespeare, who rubbed shoulders with noblemen and royalty as well as with the rowdy crowds at the foot of the stage. He was suspected of involvement in a treasonous rebellion, and his last play literally brought down the house when cannon effects set fire to the famous Globe theater and it burned to the ground.

Award-winning collaborators Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema have once again created a feast of words and pictures to celebrate the life of a remarkable person from the pages of history: William Shakespeare, a man for all time."

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Editorial Reviews

Horn Book

"A remarkably rounded picture of Shakespeare's life and the period in which he lived is presented--together with a thoughtful attempt to relate circumstances in his personal life to the content of his plays. Especially interesting is the description of the actors of the time....The text is splendidly supported by the illustrations...and present a clear view of life in the late sixteenth century. A discerning, knowledgeable biography, rising far above the ordinary."

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"These seasoned raconteurs...neatly piece together the puzzle of Shakespeare's life," said PW in a starred review, praising the "stunning, intricate" paintings. Ages 6-up.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this compact, informative biography, Stanley and Vennema return to the 16th-century England they portrayed so deftly in Good Queen Bess: The Story of Elizabeth of England . These seasoned raconteurs have sorted out historical facts, speculation and conjecture to neatly piece together the puzzle of Shakespeare's life. Their conversational narrative, aided by Stanley's typically stunning, intricate period paintings, recount the Bard's early years in Stratford-on-Avon, where he was introduced to drama through the performances of traveling troupes; his years in London, working first as an actor and then as a playwright who wrote quickly and rarely revised his work; the changes in England's political climate--and in Shakespeare's own life--that led him to forsake comedies and pen his magnificent tragedies; and final years in Stratford, living as a country gentleman. A postscript discussing some of the words and phrases Shakespeare created (such as ``hurry,'' ``leapfrog,'' ``tongue-tied,'' ``laughingstock'') underscores his indelible, ongoing legacy, which Stanley and Vennema perpetuate most gracefully. Ages 7-up. (Aug.)
School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-- This is a wonderful book. A fine companion biography to Good Queen Bess (Four Winds, 1990), this life of Shakespeare builds on the methods developed in Bess and Shaka, King of the Zulus (Morrow, 1988). Using the few facts known about their subject, Stanley and Vennema manage a full-bodied portrait of a life and time without resorting to fictionalizing or sloppy speculation. In fact, the book starts with an appealing invitation to examine the historical research process. And, without wasting words in pedantic explanation, it keeps readers on a firm footing regarding the scholarly basis of any assertion. In the course of a brief text, the authors manage to touch not only upon the life but also upon important aspects of many of the major plays. There is even a tantalizing postscript with introductory glimpses of the development of the English language. As with their previous works, the authors provide a short but meaty bibliography. Stanley's distinctive full-color gouache paintings are clearly her own, and just as clearly planted firmly in archival research. They reinforce and expand the text with humor and movement. As icing on the cake, the generous open space and attractive page decoration rival the production given Shaka . Books like these need only be displayed to attract readers. And once opened, they keep their promise. Lucky kids! --Sally Margolis, Deerfield Public Library, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688162948
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/1998
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 282,082
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 1030L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of beloved books for young readers, including The Silver Bowl, which was named a best book of the year by Kirkus Reviews and Book Links Lasting Connections and was an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Cup and the Crown; The Princess of Cortova; Saving Sky, winner of the Arab American National Museum's Arab American Book Award and a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year; Bella at Midnight, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy; The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine; and A Time Apart. She is also well known as the author and illustrator of award-winning picture book biographies.

Ms. Stanley has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including three creatively reimagined fairy tales: The Giant and the Beanstalk, Goldie and the Three Bears, and Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of beloved books for young readers, including The Silver Bowl, which was named a best book of the year by Kirkus Reviews and Book Links Lasting Connections and was an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Cup and the Crown; The Princess of Cortova; Saving Sky, winner of the Arab American National Museum's Arab American Book Award and a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year; Bella at Midnight, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy; The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine; and A Time Apart. She is also well known as the author and illustrator of award-winning picture book biographies.

Ms. Stanley has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including three creatively reimagined fairy tales: The Giant and the Beanstalk, Goldie and the Three Bears, and Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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  • Posted March 1, 2014

    the history and description of his life controversy and plays, a

    the history and description of his life controversy and plays, actors and theaters

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