This exquisitely illustrated edition of Bill Bryson's best-selling biography of William Shakespeare takes the reader on an enthralling journey through Elizabethan England and the eccentricities of Shakespearean scholarship. Bill Bryson's biography of William Shakespeare pairs the most celebrated playwright in history with one of the most popular writers in the English language today. In this exquisitely illustrated new edition, the age of Shakespeare is vividly evoked through full-colour paintings, portraits, documents and photographs. Ever since he took the theatre of Elizabethan London by storm over 400 years ago, Shakespeare has remained centre stage. His fame stems not only from his plays - performed everywhere from school halls to the world's most illustrious theatres - but also from his enigmatic persona. His face is familiar to all, yet in reality very little is known about the man behind the masterpieces. Taking us on a journey through the streets of Elizabethan and Jacobean England, Bryson examines centuries of myths, half-truths and downright lies surrounding our greatest dramatist. With a steady hand and his trademark wit, he introduces a host of engaging characters, as he celebrates the magic of Shakespeare's language and delights in details of the bard's life, folios, poetry and plays. An updated preface includes the recent discoveries of the Cobbe portrait and London's first purpose-built theatre in Shoreditch. Shakespeare: The Illustrated Edition is captivating and colourful, as Bryson brings the legend into focus with unmatched clarity and amusement. Sonnets (audio CD) Selected and read by Sir John Gielgud, these personal and initimate poems were recorded over a period of six months, on two continents, a few at a time. They are magnificently sensitive readings by the most memorable interpreter of Shakespeare in our time. The text follows the original quarto of 1609.