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"Shakespeare: the World as Stage" by Bill Bryson

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A good basic compendium of what we know about the Bard. There isn't much, of course, but Bryson lays it all out in a straightforward and sometimes breezy way that always comes naturally to him. I found the sections on the economics of the theatre during Shakespeare's lifetime, and the regulations covering everything from sodomy to dress to how much it cost to go to a Catholic Mass, and the growth of medieval London, all to be very interesting. I wished for more in the section of words and phrases coined by the man. This is a good, short, one-stop shop for the basics on the Bard.
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