Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Book Note: Secrets of Shakespeare's Grave

Hicks, Deron R. Secrets of Shakespeare's Grave. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, 2012.

When I first spotted this book in the bookstore, I thought it might be another young adult book debunking Shakespeare's authorship of the works attributed to Shakespeare.

So far (I've only read the first of the books in a series of at least two books), it's been exactly the opposite, though I don't want to tell you too much for fear of spoiling it for you.

The plot involves a brother and a sister who need to do what they can to save the family publishing business from being taken over by a disreputable relative.

More than that I'm not at liberty to reveal. But I will tell you that I enjoyed the book very much. It is filled with adventure—and not of the corny, tacky variety. It also involves intriguing trips to New York, London, and Stratford-upon-Avon to track down clues to the family treasure.  Read it and enjoy!

Note: The book's plot involves what I take to be a misreading of the poem on Shakespeare's Monument in Stratford. The line in question reads ". . . Si[t]h all that he hath writt / Leaves living art, but page, to serve his witt." The book considers the word "page" here to mean a piece of paper. Given the context, however, I take "page" to mean a servant. It's a minor point, but I thought I should mention it.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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