Monday, December 12, 2016

Book Note: Will's Words

Sutcliffe, Jane. Illus. John Shelley. Will's Words: How William Shakespeare Changed the Way You Talk. Watertown: Charlesbridge, 2016.

I found this in my library system and gave it a try.

You should, too!

It's a good account both of what the theater of Shakespeare's would have been like and what words or phrases Shakespeare coined or made popular.

The gimmick is that the description of what's going on as Shakespeare writes and rehearses and puts on a play contains the words or phrases that we know best though Shakespeare.  On the facing page, we get an inset that explains the words he used.

The best way to explain that further is to show you. Here are two spreads from the book (click on them to enlarge them):

I love the detail (this is a nice, large book—ideal for pouring over) and the explanation of the words and phrases. It's very nicely done—and would make a great gift for the Shakespeare lover (of whatever age) in your life.

Click below to purchase the book from
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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.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2039 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest