“Enthralling, the most eloquent evocation of Shakespeare one is ever likely to encounter.”—Times Literary Supplement, U.K.
“It is almost impossible to write something fresh about William Shakespeare. Yet Jonathan Bate has succeeded, with a sparkling and arresting portrait of the Bard and his world as discovered in his writings.”—The Economist (named one of the best books of 2008)
“Thoughtful, well-researched and even playful . . . An excellent resource for students of English literature and the Elizabethan era.”—Publishers Weekly
“Soul of the Age is the most artful, intriguing, and satisfying study of the mind of William Shakespeare we now possess. No other biography has used Shakespeare’s works so resourcefully to shed light on his life; few have so successfully mined the records of his life to illuminate the works. Each chapter shines with new discoveries, original insights, and dazzling prose. This is a major achievement from a master of Shakespeare studies.”—David Armitage, Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History, Harvard University
“Surprising, fresh and anything but le pot rechauffé . . . [Bate] has the gift of a true teacher–able at once to educate and to entertain. . . . After reading Soul of the Age I felt closer to the soul of Shakespeare.”—The Guardian,U.K.
“There can only be a handful of people in the world who know as much about Shakespeare as Bate, and it is intensely enjoyable to watch him bringing his knowledge to bear. He has the conjuror’s art of suspense, and you find yourself gasping with pleasure at the neatness of his conclusions. Few books pack so much new thinking about Shakespeare between their covers.”—Sunday Times, U.K.
“Bate is both a considerable scholar and an excellent writer, and he achieves a resonant and complex portrait, constantly alert to new lines of enquiry and unexpected connections. . . . [This] is a triumph of precision, learning and intelligent innovation.”—The Telegraph, U.K.