Type to search

Best Books Biography Education Fiction History Nonfiction

The Best Books About Shakespeare

Share

What are the best books about Shakespeare?” We looked at 210 of the top Shakespeare books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

Fame and notoriety are fleeting. Try and think who alive today would still be a name that is remembered and talked about 100, 500, and 1,000 years from now.

100 years is pretty easy, there are still tons of people from the early 1900’s that are known and talked about today, so you can figure that at least some political leaders, a few writers, artists and musicians, a scientists or two, and a handful of people from popular culture will be topics of interest and conversation. Think about Charles Lindbergh though, he was one of the biggest celebrities of the last 100 years, and he isn’t exactly a huge topic of interest these days (his Nazi sympathies probably didn’t help, but still). Jumping back 500 years and it gets even harder. There are certainly influential people from that era, but again people aren’t exactly talking about Ivan The Terrible in everyday conversation. Henery VIII, Elizabeth I, Martin Luther, and Copernicus do a bit better, but even then it is probably Da Vinci who is brought up the most in daily conversation today.

As for 1,000 years ago, try and name literally anyone that is still brought up in daily (non-history teacher) conversations. Genghis Khan was 800 years ago, but that is like choosing Napoleon for someone currently alive today. As you go back further it is the same. There are religious figures (Budda, Moses, Sri Krishna), a few rulers (Cleopatra, Ceasar, Alexander The Great), and some thinkers/writers (Confucius, Plato, Socrates, Homer), but even these are spaced hundreds, sometimes thousands of years apart. We may think that with all of the technology around today that more people will be remembered, and there will be better more durable ways of transferring data, but we honestly have no idea who or what will be remembered.

This overly long introduction is all pretty much here, because it seems like books and lists about Shakespeare are incredibly commonplace, and we wanted to highlight how weird that is for someone who wasn’t a religious or political figure and has been dead for a little over 400 years. Practically every writer or actor today will list Shakespeare as an influence, it seems like half the words and phrases we use today were created by the man, and it doesn’t seem like his influence or popularity will be going away anytime soon.

All together we found 210 of the ‘Best Books About Shakespeare’. That doesn’t include the hundreds of additional books released about him over just the last few years, just the cream of the crop. The top 27 books, all appearing on two or more lists, are below with images, links, and summaries. The additional 183 titles, as well as the sources we used, can be found in alphabetical order at the bottom of the page.

Be sure to check back later this week for our list of the best books influenced by Shakespeare!

Happy Scrolling!



Top 27 Books About Shakespeare Books



27 .) 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare by James Shapiro

a-year-in-the-life-of-william-shakespeare-1599-by-james-shapiro
Lists It Appears On:

  • Modern Library
  • Interesting Literature

“1599 was an epochal year for Shakespeare and England
Shakespeare wrote four of his most famous plays: Henry the Fifth, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, most remarkably, Hamlet; Elizabethans sent off an army to crush an Irish rebellion, weathered an Armada threat from Spain, gambled on a fledgling East India Company, and waited to see who would succeed their aging and childless queen.

James Shapiro illuminates both Shakespeare’s staggering achievement and what Elizabethans experienced in the course of 1599, bringing together the news and the intrigue of the times with a wonderful evocation of how Shakespeare worked as an actor, businessman, and playwright. The result is an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of an inspiring moment in history.”

Learn More / Purchase Book



26 .) 1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear by James Shapiro

the-year-of-lear-shakespeare-in-1606-by-james-shapiro
Lists It Appears On:

  • The Telegraph
  • The Independent

“n the years leading up to 1606, Shakespeare’s great productivity had ebbed. But that year, at age forty-two, he found his footing again, finishing a play he had begun the previous autumn—King Lear—then writing two other great tragedies, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra.

It was a memorable year in England as well—a terrorist plot conceived by a small group of Catholic gentry had been uncovered at the last hour. The foiled Gunpowder Plot would have blown up the king and royal family along with the nation’s political and religious leadership. The aborted plot renewed anti-Catholic sentiment and laid bare divisions in the kingdom.

It was against this background that Shakespeare finished Lear, a play about a divided kingdom, then wrote a tragedy that turned on the murder of a Scottish king, Macbeth. He ended this astonishing year with a third masterpiece no less steeped in current events and concerns: Antony and Cleopatra.”

Learn More / Purchase Book



25 .) A Companion to Shakespeare by David Scott Kastan

a-companion-to-shakespeare-david-scott-kastan
Lists It Appears On:

  • Bardweb
  • Modern Library

“A Companion to Shakespeare is an indispensable book for students and teachers of Shakespeare, indeed for anyone with an interest in his plays.
Contains 28 newly commissioned essays written by the most distinguished historians and literary scholars
Situates Shakespeare in the historical and cultural conditions in which he wrote”

Learn More / Purchase Book



24 .) Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro

contested-will-who-wrote-shakespeare-by-james-shapiro
Lists It Appears On:

  • Clear Shakespeare
  • Bardweb

For more than two hundred years after William Shakespeare’s death, no one doubted that he had written his plays. Since then, however, dozens of candidates have been proposed for the authorship of what is generally agreed to be the finest body of work by a writer in the English language. In this remarkable book, Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro explains when and why so many people began to question whether Shakespeare wrote his plays. Among the doubters have been such writers and thinkers as Sigmund Freud, Henry James, Mark Twain, and Helen Keller. It is a fascinating story, replete with forgeries, deception, false claimants, ciphers and codes, conspiracy theories—and a stunning failure to grasp the power of the imagination.

Learn More / Purchase Book



23 .) Prefaces to Shakespeare by Harley Granville-Barker

prefaces-to-shakespeare-harley-granville-barker
Lists It Appears On:

  • Clear Shakespeare
  • Modern Library

Harley Granville-Barker’s Prefaces to Shakespeare originally published in five series between 1927 and 1947 covering ten plays are collected in four volumes: Volume I (Hamlet), Volume II (King Lear, Cymbeline, Julius Caesar), Volume III (Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus) and Volume IV (Love’s Labour’s Lost, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Othello). An actor, dramatist, producer and a profound Shakespearean scholar, Granville-Barker brought about a revolution in his Shakespearean productions in the first decade of the twentieth century by recapturing, with his experience and expertise, the spirit and vitality of the plays as they were produced on the Elizabethan stage.

Learn More / Purchase Book



22 .) Shakespeare After All by Marjorie Garber

shakespeare-after-all-by-marjorie-garber
Lists It Appears On:

  • Clear Shakespeare
  • Bardweb

“A brilliant and companionable tour through all thirty-eight plays, Shakespeare After All is the perfect introduction to the bard by one of the country’s foremost authorities on his life and work.

Drawing on her hugely popular lecture courses at Yale and Harvard over the past thirty years, Marjorie Garber offers passionate and revealing readings of the plays in chronological sequence, from The Two Gentlemen of Verona to The Two Noble Kinsmen. Supremely readable and engaging, and complete with a comprehensive introduction to Shakespeare’s life and times and an extensive bibliography, this magisterial work is an ever-replenishing fount of insight on the most celebrated writer of all time.”

Learn More / Purchase Book



21 .) Shakespeare and the Popular Voice by Annabel Patterson

shakespeare-and-popular-voice-by-annabel-patterson
Lists It Appears On:

  • Bardweb
  • Modern Library

In Shakespeare and the Popular Voice Annabel Patterson challenges as counter-intuitive the common opinion that Shakespeare was anti-democratic, contemptuous of the crowd and an unfailing supporter of Elizabethan social hierarchy.

Learn More / Purchase Book



20 .) Shakespeare in Swahililand: Adventures with the Ever-Living Poet by Edward Wilson-Lee

shakespeare-in-swahililand-in-search-of-a-global-poet-by-edward-wilson-lee
Lists It Appears On:

  • The Telegraph
  • The Independent

“Shakespeare in Swahililand tells the unexpected literary history of Shakespeare’s influence in East Africa. Beginning with Victorian-era expeditions in which Shakespeare’s works were the sole reading material carried into the interior, the Bard has been a vital touchstone throughout the region. His plays were printed by liberated slaves as one of the first texts in Swahili, performed by Indian laborers while they built the Uganda railroad, used to argue for native rights, and translated by intellectuals, revolutionaries, and independence leaders.

Weaving together stories of explorers staggering through Africa’s interior, eccentrics living out their dreams on the savanna, decadent émigrés, Cold War intrigues, and even Che Guevara, Edward Wilson-Lee―a Cambridge lecturer raised in Kenya―tallies Shakespeare’s influence in Zanzibar, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Sudan. Traveling through these countries, he speaks with everyone from theater directors and academics to soldiers and aid workers, discovering not only cultural dimensions traceable to Shakespeare’s plays but also an overwhelming insistence that these works provide a key insight into the region.”

Learn More / Purchase Book



19 .) Shakespeare in Ten Acts by Gordon McMullan and Zoe Wilcox

shakespeare-in-ten-acts-by-gordon-mcmullan
Lists It Appears On:

  • The Telegraph
  • The Independent

Four hundred years after Shakespeare’s death, it is difficult to imagine a time when he was not considered a genius. But those 400 years have seen his plays banished and bowdlerized, faked and forged, traded and translated, re-mixed and re-cast. Shakespeare’s story is not one of a steady rise to fame; it is a tale of set-backs and sea-changes that have made him the cultural icon he is today. Each performance discussed here holds up a mirror to the era in which it was performed. The first stage appearance by a woman in 1660 and a black actor playing Othello in 1825 were landmarks for society as well as for Shakespeare’s reputation. The book explores productions as diverse as Peter Brook’s legendary A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mark Rylance’s ‘Original Practices’ Twelfth Night, and a Shakespeare forgery staged at Drury Lane in 1796, among many others. The illustrations include the only surviving playscript in Shakespeare’s hand, an authentic Shakespeare signature, and rare printed editions including the First Folio. These and other treasures from the British Library’s manuscript and rare book collections feature alongside film stills, costumes, paintings and production photographs.

Learn More / Purchase Book



18 .) Shakespeare: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd

shakespeare-the-biography-by-peter-ackroyd
Lists It Appears On:

  • Clear Shakespeare
  • Slate

Drawing on an exceptional combination of skills as literary biographer, novelist, and chronicler of London history, Peter Ackroyd surely re-creates the world that shaped Shakespeare–and brings the playwright himself into unusually vivid focus. With characteristic narrative panache, Ackroyd immerses us in sixteenth-century Stratford and the rural landscape–the industry, the animals, even the flowers–that would appear in Shakespeare’s plays. He takes us through Shakespeare’s London neighborhood and the fertile, competitive theater world where he worked as actor and writer. He shows us Shakespeare as a businessman, and as a constant reviser of his writing. In joining these intimate details with profound intuitions about the playwright and his work, Ackroyd has produced an altogether engaging masterpiece.

Learn More / Purchase Book



17 .) Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human by Harold Bloom

shakespeare-the-invention-of-the-human-by-harold-bloom
Lists It Appears On:

  • Bardweb
  • Interesting Literature

A landmark achievement as expansive, erudite, and passionate as its renowned author, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human is the culmination of a lifetime of reading, writing about, and teaching Shakespeare. Preeminent literary critic-and ultimate authority on the western literary tradition-Harold Bloom leads us through a comprehensive reading of every one of the dramatist’s plays, brilliantly illuminating each work with unrivaled warmth, wit and insight. At the same time, Bloom presents one of the boldest theses of Shakespearean scholarships: that Shakespeare not only invented the English language, but also created human nature as we know it today.

Learn More / Purchase Book



16 .) Shakespeare’s Language by Frank Kermode

shakespeares-language-by-frank-kermode
Lists It Appears On:

  • Bardweb
  • Interesting Literature

Learn More / Purchase Book



15 .) Shakespeare’s Money by Robert Bearman

shakespeares-money-how-much-did-he-make-and-what-did-this-mean-by-robert-bearman
Lists It Appears On:

  • International Business Times
  • The Telegraph

There is no doubting Shakespeare’s literary genius, immortalized in his published work. However, statements along these lines are frequently followed by laments of how little is known about this life. This is true if we wish to know about Shakespeare’s movements on even a month-by-month basis, or about his working practices and relationships with his theatrical fellows. However, too great an emphasis on this dearth of material not only leads to ill-informed comment that this is somehow “suspicious” but also tends to downgrade the importance of what material has survived, often dismissed instead simply as evidence of his business dealings which have little bearing on his creative work. However, this material does at least help us to evaluate how successful Shakespeare was in earning a living in a profession which, in his day, was far from mainstream.

Learn More / Purchase Book



14 .) Shakespeare’s Works & Elizabethan Pronunciation by Fausto Cercignani

shakespeares-works-elizabethan-pronunciation-by-fausto-cercignani
Lists It Appears On:

  • Bardweb
  • Modern Library

Learn More / Purchase Book



13 .) Shakespeare’s Binding Language by John Kerrigan

shakespeares-binding-language-by-john-kerrigan
Lists It Appears On:

  • The Telegraph
  • The Independent

Shakespeare’s Binding Language gives a freshly researched account of these contexts, but it is focused on the plays. What motives should we look for when characters asseverate or promise? How far is binding language self-persuasive or deceptive? When is it allowable to break a vow? How do oaths and promises structure an audience’s expectations? Across the sweep of Shakespeare’s career, from the early histories to the late romances, this book opens new perspectives on key dramatic moments and illuminates language and action. Each chapter gives an account of a play or group of plays, yet the study builds to a sustained investigation of some of the most important systems, institutions, and controversies in early modern England, and of the wiring of Shakespearean dramaturgy. Scholarly but accessible, and offering startling insights, this is a major contribution to Shakespeare studies by one of the leading figures in the field.

Learn More / Purchase Book



12 .) Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeare’s Plays by Janet Adelman

suffocating-mothers-fantasies-of-maternal-origin-in-shakespeares-plays-hamlet-to-the-tempest-by-janet-adelman
Lists It Appears On:

  • The Guardian
  • Modern Library

An original reading of Shakespeare’s plays illuminating his negotiations with mothers, present and absent, and tracing the genesis of Shakespearean tragedy and romance to a psychologized version of the Fall.

Learn More / Purchase Book



11 .) The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets by Helen Vendler

the-art-of-shakespeares-sonnets-by-helen-vendler
Lists It Appears On:

  • Clear Shakespeare
  • Interesting Literature

Helen Vendler, widely regarded as our most accomplished interpreter of poetry, here serves as an incomparable guide to some of the best-loved poems in the English language. In detailed commentaries on Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, Vendler reveals previously unperceived imaginative and stylistic features of the poems, pointing out not only new levels of import in particular lines, but also the ways in which the four parts of each sonnet work together to enact emotion and create dynamic effect.

Learn More / Purchase Book



10 .) The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson

the-gap-of-time-hogarth-shakespeare-by-jeanette-winterson
Lists It Appears On:

  • The Telegraph
  • International Business Times

“The Winter’s Tale is one of Shakespeare’s “late plays.” It tells the story of a king whose jealousy results in the banishment of his baby daughter and the death of his beautiful wife. His daughter is found and brought up by a shepherd on the Bohemian coast, but through a series of extraordinary events, father and daughter, and eventually mother too, are reunited.

In The Gap of Time, Jeanette Winterson’s cover version of The Winter’s Tale, we move from London, a city reeling after the 2008 financial crisis, to a storm-ravaged American city called New Bohemia. Her story is one of childhood friendship, money, status, technology and the elliptical nature of time. Written with energy and wit, this is a story of the consuming power of jealousy on the one hand, and redemption and the enduring love of a lost child on the other.”

Learn More / Purchase Book



9 .) The Lodger Shakespeare: His Life on Silver Street by Charles Nicholl

the-lodger-shakespeare-his-life-on-silver-street-by-charles-nicholl
Lists It Appears On:

  • Slate
  • Five Books

In 1612, Shakespeare gave evidence in a court case at Westminster-and it is the only occasion on which his actual spoken words were recorded. In The Lodger Shakespeare, Charles Nicholl applies a powerful biographical magnifying glass to this fascinating but little-known episode in the Bard’s life. Drawing on evidence from a wide variety of sources, Nicholl creates a compellingly detailed account of the circumstances in which Shakespeare lived and worked amid the bustle of early seventeenth-century London. This elegant, often unexpected exploration presents a new and original look at Shakespeare as he was writing such masterpieces as Othello, Measure for Measure, and King Lear.

Learn More / Purchase Book



8 .) The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works 2nd Edition by John Jowett; William Montgomery; Gary Taylor and Stanley Wells

the-oxford-shakespeare-the-complete-works-2nd-edition-john-william-montgomery-gary-taylor-and-stanley-wells-jowett
Lists It Appears On:

  • Clear Shakespeare
  • Bardweb

“Hailed by The Washington Post as “”a definitive synthesis of the best editions”” and by The Times of London as “”a monument to Shakespearean scholarship,”” The Oxford Shakespeare is the ultimate anthology of the Bard’s work: the most authoritative edition of the plays and poems ever published.

Now, almost two decades after the original volume, Oxford is proud to announce a thoroughly updated second edition, including for the first time the texts of The Reign of Edward III and Sir Thomas More, recognizing these two plays officially as authentic works by Shakespeare. This beautiful collection is the product of years of full-time research by a team of British and American scholars and represents the most thorough examination ever undertaken of the nature and authority of Shakespeare’s work. The editors reconsidered every detail of the text in the light of modern scholarship and they thoroughly re-examined the earliest printed versions of the plays, firmly establishing the canon and chronological order of composition. All stage directions have been reconsidered in light of original staging, and many new directions for essential action have been added. This superb volume also features a brief introduction to each work as well as an illuminating General Introduction. Finally, the editors have added a wealth of secondary material, including an essay on language, a list of contemporary allusions to Shakespeare, an index of Shakespearean characters, a glossary, a consolidated bibliography, and an index of first lines of the Sonnets. “

Learn More / Purchase Book



7 .) The Shakespearean Stage, 1574-1642 by Andrew Gurr

the-shakespearean-stage-1574-1642-by-andrew-gurr
Lists It Appears On:

  • Modern Library
  • Bardweb

For almost forty years The Shakespearean Stage has been considered the liveliest, most reliable and most entertaining overview of Shakespearean theatre in its own time. It is the only authoritative book that describes all the main features of the original staging of Shakespearean drama in one volume: the acting companies and their practices, the playhouses, the staging and the audiences. Thoroughly revised and updated, this fourth edition contains fresh materials about how specific plays by Shakespeare were first staged, and provides new information about the companies that staged them and their playhouses. The book incorporates everything that has been discovered in recent years about the early modern stage, including the archaeology of the Rose and the Globe. Also included is an invaluable appendix, listing all the plays known to have been performed at particular playhouses and by specific companies.

Learn More / Purchase Book



6 .) Worlds Elsewhere by Andrew Dickson

worlds-elsewhere-journeys-around-shakespeares-globe-by-andrew-dickson
Lists It Appears On:

  • The Telegraph
  • International Business Times

“Ranging ambitiously across four continents and four hundred years, Worlds Elsewhere is an eye-opening account of how Shakespeare went global. Seizing inspiration from the playwright’s own fascination with travel, foreignness, and distant worlds―worlds Shakespeare never himself explored―Andrew Dickson takes us on an extraordinary journey: from Hamlet performed by English actors tramping through the Baltic states in the early sixteen hundreds to the skyscrapers of twenty-first-century Beijing and Shanghai, where “Shashibiya” survived Mao’s Cultural Revolution to become a revered Chinese author.

En route, Dickson traces Nazi Germany’s strange love affair with, and attempted nationalization of, the Bard, and delves deep into the history of Bollywood, where Shakespearean stories helped give birth to Indian cinema. In Johannesburg, we discover how Shakespeare was enlisted in the fight to end apartheid. In nineteenth-century California, we encounter shoestring performances of Richard III and Othello in the dusty mining camps and saloon bars of the Gold Rush.”

Learn More / Purchase Book



5 .) Shakespeare’s Words: A Glossary and Language Companion by David and Ben Crystal

shakespeares-words-a-glossary-and-language-companion-by-david-crystal-ben-crystal
Lists It Appears On:

  • Bardweb
  • Clear Shakespeare
  • Modern Library

A vital resource for scholars, students and actors, this book contains glosses and quotes for over 14,000 words that could be misunderstood by or are unknown to a modern audience. Displayed panels look at such areas of Shakespeare’s language as greetings, swear-words and terms of address. Plot summaries are included for all Shakespeare’s plays and on the facing page is a unique diagramatic representation of the relationships within each play.

Learn More / Purchase Book



4 .) William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems by E. K. Chambers

william-shakespeare-a-study-of-facts-and-problems-by-e-k-chambers
Lists It Appears On:

  • Bardweb
  • Five Books
  • Modern Library

Learn More / Purchase Book



3 .) Shakespeare’s Lives by Samuel Schoenbaum

shakespeares-lives-by-samuel-schoenbaum
Lists It Appears On:

  • Bardweb
  • Slate
  • Five Books
  • Modern Library

When S. Schoenbaum’s Shakespeare’s Lives first appeared over twenty years ago, critics enthusiastically hailed it as a triumph of wit and scholarship. Stanley Wells, the editor of Shakespeare’s complete works, called it “an extraordinary achievement….fluent, vivid, and intelligent.” Writing in the Saturday Review, Benjamin DeMott described Shakespeare’s Lives as “a superbly informed, elegantly composed, intensely readable book,” while Terry Eagleton remarked on its “shrewd intelligence.” Schoenbaum’s study of the changing images of Shakespeare throughout history broke important new ground; but in the years since this book first appeared many scholars have followed his lead, and Shakespeare studies has progressed by leaps and bounds. Now, Schoenbaum, one of “the heroes of Shakespeare scholarship,” according to Wells, has revised and up-dated this classic study of Shakespeare and his biographers, taking account of the most recent scholarship, adding a chapter on “Recent Lives,” and abridging certain sections.

Learn More / Purchase Book



2 .) Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt

will-in-the-world-how-shakespeare-became-shakespeare-by-stephen-greenblatt
Lists It Appears On:

  • Bardweb
  • Clear Shakespeare
  • Interesting Literature
  • Modern Library

A young man from a small provincial town moves to London in the late 1580s and, in a remarkably short time, becomes the greatest playwright not of his age alone but of all time. How is an achievement of this magnitude to be explained? Stephen Greenblatt brings us down to earth to see, hear, and feel how an acutely sensitive and talented boy, surrounded by the rich tapestry of Elizabethan life, could have become the world’s greatest playwright.

Learn More / Purchase Book



1 .) The Genius of Shakespeare by Jonathon Bates

the-genius-of-shakespeare-by-jonathan-bate
Lists It Appears On:

  • Bardweb
  • Interesting Literature
  • International Business Times
  • Modern Library
  • The Independent

This fascinating book by one of Britain’s most acclaimed Shakespeare scholars explores the extraordinary staying-power of the world’s most famous dramatist. Bate opens by taking up questions of authorship and then goes on to trace Shakespeare’s canonization and near-deification, examining not only the uniqueness of his status among English-speaking readers but also his effect on literary cultures across the globe. Ambitious, wide-ranging, and historically rich, this book shapes a provocative inquiry into the nature of genius as it ponders the legacy of a talent unequalled in English letters. A bold and meticulous work of scholarship, The Genius of Shakespeare is also lively and accessibly written and will appeal to any reader who has marveled at the Bard and the enduring power of his work. This tenth anniversary edition has a new twenty-page afterword that addresses the renewed interest in Shakespeare and recent film adaptations of his most celebrated works.

Learn More / Purchase Book



The #28-210 Additional Books About Shakespeare



 

#BooksAuthorLists
(Books Appear On 1 List Each)
28A Feminist Companion to Shakespeareedited by Dympna CallaghanModern Library
29A Glossary of Shakespeare’s Sexual LanguageGordon WilliamsModern Library
30A Natural Perspective: The Development of Shakespearean Comedy and RomanceNorthrop FryeModern Library
31A New History of Early English Dramaedited by J. D. Cox and D. S. KastanModern Library
32A Shakespeare GlossaryCharles T. OnionsToday In Literature
33A Short History of Shakespearean CriticismArthur M EastmanBardweb
34A short life of Shakespeare: With the sourcesE ChambersBardweb
35A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599Clear Shakespeare
36Actors on ShakespeareModern Library
37After ShakespeareJohn GrossModern Library
38All Night AwakeSarah A. HoytFlashlight Worthy
39Alternative Shakespeares (New Accents)John DrakakisBardweb
40An Introduction to Shakespeare: The Dramatist in His ContextPeter HylandBardweb
41ArielGrace TiffanyFlashlight Worthy
42Asimov’s Guide to ShakespeareClear Shakespeare
43Captive Victors: Shakespeare’s Narrative Poems and SonnetsHeather DubrowModern Library
44Coffee with ShakespeareStanley Wells, forewordFlashlight Worthy
45Development of Shakespeare’s Theater (AMS Studies in the Renaissance)John H AstingtonBardweb
46Disowning Knowledge in Seven Plays of ShakespeareStanley CavellModern Library
47Doing ShakespeareSimon PalfreyModern Library
48Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern EnglandKim HallThe Guardian
49Clamorous Voices: Shakespeare’s Women TodayModern Library
50Elizabethan Drama: Eight PlaysJohn and William Green GassnerBardweb
51Endeavors of Art: A Study of Form in Elizabethan DramaMadeleine DoranModern Library
52English Authors Series: William Shakespeare: His Life and Times (Twayne’s English Authors Series)Dennis KayBardweb
53Everybody’s Shakespeare: Reflections Chiefly on TragediesMaynard MackBardweb
54Fashioning Femininity and English Renaissance DramaKaren NewmanThe Guardian
55Fools of Time: Studies in Shakespearean Tragedy (Alexander Lectures)Northrop FryeBardweb
56Forms of Nationhood: The Elizabethan Writing of EnglandRichard HelgersonThe Guardian
57Hamlet Made Simple and Other EssaysDavid P GontarBardweb
58Hamlet: A User’s GuideMichael PenningtonModern Library
59Hamlet’s Advice to the PlayersPeter HallModern Library
60Highbrow/LowbrowClear Shakespeare
61Impersonations: The Performance of Gender in Shakespeare’s EnglandStephen OrgelModern Library
62In Search of ShakespeareMichael WoodModern Library
63Ink and Steel of the Promethean AgeElizabeth BearFlashlight Worthy
64Interred with Their BonesJennifer Lee CarrellFlashlight Worthy
65King Lear, Macbeth, Indefinition and TragedyStephen BoothModern Library
66Literary Fat Ladies: RhetoricPatricia ParkerModern Library
67Making Shakespeare: From Stage to PageTiffany SternModern Library
68Mistress ShakespeareKaren HarperFlashlight Worthy
69My Father Had a Daughter: Judith Shakespeare’s TaleGrace TiffanyFlashlight Worthy
70Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeareedited by Geoffrey BulloughModern Library
71Nothing Like the SunAnthony BurgessFlashlight Worthy
72On Shakespeare’s SonnetsHannah Crawforth and Elizabeth Scott-BaumannThe Telegraph
73OpheliaLisa KleinFlashlight Worthy
74Outlines of the Life of ShakespeareJames Orchard Halliwell-PhillippsFive Books
75Oxford Dictionary of National BiographyPeter HollandFive Books
76Oxford Dictionary of Original Shakespearean PronunciationDavid CrystalThe Telegraph
77Performance Approaches to Teaching ShakespeareEdward L. RocklinModern Library
78Players of Shakespeareedited by Robert SmallwoodModern Library
79Playing ShakespeareJohn BartonModern Library
80PoliticsJ. Leeds BarrollModern Library
81Power on Display: The Politics of Shakespeare’s Genres (Routledge Library Editions: Shakespeare)Leonard TennenhouseBardweb
82Recovering Shakespeare’s Theatrical VocabularyAlan DessenModern Library
83Rehearsal From Shakespeare to SheridanTiffany SternModern Library
84Reinventing Shakespeare: A Cultural History from the Restoration to the PresentGary TaylorModern Library
85Robert, Earl of EssexRobert LaceyToday In Literature
86ShakespeareBrian VickersModern Library
87ShakespearePeter MackModern Library
88ShakespeareAlvin KernanModern Library
89ShakespeareAnia LoombaModern Library
90ShakespeareRobin Headlam WellsModern Library
91Shakespeare Among the ModernsRichard HalpernThe Guardian
92Shakespeare and ComedyR. W. MaslenModern Library
93Shakespeare and Gender: A HistoryDeborah E. BarkerBardweb
94Shakespeare and MasculinityBruce SmithModern Library
95Shakespeare and MusicDavid LindleyModern Library
96Shakespeare and OvidJonathan BateModern Library
97Shakespeare and Renaissance PoliticsAndrew HadfieldModern Library
98Shakespeare and the Arts of LanguageClear Shakespeare
99Shakespeare and the Drama of His TimeMartin WigginsModern Library
100Shakespeare and the Energies of DramaMichael GoldmanBardweb
101Shakespeare and the Geography of DifferenceJohn GilliesModern Library
102Shakespeare and the Idea of the PlayAnne RighterModern Library
103Shakespeare and the JewsJames ShapiroModern Library
104Shakespeare and the Nature of ManTheodore SpencerModern Library
105Shakespeare and the Problem of MeaningNorman RabkinModern Library
106Shakespeare and the RhetoriciansMarion TrousdaleModern Library
107Shakespeare and WomenPhyllis RackinModern Library
108Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist.Lukas ErneSlate
109Shakespeare from the Margins: Language, Culture, ContextPatricia ParkerThe Guardian
110Shakespeare in Love: ScreenplayTom Stoppard, Marc NormanFlashlight Worthy
111Shakespeare in WarwickshireMark EcclesBardweb
112Shakespeare Is HardFintan O’TooleModern Library
113Shakespeare Lexicon and Quotation Dictionary, Volume 1 (A-M)Alexander SchmidtToday In Literature
114Shakespeare Lexicon and Quotation Dictionary, Volume 2 (N-Z)Alexander SchmidtToday In Literature
115Shakespeare on FilmJack JorgensBardweb
116Shakespeare the ThinkerA. D. NuttallModern Library
117Shakespeare ThinkingPhilip DavisModern Library
118Shakespeare Verbatim: The Reproduction of Authenticity and the 1790 ApparatusMargreta de GraziaThe Guardian
119Shakespeare Without WomenDympna CallaghanThe Guardian
120Shakespeare: A Biographical Handbook (Yale Shakespeare Supplements)G BentleyBardweb
121Shakespeare: A LifePark HonanModern Library
122Shakespeare: His Life, His Language, His TheaterSam SchoenbaumBardweb
123Shakespeare: His Life, Work, and EraDennis KayBardweb
124Shakespeare: The Director’s CutMichael BogdanovModern Library
125Shakespeare: The Evidence : Unlocking the Mysteries of the Man and His WorkIan WilsonBardweb
126Shakespeare: The Lost YearsE HonigmannBardweb
127Shakespeare: The World as a Stage (Eminent Lives)Bill BrysonInteresting Literature
128Shakespeare’s GardensJackie BennettInternational Business Times
129Shakespeare’s Language: An IntroductionN BlakeBardweb
130Shakespeare’s PersonalityNorman HollandBardweb
131Shakespeare’s Sonnets (Yale Nota Bene)Stephen BoothBardweb
132Shakespeare’s StagecraftJ StyanBardweb
133Shakespeare’s BooksStuart GillespieModern Library
134Shakespeare’s Comediesedited by Emma SmithModern Library
135Shakespeare’s Dramatic GenresLawrence DansonModern Library
136Shakespeare’s English KingsPeter SaccioModern Library
137Shakespeare’s Festive ComediesC. L. BarberModern Library
138Shakespeare’s First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic BookEmma SmithThe Telegraph
139Shakespeare’s Imagery and What It Tells UsCaroline SpurgeonInteresting Literature
140Shakespeare’s ImaginationE. A. ArmstrongModern Library
141Shakespeare’s Metrical ArtGeorge T. WrightModern Library
142Shakespeare’s Non-Standard English: A Dictionary of His Informal LanguageN. F. BlakeModern Library
143Shakespeare’s PlutarchT. J. B. SpencerModern Library
144Shakespeare’s Professional CareerPeter ThomsonModern Library
145Shakespeare’s ReadingRobert MiolaModern Library
146Shakespeare’s ScepticismGraham BradshawModern Library
147Shakespeare’s Shakespeare: How the Plays were MadeJohn C. MeagherModern Library
148Shakespeare’s SonnetsPaul Edmondson and Stanley WellsModern Library
149Shakespeare’s WordplayM. M. MahoodModern Library
150Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance EnglandStephen GreenblattBardweb
151Shakespearean Sentences: A Study in Style and SyntaxJohn Porter HoustonBardweb
152Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth (New Penguin Shakespeare Library)A. C. BradleyInteresting Literature
153Shakespeares AmericaMichael D BristolBardweb
154Shakespearian RomanceHoward FelperinBardweb
155Shylock Is my NameHoward JacobsonThe Telegraph
156Sodometries: Renaissance Texts, Modern SexualitiesJonathan GoldbergThe Guardian
157Soul of the Age: The Life, Mind and World of William ShakespeareJonathan BateInteresting Literature
158Speaking ShakespearePatsy RodenburgModern Library
159Stages of History: Shakespeare’s English ChroniclesPhyllis RackinModern Library
160Tales from Shakespeare: Children’s ClassicsCharles and Mary Lamb LambBardweb
161The Action to the Word: Structure and Style in Shakespearean TragedyDavid YoungBardweb
162The Actor and the TextCicely BerryModern Library
163The Archaeology of ShakespeareJean WilsonModern Library
164The Authorship of Shakespeare’s PlaysJonathan HopeModern Library
165The Bard in Brief: Shakespeare in QuotationsHannah ManktelowThe Independent
166The Body Embarrassed: Drama and the Disciplines of ShameGail PasterThe Guardian
167The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies (Cambridge Companions to Literature)Stanley WellsBardweb
168The Case for Shakespeare: The End of the Authorship QuestionScott McCraeBardweb
169The Comic Matrix of Shakespeare’s Tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, and King LearSusan SnyderBardweb
170The Complete Works of Shakespeare (7th Edition)David BevingtonBardweb
171The Development of Shakespeare’s ImageryWolfgang ClemenModern Library
172The Elizabethan Stage: 4-volume setE ChambersBardweb
173The Eloquent Shakespeare: A Pronouncing Dictionary for the Complete Dramatic WorksClear Shakespeare
174The Jacobean and Caroline Stage: Plays and PlaywrightsG BentleyBardweb
175The Language of ShakespeareG. L. BrookModern Library
176The Mediaeval Stage (Dover Books on Literature & Drama)E ChambersBardweb
177The Metamorphoses of Shakespearean ComedyWilliam C CarrollBardweb
178The Motives of Eloquence: Literary Rhetoric in the RenaissanceRichard A. LanhamModern Library
179The Mysterious William Shakespeare: The Myth & the RealityCharlton OgburnBardweb
180The North Face of Shakespeare: Activities for Teaching the PlaysJames StredderModern Library
181The Origins of ShakespeareEmrys JonesBardweb
182The Oxford Companion to ShakespeareMichael Dobson (Editor), Stanley Wells (Editor)Today In Literature
183The Problem of Order: Elizabethan Political Commonplaces and an Example of Shakespeare’s ArtE. W. TalbertModern Library
184The Reduced Shakespeare Co. presents The Compleat Works of Wllm ShksprDaniel Singer, Jess Borgeson, William Shakespeare, Adam LongFlashlight Worthy
185The Repertory of Shakespeare’s CompanyRoslyn KnutsonModern Library
186The Riverside Shakespeare, 2nd EditionG EvansBardweb
187The Rough Guide to ShakespeareAndrew DicksonModern Library
188The Shakespeare CountryE CosterBardweb
189The Shakespeare Stealer SeriesGary BlackwoodFlashlight Worthy
190The Shakespeare WarsSlate
191The Sources of Shakespeare’s Plays (Routledge Library Editions: Shakespeare)Kenneth MuirBardweb
192The Turquoise RingGrace TiffanyFlashlight Worthy
193The Woman’s Part: Feminist Criticism of ShakespeareCarolyn LenzBardweb
194The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606James ShapiroInteresting Literature
195Thinking ShakespeareBrian Kulick, Karin Coonrod, Michael Kahn, and Barry EdelsteiSlate
196Time’s Fool: A Mystery of ShakespeareLeonard TourneyFlashlight Worthy
197Ungentle Shakespeare: Scenes from his LifeKatherine Duncan-JonesModern Library
198Unreading ShakespeareDavid P GontarBardweb
199WillGrace TiffanyFlashlight Worthy
200Will and Me: How Shakespeare Took Over My LifeDominic DromgooleModern Library
201William ShakespeareTerry EagletonBardweb
202William Shakespeare & Robert Greene: The EvidenceWilliam Hall ChapmanToday In Literature
203William Shakespeare: A BiographyA RowseBardweb
204William Shakespeare: A Compact Documentary Life (Oxford Paperbacks)Sam SchoenbaumBardweb
205William Shakespeare: His World, His Work, His InfluenceJohn F AndrewsBardweb
206William Shakespeare: Records and ImagesSam SchoenbaumBardweb
207William Shakspere’s Small Latine and Lesse GreekeT. W. BaldwinModern Library
208Women as HamletTony HowardModern Library
209Year of the KingAntony SherModern Library
210Young ShakespeareRussell FraserModern Library


12 Best Shakespeare Book Sources/Lists



SourceArticle
Bardweb A Shakespearean Reading List
Clear Shakespeare Best Shakespeare Books
Five Books James Shapiro recommends the best books on Shakespeare biographies
Flashlight Worthy Shakespeare in Fiction
Interesting Literature The Best Books about Shakespeare
International Business Times Shakespeare 400th anniversary: Best new books celebrating England’s greatest playwright
Modern Library 100+ of the Best Books on Shakespeare
Slate Shakespeare for Everyone
The Guardian Professor Jean E Howard’s top 10 books on Shakespeare from the 90s
The Independent Shakespeare 400th anniversary: 6 best books
The Telegraph To read or not to read: the 10 best new books on Shakespeare
Today In Literature William Shakespeare – Life Stories, Books, and Links