Start your count-down calendars: In just one week, the Shakespeare in a Year Challenge begins. When I think about it, I get a knot in my stomach. It may be excitement, dread or a combination of the two.
What's the best way to prepare for this type of experience? I just finished Bill Bryson's amusing The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way, which of course praises Shakespeare's contributions to the sky. Next up: Bryson's biography of Shakespeare. It's not the first Bard biography I've read, but it's the first that comes complete with graphs, illustrations and glossy pages. I don't yet know whether the contents live up to the package, but I know Bryson's work, and I'm optimistic. Either way, immersing myself in a biography will give me a fresh perspective on the biographical context of the plays.
Do you have recommendations for how to spend our final pre-craziness week? Is there a Bard biography you'd like to recommend? If so, let me know!
In the meantime, don't forget to vote in the poll: Which play shall we read first? At the moment, it's a close race between Comedy of Errors, Midsummer and Titus, with absolutely no love for King John (not at all surprising) or Romeo and Juliet (quite surprising). If you have a strong preference, start campaigning now!