This shelf of The Library offers a wealth of links to resources about William Shakespeare on the world wide web.

There's also a selection of books perfect for discovering more about the Bard, his works and his times. Track them down in a local library or order your own copy of selected titles from the online bookstore Amazon using the links provided.

General | Biographical | The Plays

Web links  Web Links - General

Mr William Shakespeare and the Internet
A annotated guide providing the most extensive collection of links to Shakespearean resources on the internet. Also includes a Shakespeare Timeline which gives the key events of Shakespeare's life and work, along with related documentary evidence.

Sites on Shakespeare and the Renaissance
Another extensive categorised collection of links, including a section particularly useful for schoolwork. This is part of the impressive Internet Shakespeare Editions project coordinated by Dr Michael Best of the University of Victoria, British Columbia.

Shakespeare Resource Center
Sections on the man, the works and Elizabethan England, each accompanied by links to other relevant sites. A special section deals with sixteenth-century English grammar.

Shakespeare links
Helpful teacher resources, and links to Shakespeare festivals world-wide, from

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Web links  Web Links - Biographical

BBC Documentary 'In Search of Shakespeare'
Background information from Stratford's King Edward VI School on filming in the Elizabethan schoolroom for television historian Michael Wood's new biographical series on William Shakespeare. Describes the contribution of present-day schoolboys to sections on Elizabethan Latin education and school drama. The four-part series was broadcast in the UK in June/July 2003.

The Life and times of Mr William Shakespeare
An electronic tribute to William Shakespeare covering his life and times, created as a project by an English class at Grande Prairie Regional College, Alberta. Provides useful factual details.

William Shakespeare, life & times
An outline of Shakespeare's life and the England he lived in, written in an accessible style. From the Pen & Sword website.

Shakespeare's life and times
Part of the Internet Shakespeare Editions project, this resource allows detailed and individual study of the Poet's life through its use of "pop-up" notes. It also covers the cultural, historical and political background, is extensively illustrated and includes some audio material too. Ideal if you have the time that this resource demands to explore it properly. Best viewed in the "Full version".

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Books  Books - Biographical

Shakespeare in Warwickshire, by Mark Eccles
(Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1961)

Drawing on letters and documents surviving in the archives, a vivid picture of Shakespeare's family, neighbours and friends in Stratford is given. A chapter on the school details individual schoolmasters and boys.

Shakespeare: man and artist, by Edgar I. Fripp
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1938)

In search of Shakespeare, by Michael Wood
(London: BBC Books, 2003)

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Web links  Web Links - The Plays
The 'Ultimate free Shakespeare resource' with plot summaries, reviews of current performances, a 'library' of relevant documents and much more. The comprehensive search facilites available may be a good place to start exploring this useful site.

Surfing with the Bard
Offers study guides for a selection of the plays together with a 'Discussion Zone', a section for teachers and some fun items, too. Amy Ulen, a teacher of English and drama, maintains this site with the aim of helping students to learn more about and to enjoy Shakespeare's works.

Absolute Shakespeare
Described as the essential William Shakespeare resource, this site provides not only full-texts of the plays, sonnets and poems but also selected plot summaries, scene-by-scene commentaries and character analyses. There's also an extensive glossary of Elizabethan words, a directory of memorable quotes, and a collection of other facts and information on the Bard.

The Shakespeare Classroom
Designed originally for students of Shakespeare at late high school or introductory college level, this resource offers study questions for most of the plays, together with syllabuses used by the website's owner, Professor J.M. Massi, in her classes at Washington State University. Useful for quick summaries of the major issues in the plays and for what to look out for when studying them.

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Books  Books - The Plays

The Sources of Shakespeare's plays, by Kenneth Muir
(London: Methuen, 1977)

An insight into the sources Shakespeare adapted and combined as a basis for his plots, some of which he would have encountered originally at school. Brief consideration is also given to the way his general reading and education is woven into the texture of the plays. Each of the plays is dealt with in turn.

Cambridge companion to Shakespeare studies, edited by Margreta de Grazia & Stanley Wells
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001)

An international team brings the latest scholarship to bear on traditional subjects of Shakespeare studies, such as biography, the transmission of the texts, the main dramatic and poetic genres, the stage in Shakespeare's time and the history of criticism and performance. More recently defined topics are also covered such as gender and sexuality, Shakespeare on film, the presence of foreigners in Shakespeare's England and his impact on other cultures.
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Shakespeare in perspective, volume 2, edited by Roger Scales
(London: British Broadcasting Corporation, 1985)

TV historian Michael Wood contributes three chapters on the Henry VI plays in this collection of talks which accompanied the BBC TV Shakespeare series. Partly recorded in the schoolroom at Stratford, Wood's talks discuss the influence of Tudor education on the three plays and the likely source material used by Shakespeare.

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