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Shakespeare (Eyewitness Books) by Peter…
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Shakespeare (Eyewitness Books)

by Peter Chrisp, DK (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Eyewitness Books

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Review of Shakespeare (DK Eyewitness) by Peter Chrisp

This past spring I assisted in a freshman English class. Shakespeare (DK Eyewitness Books) was one of the most successful non-fictions about Shakespeare introduced to the class. Successful meaning they got something out of it and most of the students liked the book. The students were assigned projects where they had to explain a facet of Elizabethan England and then present their project to the class, something I could see myself assigning. The topics ranged from school to clothing to architecture. Nearly everyone in the class could use something they found in the Shakespeare Eyewitness for their projects, which made all the students beaucoup happy with the book as they had a minimum amount of resources they had to use for the project.

The book is set up by topic. A section will focus on life in Stratford-upon-Avon or life in the country and then jump to a section on school in Elizabethan England. Each section consists of approximately one page spreads with an introduction (or brief summary), captioned photos, and reproductions of buildings, scenes, or people. The combination of quick text and the myriad photos gives the reader an immediate understanding of the time period, if somewhat shallow because of the brevity of the explanations. The book is also organized down to its eyeteeth, probably demanded or implanted by the series designers. The good thing about this is that students can quickly pinpoint where in the book they need to go by referring to the extensive index.

In Shakespeare (DK Eyewitness) I especially enjoyed the unexpected tidbits I found strewn throughout the spreads. For example, the fact that Elizabethans kicked around a ball made out of pig's bladder, a rather gory and gross Elizabethan football. Or the terminology they used like "nipping a bung" to equal purse snatching.

My only concern about this book is that it is not an in depth explanation of any of the topics that it covers. Students can pluck out the information they need without achieving any kind of in-depth comprehension of Elizabethan England. In this way, the book should only be used as a reference material to supplement a project without allowing the students to rely to heavily on the book. ( )
  abrinkman | May 6, 2013 |
I've never seen any other books from this series, but I found this to be a fun book to go through. The images are great and interesting to look at. The information is substantial enough to be informative without being overwhelming. I think children and maybe even older sets would have fun with this. ( )
  TheBooknerd | Mar 23, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Chrispprimary authorall editionscalculated
DKAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Teague, StevePhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 075660723X, Hardcover)

William Shakespeare was born into an utterly fascinating time and place: 16th-century England. Eyewitness Books brings this era alive in the spectacular, modestly titled Shakespeare. Crammed with vivid photos of replicas and actual items from Shakespeare's time, the oversized volume shares with readers everything they ever wanted to know (and some things they probably didn't want to know) about the Bard, from details of his birthplace to descriptions of Queen Elizabeth's court (and clothing) to an explanation of how actors portrayed beheaded characters on stage. Curious readers will spend hour upon hour perusing this densely packed volume, and come away with a head full of knowledge about apple wives, the Globe Theatre, "nipping a bung" (purse snatching), the plague, bizarre face lotions, toothless bears, and religious conflict, not to mention a bit about Shakespeare's plays. Eyewitness: Shakespeare joins stacks of other fine Eyewitness titles, including Ancient Greece, Presidents, and Time & Space. (Ages 10 and older) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:33 -0400)

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Presents the life and work of the English playwright William Shakespeare and provides information about the theater of sixteenth-century London.

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