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Shakespeare's absolute pre-eminence is simply unparalleled. His plays pack theatres and provide Hollywood with block-buster scripts; his works inspire mountains of scholarship and criticism every year. He has given us many of the very words we speak, and even some of the thoughts we think. Nick Groom and Piero explore how Shakespeare became so famous and influential, and why he is still widely considered the greatest writer ever. They investigate how the Bard has been worshipped at different times and in different places, used and abused to cultural and political ends, and the roots of intense controversies which have surrounded his work. Much more than a biography or a guide to his plays and sonnets, Introducing Shakespeare is a tour through the world of Will and concludes that even after centuries, Shakespeare remains the battlefield on which our very comprehension of humanity is being fought out.
Nick Groom is Senior Lecturer in Post-Mediaeval Literature at the University of Bristol, and has published widely on Shakespeare, literature and contemporary culture. He is a regular contributor to The Times Higher Education Supplement, and lives on Dartmoor and in London. Piero is an illustrator and graphic designer, selected twice for the 'Best of British Illustration' in 1998 and 1999, exhibiting his work at the Royal College of Art. He currently works for a London-based Latin newspaper.