He attempts to unravel why this should be so, why the words of William Shakespeare still resonate with us four hundred years after he wrote them for our entertainment of the London mob. And entertain them and us he has for centuries, through good times and bad, over and over again in a way no other writer possibly could, given the cultural conditions which allowed him to saturate the shared zeitgeist. Serving as a mirror to the then and the now, a reminder to all that no matter where we go, there we are. For so much of Shakespeare's work is about confronting ourselves, looking into the hearts of darkness and finding light in the most unlikely places.
Robert McCrum writes with a comfortable authority on the subject. He shapes what for him must feel like quite personal and heart felt insights into the bard into a broader discussion, throwing his net wide. i suspect he would have made a good teacher should he have embraced the notion of passing on what he had learned. There is nothing dry or tonally academically dull about his style of writing and it comes invested with great affection for the subject matter.