Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Blunderbusses, Plagues & Pig Iron

Maybe it's a credit to law school that it makes you pursue more erudite endeavours, or maybe it's just that law school screws with what I now find enjoyable in my spare time, but this last holiday weekend when I wanted to bring along something to read, I chose a book about Shakespeare.

It turned out better than expected. Will in the World is an amazingly detailed biography of the bard, as if Guns, Germs & Steel had been written about the formation of one man let alone all of human civilization. I'm immediately adding this to my list of favorite books, because it makes eminently vivid and interesting what was previously torturous for many in high school and beyond.

To boot, I learned a few new things about Bill Shakespeare that, to a law student, were pretty amusing. For one, Shakespeare was incredibly frugal and went to court a lot, even if it was just to secure the return of six pounds.

Even better, it turns out the famous playwright likely worked at a law firm(!), and I'll let my friends in similar positions this summer determine if Greenblatt's description hits the mark: (p.71)

"The strong presence of legal terms in his plays and poems ... has led to recurrent speculation that he worked in the office of a local attorney, someone who handled minor lawsuits, title searches and the like. No doubt much of the work would have been boring..."


Anonymous said...

If you liked Guns, Germs and Steel make sure you check out 'Collapse: How Societies choose to suceed or fail'. It's a bit of a 'suzuki downer' but good nonetheless.



Oana said...

You should try or to keep track of your favourite books.