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The Book of Air and Shadows

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The Book of Air and Shadows By (author) Michael GruberWilliam Shakespeare is undoubtedly one of the greatest writers the world has ever seen; a household name whose turns of phrase are so well known that many have slipped into everyday usage with us hardly even noticing. Yet for someone who produced such a magnificent body of work, had such a huge impact on the English language and whose image is recognised the world over, there is remarkably little evidence that he ever existed at all. A gravestone, a few references in legal documents and six signatures are the only remaining tangible evidence of his life – such small traces that there have even been questions asked about whether he wrote the plays and poems that bear his name at all (and plenty of theories abound about who might have written then if Will didn’t). Scholars in many countries dissect, interpret, reinterpret, argue and debate Shakespeare’s life and work, and there are huge numbers of books, journal articles, museums, conferences and websites devoted to the Bard. His work is still widely performed centuries after it was written, and the reconstruction of the Globe Theatre in London has been a huge success. In short, the Shakespeare industry seems bigger now than it ever was.

What, then, do you think a find of a genuine but previously unknown and unperformed Shakespeare manuscript would be worth?

Michael Gruber’s novel “The Book of Air and Shadows” estimate’s the value of such an object at $150 million, which would make it the most valuable portable object on Earth.


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