Book Reviews

Books in the vault, Deck C, Folger Shakespeare Library, 9/11/09
image courtesy Folger Library

I like this place,
And willingly could waste my time in it. (As You Like It, II.iv)

Welcome to the Boar’s Head Bookshelf‘s 2019 iteration …

Here you’ll find collected and categorised links to my substantive book reviews of relevant texts, both fiction and non-fiction.  The archives contain ‘pen-portrait’ descriptions of pretty much all the Shakespeare / Early Modern Period (EMP) reading matter on my shelves. (and this post gives you a visual look at my shelves, last time I reorganised them)  If you want a recommendation and can’t see what you’re looking for – or if you have a book to recommend me – get in touch!


(SEP ’19) Ashe, Laura  Richard II:  A Brittle Glory (Penguin Monarchs), (London:  Penguin, 2017)

(SEP ’18) Bate, Jonathan:  The Genius of Shakespeare (London: Picador, 2008)

(SEP ’19) Castor, Helen, Elizabeth I: A Study in Insecurity (Penguin Monarchs Series), (London:  Penguin, 2018)

(SEP ’19) Cogswell, Thomas, James I: The Phoenix King (Penguin Monarchs), (London:  Allen Lane, 2017)

(JUL ’19) Dunn, Jane, Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens, (London:  Harper Perennial, 2004)

(AUG ’18) Nicholl, Charles, The Reckoning: The Murder of Christopher Marlowe (London:  Vintage, 2002)


(APR ’18) Machiavelli, Niccolò :  The Prince (transl. George Bull, ed. Anthony Grafton), (London:  Penguin Classics, 2003)


(APR ’19) Arnold, Catharine, Globe: Life in Shakepeare’s London (Simon & Schuster:  London, 2015)

(MAY ’19) Borman, Tracy, The Private Lives of the Tudors: Uncovering the Secrets of Britain’s Greatest Dynasty (Hodder & Stoughton: London, 2016)

(AUG ’19) Hutchinson, Robert, House of Treason:  The Rise and Fall of a Tudor Dynasty, (London:  Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2009)

(AUG ’19) Jones, Dan, The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses and the Rise of the Tudors, (London: Faber & Faber, 2015)


(MAY ’19) Asquith, Clare Shakespeare and the Resistance (New York:  Public Affairs, 2018)

(SEP ’19) Bogdanov, Michael, Shakespeare : The Director’s Cut (Capercaillie Books:  Edinburgh, 2005)

(AUG ’18) Charry, Brinda, The Arden Guide to Renaissance Drama: An Introduction with Primary Sources (Arden Shakespeare), (Bloomsbury Publishing, London: 2017)

(JUN ’18) Greenblatt, Stephen: Tyrant:  Shakespeare on Power, (London:  Bodley Head, 2018)

(AUG ’18) Melnikoff, Kirk (ed.), Edward II: A Critical Reader (Arden Early Modern Drama Guides), (London:  Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017)

(MAR ’19) Novy, Marianne, Shakespeare and Outsiders (Oxford Shakespeare Topics),  (Oxford: OUP, 2013)


(AUG ’19) Burgess, Anthony, A Dead Man in Deptford, (London:  Vintage, 2010)

(JUN ’19) Castle, Anna, Murder by Misrule (A Francis Bacon Mystery), (Austin, TX:, 2014)

(SEP ’19) Chisholm, PF, A Famine of Horses (London:  Head of Zeus, 2016)

(AUG ’19) Clements, Rory, Revenger, (London:  John Murray, 2010)

(MAR ’19) Finney, Patricia, Firedrake’s Eye (London:  Picador, 1998)

(AUG ’19) Halls, Stacey, The Familiars, (London:  Zaffre, 2019)

(JUL ’19) McKay, Shirley, Fate & Fortune (Edinburgh:  Polygon, 2010)

(APR ’19) McKay, Shirley, Hue & Cry (Edinburgh:  Polygon, 2011)

(MAR ’19) McKay, Shirley, 1588:  A Calendar of Crime (Edinburgh:  Polygon, 2016)

(MAR ’19) Parris, SJ, Treachery, (London:  HarperCollins, 2014)

(MAR ’19) Sansom, CJ, Lamentation, (London, Pan, 2015)

(SEP ’19) Swanston, AD, Incendium, (London:  Bantam Press, 2017)

(MAY ’19) Tey, Josephine, The Daughter of Time (London: Arrow Books, 2009)



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