Shakespeare had an ear and hand that was able to capture our everyday thoughts and emotions, pin them to a page, and express them so well that still today they can make us feel stunned to be seen.
'Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.' 'Make not your thoughts your prisons.' 'Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast.' 'And I have heard it said, unbidden guests are often welcomest when they're gone.'
With a quote for every day of the year, this beautiful book gathers the finest lines from the lesser-known corners of Shakespeare's plays and poems. While you may not be familiar with these 400-year-old phrases, you will be surprised by the immediate, easy resonance they have with modern day-to-day life and, hopefully, inspired to learn a few quotes, say them out loud, and drop them into conversation.
Each page bears a gift of Shakespearean delight - around which lies a treasure trove of trivia, miscellaneous fact, and opportunities for reflection.
The Crystals - son and father - draw attention to points of daily life, literary, linguistic, and theatrical interest through their entertaining commentary. They offer notes of context for anyone who wants to know who originally said the words, in which play, and why. And finally, the authors provide three indexes, allowing readers to help find the right quote for a task, or to follow-up on a quote's original source.
Shakespeare's words are a mirror for us to peer into, to see if any part of ourselves, familiar or strange, is visible. Each day as you read his lines, you'll get glimpses of loves you've known, jealousies you've felt, relationships you've had, and situations you've encountered that bring a smile - or a wince - of familiarity.
Everyday Shakespeare shares the simple lines that encapsulate the wondrous complexity of life, and the enduring appeal of the Bard.
Shakespeare was not of an age, but for all time. - Ben Jonson
About the Author
Ben is an actor, author, creative producer, patron of Shakespeare Week, special advisor to the new Shakespeare North Playhouse, and curator of theShakespeareEnsemble.com
Ben and his father David Crystal have collaborated on several books: Shakespeare's Words (Penguin) The Shakespeare Miscellany (Penguin), and The Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary (OUP, shortlisted for the Educational Book of the Year Award 2016)
Ben's solo writing includes Lockdown Shakespeare (Arden, forthcoming, 2022) Shakespeare on Toast (Icon, nominated for the Educational Book of the Year Award 2010) and the four titles of the Arden Springboard Shakespeare series: Hamlet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and King Lear.
David Crystal is known throughout the world as a writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster on language. His work on Shakespeare includes Pronouncing Shakespeare, Think on My Words: Exploring Shakespeare's Languages, and, with Ben Crystal, Shakespeare's Words, The Shakespeare Miscellany, and The Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary. He has written or edited over 100 books and published numerous articles for scholarly, professional, and general readerships on the history and development of English, including The Stories of English, How Language Works,Evolving English, Spell It Out: The Singular Story of English Spelling and Wordsmiths and Warriors: The English-Language Tourist's Guide to Britain, with Hilary Crystal.