THE EFFIGY CARVED in the north wall of the chancel in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, depicts a man who looks like a successful pork butcher rather improbably in the act of poetic composition, with his fat right hand on a golden cushion and holding a golden quill. The first thing to say about Stephen Greenblatt's William Shakespeare is that he would have written nothing with a golden quill, and that it is unlikely that he ever rested his hand on golden cushions.
Will in the World is a silly title, but then there are now so many books about Shakespeare that even clever scholars must be running out of names for them. Greenblatt is plainly very clever indeed. He is said to be the founder of a school of literary criticism called