Some things were awe-inspiring - like where we are now with communication technology and printing as compared to Shakespearan times and how much genius and how much luck it took for those plays to survive 400 - odd years. There are other things too, when Bryson describes life in Elizabethan London, some passages could almost be talking about Delhi. That got me thinking about the dichotomy of the times we live in. Most of us have indoor plumbing but this country still has to deal with a citizenry with perhaps the same level of awareness that masses in London in the 16th century had. It's a tough line to toe and maybe explains several of our problems.
Coming back to William Shakespeare, Bryson addresses the thorny question of authorship and builds a very convincing argument for the plays having been written by precisely who we think it was written by. Personally, I believe he is right - in my very uninformed opinion of course. I'm no literary detective. The biography is a gem, even if you're not in the least bit interested in Shakespeare. Bryson's Shakespeare is sort of a guide to life in the 16th and 17th centuries in England. It makes for fascinating reading, especially the popularity of the theatrein those times, and interesting facts, like that in Shakespeare's day, 40% of women got pregnant before they got married. Shakespeare is almost a bonus. He is in the book as in life (as Bryson puts so beautifully) "the literary equivalent of an electron, forever there and not there."