When you think of Shakespeare, you probably think of his sweeping romances, heart-breaking tragedies and comedies of mistaken identity. But there’s one common feature that runs through all of his work: death. From the famous poisonings and stabbings to bear mauling, Shakespeare never shied away from tackling the subject. To him, death would have been an everyday occurrence, living in a time when 50 was old age.
Chemist Kathryn Harkup dissects the science behind the casualties in Death By Shakespeare (£16.99, Bloomsbury Sigma). He might have lived 400 years ago, but the Bard was up-to-date with the forefront of medical advances, and his understanding of things, from the circulatory system to cures for syphilis, was well ahead of his contemporaries.
We have five copies of Death By Shakespeare to give away. All you have to do is read Kathryn Harkup’s Shakespeare’s remarkable scientific accuracy and answer the question below.