(Non-Fiction) Greenblatt, a Harvard professor, is the most prominent of the "new historicists" literary scholars who examine classic texts within the social and political milieu that produced them. But his supple, supremely readable book does much more than "historicize" Shakespeare. It fills him out in all human dimensions, taking the scanty historical record of the man's life and examining it by the blazing light of his plays and poems. The Shakespeare he gives us is a man deeply schooled in the folk culture of his native Stratford and trapped in a bad marriage that he simply ignores by moving to London. In Greenblatt's view, one increasingly popular among Shakespeare scholars, he was also in all likelihood for at least some part of his life a secret Catholic, this at a time when the old faith was being brutally suppressed by the new Protestant ascendancy. This is literary biography at its most resourceful and delightful.