Emma Smith

Emma is a Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the Oxford Faculty of English and a Fellow of Hertford College.

Her first trade book, This is Shakespeare (Pelican, 2019), attracted praise from James Shapiro and Hilary Mantel, among others, and was a Times Book of the Year 2019. Alex Preston called it “the best introduction to the plays I’ve read, perhaps the best book on Shakespeare, full stop”.

Her most recent work, Portable Magic: A History of Books and their Readers (Penguin, 2022), is a biography of encounters with books over the last millennium, focusing on the book as an object across centuries and continents. It was dubbed “a spine-tingling adventure” by The Guardian.

Photo courtesy of John Cairns

Books by Emma Smith