One book from his entry:
A Choice of Shakespeare’s Verse, selected by the late British poet Ted Hughes. The selections are inspirational, of course, but a critical essay by Hughes at the end is one of the most brilliant descriptions of the Bard’s poetry that I’ve ever encountered. It turns out that Shakespeare’s writing vocabulary was something like 25,000 words, which is twice as many words as his nearest rival.Check out Roy Peter Clark's "Writing Tools -- The Blog" and read an excerpt from Writing Tools.
Get that? Shakespeare used twice as many words! Not only that, but many of these words Shakespeare introduced into the language for the first time. Hughes describes a typical poetic line in which Willy would introduce a new Italianate adjective, for example, and link it to an Anglo-Saxon synonym. In other words, he was building a bridge of common language between the aristocrats in the expensive seats and the groundlings in the cheap seats.[read on]
Writers Read: Roy Peter Clark.