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Almost 400 years after his death, phenomenal interest in Shakespeare's life and work persists. The breadth of his intellect, the theatricality of his play, the beauty of his poetry, and the precision of his language are among the many positive reasons for this.
The image of Shakespeare depicted by Martin Droeshout on the title page of the First Folio of his plays is one of the most distinctive and widely recognised portraits of a literary figure anywhere. Yet Shakespeare himself is often held to be an enigma - the usual facets of biographical accounts, such as what he liked to eat, or whether he knew Queen Elizabeth I are irretrievably missing.
The lack of substantial evidence for some crucial aspects of Shakespeare's life may serve further to enhance his mystique. But as Dominic Shellard shows in this lively and fluent account, by viewing the playwright in the context of contemporary Elizabethan politics and the business of theatre, we know more of his existence than is often against which Shakespeare's literary output can be assessed.
About the Author
Dominic Shellard is Head of Drama at the University of Sheffield. His other publications include British Theatre Since 1945 and The Theatre Criticism of Harold Hobson.
|Theatre Comes of Age||p.32|
|London to 1594||p.41|
|The Lord Chamberlian's Men||p.54|
|James I and Jacobean England to 1616||p.74|
|The King's Men||p.79|
|Not of an age, but for all time'||p.95|
Series: British Library Writers' Lives S.
Published: 1st November 1998
Dimensions (cm): 24.0 x 21.0 x 0.9