By John Dover Wilson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2009
Online Publication Date:September 2010
Original Publication Year:1956
Subjects: Renaissance and Early Modern Literature , British History after 1450
Entertaining and informative, this 1956 anthology paints a vivid picture of the world in which Shakespeare lived. Using the playwright's life as the framework – his birth, his education, his move to London, his life in theatre, his death – the book uses selected extracts from key Elizabethan publications to embody the atmosphere of this period. From sport to superstition, from festival to fashion, from the plague to playhouses, the significant features of the age are described through its prose, providing the reader with first-hand accounts of the conditions in which Shakespeare's masterpieces were created. All chapters are prefaced with illustrative Shakespearean quotations; the collection representing a commentary on the work as well as the life of Shakespeare. All texts have been modernised to assist the reader, and a glossary is included which explains names, unfamiliar words and difficult passages.