Shakespeare against the background of his times, his world of the theatre and his dramatic development through the last years of Elizabeth’s reign. Originally published in 1933 and republished in 1958, this great work is an imagining, in plain narrative, of the life of Shakespeare backed with evidence of the history of the stage. Whatever wider significances modern critics distill from Shakespeare’s plays, it remains an elementary fact that he wrote plays to interest and entertain his contemporaries and this book takes a look at the immediate interests of his audience and how his work responded to them.

chapter I|27 pages

The Upstart Crow

chapter II|30 pages

Education of a Dramatist

chapter III|24 pages


chapter IV|29 pages

The Passing of an Eclipse

chapter V|28 pages


chapter VI|18 pages

The New Comedy

chapter VII|41 pages

The Globe

chapter VIII|31 pages

The Lost Leader

chapter IX|33 pages

Tumultuous Interludes

chapter X|17 pages

The Tragedy of Hamlet

chapter XI|25 pages

End of an Epoch