The Age of Shakespeare

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'The greatest literary scholar of his generation' (Independent) explains how the history of the Elizabethan era is the backdrop to William Shakespeare and his plays. Shakespeare made his unique contribution to British and world culture in the midst of Elizabeth's great reign. Here, the circumstances of each play's composition are acutely described, and set within a masterful portrait of Shakespeare's England - its early capitalism, its court, its bursting population, and its epidemics, as well as its arts - including, of course, its theatre. An important, lasting, and concise companion to Shakespeare's time.