Life in Shakespeare's England : a book of Elizabethan prose


Life in Shakespeare's England : a book of Elizabethan prose

John Dover Wilson

(Cambridge library collection, . Literary studies)

Cambridge University Press, 2009

  • : pbk

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"This digitally printed version 2009"--T.p. verso

Facsim. of 2nd ed. published: Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1913, reprinted 1956

Includes authors index



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.


  • 1. England and the English
  • 2. The countryside
  • 3. Superstition
  • 4. Education
  • 5. London
  • 6. Books and authors
  • 7. The theatre
  • 8. The court
  • 9. House and home
  • 10. Rogues and vagabonds
  • 11. The sea
  • 12. Conclusion
  • Glossary and notes
  • Index.

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