He is the most famous of Englishmen, and yet our biographical knowledge of William Shakespeare has always been scant. Now Michael Wood - with the help of the Royal Shakespeare Company and many other insightful experts — unravels the mysteries, to tell the story of the bard. His times: He lived through the Spanish Armada, the Gunpowder Plot, the colonisation of the New World and England s Cultural Revolution. His politics: In Elizabeth I's police state the bitter Catholic-Protestant feud dogs his life. His youth: His father's ruin forces the 14 year-old to leave grammar school and go to work. His loves: A father at 18, an infatuation with an aristocratic teenage boy and a passionate sexual affair with a married dark-skinned musician. His 'lost years': What turned Shakespeare from a jobbing playwright into the best writer anyone had ever seen? His career: How he left Stratford to make his fortune in London, established the Globe and made his name "for all time". His plays: From inn courtyard to royal court — what his plays meant to his actors, his audience and his wallet.
World class biography.
- In Search of Shakespeare review by JD
The evidence is sketchy but the research impressive. You cannot fail to be transported to another era and appreciate the source from which the plays arose. Details of Elizabethan history, many of which I had heard before, became fresh and vital. All the known facts are filled in by perspective of circumstance. Even with a passing interest in Shakespeare you must watch this.
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