Shakespeare and the Countess

Shakespeare and the Countess : The Battle That Gave Birth to the Globe

3.47 (42 ratings by Goodreads)
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This book was shortlisted for the Tony Lothian Prize, one of the Telegraph's "Best Books of 2014", and, one of the Observer's "Books of the Year 2014." In November 1596 a woman signed a document which would nearly destroy the career of William Shakespeare...Who was the woman who played such an instrumental, yet little known, role in Shakespeare's life? Never far from controversy when she was alive - she sparked numerous riots and indulged in acts of bribery, breaking-and-entering, and kidnapping - Elizabeth Russell has been edited out of public memory, yet the chain of events she set in motion would be the making of Shakespeare as we all know him today. Providing new pieces to the puzzle, Chris Laoutaris' thrilling biography reveals for the first time the life of this extraordinary woman, and why she decided to wage her battle against more

Product details

  • Hardback | 528 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 37mm | 749g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • Fig Tree
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1905490968
  • 9781905490967
  • 394,200

Review quote

A splendid and original book Sunday Telegraph, Book of the Week Fabulous!...I could not recommend it highly enough. -- Alison Weir Greatly enjoying Shakespeare and the Countess ... Fascinating how much archives can still yield. -- Stanley Wells I am in love with the brilliant research on display in Shakespeare and the Countess and how it brings to the fore Lady Elizabeth Russell, a trailblazing early feminist. -- Amma Asante Observer Books of the Year 2014 A work of historical and literary detection which takes us straight to the heart of religious politics in Elizabethan England ... there is a great deal to admire in this hugely ambitious book. -- Frances Wilson New Statesman This is a detailed biography of a vigorous (if not likeable) woman who stood close to power throughout the reign of Elizabeth I. [Elizabeth] Russell was a remarkable person - clever, domineering and ruthless ... Laoutaris has done a thorough research job Sunday Times It is a fascinating story and Laoutaris tells it with a winning combination of scholarly rigour and elegant prose. Contributing something fresh in the crowded arena of Shakespeare studies is not easy, but Laoutaris has done precisely that ... A splendid book Herald Scotland Laoutaris delves into all this with immense gusto, introducing his readers to a dizzying cast of characters and approaching his subject from myriad different angles. Thanks to [his] impressive research, this largely forgotten figure emerges as a woman of great erudition, determination and courage, scarcely less remarkable than her namesake and contemporary Elizabeth I -- Anne Somerset Literary Review Elizabeth Russell was a force to be reckoned with [and] is the indefatigable heroine of [the] book ... [She was] the woman who forced the company [the Chamberlain's Men] across the Thames to create their crucible of theatrical poetry, the Globe The Times [An] energetic and enterprising book. He has done much original research, adding new details to the history of the [Blackfriars] playhouse, and to our knowledge of Elizabethan and Jacobean Blackfriars ... Elizabeth Russell was a powerful figure ... a fearsome Elizabethan version of Lady Bracknell or Bertie Wooster's Aunt Agatha ... Laoutaris has done some very valuable archival work ... It is certainly a story worth telling, and Laoutaris tells it well. -- Charles Nicholl London Review of Books Chris Laoutaris sheds light on the life of the woman who waged battle against the Bard Big Issue North Genuinely groundbreaking ... It's a thrilling tale and Laoutaris tells it superbly, with fluency and passion and a masterful eye for the dramatic. Emphatic, meticulously researched and strikingly original. Marylebone Journal (Book of the Week) A distinguished biography ... [and] an impressive feat of archival research by Chris Laoutaris. Around the Globe (the magazine of Shakespeare's Globe)show more

Rating details

42 ratings
3.47 out of 5 stars
5 10% (4)
4 43% (18)
3 33% (14)
2 14% (6)
1 0% (0)
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