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Shakespeare's Professional Career

Shakespeare's Professional Career

  • Date Published: September 1999
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521666411


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About the Authors
  • Shakespeare's career as actor and playwright reveals the extraordinary accommodation of his genius to the circumstances of his time. This unique account describes Shakespeare at work against a background of theatrical rivalry, opportunism, service to noble patrons, and political intrigue. Peter Thomson recreates Shakespeare's writing career year by year, showing how the plays mirror their times. The story reveals the precarious nature of theatrical survival, the constant threat posed by the withdrawal of noble or royal patronage, the spread of disease, the anxieties of war and the climate of political uncertainty. This account of Elizabethan and Jacobean social and professional life offers a fascinating insight into the world in which Shakespeare produced his plays. There are numerous illustrations gleaned from museums, libraries and great houses to illustrate the theatrical and social context of Elizabethan and Jacobean England. Formerly published within the Cambridge Canto imprint, this paperback restores the format and illustrations of the original hardback.

    • Differs from the Canto edition, now out of print, by being of larger format, using the original cover, and with all 61 halftones included
    • Very well reviewed by, amongst others, Kenneth Branagh and Frank Kermode
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'For anyone interested in Shakespeare as a highly practical man of the theatre, this is a fascinating account. Thomson combines scholarship with a refreshingly vivid 'backstage' view of the Elizabethan theatrical scene in all its murky detail. Shakespeare emerges freshly as a canny, pragmatic judge of the theatre business.' Kenneth Branagh

    ' … an exceptionally lively and up-to-the-minute introduction to 'Shakespeare's job'.' Frank Kermode, The London Review of Books

    'It is rare these days to read a scholarly book that is as beautifully written as Peter Thomson's Shakespeare's Professional Career.' American Theatre

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 1999
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521666411
    • length: 236 pages
    • dimensions: 247 x 175 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.515kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Shakespeare and Stratford
    2. Establishing a career: of patrons and provinces
    3. Establishing a career: London 1590
    4. A playtext and its context
    5. Servant to the Lord Chamberlain:
    6. Of Queen, Chamberlains, Admiral and King
    7. Servant to the King:

  • Author

    Peter Thomson, University of Exeter

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