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

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9781681771410: Shakespeare and the Countess: The Battle that Gave Birth to the Globe
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The colorful story of the creation of the Globe Theatre―as a result of the dramatic confrontation between Lady Elizabeth Russell and William Shakespeare.

In November 1596, a woman signed a document that would nearly destroy the career of William Shakespeare . . .

Who was this 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 breaking-and-entering, bribery, blackmail, kidnapping and armed combat―Lady Elizabeth Russell, the self-styled Dowager Countess of Bedford, has been edited out of public memory, yet the chain of events she set in motion would make Shakespeare the legendary figure we all know today.

Lady Elizabeth Russell’s extraordinary life made her one of the most formidable women of the Renaissance. The daughter of King Edward VI’s tutor, she blazed a trail across Elizabethan England as an intellectual and radical Protestant. And, in November 1596, she became the leader of a movement aimed at destroying William Shakespeare’s theatrical troupe―a plot that resulted in the closure of the Blackfriars Theatre but the construction, instead, of the Globe.

Providing new pieces to this puzzle, Chris Laoutaris's rousing history reveals for the first time this startling battle against Shakespeare and the Lord Chamberlain's Men.

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About the Author:

Dr. Chris Laoutaris is a Lecturer and Birmingham Fellow at The Shakespeare Institute in Shakespeare’s birthplace of Stratford-Upon-Avon. As well as being recently commissioned as a contributor to Cambridge University’s Cambridge Guide to Shakespeare’s First Folio, Laoutaris has written for the Financial Times and Sunday Express. He is currently working on a project for the Shakespeare Institute called Team Shakespeare: The Men who Created the Shakespeare Legacy.

Review:

“The story of Shakespeare and the Countess has all the hallmarks of one of his famous plays – treachery, deception, death and triumph. A fantastic tale. Laoutaris discovered a web of deceit and a true villain worthy of any of Shakespeare’s plays – as well as information previously thought lost.”
- Daily Mail

“In this in-depth biography Laoutaris paints an engaging portrait of this powerful noblewoman. Those interested in religious history, especially the religious wars in England; the history and intrigues of Elizabethan England; women's history; and Shakespearean history will find this book an immensely riveting read.”
- Library Journal

“I'm in love with the brilliant research on display in Shakespeare and the Countess and how it brings to light Lady Elizabeth Russell, a force to be reckoned with and a trailblazing early feminist.”
- Observer, Best Books of the Year

“The season’s big mainstream Shakespeare book. Elizabeth Russell is a terrific subject for a biography, and Laoutaris is a hugely energetic narrator who brings every detail of his story to life. So entertaining. A big, rambunctious biography carried off with storytelling aplomb and deep, sometimes groundbreaking research.”
- Open Letters Monthly

“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

“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.”
- The Literary Review

“A work of historical and literary detection which takes us straight to the heart of religious politics in Elizabethan England.”
- The New Statesman

“Surprising. Interesting. Elizabeth deserves the years of research and hundreds of pages that Laoutaris has given her; she can now join the gallery of neglected women resurrected by feminist scholarship.”
- The Washington Post

“Fabulous! Chris Laoutaris reveals an untold story about William Shakespeare. It’s a gripping tale that enables us to see Shakespeare in a new light. I could not recommend it highly enough.”
- #1 New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir

“An energetic and enterprising book. Laoutaris has done some very valuable archival work. It is certainly a story worth telling, and Laoutaris tells it well.”
- ?London Review of Books

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780241960226: Shakespeare and the Countess: The Battle that Gave Birth to the Globe

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0241960223 ISBN 13:  9780241960226
Publisher: Penguin, 2015
Softcover

9781605987927: Shakespeare and the Countess: The Battle that Gave Birth to the Globe

Pegasu..., 2015
Hardcover

9781905490967: Shakespeare and the Countess: The Battle that Gave Birth to the Globe

Fig Tree, 2014
Hardcover

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