Globe: Life in Shakespeare's London
Catharine Arnold

Globe: Life in Shakespeare's London

The life of William Shakespeare, Britain's greatest dramatist, was inextricably linked with the history of London. Together, the great writer and the great city came of age and confronted triumph and tragedy. Triumph came when Shakespeare's company, the Chamberlain's Men, opened the Globe playhouse on Bankside in 1599, under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth I. Tragedy touched the lives of many of his contemporaries, from fellow playwright Christopher Marlowe to the disgraced Earl of Essex, while London struggled against the ever-present threat of riots, rebellions and outbreaks of plague. Globe takes its readers on a tour of London through Shakespeare's life and work, as, in fascinating detail, Catharine Arnold tells how acting came of age. We learn about James Burbage, founder of the original Theatre in Shoreditch, who carried timbers across the Thames to build the Globe among the bear-gardens and brothels of Bankside, and of the terrible night in 1613 when the theatre caught fire during a performance of King Henry VIII. Rebuilt, the Globe continued to stand as a monument to Shakespeare's genius until 1642 when it was destroyed on the orders of Oliver Cromwell. And finally we learn how 300 years later, Shakespeare's Globe opened once more upon the Bankside, to great acclaim, rising like a phoenix from the flames Arnold creates a vivid portrait of Shakespeare and his London from the bard's own plays and contemporary sources, combining a novelist's eye for detail with a historian's grasp of his unique contribution to the development of the English theatre. This is a portrait of Shakespeare, London, the man and the myth.

Book Details:

  • Author: Catharine Arnold
  • Published Year: 2015
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Simon & Schuster

Catharine Arnold

Catharine Arnold is the author of the much-acclaimed London quartet, a series of books about the dark side of the capital, consisting of Necropolis, London and its Dead, Bedlam, London and its Mad, City of Sin, London and its Vices and Underworld, London City of Crime and Punishment. (All Simon & Schuster). City of Sin has been published in the United States as The Sexual History of London (St Martin’s Press.) Catharine Arnold’s latest book, Globe, Life in Shakespeare’s London was published by Simon and Schuster in April 2015. Catharine’s first novel, Lost Time, ...
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Book Reviews

  • "A vivid account…Arnold is at her best in comparing the modern theatre with the gross conditions in which Shakespeare's contemporaries watched proceedings."
    The Times
  • "A previous stranger to Catharine Arnold’s work, I feel grateful to have been introduced to her through a subject that is so richly rewarding, both historically and artistically. The inextricable link between London’s chaotic, complex past and the life of Britain’s greatest poet is explored with exceptional enthusiasm. This handiwork is a feast for imagination and edification, weaving scores of facts with extracts from the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, to create as complete a picture as possible of a fascinating time in a place that remains enchanting. The result is a necessity for any Shakespeare aficionado. "
    The Lady
  • "Arnold offers a tour of Elizabethan and Jacobean London, showing how a confluence of events allowed the theaters to flourish. Four stars.  "
    Margaret Sankey - Educator
  • "Globe is a delightful read from start to finish. From an imagined scene that brings to life late Tudor London, Arnold takes us into a fascinating history of the London theatre scene, and Shakespeare's place in it. There is never a dull moment.  "
    Nicki Markus
  • "Full of interesting details, the book does not neglect other playwrights of the time or  Shakespeare's fellows in the Lord Chamberlain's Men. Accessible instead of ponderous and scholarly, you'll learn so much about how theater worked in Elizabethan England, information that sheds light on the plays as they were perceived by the people of the time.   "A previous stranger to Catharine Arnold’s work, I feel grateful to have been introduced to her through a subject that is so richly rewarding, both historically and artistically. The inextricable link between London’s chaotic, complex past and the life of Britain’s greatest poet is explored with exceptional enthusiasm. This handiwork is a feast for imagination and edification, weaving scores of facts with extracts from the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, to create as complete a picture as possible of a fascinating time in a place that remains enchanting. The result is a necessity for any Shakespeare aficionado. "The Lady "
    Netgalley
  • "Overall, this is an excellent evocation of Shakespeare's London that goes far beyond the walls of his most famous theatre.  "
    Kate Baty - Educator
  • "This book was everything I wished it to be. Informative but not dry, funny and captivating but not trivial. After reading it you'll not only know more about Shakespeare and his Globe but also about his colleagues and London."
    Sophie Freinhofer - Bookseller
  • "I loved it… this is a really good book.  "
    Rianna Blokzijl – Reviewer