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Almost 400 years after his death, William Shakespeare is still acclaimed as the worlds greatest writer, and yet the man himself remains shrouded in mystery. In this absorbing historical detective story, the acclaimed broadcaster and historian Michael Wood takes a fresh approach to Shakespeares life, brilliantly recreating the turbulent times through which the poet lived: the age of the Reformation, the Spanish Armada, the Gunpowder Plot and the colonization of the Americas. Drawing on an extensive range of sources, Michael Wood takes us back into Elizabethan England to reveal a man who is the product of his time - a period of tremendous upheaval that straddled the medieval and modern worlds. Using a wealth of unexplored archive evidence the author vividly conjures up the neighbourhoods of the Elizabethan London where Shakespeare lived and worked during his glittering career. Full of fresh insights and fascinating new discoveries, this book presents us with a Shakespeare for the twenty-first century: a man of the theatre, a thinking artist, playful and cunning who held up a mirror to hi sage, but who was also, as his friend Ben Jonson said, not of an age, but for all time .
Michael Wood was born in Manchester and educated at Manchester Grammar School and Oriel College, Oxford, where he did post-graduate research in Anglo-Saxon history. A broadcaster and film-maker, he is the author of several highly praised books on English history, including In Search of the Dark Ages, Domesday and recently In Search of England. He has over eight documentary films to his name, including Art of the Western World, Legacy, In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great and the highly acclaimed Conquistadors. The writer behind three BBC films about Shakespeare's early history plays, he was a contributor to Shakespearean Perspective (1985). Michael Wood is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.