Author(s): PORTER STEPHEN
Everyday life in the teeming metropolis during William Shakespeare's time in the city. Shakespeare's London was a bustling, teeming metropolis that was growing so rapidly that the government took repeated, and ineffectual, steps to curb its expansion. From contemporary letters, journals and diaries, a vivid picture emerges of this fascinating city, with its many opportunities and also its persistent problems. By far the largest city in the country, it was the centre of government, the law and the church, the focus of politics and culture. It had a vigorous economy, with a range of industries and a lucrative trade in luxury goods for the courtiers and wealthy citizens. Growth produced overcrowding and high mortality, with shockingly high death tolls during the periodic plague epidemics, yet London attracted an endless stream of people, who were absorbed into its diverse communities and economic structures. Here the first playhouses were built, patronised by large audiences, who were treated to a rich and varied diet of plays to keep them, and the court, entertained. The London that Shakespeare knew was an expanding, changing and exciting city.
'A meticulous recreation of a vibrant world - echoes with the living voices of Londoners' GILLIAN TINDALL 'A lucid and cogent narrative of everyday life in Shakespeare's place of work' SHAKESPEARE BIRTHPLACE TRUST 'A vivid account' THES
Stephen Porter, until his recent retirement, worked for over seventeen years for the Survey of London, a century-old project devoted to the history of London's built environment. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, has held research posts at the University of Oxford and lectured on London's history at the Museum of London. His other books include PEPYS'S LONDON: EVERYDAY LIFE IN LONDON 1650-1703 ('A fast-paced narrative with a real sense of history unfolding' GILLIAN TINDALL, author of THE HOUSE BY THE THAMES & THE PEOPLE WHO LIVED THERE); THE BATTLE FOR LONDON ('One of the decisive confrontations of English history. A gem of a book' RICHARD HOLMES), THE LONDON CHARTERHOUSE ('A model history' THE DAILY TELEGRAPH); THE GREAT PLAGUE ('An excellent introduction for the general reader' THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH), THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON and THE PLAGUES OF LONDON ('Breathes new life into the story of the plague in London' STEPHEN INWOOD, author of A HISTORY OF LONDON. After 25 years living in the capital he now lives in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
Acknowledgements 1. A Little World in Itself 2. A Great Multitude of People 3. The Greatest City of the Christian World 4. The World Runs on Wheels 5. The Whole Trade of Merchandise 6. The Time of Life is Short 7. A Quick Eye & a Nimble Hand 8. A World of People References Bibliography List of Illustrations Index