Penguin Book

The Lodger

Charles Nicholl

In 1612 Shakespeare gave evidence in a court-case at Westminster - it is the only occasion his actual spoken words are recorded. The case seems routine - a dispute over an unpaid marriage-dowry - but it opens up an unexpected window into the dramatist's famously obscure life-story. Some eight years earlier, we learn, Shakespeare was lodging in the house of a French immigrant family, the Mountjoys. And while there he was called on by his landlady to 'persuade' the family's former apprentice to marry their daughter... Charles Nicholl applies the magnifying glass to this fascinating episode in Shakespeare's life. Marshalling evidence from a wide variety of sources, he conjures up a compelling account of the circumstances in which Shakespeare lived and worked, and in which he wrote such plays as Othello, Measure for Measure, and King Lear. The case also throws new light on the puzzling story of Shakespeare's collaboration with the hack-author and brothel-keeper George Wilkins. In this subtle, elegant and often unexpected exploration of Shakespeare at 40, we see him not from the viewpoint of literary greatness, but in the humdrum and very human context of Silver Street. Charles Nicholl is one of the great historical detectives of our time, and in this atmospheric and exciting book he has created a considerable rarity - something new and original about Shakespeare.

Charles Nicholl is the author of nine books, including the celebrated Somebody Else: Arthur Rimbaud in Africa (winner of Hawthornden Prize), and Leonardo: Flights of the Mind (Penguin, 2005).

Publication date
  • Biography and Memoir
  • Poetry and Literature
Format TPS
234 x 153mm
1 x 16 b/w inset
Penguin Group US (Viking Children's) (PRH Rights)
David Godwin Associates Ltd
David Godwin Associates Ltd
David Godwin Associates Ltd
Audio (Unabridged)
David Godwin Associates Ltd
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