February 18

Globe: Life in Shakespeare’s London

Globe: Life in Shakespeare’s London by Catharine Arnole

Post by Sandra

I enjoyed reading this fascinating book which describes the

times and life of William Shakespeare.  London was a bustling,

busy town during Tudor times and Shakespeare found his place

and popularity  as a well known playwright.   His success was not

always enthusiastically acclaimed as one writer referred to him

as shake-scene and was obviously at a loss to understand the

reason that people were flocking to see his plays.

Other playwrights and well known writers of the time are also

included in this book.  It certainly does give an understanding

of the development of theatre and plays in earlier times which in a

way was the beginnings of the mass audience crowd at a popular


Descriptions of the theatres are given, the professional and business

approach to theatres and the painstaking building of the initial theatres

and the losses often incurred.    Often people became jealous or for various

other reasons people wanted the theatres shut down and would complain

to the London authorities about them.  It may even have been because of

the narrow streets and people may have become encumbered walking down

the narrow alleys when horses and coaches were waiting outside the theatres.

There were also the puritans who wanted the theatres shut down and often in times

of plague the theatres were also shut down.  During one of these times of a plague

Shakespeare wrote some of his wonderful poetry.

The players and actors were very committed and passionate towards their cause.  Often

they needed patronage and at times their situation did seem grim.  This book tells the

story of the very early beginnings of theatre and plays and how the players initially

travelled to country homes to give entertainments and would receive food and board.