In 1612, Shakespeare gave evidence at the Court of Requests in Westminster. 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. Charles Nicholl applies a powerful biographical magnifying glass to this fascinating episode marshalling evidence from a wide variety of sources, including previously unknown documentary material on the Mountjoys, to conjure up a detailed and compelling description of the circumstances in which Shakespeare lived and worked.
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