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Download The Lodger: Shakespeare on Silver Street Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Lodger: Shakespeare on Silver Street (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Charles Nicholl
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (221 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Nicholl Narrator: Gareth Armstrong Publisher: ISIS Audio Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2008 ISBN:
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In 1612, Shakespeare gave evidence at the Court of Requests in Westminster - providing us with the only surviving record of his spoken words. 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 but neglected episode in Shakespeare's life. Drawing evidence from a wide variety of sources, he conjures up a detailed and compelling description of the circumstances in which Shakespeare lived and worked.

This atmospheric exploration of Shakespeare at 40 sees him not from the viewpoint of literary greatness, but in the humdrum and very human context of Silver Street. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 1/31/2014

    " A good piece of historical detective work on Silver Street and Shakespeare's connections with his landlady. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Bryan | 1/28/2014

    " The Lodger Shakespeare takes most of its information on Shakespeare from a court case that he was involved involved with. The case has very little information, but the author stretches all he can out of it. The book becomes a history of the time that Shakespeare lived. This background I am sure will be interesting the next time I watch a play by him. Other than that this book was hard to get through with very little entertaining value. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides | 1/24/2014

    " I remember reading this and being impressed with the information and research. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia | 1/12/2014

    " A fresh approach to Shakespeare biography: more social history and material culture than grand narrative, centered on the few years that Shakespeare lodged in the house of a French Huegenot family who specialized in "tiring" (creating elaborate head dresses for ladies, and maybe actors, too). Fresh yet scholarly; fun to read; deeply informative. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Doak | 1/10/2014

    " I didn't expect much from this book, but the author not only did an impressive amount of research, but made some interesting observations that brought Shakespeare to life in a way no other biography has. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fionnuala | 12/28/2013

    " Subtle and thought-provoking, and very, very entertaining. As good as 1599 by James Shapiro for understanding Shakespeare's context, and maybe even better as a (implied) commentary on his work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melaszka | 12/22/2013

    " This book was quite readable, full of interesting detail and threw some light on one of the less explored periods of Shakespeare's life, but I found myself getting increasingly annoyed at Nicholl's flights of wild speculation and overstating his case. Every other page seemed to be marked by some highly dubious assertion, prefaced by "doubtless", "it is possible that", "we can probably assume that" etc. Nicholl is the kind of man that jumps to the conclusion that two people who happen to live on the same street at around the same time must know each other intimately, that two people who share the same (common) surname must be related or, indeed, in one extraordinary example featuring the second most common English surname, must be the same person. On no evidence whatsoever he begins to speculate that a widowed business-owner might have been enjoying sexual dalliances with her young male apprentices. He assumes a sexual relationship between Marie Mountjoy and her husband's business partner on fairly flimsy evidence and then begins to build other wild assumptions on the foundation of that. I frequently found myself wishing he had either stuck to the unembroidered facts or had chosen to write a fictionalised account, where his speculation would have been clearly labelled as fantasy, not pseudo-fact. Another annoying habit is a compulsion to forge unconvincing links to demonstrate "contemporary relevance" - cue forced analogies with the Beckhams, TV shows etc every few pages. He also can't resist going off at tangents, sometimes interestingly, but sometimes I get the impression he is just trying to show off his research, even when it's clearly not relevant, or just trying desperately to pad out a book which is quite thin (he also frequently repeats material, which might be another padding tactic - either that, or he assumes his readers have the memory of a goldfish). And (although, in fairness, he acknowledges he is doing it and openly admits that what he is doing is contrary to modern literary scholarship) he starts reading biographical significance into Shakespeare's plays in quite an unconvincing, dated way. I did enjoy it and learnt some new things about Shakespeare and the period. I thought he was particularly good on analysing Elizabethan/Jacobean plays to support his picture of the contemporary social context. The faults I have outlined above were fairly trivial ones. But annoying. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen | 12/21/2013

    " Maybe part of the problem is that I tried this as an audiobook. It was as interesting as listening to paint dry. Perhaps it would have been best if I'd had a hard copy I could skim through and just stop to read the parts that interested me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 JBEG Hewitt | 12/13/2013

    " This was absolutely enjoyable, if a bit tedious towards the end. Not much of "detective" tale (despite the reviews), but you learn a good deal about French immigrants in London and decorate headgear. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 12/12/2013

    " Not so much about Shakespeare, as about a place where he lived, and people he came in contact with. That said, it was interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally | 12/9/2013

    " I thought this book was amazingly well researched, but you really have to be a Shakespeare nerd to love it (as I am)! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 pjreads ♫ | 8/8/2013

    " Interesting research and documentation with lots of speculation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jizzle Manhattan | 6/15/2013

    " Whoa, some ish right here...smh. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mark Nenadov | 1/27/2013

    " Not a fan. Way too much speculation and oddly verbose fixation on certain obscure points of fact. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martin | 10/13/2011

    " Microtopography of a tiny section of Jacobean London where Shakespeare lived for a few years. Nichols even figures out what Shakespeare's local pub would have been at the time. Only fascinating if you are geeked on the history of London, which I am. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Haley | 8/14/2011

    " Kinda dry, but interesting information... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gayla Bassham | 7/24/2011

    " Like spending an evening with a chatty Elizbethan-history geek. I would adore spending an evening with a chatty Elizabethan-history geek, so I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Mileage will vary. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Abi | 5/11/2011

    " I really enjoyed the semi-fictional aspect of this book. The story of Shakespeare's time in Silver Street was beautifully written - I could actually imagine his trip down the Thames to the theatre. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gayla | 1/21/2011

    " Like spending an evening with a chatty Elizbethan-history geek. I would adore spending an evening with a chatty Elizabethan-history geek, so I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Mileage will vary. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Snail in Danger (Sid) | 10/1/2010

    " I remember reading this and being impressed with the information and research. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fionnuala | 3/19/2009

    " Subtle and thought-provoking, and very, very entertaining. As good as 1599 by James Shapiro for understanding Shakespeare's context, and maybe even better as a (implied) commentary on his work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Douglas | 1/12/2009

    " A remarkable book describing in great erudite detail Shakespeare's milieu in London. This is as close as anybody will ever get to the person himself.
    "

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About the Author

Charles Nicholl is an internationally acclaimed author who has written biographies, including Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the Mind, as well as books on history and travel. His book The Reckoning: The Murder of Christopher Marlowe won the James Tait Black Prize for Biography and the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award for nonfiction. His Somebody Else: Arthur Rimbaud in Africa was awarded the Hawthornden Prize.

About the Narrator

Gareth Armstrong is a professional actor and stage performer with a number of appearances in cult-classic television favorites to his credit, including Doctor Who: The Masque of Mandragora, Witchcraft, Star One, and Hammer House of Horror, in which he played Dr. Melburg.