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Download The Lodger Shakespeare: His Life on Silver Street Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Lodger Shakespeare: His Life on Silver Street Audiobook, by Charles Nicholl Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 5 3.50 (20 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Nicholl Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2008 ISBN: 9781400176281
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Acclaimed author Charles Nicholl presents a brilliantly drawn detective story with entirely new insights into Shakespeare’s life.

In 1612 William Shakespeare gave evidence in a court case at Westminster; it is the only occasion on which his actual spoken words were recorded. The case seems routine—a dispute over an unpaid marriage dowry—but it opens an unexpected window into the dramatist’s famously obscure life. Using the court testimony as a springboard, acclaimed nonfiction writer Charles Nicholl examines this fascinating period in Shakespeare’s life. With evidence from a wide variety of sources, Nicholl creates a compelling, detailed account of the circumstances in which Shakespeare lived and worked during the time 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 violent brothel owner George Wilkins.

In The Lodger Shakespeare we see the playwright in the daily context of a street in Jacobean London: “one Mr. Shakespeare,” lodging in the room upstairs. 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The prose moves steadily along, eschews gush, jargon, and digression, and generally inspires confidence. This is the voice of a man who knows his stuff. A pro.”

    Washington Post

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 2/14/2014

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gayla Bassham | 2/8/2014

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Doak | 2/6/2014

    " 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. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diane | 2/3/2014

    " I was looking forward to this - I loved Nichols' The Reckoning. But I should have remembered that all who attempt to create a viable life for Shakespeare seem to fall on their faces. The only really good one I've read was Michael Shapiro's 1599, and the reason that succeeded was because he focused on documented events going on during that year, as opposed to inventing a life for WS that tied into those same events. Ah, well. Read and learn. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Spiros | 1/28/2014

    " More Shakespeareana: that's not a request, just a statement of fact. Nicholl takes an ambiguous sidelight of what little we know of Shakespeare's life, a deposition in a suit over non-payment of a dowry, and runs with it. The result: much interesting speculation on the sexual dynamics of the Mountjoy-Belott menage, some interesting speculation on Shakespeare's (hetero)sexuality, and just about anything you would care to know about Elizabethan and early Jacobean fashion. Entertaining enough, but it really doesn't go anywhere. Somewhat disappointing after Nicholl's masterful biography of Marlowe, THE RECKONING. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lloyd | 1/26/2014

    " A lawsuit, tax records, a deep analysis of Pericles. Best Shakespeare book I've seen, well, ever. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ed | 1/22/2014

    " Nicholl unearthed a lawsuit from 1612 in which Shakespeare testified. From this, combined with a deep knowledge of Jacobean England, he spins a credible story of our Will at the height of his literary and dramatic powers, set in the day to day cut and thrust of London, "a world of aspiration and contact-mongering, a world of amorous and commercial rendezvous". A literary detective story, a biography and a history of a slice of London life in a tumultuous time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martin | 1/18/2014

    " 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 pjreads ♫ | 1/11/2014

    " 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 | 11/29/2013

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

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ben Chenoweth | 10/15/2013

    " I probably didn't give this a chance, but it is a non-fiction work about a court case where Shakespeare is one of the witnesses. The only problem? I just wasn't interesting enough. Sorry! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chenoa Fawn | 9/20/2013

    " Good holiday reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heidi | 3/10/2013

    " Ok, but nothing new or enlightening. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen | 2/4/2013

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fionnuala | 8/29/2011

    " 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 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

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.