Author(s): Chris Laoutaris
This book was shortlisted for the Tony Lothian Prize One of the Telegraph's 'Best Books of 2014'. In November 1596 a woman signed a document which would nearly destroy the career of William Shakespeare ...Who was the woman who played such an instrumental, yet little known, role in Shakespeare's life? Never far from controversy when she was alive - she sparked numerous riots and indulged in acts of bribery, breaking-and-entering, and kidnapping - Elizabeth Russell has been edited out of public memory, yet the chain of events she set in motion would be the making of Shakespeare as we all know him today. Providing new pieces to the puzzle, Chris Laoutaris' thrilling biography reveals for the first time the life of this extraordinary woman, and why she decided to wage her battle against Shakespeare.
Fabulous!...I could not recommend it highly enough Alison Weir A splendid and original book Sunday Telegraph, Book of the Week A work of historical and literary detection which takes us straight to the heart of religious politics in Elizabethan England ... there is a great deal to admire in this hugely ambitious book. -- Frances Wilson New Statesman It is a fascinating story and Laoutaris tells it with a winning combination of scholarly rigour and elegant prose. Contributing something fresh in the crowded arena of Shakespeare studies is not easy, but Laoutaris has done precisely that ... A splendid book Herald Scotland This is a detailed biography of a vigorous (if not likeable) woman who stood close to power throughout the reign of Elizabeth I. [Elizabeth] Russell was a remarkable person - clever, domineering and ruthless ... Laoutaris has done a thorough research job Sunday Times Laoutaris delves into all this with immense gusto, introducing his readers to a dizzying cast of characters and approaching his subject from myriad different angles. Thanks to [his] impressive research, this largely forgotten figure emerges as a woman of great erudition, determination and courage, scarcely less remarkable than her namesake and contemporary Elizabeth I -- Anne Somerset Literary Review Elizabeth Russell was a force to be reckoned with [and] is the indefatigable heroine of [the] book ... [She was] the woman who forced the company [the Chamberlain's Men] across the Thames to create their crucible of theatrical poetry, the Globe The Times Chris Laoutaris sheds light on the life of the woman who waged battle against the Bard Big Issue North