Complete four part series exploring the life of the world's greatest and most famous writer. Presenter-led, mixing travel, adventure, live action interviews and specially shot documentary and live action sequences with the RSC on the road. A history series - it focuses not on the plays, but on the history and sets the life of the poet in the extraordinary times in which he lived. We are introduced to the dark world of Queen Elizabeth's police state - a time of surveillance, militarism and foreign wars. We are reminded that Shakespeare lived through the Spanish Armada, the Gunpowder Plot, the colonisation of the New World and the beginnings of British power in America. But most importantly Shakespeare also lived through England’s Cultural Revolution: an enforced split with the old medieval English spirit world which was to lead the English people into a brave new Protestant future.
In Episode One, we are introduced to the dark side of Queen Elizabeth's police state – in a time of surveillance, militarism and foreign wars. Shakespeare lived through the Spanish Armada, the Gunpowder Plot, the colonization of the New World and the beginnings of British power in America. But most important, he also saw at first hand England's Cultural Revolution; an enforced split with the old medieval English spirit world which was to lead the English people into a brave new Protestant future. A split that Michael Wood argues defined Shakespeare's life.
Michael Wood explains how the 29-year-old William Shakespeare became a star of the London stage-a shady story involving a murder-and uncovers a tale of religious conflict behind the Bard's "lost years." He travels with the Royal Shakespeare Company; uses Tudor maps and remarkable Victorian photos to bring Shakespeare's first London home back to life; and retraces the fateful journey of Shakespeare's great rival, Christopher Marlowe, down the river to Deptford.
In Episode Three of his historical detective story Michael Wood uncovers Shakespeare's rise to fame and fortune in Elizabethan London, and the disasters in life and love which marked his path to greatness. 1590s England was still split by religious conflict.
In the final episode of his historical detective story, Michael Wood uncovers the story of Shakespeare's life in the "New Age" of King James I. We discover Shakespeare's neighborhood in London where he lived with a French Huguenot family - and played a fascinating part in the marriage of their daughter. Wood visits the present Queen's robe makers - Ede and Ravenscroft - and finds evidence for Shakespeare's role in the royal coronation.