An unusually revealing book presents Shakespeare at a time of deep crisis and actually provides a new dimension of the man himself. We encounter London and the Globe Theatre, Lord Essex in power, Shakespeare and his players. Then the world tumbles down around their ears. How the ensuing crises are met, how the writing of Hamlet progresses, how the scene changes in London and the players are recalled -- all is told against a full picture of Stratford attempting to placate the old forces while staunchly defending the new. There is fascinating period material here, a vivid portrait of a Shakespeare whose personal life comes through sharply. What makes the book difficult 'is the Elizabethan speech in which it is written. Enthusiasts will accustom themselves to the style in an effort to reach the subject matter.