A lively and absorbing adventure in research, as Ivor Brown, eminent British critic explores the findings of previous Shakespearian students, explodes some legends and theories, and sets forth his own findings, rooted in evidence of the plays themselves, and biographical data. Anyone with a reasonably thorough grounding in the study of Shakespeare will enjoy this hugely; others will find that it takes them back to the plays themselves. He pictures London and the theatre of the day; the material in which Shakespeare worked for his many-faceted mirroring of people and life. He shows how language itself was in a state, of flux, and out of that Shakespeare found form and life not hither- to recognized. There's profound scholarship here, but so skillfully is it welded into a vigorous biographical and critical study that one is rarely- after perhaps the first chapter -- oppressed with a sense of being beyond one's depth. A book which deserves a wider market than it suggests.