This selection of articles, with Shakespeare's genius as the hub, treats aspects of Elizabethan life and thought which have either received little attention or which seem to demand reappraisal. The book is arranged in three sections. The first deals with the physical environment: life in London and in the country; the importance of the sea to the Elizabethans and the way they viewed foreigners; education, legal practices and prisons. The second section opens with a summary of the orthodox political philosophy of the period which is countered with the views of non-conformist groups and individuals; next examined is the nature of scientific thought and the extent of medical knowledge, the events, traditions and inhabitants of the world of Elizabethan folklore, and the potency of symbols in the life, literature and art of that time. The final section is devoted to the arts and entertainment with a focus on theatre, printing and books, music and balladry, and finally, the Elizabethan's vital and resourceful use of language.