Reviews

  • A splendid and original book

    Sunday Telegraph, Book of the Week
  • Fabulous!...I could not recommend it highly enough.

    Alison Weir
  • Greatly enjoying Shakespeare and the Countess ... Fascinating how much archives can still yield.

    Stanley Wells
  • I am in love with the brilliant research on display in Shakespeare and the Countess and how it brings to the fore Lady Elizabeth Russell, a trailblazing early feminist.

    Amma Asante, Observer Books of the Year 2014
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • [An] energetic and enterprising book. He has done much original research, adding new details to the history of the [Blackfriars] playhouse, and to our knowledge of Elizabethan and Jacobean Blackfriars . . . Elizabeth Russell was a powerful figure . . . a fearsome Elizabethan version of Lady Bracknell or Bertie Wooster's Aunt Agatha . . . Laoutaris has done some very valuable archival work . . . It is certainly a story worth telling, and Laoutaris tells it well.

    Charles Nicholl, London Review of Books

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