The Theatre of the World

№1

The Theatre of the World

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Cheryl Butler

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Cheryl Butler

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The Theatre of the World

Called The Theatre of the World the central character is Richard Mudford who at the opening of the book is a minor town official, a town sergeant, this puts him in the way of the many turbulent events that were happening in Southampton between 1586-1603. Each chapter follows a year both in Richard Mudford's life and in the life of the town , as recorded in the surviving records. The majority of the characters are based on real people who lived in the town, the merchants, privateers and ordinary people who lived and worked in Southampton. Because Southampton was in the front line of Elizabethan politics local people fought against the Armada and took part in the Counter-Armada. They took part in voyages of exploration to the New World and sat in the Guildhall to watch plays performed by actors such as Edward Alleyn who bought many of Shakespeare's characters to life for the first time.

"From the top of the town's Bargate he could gaze over the house tops and see Southampton Water calm and beckoning. Far in the distance lay the Isle of Wight, protecting the harbour, giving it the natural advantage of double tides on which the town's wealth and prominence had been for so long founded. Wight would make a good base for any invasion, provide deep water ports, access to the Low Countries, and control of the Channel and was close enough for Parma to march on London. He needed to start work on the survey and make plans for defence. No one knew how soon it would be but everyone believed the Spanish would come as relentlessly as the tide itself. Still, he was also thirsty and he had to go to Alice's to pick up John to make the circuit of the walls."

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