The Age of Shakespeare (The New Pelican Guide to English Literature #2) by Boris Ford
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This volume covers the period of Shakespeare's own lifetime. It contains a long general survey of the English literary renaissance , and also an account of the social context of literature in the period. Then there follow a number of essays which consider in detail the work and importance of individual dramatists and poets and prose-writers, but above all the dramatists, for this was their age; five of the essays are devoted to Shakespeare's plays alone. Finally, this volume contains an appendix giving short author biographies and, in each case, standard editions of authors' works, critical commentaries, and lists of books for further study and reference.