Prologue
in Shakespeare’s London 1613
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In 1599 William Shakespeare stood at a professional crossroads, which led to his participation in the financing and construction of the Globe Theatre. In 1613, with the burning of this theatre, Shakespeare stood at the end of his active professional involvement in playwriting and the theatre. Shakespeare in Blackfriars underscores the exceptional cultural power of the City of London with its thriving theatres and productive printers and publishers who produced scores of texts in 1613. Despite sometimes sparse evidence, a clear picture emerges of a Ludovic Stuart, Duke of Lennox who played a major role in the cultural and political activities of 1613. As in the case of Shakespeare and the royal family, 1613 was a pivotal year for Lennox, this loyal friend and servant of the king, who many years earlier in Scotland had been called a 'paragon'.

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