Shortlisted for the Tony Lothian Prize
One of the Telegraph's 'Best Books of 2014'
One of the Observer's 'Books of the Year 2014'
In November 1596 a woman signed a document which would nearly destroy the career of William Shakespeare . . .
Who was the woman who played such an instrumental, yet little known, role in Shakespeare's life?
Never far from controversy when she was alive - she sparked numerous riots and indulged in acts of bribery, breaking-and-entering, and kidnapping - Elizabeth Russell has been edited out of public memory, yet the chain of events she set in motion would be the making of Shakespeare as we all know him today.
Providing new pieces to the puzzle, Chris Laoutaris's thrilling biography reveals for the first time the life of this extraordinary woman, and why she decided to wage her battle against Shakespeare.
'A splendid and original book' Sunday Telegraph
'A work of historical and literary detection which takes us straight to the heart of religious politics in Elizabethan England.' Frances Wilson, New Statesman
'I'm in love with the brilliant research on display in Shakespeare and the Countess by Christopher Laoutaris and how it brings to light Lady Elizabeth Russell, a force to be reckoned with and a trailblazing early feminist.' Amma Asante, Observer (Books of the Year)