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Shakespeare and his day: a study of the topical element in Shakespeare and in the Elizabethan drama. Being the Harness Prize Essay, 1901

Edward Arnold London 1906 252pp.

James Armand Edmond (Jimmy) de Rothschild


Prize-winning undergraduate dissertation, assessing the extent to which the contemporary social and political life of the Elizabethan age informs the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporary dramatists. The genesis of this essay is described by Viriginia Cowles in The Rothschilds: a family of fortune (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1973) p.213:‘His introduction to English sport had begun in 1896 when he was sent to Cambridge. Although as a boy he had been a scholar he became so enthralled with hunting and steeplechasing that when his three years were up he begged his father to allow him to remain for an extra year. Baron Edmond would agree only on condition that Jimmy won a scholastic prize. His friends were astonished to see him lock himself into his room for three months; and even more surprised when he emerged with an essay, “Shakespeare and his day” that won the Harness Prize.

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