Shakespeare's London on 5 Groats a Day

Richard Tames

This fact-packed guide provides all the practical advice a tourist needs to travel back four centuries to explore the booming city of London.


London is big and can be baffling, but don’t worry if you don’t know a buskin from a firkin. This is the book to put you right – how to read up in advance, how to get there, settle in and keep safe on the streets, how to meet the people and find out the famous. Saunter over London Bridge with its dozens of shops and houses. Wonder at Whitehall, Europe’s largest palace. Revere the tombs of kings in Westminster Abbey. Tour the Tower of London – an archive, armoury, mint, menagerie, prison and jewel house all in one building. Watch the finest plays and players at the Rose Theatre and marvel at the bustle of business in the Royal Exchange. Go down to Greenwich to stand on the deck of the Golden Hind, the ship that sailed round the world.

London is the magnet for the talents of a nation stirring to greatness. Shakespeare bestrides the stage. At Elizabeth’s dazzling court Ralegh and Essex are rivals for her favour. From the shadows Dr Dee, mathematician and magician, proffers secret counsel to the Queen.

T&H picture researchers Sally Paley and Alice Foster won the Longman-History Today award 2010 for Historical Picture Researcher of the Year for their work on Shakespeare's London on 5 Groats a Day.


A lively, elegantly illustrated and illuminating guide … it's time travel and it's fun.

— The Times [London]

A light-hearted and novel way to revisit the London of Shakespeare's day from a safe distance … a lively guide.

— Times Literary Supplement

An amazing little book that will become indispensable to students of Elizabethan and Stuart history as well as to those studying Shakespeare's plays.

— Contemporary Review

Makes the London of 1599 real in a way that a conventional history would not.

— Sacramento Book Review


Richard Tames


Richard Tames is a Lecturer on London’s history for the Institute of Tourist Guiding. He has written over twenty books on different aspects of English history, including Shakespeare’s London on 5 Groats a Day.