William Herbert, Third Earl of Pembroke, 1580-1630, was the 'uomo universale' of the Early Stuart Age. A prominent courtier in the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I, he was the most important patron of the arts of the early seventeenth century, and almost certainly the person to whom Shakespeare dedicated his Sonnets. He was, in fact, the patron of almost every great literary and artistic figure of the period; Ben Jonson, Inigo Jones, John Donne, and George Herbert. Pembroke was an astute and powerful politician, the greatest electoral manager of the time, the wealthiest nobleman in the country, a powerful industrial entrepreneur, Chancellor of Oxford University and an indefatigable promoter of colonial enterprises. This major new work, the product of many years of research, is the first full length study of Pembroke. It has been exhaustively researched with all the extant manuscript and printed materials studied. Pembroke's poetry and patronage are fully discussed, his political life analysed, and his business activities both at home and abroad fully investigated.