1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

Front Cover
Faber, 2005 - Dramatists, English - 429 pages
13 Reviews
How did Shakespeare go from being a talented writer of comedies and histories to become one of the greatest writers of tragedies who ever lived? In this one exhilarating year we follow what he reads and writes, what he saw and who he worked with as he rebuilds the Globe theatre and writes four of his most famous plays - Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It and, most remarkably, Hamlet. James Shapiro illuminates both Shakespeare's staggering achievement and what Elizabethans experienced in the course of 1599: sending off an army to crush an Irish rebellion, weathering an Armada threat from Spain, gambling on a fledgeling East India Company, and waiting to see who would succeed their ageing and childless Queen. This book brings the news, intrigue and flavour of the times together with wonderful detail about how Shakespeare worked as a showman, businessman and playwright, to create an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of a fascinating and inspiring moment in history.

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A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599

User Review  - Nicholas Graham - Book Verdict

This "biography of a year" looks at England at a time when Shakespeare was writing and performing some of his most memorable works. Shapiro fills biographical gaps by delving into evocative details of social, political, and artistic life in London in 1599. (LJ 9/15/05) Read full review

Review: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599

User Review  - Susan - Goodreads

I love Shakespeare and am not an anti-Avonian. I started reading this book as a birthday present to me and I am glad that I did. I am absolutely agog over the brilliance of James Shapiro. Granted ... Read full review

About the author (2005)

James Shapiro teaches at Columbia University in New York.

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