A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599

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Harper Collins, Oct 18, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 394 pages
16 Reviews

An intimate history of Shakespeare, following him through a single year -- 1599 -- that changed not only his fortunes but the course of literature

How was Shakespeare transformed from being a talented poet and playwright to become one of the greatest writers who ever lived? In this one exhilarating year we follow what he reads and writes, what he sees, and whom he works with as he invests in the new Globe Theatre and creates four of his most famous plays -- Henry the Fifth, 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 the fledgling East India Company, and waiting to see who would succeed their aging and childless queen.

This book brings the news and intrigue of the times together with a wonderful evocation of how Shakespeare worked as an actor, businessman, and playwright. The result is an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of an inspiring moment in history.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AlisonLea - LibraryThing

Highly recommended--sheds new light on the year 1599 and the consequences of social history, especially politics, in Shakespeare's works. Helpful in the classroom as well. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AlanWPowers - LibraryThing

I read James Shapiro's 1599 three hundred and six years after its subject, the year it came out. It is the best written book on Shakespeare I have read in decades, and since Shakespeare is only known ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
1
WINTER
7
A Battle of Wills
23
A Great Blow in Ireland
43
Burial at Westminster
58
A Sermon at Richmond
73
Band of Brothers
85
SPRING
105
The Invisible Armada
173
The Passionate Pilgrim
188
Simple Truth Suppressed
203
The Forest of Arden
230
Things Dying Things Newborn
253
Essays and Soliloquies
284
Second Thoughts
303
Epilogue
321

The Globe Rises
107
Book Burning
118
Is This a Holiday?
138
SUMMER
143
Bibliographical Essay
335
Acknowledgments
377
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

James Shapiro, aprofessor at Columbia University in New York, is the author of Rival Playwrights, Shakespeare and the Jews, and Oberammergau.

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