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A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599 (P.S.)

3 Ratings: 2.0
2006 non-fiction book by James Shapiro

Book Description   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 … see full wiki

Author: James Shapiro
Genre: History, Shakespeare
Publisher: Harper Perrenial
Date Published: June 13, 2006
1 review about A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare:...

A challenging book that is well worth the time and effort.

  • Nov 27, 2008
Recently I was given a copy of "A Year In The Life of William Shakespeare: 1599" as a gift.  Although I am an avid reader of non-fiction I initially balked at reading this volume because literature is really not my cup of tea.  I have always struggled to understand Shakespearean plays and as such I felt I would get very little out of this book.  I expected the book to be dry and uninteresting.  I was wrong.  James Shapiro has done a splendid job of helping someone like myself to get a handle on who William Shakespeare was and more importantly what his plays are all about.

The idea was really quite simple. Shapiro chose what he considered to be the most important year of Shakespeare's life and paints a vivid portrait of just what was transpiring in England during that time.  It is a brilliant concept.  As a history buff I was pleased to discover the issues that were raging in England during this period.  And while I continue to struggle with the language in the many excerpts from Shakespeare's plays that are cited in the book I now at least have some clue as to what is going on and why.  By making the effort to read "A Year In The Life of William Shakespeare: 1599" I have gained valuable insight into a time and place I knew little about.  And if you are someone who is well versed in the works of William Shakespeare I suspect you would glean a whole lot more from Mr. Shapiro's book that I was able to.  It is in the end a book that is well worth your time.    Recommended!
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April 11, 2009
I love this idea of talking about what transpired in one year of Shakespeare's live.....a very different concept. It simplifies it for those readers who have always found Shakespeare too complicated to read....good job!
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