Harper Academic

A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare


by James Shapiro

On Sale: 06/13/2006

Price: $16.99

A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

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A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare


by James Shapiro

On Sale: 06/13/2006


Price: $16.99

About the Book

Theatre Library Association - Freedley Award Finalist

James Shapiro, a professor at Columbia University, gives students an intimate history of Shakespeare, allowing them to follow him through a single year-1599-that changed not only Shakespeare’s 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 students follow what he reads and writes, what he sees, and with whom he works 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.

Critical Praise

“Very distinguished...captivating...Shapiro succeeds where others have fallen short.” — William E. Cain, Boston Globe

“Only an extraordinary scholar could illuminate Shakespeare’s singular genius by demonstrating how much his work owes to Elizabethan cultureandsociety.” — Alexandra Alter, Chicago Tribune

“James Shapiro throws an unusually searching light across Shakespeare’s creative genius and makes him come truly alive.” — The Economist

“Superb—the product of marathon scholarship, inspired insight, narrative flair, astute surmise and searching intelligence.” — Peter Kemp, Sunday Times (London)

“an unforgettable illumination of a crucial moment in the life of our greatest writer.” — Robert McCrum, The Observer

“[This] is one of the few genuinely original biographies of Shakespeare.” — Jonathan Bate, Sunday Telegraph

“a brilliantly readable and revealing narrative.” — Nicholas Hytner, The Guardian

“For Irish readers...by far the best account yet written of the relationship between this island and Shakespeare’s work.” — Fintan O'Toole, Irish Times

“If Will in the World is essentially an extremely good historical novel, [YLOWS] is history itself” — Jeremy Treglown, Financial Times

“Excellent book....superbly illuminating....Shapiro deserves whoops of applause.” — Sam Leith, The Spectator

“Shapiro gives us a Shakespeare who chronicles his age, in a biographical form that speaks clearly to our own.” — Francis Wilson, Saturday Telegraph

“Quite brilliant….It gives a whole large picture of his life, times, and achievement. Wonderful.” — Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate (England)

“As a yarn, this is up there with The Da Vinci Code but in 1599 it’s all true!” — Sir Ian McKellen

“Mr. Shapiro has given us by his encyclopedic scholarship and lucid narrative a hitherto unknown Shakespeare.” — Jacques Barzun, author of From Dawn to Decadence

“[P]assionately written study, the product of deep scholarship and acute critical thought... fascinating.” — Stanley Wells, Editor of The Oxford Shakespeare

“a stunning exhibition of scholarly intelligence by an academic deeply committed to arriving at the truth.” — Christopher Rush, Sunday Herald, Halifax

“deliciously vivid....Shapiro weaves a tantalising narrative.” — David Lister, The Independent

“Shapiro’s scrupulous scholarship has given us a Shakespeare both for his time and our own.” — David Scott Kastan, General Editor, The Arden Shakespeare

“An intriguing addition to Shakespeare studies...open-minded readers will be stimulated and enriched by Shapiro’s contextual approach.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“This book is a masterpiece, simply a masterpiece.” — Booklist (starred review)


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780060088743
  • ISBN 10: 0060088745
  • Imprint: Harper Perennial
  • On Sale: 06/13/2006
  • Trimsize: 5.310 in (w) x 8.000 in (h) x 0.970 in (d)
  • Pages: 432
  • List Price: $16.99
  • BISAC1 : HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / Tudor & Elizabethan Era (1485-1603)
  • BISAC2 : HISTORY / Renaissance