1606 william shakespeare and the year of lear succeeds brilliantly in the very difficult task of matching james shapiros previous and companion volume 1599 for intensity of narrative and depth of insight his particular gift as a literary historian is to combine great good sense with daring imaginative reach. An incredible burst of creative labour was the playwrights response to an era of troubled national mood with dramas focused on regicide civil strife and anarchy. James shapiros insightful new book the year of lear shakespeare in 1606 performs a kind of archaeological excavation of the three plays shakespeare wrote in this year king lear macbeth and antony and cleopatra to reveal the rich matrix of factors that molded. James s shapiro born september 11 shakespeare in 1606 was awarded the james tait black prize for biography circular reference as well as the sheridan morley prize for theatre biography he is currently at work on a book about shakespeare in a divided america. Shapiro also resurrects an incident from march 1606 that he says historians mostly ignore a mistaken rumor that king james had been assassinated set right a few hours later but not before panic
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