Ten years ago james shapiro won the samuel johnson prize for his bestseller 1599 a year in the life of william shakespearenow to mark the forthcoming 400th anniversary of shakespeares death comes a compelling look at a no less extraordinary year in his life 1606. In 1606 shakespeare was 42 and a royal servant the chamberlains company had been granted the royal patent at the accession of james in 1603 and were now known as the kings men. 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. Preeminent shakespeare scholar james shapiro shows how the tumultuous events in england in 1606 affected shakespeare and shaped the three great tragedies he wrote that year king lear macbeth and antony and cleopatra in the years leading up to 1606 since the death of queen elizabeth and the arrival in england of her successor king james of scotland shakespeares great . James s shapiro born september 11 1955 shakespeare in 1606 was awarded the james tait black prize for biography as well as the sheridan morley prize for theatre biography he is currently at work on a book about shakespeare in a divided america
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