Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize, Non-Fiction 2006
How did Shakespeare go 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 saw and who he worked with as he invests in the new Globe theatre and creates four of his most famous plays - Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, most remarkably, Hamlet. This book brings the news, intrigue and flavour of the times together with wonderful detail about how Shakespeare worked as an actor, businessman and playwright, to create an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of an inspiring moment in history.
Professor James Shapiro, who teaches at Columbia University in New York, is the author of Rival Playwrights, Shakespeare and the Jews, and Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World's Most Famous Passion Play. 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare won the BBC FOUR Samuel Johnson Prize in 2006. His most recent book is Contested Will.