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Download A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599, by James Shapiro
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (946 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Shapiro Narrator: James Shapiro Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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How did Shakespeare go from being a talented poet and playwright to becoming one of the greatest writers who ever lived? In this one exhilarating year we follow what he reads and writes, what he sees, and who he works 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.

James Shapiro illuminates both Shakespeare's staggering achievement and what Elizabethans experienced in the course of 1599: sending off an army to crush an Irish rebellion; weathering an Armada threat from Spain; gambling on a fledgling East India Company; and waiting to see who will succeed their aging and childless Queen.

This book brings the news and intrigue of the times together with a wonderful evocation of how Shakespeare worked as an actor, businessman, and playwright. The result is an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of an inspiring moment in history.

This audio includes a selection of scenes from Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and Hamlet featuring performances by Vanessa Redgrave, Paul Scofield, Ian Holm, and many more.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Katy Dickinson | 2/19/2014

    " 1599 is an interesting history of a particularly important and creative year in the life of the greatest writer in English. In that year, Shakespeare wrote the plays Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It and possibly Hamlet. It was also a year of great political upheaval in Elizabeth's court, and Shakespeare's company constructed the Globe Theater. Presenting one intense year out of a life of great creativity is an effective approach to understanding both the man and the period. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Donna | 2/12/2014

    " Excellent...enjoying!! A must read for lovers of the Bard and all things Elizabethan!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Grace | 2/4/2014

    " This was so much more interesting than a year in the life of William Shakespeare sounds - reading about Julius Caesar, As You Like It, Hamlet and Henry V in the context of the year in which they were written was fascinating. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Suzannah | 1/29/2014

    " This was a good read; I felt like I was transported to the Bard's time; it was interesting to view Shakespeare through the eyes of other events. "

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About the Author

James Shapiro is professor of English at Columbia University, where he has been the most admired lecturer in the university. He has written several scholarly books on Shakespeare. He lives in New York City.