1606 : Shakespeare and the Year of Lear
by James Shapiro
Editor: FABER & FABER
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1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear traces Shakespeare’s life and times in the autumn of 1605, when he took an old and anonymous Elizabethan play, The Chronicle of King Leir’s History, and turned it into his most terrible tragedy, King LearIn 1606, which turned out to be particularly dark of the year for England, which witnessed the bloody aftermath of the Plot Gunpowder, divisions over the Union of England and Scotland, and an epidemic of plagueBut it proved to be an exceptional year for the Shakespeare, unequalled in identifying the fault lines of his cultural moment, which before the end of the year had ended two other great saints of tragedy who addressed these times directly: Macbeth and Antony and CleopatraFollowing the style biography of 1599, a way of thinking and writing that Shapiro made his own, 1606: William Shakespeare and Lear’s Year promises to be one of the most important and accessible works on Shakespeare in the decade to come
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