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, Shakespeare's great productivity had ebbed, and it may have seemed to some that his prolific genius was a thing of the past. But that year, at age 42, he found his footing again, finishing a play he had begun the previous autumn - King Lear - then writing two other great tragedies, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra.
The Year of Lear sheds light on these three great tragedies by placing them in the context of their times while also allowing us greater insight into how Shakespeare was personally touched by such events as a terrible outbreak of plague and growing religious divisions. For anyone interested in Shakespeare, this is an indispensable book.
"[Shapiro's] well-written, scholarly exploration will stand as an influential work that is a joy to read." (Kirkus Starred Review)
"With a voice of gentle authority and a good command of historic detail and literary deconstruction, Audie-winning narrator Robert Fass takes the listener on a fascinating tour of a pivotal time in William Shakespeare's life and career.... The American-accented Fass leaves aside classic theatrical rhythms and delivers the many passages of the Bard with a conversational clarity that is much appreciated." (AudioFile)
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Detailed and satisfying
- Tad Davis
Very enjoyable slice of history
- D. Littman "history buff"