What debts for Shakespeare’s transformation from gifted poet and playwright to some of the biggest writers who ever lived? On this gripping account, James Shapiro units out to reply to this query, “succeed[ing] the place others have fallen quick.” (Boston Globe)

1599 was once an epochal yr for Shakespeare and England. All the way through that yr, Shakespeare wrote 4 of his so much well-known performs: Henry the 5th, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, so much remarkably, Hamlet; Elizabethans despatched off a military to overwhelm an Irish rise up, weathered an Armada danger from Spain, gambled on a fledgling East India Corporate, and waited to peer who might be triumphant their ageing and childless queen.

James Shapiro illuminates each Shakespeare’s surprising success and what Elizabethans skilled throughout 1599, bringing in combination the inside track and the intrigue of the days with an attractive evocation of the way Shakespeare labored as an actor, businessman, and playwright. The result’s a really quick and gripping account of an inspiring second in historical past.