1606: Shakespeare and the Year of Lear by James Shapiro Book Review

1606: Shakespeare and the Year of Lear by James Shapiro Book Review

A really readable and engaging combination of history and literary criticism that cleverly connects the plays of 1606 with explosive events of that year which made me view King Lear, Macbeth and Anthony and Cleopatra in a new light.

Shapiro describes historical events like a story, pulling you in, and then seamlessly integrates expertly selected quotes from the text to analyse the play - still keeping you engaged.

I found it really interesting to consider Shakespeare as a Jacobean playwright as opposed to the Elizabethan one he is known as, and Shapiro makes a strong case for recognising Shakespeare’s importance in shaping the Stuarts as much as the Tudors.

If you’re interested in witchcraft, the Gunpowder plot, Jacobean society, and of course Shakespeare, then you’ve just found your next read.

Review by Hannah (Visitor Operations Assistant)

 

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