1599 was an epochal year for Shakespeare and England. During that year, Shakespeare wrote four of his most famous plays: Henry the Fifth, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, most remarkably, Hamlet; Elizabethans sent off an army to crush an Irish rebellion, weathered an Armada threat from Spain, gambled on a fledgling East India Company, and waited to see who would succeed their aging and childless queen.
James Shapiro illuminates both Shakespeare’s staggering achievement and what Elizabethans experienced in the course of 1599, bringing together the news and the intrigue of the times 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.
In the years leading up to 1606, Shakespeare’s great productivity had ebbed. But that year, at age forty-two, 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.
It was a memorable year in England as well—a terrorist plot conceived by a small group of Catholic gentry had been uncovered at the last hour. The foiled Gunpowder Plot would have blown up the king and royal family along with the nation’s political and religious leadership. The aborted plot renewed anti-Catholic sentiment and laid bare divisions in the kingdom.
It was against this background that Shakespeare finished Lear, a play about a divided kingdom, then wrote a tragedy that turned on the murder of a Scottish king, Macbeth. He ended this astonishing year with a third masterpiece no less steeped in current events and concerns: Antony and Cleopatra.
“Exciting and sometimes revelatory, in The Year of Lear, James Shapiro takes a closer look at the political and social turmoil that contributed to the creation of three supreme masterpieces” (The Washington Post). He places 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. “His great gift is to make the plays seem at once more comprehensible and more staggering” (The New York Review of Books). For anyone interested in Shakespeare, this is an indispensable book.
As Contested Will makes clear, much more than proper attribution of Shakespeare’s plays is at stake in this authorship controversy. Underlying the arguments over whether Christopher Marlowe, Francis Bacon, or the Earl of Oxford wrote Shakespeare’s plays are fundamental questions about literary genius, specifically about the relationship of life and art. Are the plays (and poems) of Shakespeare a sort of hidden autobiography? Do Hamlet, Macbeth, and the other great plays somehow reveal who wrote them?
Shapiro is the first Shakespeare scholar to examine the authorship controversy and its history in this way, explaining what it means, why it matters, and how it has persisted despite abundant evidence that William Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the plays attributed to him. This is a brilliant historical investigation that will delight anyone interested in Shakespeare and the literary imagination.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Carl Woodring and James Shapiro, the same experienced editorial team who brought students and lovers of literature The Columbia History of British Literature, now present a volume that resonates with contemporary significance, yet also takes into account the centuries-old poetic tradition that planted Great Britain centrally in the canon of Western Literature.
The Columbia Anthology pays tribute to the renowned works that any include--Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Blake, Eliot, Auden. But the book also resurrects the voices of excellent poets, particularly women--such as Queen Elizabeth I, Anne Ingram, and Christina Rossetti--who have been unjustifiably ignored until recently.
Contemporary British poetry is fully represented as well, with the work of Thom Gunn, Seamus Heaney, Liz Lochhead, and Paula Meehan bringing The Columbia Anthology up to the minute.
Unencumbered by extensive notes that divert attention from the spirit of verse, The Columbia Anthology of British Poetry allows readers to discover the poems for themselves. It is a collection poetry lovers will want on their shelves for years to come, to read and enjoy again and again.
The book begins with a discussion of maize controlling elements. This is followed by separate chapters on the bacteriophages λ and Mu; nonviral mobile elements in bacteria; transposable Ty elements in brewer's yeast; Drosophila transposable element; and hybrid dysgenesis. Subsequent chapters cover vertebrate retroviruses; Agrobacterium oncogenesis in plants; flagellar phase variation in Salmonella; yeast mating type; and surface antigenic variation in trypanosomes.
Islet Transplantation and Beta Cell Replacement Therapy, after a brief historical overview, examines: the key role of endocrinologists in holistic assessment and selection of islet transplant recipients the factors underlying attrition of islet function over time and need for enhanced graft monitoring post transplantation future in vivo islet imaging setting up new clinical islet transplant programs by outlining potential models and pitfalls-including cost effectiveness and sustainable integrated approaches clinical outcomes and the future direction for islet transplantation, including alternative sources of beta cells, to meet future clinical needs through xenotransplantation, new insulin-producing cells from adult tissue, and stem cell banks