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James Shapiro

James Shapiro teaches Shakespeare at Columbia University. Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? is out in paperback.

Plague Writing

James Shapiro, 31 March 2011

Alongside the burial record for Oliver Gunne, an apprentice who died in Stratford-upon-Avon in July 1564, are the words hic incepit pestis: ‘Here begins the plague.’ ‘God’s tokens’, the black or purplish spots that were a telltale sign of bubonic plague, had presumably been found on Gunne’s body. Over the previous six months, the vicar of Holy Trinity...

We know little for sure about Shakespeare’s wife and what she was like, and even less about their marriage, other than that Ann Hathaway gave birth to three children: Susanna in 1583 and twins, Judith and Hamnet, two years later. The few surviving scraps of evidence raise as many questions as they answer, especially the will in which Shakespeare bequeathed Ann their ‘second best...

Shakespeare in 1606

Michael Neill, 17 December 2015

Perhaps​ the first ever ‘lifestyle magazine’, Country Life was founded in 1897 to cater for the leisured interests of the upper class, and was devoted to articles on golf and...

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Shakespeare’s Authors

Helen Hackett, 11 March 2010

The subtitle of James Shapiro’s engaging new book is a tease. Shapiro, the author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (2005), is in no doubt that William Shakespeare of...

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Shakespeare’s working habits

Michael Dobson, 20 October 2005

One of Shakespeare’s defining knacks, so it’s said, is his ability to render his own time and place more or less irrelevant to the appreciation of his art. So although it seemed...

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