The Year of Lear: A Conversation with James Shapiro

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The Year of Lear: A Conversation with James Shapiro

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Columbia University Club of New York 15 West 43rd Street New York, NY 10036

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Join the Columbia Alumni Association and the Columbia University Club of New York on Tuesday, November 17th from 6-8 p.m. for a conversation with James Shapiro on his new book, The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606.

Registration begins at 6 p.m. and the lecture will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. A wine and cheese reception will follow the lecture.

Synopsis: Preeminent Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro shows how the tumultuous events in England in 1606 affected Shakespeare and shaped the three great tragedies he wrote that year-- King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra.

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 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. 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.

James Shapiro is the Larry Miller Professor of English at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1985. He is the author of several books, including 1599 and Contested Will, and is the recipient of many awards and fellowships. Shapiro is a Governor of the Folger Shakespeare Library. He lives in New York with his wife and son.