Another important event was the popularity of Montaigne's Essays. Suddenly it became fashionable to consider oneself the subject of writing. Shapiro believes that this encouraged Shakespeare to develop the soliloquies that characterise Hamlet.
This was an excellent book which translates Shakespeare from a myth into a real flesh and blood writer.
Books about Shakespeare reviewed in this blog include:
- Contested Will by James Shapiro about the authorship debate
- 1599 by James Shapiro, the year in which Shakespeare wrote Henry V, As You Like It, Julius Caesar and Hamlet
- 1606: William Shakespeare and the year of Lear by James Shapiro
- Will in the World by Stephen Greenblatt: a biography of Shakespeare
- The Lodger by Charles Nicholls about Shakespeare staying in a house in Cripplegate
- Shakespeare and Co by Stanley Wells about Shakespeare in the context of the other contemporary playwrights
- Shakespeare's Workmanship by Sir Arthur Quiller Couch
- The Genius of Shakespeare by Jonathan Bate
June 2011; 373 pages