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James Shapiro

1599 and Essex's Irish Rebellion

James Shapiro

Imagine what it was like to be sitting in an audience at one of the first productions of Henry V, 400 years ago, in the spring of 1599. Noted Shakespearean scholar James Shapiro shares what was going on in that world, in England and in neighboring and rebellious Ireland, so that you can be familiar with what Shakespeare would have expected his first audiences to know, and fear, about that moment.

James Shapiro: 1599 and Essex's Irish Rebellion

From a January 25, 2013 Folger Lecture, in conjunction with the Folger Theatre production of Henry V and Folger exhibition, Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland.


James Shapiro is Larry Miller Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1985.

He the author of Rival Playwrights: Marlowe, Jonson, Shakespeare (1991), Shakespeare and the Jews (1996), Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World’s Most Famous Passion Play (2000), 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (2005), which was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize for the best non-fiction book published in Britain, and Contested Will (2010), which was awarded the Theater Library Association's George Freedley Memorial Award.

His essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, the London Review of Books, the Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Bookforum, and the Financial Times. He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Guggenheim Foundation, and The New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.

In 2011 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


James Shapiro: 1599 and Essex's Irish Rebellion

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