A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599 - James Shapiro A pretty good look at how the events in one year - both nationally and personally - might have impacted Shakespeare's writing. Unlike some authors I can think of, Shapiro keeps the guesswork to almost non-existent and is always very clear when he is guessing.I would've liked a look at connection between Hamlet and Scotland, though I must admit.Nice combination of history, biography, and criticism.