James Shapiro’s 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare Wins the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction Winner of Winners Award

James Shapiro’s 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare Wins the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction Winner of Winners Award

The one-off award marks the 25th anniversary of the prize by recognising the outstanding work of all previous 24 prizewinners. Shapiro’s 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare won the prize in 2006 and explores the year that Shakespeare produced some of his greatest works

James Shapiro’s 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare Wins the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction Winner of Winners Award
Baillie Gifford Prize Winner of Winners James Shapiro

Baillie Gifford Prize Winner of Winners James Shapiro with 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare at a photocall at Waterstones in Edinburgh

1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare by James Shapiro is tonight, Thursday, April 27, named winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction ‘Winner of Winners’ Award. The winner was announced by Chair of Judges, Jason Cowley, at a ceremony hosted at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh. 

The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction Winner of Winners Award marks the 25th anniversary of the UK’s premier non-fiction book prize by crowning the best work of non-fiction from the last 25 years of the prize. As the winner, Shapiro will receive £25,000.

The winner was chosen by a judging panel comprising of: New Statesman editor-in-chief, Jason Cowley (chair); academic, critic and broadcaster, Shahidha Bari; journalist, author and academic, Sarah Churchwell; and biographer and critic Frances Wilson. Their selection was made from a shortlist of six books, taken from the previous 24 prizewinning books.

In the course of 1599, Shakespeare completed Henry V, wrote Julius Caesar and As You Like It in quick succession, and produced the first draft of his greatest play, Hamlet. In his winning book 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, Shapiro shows how The Bard progressed from his tale of two star-crossed lovers to Hamlet. Shapiro finds one question the most pressing: how did Shakespeare become Shakespeare – one of the greatest writers who ever lived?

James Shapiro is Professor of English at Columbia University, where he teaches Shakespeare. His earlier books have received international acclaim, including 1606: The Year of Lear, which won the James Tait Black Prize; 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize; and Shakespeare in a Divided America, selected as one of the 10 best books of the year by the New York Times. Shapiro is also the author of Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?, Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World’s Most Famous Passion Play, Shakespeare and the Jews, and Rival Playwrights: Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson, and edited the Library of America anthology, Shakespeare in America. His reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Times Literary Supplement, the London Review of Books, and other publications. He has served on the board of directors of The Royal Shakespeare Company, and advises productions for the Public Theatre in New York and other companies. Shapiro was a collaborator on The King and the Playwright, a series he hosted for the BBC and also hosted the BBC The Mysterious Mr. Webster. In 2011, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is currently serving as a Booker Prize judge.

Jason Cowley, Chair of judges, says:
“1599 is a remarkable and compelling book. A history of four masterpieces and of so much more, it produces a life of Shakespeare, about whom so little is known, through an ingenious fusion of history, politics, and literary criticism. The result is a poised and original re-imagination of biography. Shapiro returns Shakespeare to the stage of his own world, and in so doing, he transforms our understanding – not only of the great works but also of the social atmosphere of his times. Erudite, accessible and formally bold, it will appeal to anyone interested in history, politics, literature and good writing.”

Peter Singlehurst, Partner at Baillie Gifford, says:

“The strapline for the Baillie Gifford Prize is ‘all the best stories are true’. But it is not necessarily their factfulness that makes these books so special, it is the stories about people, ordinary and extraordinary. Choosing one book seems an impossible task and we thank the judges for taking on the unenviable responsibility. Many congratulation to James Shapiro.”

Sir Leonard Blavatnik, Head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation, says:

“For twenty-five years, the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction has recognized immensely talented authors. We congratulate James Shapiro on this exceptional achievement. We are proud to be the long-time sponsor of the podcasts showcasing the short-listed books and their authors, as well as the annual celebratory gala in London when the winners are announced.”

thebailliegiffordprize.co.uk | @BGPrize | #BGPrize25 

Images of the winning author and book are available to download here.

This folder is being updated with images from the ceremony.

Contact Information:

Nathaniel Ashley

Account Executive

nathaniel.ashley@fourcommunications.com

+44 (0)20 3103 9598

Julie Holman

Account Director

julie.holman@fourcommunications.com

+44 (0)7841 672 393

Related Files
The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction Winner of Winners Award – Winner Announced – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.pdf

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James Shapiro’s 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare Wins the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction Winner of Winners Award

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Shepherd’s Village Launches the Single Solution

Shepherd’s Village Launches the Single Solution

In April 2023, Shepherd’s Village launched The Single Solution, a $14.99 monthly gift-giving subscription plan that provides ongoing support to single mothers in need. For the cost of an average monthly streaming service, The Single Solution is a simple way to impact the community and open the door for single mothers to gain vital resources for their families. 

As the only faith-based program for single mothers in Pinellas County, FL, for the last 32 years, Shepherd’s Village is uniquely positioned to stand in the gap for single moms and their children.  

The Single Solution will provide one single mother with the following:

  • Free unlimited access to online resources specific to her needs
  • Free and convenient classes, workshops, and coaching
  • Additional online and in-person community support
  • 24-hour live prayer partner support
  • Cost-effective conferences and conversations
  • Provision for other practical needs as they arise 

Signup for The Single Solution is easy and can be canceled anytime. There is no risk and no long-term commitment involved. 

For more information and to start The Single Solution monthly gift-giving subscription, please visit our website at https://www.shepherdsvillage.com/subscribe. We look forward to helping more Tampa Bay single moms face their future with confidence. 

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Based in Tampa Bay, FL, Shepherd’s Village stands in the gap for single mothers and their children. While we are the only faith-based single-mother housing program in Pinellas County, Florida, we have expanded our free online offerings so more women across the country can experience healing, safety, and restoration. With the help of our partners, we are able to reach two generations at one time and make an impact that will long outlive us.

There is hope beyond the brokenness and confusion caused by divorce, separation, death, or never having been married. If you know a single mother in need, please direct them to our website for life-changing resources: https://shepherdsvillage.com/

Contact Information:

Briana Yates

Project Manager- Marketing

briana@verscreative.com

7277442447

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Shepherd’s Village Launches the Single Solution

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