This book started off strong, but dragged a bit in the middle. The author is clearly very good at this subject: the world of William Shakespeare in the year 1599. The book is broken up into sections: spring, summer, fall, and winter.
The spring was interesting because of the legal difficulties of Mr Shakespeare and his fellow players, as they moved their theater to a new location, without their landlord's approval.
The summer got a little slow because of the war in Ireland. The war was apparently very important for Elizabethan England in 1599, culturally and politically. The author went to some great lengths to describe the war and its political implications for Queen Elizabeth, her court, and for entertainers such as Shakespeare. I found this section to be pretty dull, however, because it was so long.
The book picked back up in the last section, though. I really enjoyed the view into Shakespeare's writing process, which we can infer based on the revisions and editions of Hamlet that appeared during Shakespeare's lifetime. Learning about the literary influences that went into all of the plays and sonnets was a highlight of this book.
I did learn a lot about Elizabethan England, but I was really hoping for a more day-to-day view of life in Shakespeare's time, rather than the political machinations of Queen Elizabeth's court.