Seneca Rides Again! James Romm, Dying Every Day – Seneca at the Court of Nero
I was seduced into reviewing this book by a very upbeat and encouraging event at the New York Public Library on 42nd Street—an institution from which little encouraging has emerged in recent years. (Opponents of the obscene plan to gut the stacks and set up an Internet café in their place should remain on the watch!) Following an afternoon of research, during which I learned that in mid-nineteenth century Providence, Rhode Island purveyors of "healthy, hungry leeches" and tamed performing grizzly bears had more visibility in the marketplace than calligraphers, I felt drawn to a conversation between James Shapiro, the Columbia Shakespearean, who has written numerous well-received books on and around WS, and James Romm of Bard College, the author of a new book about Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger, Dying Every Day - Seneca at the Court of Nero. Both have been fellows of the New York Public Library's Cullman Center, Shapiro wrote his splendid Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?, surely the best treatment of the topic ever, while a Fellow, and Romm now follows him with his contribution to the "Seneca Problem."