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Happy Birthday, Mr Shakespeare

April 23rd 1564 is assumed to be the birth date of William Shakespeare. Let’s celebrate his birthday today with recent fictionalized accounts of his life and his work.

The Tutor: a novel by Andrea Chapin

_SY344_BO1%252C204%252C203%252C200_.jpg&container=blogger&gadget=a&rewriteMime=image%2F*” width=”134″ />“The year is 1590, and Queen Elizabeth’s Spanish Armada victory has done nothing to quell her brutal persecution of the English Catholics. Katharine de L’Isle is living at Lufanwal Hall, the manor of her uncle, Sir Edward. Taught by her cherished uncle to read when a child, Katharine is now a thirty-one-year-old widow. She has resigned herself to a life of reading and keeping company with her cousins and their children. But all that changes when the family’s priest, who had been performing Catholic services in secret, is found murdered. Faced with threats of imprisonment and death, Sir Edward is forced to flee the country, leaving Katharine adrift in a household rife with turmoil. At this time of unrest, a new schoolmaster arrives from Stratford, a man named William Shakespeare. Coarse, quick-witted, and brazenly flirtatious, Shakespeare swiftly disrupts what fragile peace there is left at Lufanwal.” publisher

Juliet’s Nurse: a novel by Lois Leveen

“In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo has by far the greatest number of lines, followed by Juliet. And who has the third most? Juliet’s wet nurse. What did Shakespeare see in her? Lois Leveen’s new novel is the vividly imagined, utterly intriguing answer to this question. Angelica is still grieving the loss of her own day-old infant when she must leave her loving husband to enter the household of the wealthy Cappelletti family to care for their newborn baby. Mourning her own daughter, Angelica takes immense comfort in nurturing Juliet, but soon finds herself embedded in the rivalries and jealousies of the Capellettis, where sweet, 10-year-old Tybalt, cousin to Juliet, serves as her one ally. Fourteen years later, as the family’s secrets–and the nurse’s own deep losses–at last bubble to the surface, five momentous days of love and tragedy destroy a girl, and a family.” publisher

Dark Aemila: a novel of Shakespeare’s dark lady by Sally O’Reilly

“The daughter of a Venetian musician, Aemilia Bassano came of age in Queen Elizabeth’s royal court. The Queen’s favorite, she develops a love of poetry and learning, maturing into a young woman known not only for her beauty but also her sharp mind and quick tongue. Aemilia becomes the mistress of Lord Hunsdon, but her position is precarious. Then she crosses paths with an impetuous playwright named William Shakespeare and begins an impassioned but ill-fated affair. A decade later, the Queen is dead, and Aemilia Bassano is now Aemilia Lanyer, fallen from favor and married to a fool. Like the rest of London, she fears the plague. And when her young son Henry takes ill, Aemilia resolves to do anything to save him, even if it means seeking help from her estranged lover, Will—or worse, making a pact with the Devil himself.” publisher

The Secret Life of William Shakespeare by Jude Morgan

“There are so few established facts about how the son of a glove maker from Warwickshire became one of the greatest writers of all time that some people doubt he could really have written so many astonishing plays. We know that he married Anne Hathaway, who was pregnant and six years older than he, at the age of eighteen, and that one of their children died of the plague. We know that he left Stratford to seek his fortune in London, and eventually succeeded. He was clearly an unwilling craftsman, ambitious actor, resentful son, almost good-enough husband. But when and how did he also become a genius? ” publisher

Prince of Shadows: a novel of Romeo and Juliet by Rachel Caine

“In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honor and—if they survive—marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely. Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are born. Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona—and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so, he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona…And will rewrite all their fates, forever.” publisher

About Halifax Libraries

Welcome to The Reader, a blog from the Readers' Services staff at Halifax Public Libraries. Our goal is to create a forum for book news and related discussion among leisure readers. A place for Halifax leisure readers to interact with their library and the larger community of leisure readers.

 

The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.

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