Anne Whately has been William Shakespeare's girlfriend and lover since they were children in Stratford on Avon, through until his death. This is the premise of this delightful novel, written as a first person narrative by Anne. The story includes some early incidents in Stratford and, of course, his life in London as the great playwrite.
I am not a fan of first person novels, but this one was very well done with a sweeping and moving account of her life with Will. Included are the key characters in his London life- Chistopher Marlowe (fellow playwrite), James and Richard Burbage (theater owner and actor), and Queen Elizabeth (as a distant character, never involved in the direct story-telling). All lends great legitimacy and interest to this novel.
My wife and I have been attending about 6 Shakepeare plays a year for the past 8 years or so, most by a company in Boston called the Actor's Shakespeare Project. So, we have really gotten to enjoy the plays, and are fascinated by the mysterious Shakespeare. He is mysterious because so little is actually known about him, or tangible evidence of him (letters, scripts, etc). Recently there has been a growth in stories about Shakespeare, most especially the terrific movie Shakespeare In Love. Robert Brustein, founder of the American Reporatory Theater in Cambridge, MA, has written a three play trilogy about Shakespeare's life. We have seen the first two and enjoyed them as well, The last will be performed next year in New York.
This was a really enjoyable book that I could not put down. AND, you do NOT have to be familiar with the plays to enjoy it.
The Kindle edition is fine with no typos- BUT there are extra large breaks between the paragraphs and chapters which is a little annoying.
- Hardcover: 370 pages
- Publisher: Putnam Pub Group (5 February 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399155457
- ISBN-13: 978-0399155451
- Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.4 x 23.7 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 476 g
- Customer Reviews: 9 customer ratings