Format:
Book
Web Site:
Author:
Title:
Edition:
First U.S. Edition.
Publisher, Date:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2014.
Description:
438 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
A sumptuously detailed imagining of the private world of the master bard chronicles the transformation of an unwilling craftsman and resentful son into a husband, father and genius playwright in Renaissance London.
"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? The Secret Life of William Shakespeare pulls back the curtain to imagine what it might have really been like to be Shakespeare before a seemingly ordinary man became a legend. In the hands of acclaimed historical novelist Jude Morgan, this is a brilliantly convincing story of unforgettable richness, warmth, and immediacy"-- Provided by publisher.
Notes:
Originally published: Great Britain : Headline Review, 2012.
Genre:
Subjects:
LCCN:
2013045690
ISBN:
9781250025036 (hbk.)
1250025036 (hbk.)
9781250054838 (trade paperback)
1250054834 (trade paperback)
9781250025036
1250025036
Other Number:
846545326
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"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? The Secret Life of William Shakespeare pulls back the curtain to imagine what it might have really been like to be Shakespeare before a seemingly ordinaryman became a legend. In the hands of acclaimed historical novelist Jude Morgan, this is a brilliantly convincing story of unforgettable richness, warmth, and immediacy"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

A sumptuously detailed imagining of the private world of the master bard chronicles the transformation of an unwilling craftsman and resentful son into a husband, father and genius playwright in Renaissance London. By the author of Passion. 25,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

Presents an imaginary history of the master bard, chronicling the transformation of an unwilling craftsman and resentful son into a husband, father, and genius playwright in Renaissance London. - (Baker & Taylor)

Named One of Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Books of 2014



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?


The Secret Life of William Shakespeare pulls back the curtain to imagine what it might have really been like to be Shakespeare before a seemingly ordinary man became a legend. In the hands of acclaimed historical novelist Jude Morgan, this is a brilliantly convincing story of unforgettable richness, warmth, and immediacy.

- (McMillan Palgrave)

Author Biography

JUDE MORGAN, who studied with Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter, lives in England. Morgan's previous works includeEmily and Charlotte, a novel about the Brontë sisters; An Accomplished Woman;Symphony; Indiscretion; and Passion, which was called "one of the best books of 2005" byThe Washington Post Book World; and most recently A Little Folly.

- (McMillan Palgrave)

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Booklist Reviews

At the age of 18, William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, a woman six years his senior and already pregnant. These facts, among a smattering of additional information, are really all that's known about the early life of English literature's most celebrated author. From this paucity of hard facts, novelist Morgan sets out to explore Shakespeare's personal life in some comprehensive way. He is successful in some respects, bringing into sharp focus the voice of Anne Hathaway, weaving in the personalities of Ben Jonson and Christopher Marlowe, and laying out Elizabethan life in a way that feels authentic. Morgan is no stranger to literary historical fiction, and readers of his previous works, including a novel about the Brontës (Charlotte and Emily, 2010), will note that The Secret Life of William Shakespeare takes liberties with the Bard's words, motivations, and personality while staying true to the spirit of the Shakespeare we all know and love. An entertaining read. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

It's hard to imagine a better historical novel about the Bard than this one: in quality and power, it rivals Hilary Mantel's justly acclaimed books (Wolf Hall; Bring Up the Bodies) about Thomas Cromwell. In 1582, Will, neither player nor writer yet, is 18 years old; he has met and will soon woo his future bride, Anne Hathaway. By the time the novel ends in 1603 Will has written 28 plays—with 13 yet to come. British historical novelist Morgan (Charlotte and Emily; Passion) has taken the few facts we know of Anne Hathaway's life and used them to craft an utterly convincing story of her relationship to Will. It feels real, not a stage romance. Anne's a strong woman, and she loves Will, but she knows she's losing him—not so much to the temptations of London as to the greater temptations of his own imagination. His world is a vast stage. Hers is Stratford. Morgan switches perspective from Will to Anne to Will's rival/friend Ben Jonson without loss of momentum and shares the playwright's exuberant joy in wordworking. Thus Anne's neck, seen for the first time between collar and coif, seems to Will "like caged honey." That's evocative-and economical—writing. VERDICT Mantel has shown there is an audience for quality historical fiction about the Tudors, and Morgan's novel will stimulate the same literary enthusiasm for the Elizabethans. Mature readers will love this book. [For Shakespeare nonfiction, see Nicholas Graham's Collection Development feature, "Shakespeare at 450," LJ 1/14.—Ed.]—David Keymer, Modesto, CA

[Page 84]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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