Cornwell is the author of many historical books including the bestselling Saxon Tales which serve as the basis for the hit television series, The Last Kingdom. He’s very good with tales of the sword and the sea, but can we trust him with Shakespeare?
Yes! This is a fast paced, well written, gorgeously researched book that entertains while also sharing the strange circumstances that led to the birth of professional theater. Cornwell’s main character is Shakespeare’s teen-aged brother Richard. The time period during which Shakespeare wrote both Midsummer’s Night Dream and Romeo and Juliet is our setting. You will feel yourself a young player in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men and experience the unique market and religious pressures on actors and theater owners at that seminal time as well as the normal teenager needs of finding a profession and a partner.
As you race through the plot to find out what happens, don’t forget to slow down and enjoy it; you will miss Richard and Silvia and all their friends (and enemies) as soon as the last page is read!