The Players: A Novel of the Young Shakespeare

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9780393040609: The Players: A Novel of the Young Shakespeare

In 1564 a boy was born to a middle-class family in the little town of Stratford.Thirty-four years later he would write Hamlet.  In between was his both troubled and carefree childhood, his disastrous forced marriage and his early wild years in London poverty with the brilliant young writers and actors who were forming the Elizabethan Theater. But even as he was rising into his first successes as a writer, he fell into a passionate bisexual love affair with his patron and an Italian girl musician that threatened to bring down both his work and his life.

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Review:

What better subject for a novel than William Shakespeare, the most celebrated writer of all time? Stephanie Cowell, an established writer of historical fiction, recreates Elizabethan England and conjures a compelling life of Shakespeare from his youth in Stratford to his early artistic and personal development in London where he wrote the plays and sonnets that put him on the path to literary immortality. Cowell works from a solid foundation of historical research but glides beyond that research with a novelist's eye and imagination into a clearly drawn chronicle of the events, situations, and relationships that formed the Shakespeare whose work is still vibrant, even after 400 years.

From the Author:

I wanted to explore Shakespeare as young, human and fallible. I had a strong sense of the young Shakespeare, not as the rather dusty author of a heavy annotated Collected Works, but as a young man from a small town and a broken marriage who had no idea if he would ever make anything of himself in the world. He runs around with other actors and writers and is a little wild, yet always observant. And then he gets involved with both a man and a woman and it almost destroys him. I studied his life and world extensively and read his sonnets hundreds of times to get a sense of this vulnerable young writer who had not two pennies to rub together. With these things and with much passion, I wrote the book. For more on my writing you may visit my web site which links back to Amazon.--Stephanie Cowell (stephanie@cowell-clay.com), 2 October, 1998.

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Cowell, Stephanie
Published by W. W. Norton & Company (1997)
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Cowell, Stephanie
Published by W. W. Norton & Company (1997)
ISBN 10: 0393040607 ISBN 13: 9780393040609
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