‘Mistress Shakespeare’: The Real Story of Shakespeare in Love

 Honorary Wench Karen Harper is no stranger to Elizabethan England.  Not only is she the author of  the6a00d8341c84c753ef010536f32c1a970b-120wi.jpg
historical novel The Last Boleyn, but also of the Elizabeth I historical mystery series.  Her new book, Mistress Shakespeare, will be released by Penguin/Putnam on February 5.  Here she describes her inspiration: one of history’s most fascinating “what if’s?”  Karen welcomes your questions and comments, too, and will give away an autographed copy of Mistress Shakespeare to one of those who post.

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By Honorary Wench Karen Harper

Despite William Shakespeare’s fame and popularity, many mysteries still surround his life.  The biggest scholarly argument over the years has been whether he really wrote the plays.  Those I consider to be Shakespeare snobs insist that a man from the ‘boondocks’ of rural Stratford who never went to university could not write those brilliant historicals, comedies and tragedies.  (Hello, scholars!  The man was a natural genius; it happens.  American inventive genius Thomas Edison came out of little, obscure Milan, Ohio, where, like Will, he had to leave school early.)
    A second conundrum in Will’s life concerns ‘the mystery years,’ years in his teens, pre-London, where it is uncertain what he was doing.   Traveling as a player or soldier?  Hiding out with a Catholic lord who had a great library?  Working for his glove-making father or for a Stratford lawyer?    Suffice it to say that an unknown period of time in a well-known person’s life works well for a historical novelist. 
    But the third mystery of Will Shakespeare’s life concerns his marriage.  Yes, he wed Anne Hathaway of Shottery in what we would today call a ‘shotgun wedding.’  Two of her deceased father’s friends pledged 40 pounds—a large sum then—that they would produce him for the hurried ceremony.  True, 468px-Shakespeare
their marriage bond (license) is still recorded, in Latin.  (See a copy of it on my website, www.karenharperauthor.com)  But on the previous day, a marriage bond was also recorded for William Shakespeare with an Anne Whateley of Temple Grafton, a different village near Stratford.
    Ah, a mere slip of the pen in the same handwriting, opine the naysayers who refuse to admit there was another Anne in Shakespeare’s life.  But did the same recorder also accidentally write Whateley instead of Hathaway and Temple Grafton for Shottery?
    And so my book sets forth the very possible plot that, either Will had two wives or wanted to wed a different woman before his forced marriage.  I see the clues for this everywhere in his life and plays.  Whateleys did live in and around Stratford.  Some dark-haired beauty (her identity has also been argument-fodder for centuries) inspired his poems and many of his female characters. 
When he died, Will made certain that the infamous ‘second best bed’ went to Anne H.  So where was the first best bed?  Perhaps in the Blackfriars Gatehouse, his property in London where he lived so many years away from his Stratford family, and which he made certain did not go to Anne Hathaway upon his death. 
     But MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE is not Will’s book; it belong to Anne Whateley, who tells her own story.  (And, no, I do not claim she helped him write the plays—only that she inspired him to write.)  I greatly admire women who have ordinary beginnings but manage to face extraordinary circumstances with strength, courage, and force of character.  When a lesser woman would have caved in to troubles 14318332
and tragedies, Anne rises above them.  She insists on a life of her own if and when she cannot totally share Will’s. 
    Although women of earlier historical periods were often chattel, bargaining chips or worse, some women managed to make their own way in a man’s word—and Anne is one.  I celebrate that kind of woman in all my novels, historical or contemporary.  MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE frequently points out how much Anne was inspired by Queen Elizabeth, a woman who overcame many trials (talks about a dysfunctional family!) but became the powerhouse of her age.
    Readers often ask me how much of my historical novels (THE LAST BOLEYN; THE FIRST PRINCESS OF WALES) are based on fact and how much on fiction.  In MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE nothing that is known of Will’s life or Tudor times has been fictionalized, although, as in all historical fiction, scenes and dialogue are created.  Also, since little is known of Anne W’s life and background—but much can be surmised based on fact—I did have to fill in blanks in her life.  In a way, as in all historical fiction, this novel is what Alex Haley, the author of ROOTS, dubbed ‘faction,’ a blending of fact and fiction.
    I had to smile at a comment by an on-line reviewer on the Historical Fiction website which said,Elizabeth_I_of_England_-_coronation_portrait
“Maybe Harper was an Elizabethan in a previous life,” but she makes an interesting point.  No, I am not a reincarnated Elizabethan, but I am drawn to that period and have been for years.  The Elizabethan era castles and manor houses of  England do haunt me, as if the walls not only have ears but can speak. 
    Each time I step inside the Tower of London, I am hit with the darkest depression.  And twice I’ve been able (despite all the tourists there) to stand alone upstairs at the Shakespeare birthplace to just ‘feel the past.’  I’ve had a private tour of the Boleyn home, Hever Castle, and stood silently in Anne’s bedroom, when entry to it is not on the regular tour.  So, I can’t say I choose to write Tudor settings—rather, they choose me.
    Why?  I’ve given up trying to figure it out.  Because I had a British pen pal when I was in elementary school who used to send me magazine photos of the current Queen Elizabeth when she was young?  Because I taught Brit Lit for years to high school students and organized an Elizabethan Festival?  Maybe because I became fascinated by Bess Tudor years ago and have a private library of books about her, including some that stretch back to the 1880s 13910656
and 1920s?  Go figure.  I’m too busy writing.
    And here’s a surprise.  The book I just completed centers on another strong Elizabethan woman who, like Anne Whateley, began in obscurity but impacted famous people.  Her involvement with the Tudors spanned the Anne Boleyn era through Elizabeth’s early reign, so that’s a lot of scandals, kings, queens, romances and beheadings!
    I must say too, I am thrilled with the cover of MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE (which is also an audio book from Brilliance.)  The Victorian painting by John William Waterhouse is titled The Soul of the Rose—Tudor roses, I like to think.  But I also think MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE reveals the heart and soul of Will’s other wife.

Many thanks for being our guest today, Karen! 

Now we'd like to hear from the rest of you.  Does the Elizabethan Period seem like a "golden age" to you as a reader?  Do you enjoy stories that begin as a "history mystery"?  Or would you simply like to be entered for an autographed hardcover copy of Karen's MISTRESSS SHAKESPEARE?  We'll choose a winner at random on Sunday night, so please post away!

80 thoughts on “‘Mistress Shakespeare’: The Real Story of Shakespeare in Love”

  1. I remember the Elizabethan period as the first historical fiction setting I read as a teen—Arabella Stuart’s love story in particular. I was fascinated by Mary Queen of Scots and all the associated shenanigans surrounding her. I’m still an absolute sucker for both Elizabethan fiction and non-fiction. Can’t imagine walking around in the jewel-encrusted clothes, though! Karen, I’m sure you’ve read Bill Bryson’s recent treatment of Shakespeare, which I found enormously accessible and entertaining. Your book sounds intriguing!

    Reply
  2. I remember the Elizabethan period as the first historical fiction setting I read as a teen—Arabella Stuart’s love story in particular. I was fascinated by Mary Queen of Scots and all the associated shenanigans surrounding her. I’m still an absolute sucker for both Elizabethan fiction and non-fiction. Can’t imagine walking around in the jewel-encrusted clothes, though! Karen, I’m sure you’ve read Bill Bryson’s recent treatment of Shakespeare, which I found enormously accessible and entertaining. Your book sounds intriguing!

    Reply
  3. I remember the Elizabethan period as the first historical fiction setting I read as a teen—Arabella Stuart’s love story in particular. I was fascinated by Mary Queen of Scots and all the associated shenanigans surrounding her. I’m still an absolute sucker for both Elizabethan fiction and non-fiction. Can’t imagine walking around in the jewel-encrusted clothes, though! Karen, I’m sure you’ve read Bill Bryson’s recent treatment of Shakespeare, which I found enormously accessible and entertaining. Your book sounds intriguing!

    Reply
  4. I remember the Elizabethan period as the first historical fiction setting I read as a teen—Arabella Stuart’s love story in particular. I was fascinated by Mary Queen of Scots and all the associated shenanigans surrounding her. I’m still an absolute sucker for both Elizabethan fiction and non-fiction. Can’t imagine walking around in the jewel-encrusted clothes, though! Karen, I’m sure you’ve read Bill Bryson’s recent treatment of Shakespeare, which I found enormously accessible and entertaining. Your book sounds intriguing!

    Reply
  5. I remember the Elizabethan period as the first historical fiction setting I read as a teen—Arabella Stuart’s love story in particular. I was fascinated by Mary Queen of Scots and all the associated shenanigans surrounding her. I’m still an absolute sucker for both Elizabethan fiction and non-fiction. Can’t imagine walking around in the jewel-encrusted clothes, though! Karen, I’m sure you’ve read Bill Bryson’s recent treatment of Shakespeare, which I found enormously accessible and entertaining. Your book sounds intriguing!

    Reply
  6. Karen, your comment about being hit with dark depression in the Tower of London, and standing “alone” in Shakespeare’s birthplace gave me chills. I know that feeling. I know how a place can affect you. I think it is something writers are especially attuned to. I think it also gives you a leg up on the competition, so to speak. *g*
    I’m a huge Waterhouse fan, and I just love the cover of your book!

    Reply
  7. Karen, your comment about being hit with dark depression in the Tower of London, and standing “alone” in Shakespeare’s birthplace gave me chills. I know that feeling. I know how a place can affect you. I think it is something writers are especially attuned to. I think it also gives you a leg up on the competition, so to speak. *g*
    I’m a huge Waterhouse fan, and I just love the cover of your book!

    Reply
  8. Karen, your comment about being hit with dark depression in the Tower of London, and standing “alone” in Shakespeare’s birthplace gave me chills. I know that feeling. I know how a place can affect you. I think it is something writers are especially attuned to. I think it also gives you a leg up on the competition, so to speak. *g*
    I’m a huge Waterhouse fan, and I just love the cover of your book!

    Reply
  9. Karen, your comment about being hit with dark depression in the Tower of London, and standing “alone” in Shakespeare’s birthplace gave me chills. I know that feeling. I know how a place can affect you. I think it is something writers are especially attuned to. I think it also gives you a leg up on the competition, so to speak. *g*
    I’m a huge Waterhouse fan, and I just love the cover of your book!

    Reply
  10. Karen, your comment about being hit with dark depression in the Tower of London, and standing “alone” in Shakespeare’s birthplace gave me chills. I know that feeling. I know how a place can affect you. I think it is something writers are especially attuned to. I think it also gives you a leg up on the competition, so to speak. *g*
    I’m a huge Waterhouse fan, and I just love the cover of your book!

    Reply
  11. Hello Karen! Thanks for stopping by. I love stories that weave through history, filling in the missing strands with Possibility. I’m looking forward to reading MISTRESS SHAKESPERE.

    Reply
  12. Hello Karen! Thanks for stopping by. I love stories that weave through history, filling in the missing strands with Possibility. I’m looking forward to reading MISTRESS SHAKESPERE.

    Reply
  13. Hello Karen! Thanks for stopping by. I love stories that weave through history, filling in the missing strands with Possibility. I’m looking forward to reading MISTRESS SHAKESPERE.

    Reply
  14. Hello Karen! Thanks for stopping by. I love stories that weave through history, filling in the missing strands with Possibility. I’m looking forward to reading MISTRESS SHAKESPERE.

    Reply
  15. Hello Karen! Thanks for stopping by. I love stories that weave through history, filling in the missing strands with Possibility. I’m looking forward to reading MISTRESS SHAKESPERE.

    Reply
  16. thanks so much for identifying the lovely painting on the cover. The soft colors are very nice indeed. I had been wondering about the painting and I look forward to reading the book.

    Reply
  17. thanks so much for identifying the lovely painting on the cover. The soft colors are very nice indeed. I had been wondering about the painting and I look forward to reading the book.

    Reply
  18. thanks so much for identifying the lovely painting on the cover. The soft colors are very nice indeed. I had been wondering about the painting and I look forward to reading the book.

    Reply
  19. thanks so much for identifying the lovely painting on the cover. The soft colors are very nice indeed. I had been wondering about the painting and I look forward to reading the book.

    Reply
  20. thanks so much for identifying the lovely painting on the cover. The soft colors are very nice indeed. I had been wondering about the painting and I look forward to reading the book.

    Reply
  21. Ever since I read the page of an advance reading copy of MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE in Ohio last September, I’ve been lusting for it to come out. The voice and story are irresistible.
    Karen, how can you be SURE you’re not a reincarnated Elizabethan? 🙂
    Mary JO

    Reply
  22. Ever since I read the page of an advance reading copy of MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE in Ohio last September, I’ve been lusting for it to come out. The voice and story are irresistible.
    Karen, how can you be SURE you’re not a reincarnated Elizabethan? 🙂
    Mary JO

    Reply
  23. Ever since I read the page of an advance reading copy of MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE in Ohio last September, I’ve been lusting for it to come out. The voice and story are irresistible.
    Karen, how can you be SURE you’re not a reincarnated Elizabethan? 🙂
    Mary JO

    Reply
  24. Ever since I read the page of an advance reading copy of MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE in Ohio last September, I’ve been lusting for it to come out. The voice and story are irresistible.
    Karen, how can you be SURE you’re not a reincarnated Elizabethan? 🙂
    Mary JO

    Reply
  25. Ever since I read the page of an advance reading copy of MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE in Ohio last September, I’ve been lusting for it to come out. The voice and story are irresistible.
    Karen, how can you be SURE you’re not a reincarnated Elizabethan? 🙂
    Mary JO

    Reply
  26. I love reading about the English Kings and Queens and the nobility from these eras they are so facinating to me. The women seemed to be so strong even though as you say they were sold in marriage to better mens properties and gain higher titles but I love the strength of them and learning more about their lives and loves.
    Great interview
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  27. I love reading about the English Kings and Queens and the nobility from these eras they are so facinating to me. The women seemed to be so strong even though as you say they were sold in marriage to better mens properties and gain higher titles but I love the strength of them and learning more about their lives and loves.
    Great interview
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  28. I love reading about the English Kings and Queens and the nobility from these eras they are so facinating to me. The women seemed to be so strong even though as you say they were sold in marriage to better mens properties and gain higher titles but I love the strength of them and learning more about their lives and loves.
    Great interview
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  29. I love reading about the English Kings and Queens and the nobility from these eras they are so facinating to me. The women seemed to be so strong even though as you say they were sold in marriage to better mens properties and gain higher titles but I love the strength of them and learning more about their lives and loves.
    Great interview
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  30. I love reading about the English Kings and Queens and the nobility from these eras they are so facinating to me. The women seemed to be so strong even though as you say they were sold in marriage to better mens properties and gain higher titles but I love the strength of them and learning more about their lives and loves.
    Great interview
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  31. Karen, have you any other historical characters in the works for future books?
    Have visited Anne Hathaway’s thatched roof home with it’s lovely gardens.
    In highschool bought a “Complete Works Of Shakespeare” read most of his plays and poems…even underlined a lot of passages.

    Reply
  32. Karen, have you any other historical characters in the works for future books?
    Have visited Anne Hathaway’s thatched roof home with it’s lovely gardens.
    In highschool bought a “Complete Works Of Shakespeare” read most of his plays and poems…even underlined a lot of passages.

    Reply
  33. Karen, have you any other historical characters in the works for future books?
    Have visited Anne Hathaway’s thatched roof home with it’s lovely gardens.
    In highschool bought a “Complete Works Of Shakespeare” read most of his plays and poems…even underlined a lot of passages.

    Reply
  34. Karen, have you any other historical characters in the works for future books?
    Have visited Anne Hathaway’s thatched roof home with it’s lovely gardens.
    In highschool bought a “Complete Works Of Shakespeare” read most of his plays and poems…even underlined a lot of passages.

    Reply
  35. Karen, have you any other historical characters in the works for future books?
    Have visited Anne Hathaway’s thatched roof home with it’s lovely gardens.
    In highschool bought a “Complete Works Of Shakespeare” read most of his plays and poems…even underlined a lot of passages.

    Reply
  36. Hey Karen! Good to “see” you here again. Your new book sounds yummy and I have a gift certificate sitting on my desk, staying warm until I can run up to the store and spend it.
    Reading fiction and biographies of the kings and queens of England first stirred my interest in England’s history when I was a teenager. I researched them just for fun back then, but I can’t say that I was ever particularly drawn to Elizabethan England. I think my soul is younger than yours because it’s Georgian England that strikes me closest, and not in a depressing way either–although I think the Tower can do that to anybody. That’s one grim place. But I may have a very wicked Georgian lady in my background. “G”
    Thanks for stopping by!

    Reply
  37. Hey Karen! Good to “see” you here again. Your new book sounds yummy and I have a gift certificate sitting on my desk, staying warm until I can run up to the store and spend it.
    Reading fiction and biographies of the kings and queens of England first stirred my interest in England’s history when I was a teenager. I researched them just for fun back then, but I can’t say that I was ever particularly drawn to Elizabethan England. I think my soul is younger than yours because it’s Georgian England that strikes me closest, and not in a depressing way either–although I think the Tower can do that to anybody. That’s one grim place. But I may have a very wicked Georgian lady in my background. “G”
    Thanks for stopping by!

    Reply
  38. Hey Karen! Good to “see” you here again. Your new book sounds yummy and I have a gift certificate sitting on my desk, staying warm until I can run up to the store and spend it.
    Reading fiction and biographies of the kings and queens of England first stirred my interest in England’s history when I was a teenager. I researched them just for fun back then, but I can’t say that I was ever particularly drawn to Elizabethan England. I think my soul is younger than yours because it’s Georgian England that strikes me closest, and not in a depressing way either–although I think the Tower can do that to anybody. That’s one grim place. But I may have a very wicked Georgian lady in my background. “G”
    Thanks for stopping by!

    Reply
  39. Hey Karen! Good to “see” you here again. Your new book sounds yummy and I have a gift certificate sitting on my desk, staying warm until I can run up to the store and spend it.
    Reading fiction and biographies of the kings and queens of England first stirred my interest in England’s history when I was a teenager. I researched them just for fun back then, but I can’t say that I was ever particularly drawn to Elizabethan England. I think my soul is younger than yours because it’s Georgian England that strikes me closest, and not in a depressing way either–although I think the Tower can do that to anybody. That’s one grim place. But I may have a very wicked Georgian lady in my background. “G”
    Thanks for stopping by!

    Reply
  40. Hey Karen! Good to “see” you here again. Your new book sounds yummy and I have a gift certificate sitting on my desk, staying warm until I can run up to the store and spend it.
    Reading fiction and biographies of the kings and queens of England first stirred my interest in England’s history when I was a teenager. I researched them just for fun back then, but I can’t say that I was ever particularly drawn to Elizabethan England. I think my soul is younger than yours because it’s Georgian England that strikes me closest, and not in a depressing way either–although I think the Tower can do that to anybody. That’s one grim place. But I may have a very wicked Georgian lady in my background. “G”
    Thanks for stopping by!

    Reply
  41. I love faction! 🙂 Thanks for giving us this peek into the book and into you as a writer. I share the world’s obsession with Shakespeare and recently listened to “Will in the World” on CD. His life is so delightfully unknown, providing endless opportunities for authors like you, to the benefit of readers like me! I look forward to reading Mistress Shakespeare.

    Reply
  42. I love faction! 🙂 Thanks for giving us this peek into the book and into you as a writer. I share the world’s obsession with Shakespeare and recently listened to “Will in the World” on CD. His life is so delightfully unknown, providing endless opportunities for authors like you, to the benefit of readers like me! I look forward to reading Mistress Shakespeare.

    Reply
  43. I love faction! 🙂 Thanks for giving us this peek into the book and into you as a writer. I share the world’s obsession with Shakespeare and recently listened to “Will in the World” on CD. His life is so delightfully unknown, providing endless opportunities for authors like you, to the benefit of readers like me! I look forward to reading Mistress Shakespeare.

    Reply
  44. I love faction! 🙂 Thanks for giving us this peek into the book and into you as a writer. I share the world’s obsession with Shakespeare and recently listened to “Will in the World” on CD. His life is so delightfully unknown, providing endless opportunities for authors like you, to the benefit of readers like me! I look forward to reading Mistress Shakespeare.

    Reply
  45. I love faction! 🙂 Thanks for giving us this peek into the book and into you as a writer. I share the world’s obsession with Shakespeare and recently listened to “Will in the World” on CD. His life is so delightfully unknown, providing endless opportunities for authors like you, to the benefit of readers like me! I look forward to reading Mistress Shakespeare.

    Reply
  46. Oh, hey, welcome to my TBR stack. I’ve obviously overlooked you!
    My first trip to England was so steeped in private moments and Elizabethan Tudor that my brother thought I’d set it up that way. We even stopped to explore an interesting ruin that turned out to be Kenilworth. In Stamford the guide kept asking me if I was sure I hadn’t been there before – he was certain I was familiar.
    Nope.

    Reply
  47. Oh, hey, welcome to my TBR stack. I’ve obviously overlooked you!
    My first trip to England was so steeped in private moments and Elizabethan Tudor that my brother thought I’d set it up that way. We even stopped to explore an interesting ruin that turned out to be Kenilworth. In Stamford the guide kept asking me if I was sure I hadn’t been there before – he was certain I was familiar.
    Nope.

    Reply
  48. Oh, hey, welcome to my TBR stack. I’ve obviously overlooked you!
    My first trip to England was so steeped in private moments and Elizabethan Tudor that my brother thought I’d set it up that way. We even stopped to explore an interesting ruin that turned out to be Kenilworth. In Stamford the guide kept asking me if I was sure I hadn’t been there before – he was certain I was familiar.
    Nope.

    Reply
  49. Oh, hey, welcome to my TBR stack. I’ve obviously overlooked you!
    My first trip to England was so steeped in private moments and Elizabethan Tudor that my brother thought I’d set it up that way. We even stopped to explore an interesting ruin that turned out to be Kenilworth. In Stamford the guide kept asking me if I was sure I hadn’t been there before – he was certain I was familiar.
    Nope.

    Reply
  50. Oh, hey, welcome to my TBR stack. I’ve obviously overlooked you!
    My first trip to England was so steeped in private moments and Elizabethan Tudor that my brother thought I’d set it up that way. We even stopped to explore an interesting ruin that turned out to be Kenilworth. In Stamford the guide kept asking me if I was sure I hadn’t been there before – he was certain I was familiar.
    Nope.

    Reply
  51. To all those who posted about MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE–I see some kindred souls out there.
    Leanne–Yes, I read a lot of other Tudor fiction and nonfiction too, the latter such as Germaine Greer’s book about Anne Hathaway. I thought she’d poo-poo the Anne Whateley relationship, but she didn’t–she was very fair about its excellent possibility. Fortunately, since I’ve had books published set in Elizabethan England (including THE QUEEN ELIZABETH I MYSTERY SERIES), editors now send me their books they want an author endorsement for, so I get freebies that way.

    Reply
  52. To all those who posted about MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE–I see some kindred souls out there.
    Leanne–Yes, I read a lot of other Tudor fiction and nonfiction too, the latter such as Germaine Greer’s book about Anne Hathaway. I thought she’d poo-poo the Anne Whateley relationship, but she didn’t–she was very fair about its excellent possibility. Fortunately, since I’ve had books published set in Elizabethan England (including THE QUEEN ELIZABETH I MYSTERY SERIES), editors now send me their books they want an author endorsement for, so I get freebies that way.

    Reply
  53. To all those who posted about MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE–I see some kindred souls out there.
    Leanne–Yes, I read a lot of other Tudor fiction and nonfiction too, the latter such as Germaine Greer’s book about Anne Hathaway. I thought she’d poo-poo the Anne Whateley relationship, but she didn’t–she was very fair about its excellent possibility. Fortunately, since I’ve had books published set in Elizabethan England (including THE QUEEN ELIZABETH I MYSTERY SERIES), editors now send me their books they want an author endorsement for, so I get freebies that way.

    Reply
  54. To all those who posted about MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE–I see some kindred souls out there.
    Leanne–Yes, I read a lot of other Tudor fiction and nonfiction too, the latter such as Germaine Greer’s book about Anne Hathaway. I thought she’d poo-poo the Anne Whateley relationship, but she didn’t–she was very fair about its excellent possibility. Fortunately, since I’ve had books published set in Elizabethan England (including THE QUEEN ELIZABETH I MYSTERY SERIES), editors now send me their books they want an author endorsement for, so I get freebies that way.

    Reply
  55. To all those who posted about MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE–I see some kindred souls out there.
    Leanne–Yes, I read a lot of other Tudor fiction and nonfiction too, the latter such as Germaine Greer’s book about Anne Hathaway. I thought she’d poo-poo the Anne Whateley relationship, but she didn’t–she was very fair about its excellent possibility. Fortunately, since I’ve had books published set in Elizabethan England (including THE QUEEN ELIZABETH I MYSTERY SERIES), editors now send me their books they want an author endorsement for, so I get freebies that way.

    Reply
  56. I’ll admit to knowing very little about Shakespeare’s life, and not very many of his works (I went to high school in a non-English speaking country) but everything I’ve read or seen in movies makes me think that yes, it was a particularly intersting time!
    the cover of the book is gorgeous.

    Reply
  57. I’ll admit to knowing very little about Shakespeare’s life, and not very many of his works (I went to high school in a non-English speaking country) but everything I’ve read or seen in movies makes me think that yes, it was a particularly intersting time!
    the cover of the book is gorgeous.

    Reply
  58. I’ll admit to knowing very little about Shakespeare’s life, and not very many of his works (I went to high school in a non-English speaking country) but everything I’ve read or seen in movies makes me think that yes, it was a particularly intersting time!
    the cover of the book is gorgeous.

    Reply
  59. I’ll admit to knowing very little about Shakespeare’s life, and not very many of his works (I went to high school in a non-English speaking country) but everything I’ve read or seen in movies makes me think that yes, it was a particularly intersting time!
    the cover of the book is gorgeous.

    Reply
  60. I’ll admit to knowing very little about Shakespeare’s life, and not very many of his works (I went to high school in a non-English speaking country) but everything I’ve read or seen in movies makes me think that yes, it was a particularly intersting time!
    the cover of the book is gorgeous.

    Reply
  61. Some of my earliest historical fiction reading was about Elizabethan England. I read Young Bess in high school and I was hooked on Henry and Elizabeth. I enjoy both books about England’s rise to the major western world power and those about the individuals during that time.
    BTW- did you know that the actress Anne Hathaway was specifically named for Shakespeare’s wife? I knew her parents well in college and her dad said then that his first daughter would be named Anne in honor of Will.

    Reply
  62. Some of my earliest historical fiction reading was about Elizabethan England. I read Young Bess in high school and I was hooked on Henry and Elizabeth. I enjoy both books about England’s rise to the major western world power and those about the individuals during that time.
    BTW- did you know that the actress Anne Hathaway was specifically named for Shakespeare’s wife? I knew her parents well in college and her dad said then that his first daughter would be named Anne in honor of Will.

    Reply
  63. Some of my earliest historical fiction reading was about Elizabethan England. I read Young Bess in high school and I was hooked on Henry and Elizabeth. I enjoy both books about England’s rise to the major western world power and those about the individuals during that time.
    BTW- did you know that the actress Anne Hathaway was specifically named for Shakespeare’s wife? I knew her parents well in college and her dad said then that his first daughter would be named Anne in honor of Will.

    Reply
  64. Some of my earliest historical fiction reading was about Elizabethan England. I read Young Bess in high school and I was hooked on Henry and Elizabeth. I enjoy both books about England’s rise to the major western world power and those about the individuals during that time.
    BTW- did you know that the actress Anne Hathaway was specifically named for Shakespeare’s wife? I knew her parents well in college and her dad said then that his first daughter would be named Anne in honor of Will.

    Reply
  65. Some of my earliest historical fiction reading was about Elizabethan England. I read Young Bess in high school and I was hooked on Henry and Elizabeth. I enjoy both books about England’s rise to the major western world power and those about the individuals during that time.
    BTW- did you know that the actress Anne Hathaway was specifically named for Shakespeare’s wife? I knew her parents well in college and her dad said then that his first daughter would be named Anne in honor of Will.

    Reply
  66. To liz m: Kenilworth, where you stood amidst the ruins, is featured in MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE. It is about 15 miles from Stratford and Queen Elizabeth visited her love Robert Dudley there in 1576. (She had given his the castle–nice gift!) It’s very likely that Will and Anne Whateley saw her there, so I made sure they did!
    LadyDoc: That is really interesting about actress Hathaway. I didn’t know she was actually named for Will’s wife. I do know I would choose her to play my Anne Whateley if anyone made a movie of this.
    BTW,the book is also out from Brilliance Audio of there are listeners rather than page readers out there.
    Thanks for all the great comments!

    Reply
  67. To liz m: Kenilworth, where you stood amidst the ruins, is featured in MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE. It is about 15 miles from Stratford and Queen Elizabeth visited her love Robert Dudley there in 1576. (She had given his the castle–nice gift!) It’s very likely that Will and Anne Whateley saw her there, so I made sure they did!
    LadyDoc: That is really interesting about actress Hathaway. I didn’t know she was actually named for Will’s wife. I do know I would choose her to play my Anne Whateley if anyone made a movie of this.
    BTW,the book is also out from Brilliance Audio of there are listeners rather than page readers out there.
    Thanks for all the great comments!

    Reply
  68. To liz m: Kenilworth, where you stood amidst the ruins, is featured in MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE. It is about 15 miles from Stratford and Queen Elizabeth visited her love Robert Dudley there in 1576. (She had given his the castle–nice gift!) It’s very likely that Will and Anne Whateley saw her there, so I made sure they did!
    LadyDoc: That is really interesting about actress Hathaway. I didn’t know she was actually named for Will’s wife. I do know I would choose her to play my Anne Whateley if anyone made a movie of this.
    BTW,the book is also out from Brilliance Audio of there are listeners rather than page readers out there.
    Thanks for all the great comments!

    Reply
  69. To liz m: Kenilworth, where you stood amidst the ruins, is featured in MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE. It is about 15 miles from Stratford and Queen Elizabeth visited her love Robert Dudley there in 1576. (She had given his the castle–nice gift!) It’s very likely that Will and Anne Whateley saw her there, so I made sure they did!
    LadyDoc: That is really interesting about actress Hathaway. I didn’t know she was actually named for Will’s wife. I do know I would choose her to play my Anne Whateley if anyone made a movie of this.
    BTW,the book is also out from Brilliance Audio of there are listeners rather than page readers out there.
    Thanks for all the great comments!

    Reply
  70. To liz m: Kenilworth, where you stood amidst the ruins, is featured in MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE. It is about 15 miles from Stratford and Queen Elizabeth visited her love Robert Dudley there in 1576. (She had given his the castle–nice gift!) It’s very likely that Will and Anne Whateley saw her there, so I made sure they did!
    LadyDoc: That is really interesting about actress Hathaway. I didn’t know she was actually named for Will’s wife. I do know I would choose her to play my Anne Whateley if anyone made a movie of this.
    BTW,the book is also out from Brilliance Audio of there are listeners rather than page readers out there.
    Thanks for all the great comments!

    Reply

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