Young William Shakespeare should be taking his glove-making apprenticeship much more seriously. However, carousing with his friends, wooing women, and sneaking off to see plays are all higher priorities for him. This changes when Will’s best friend, Richard, asks him to write and deliver sonnets to a young woman, pretending the love poems are from Richard.
Once Will lays eyes on the beautiful Anne Whateley, he falls deeply in love. But entanglements with a certain Anne Hathaway, the discovery of an old prank, and Will’s distracted nature all complicate matters for the future Bard of Avon.
In this highly entertaining novel, Laurie Lawlor muses on a historical mystery: how there came to be two separate marriage license applications taken out on consecutive dates in November 1582 between eighteen-year-old William Shakespeare and two different women, both named Anne.
Reviews and Comments
“Lawlor bases her story of the Bard’s early life on an enigmatic historical snippet. She introduces readers to a rebellious, ale-loving, 18-year-old who likes nothing better than wooing women and taking part in pranks that subvert both the law and his parents’ wishes. … The well-written chapters overflow with interesting and accurate details of Elizabethan life.” (School Library Journal)
“The still unexplained existence of marriage license applications made out on consecutive days for Shakespeare and two different women makes a promising historical tidbit for any storyteller. Lawlor makes good on that promise, portraying 18-year-old Will as a restless but well-meaning wastrel with a gift for words, raging hormones, remarkably poor judgment, and the attention span of a flea. … the author creates both a vivid setting and a feckless protagonist, equally credible as an adolescent and as a product of his times.” (Booklist)
“Lawlor offers a rip-roaring tale about Will Shakespeare as a wild adolescent with a touch of ADD. … Weaving a few known facts of Shakespeare’s early life with generous swaths of historical color, Lawlor paints a vivid and reckless portrait,” (Kirkus Reviews)
written by Laurie Lawlor
Holiday House, 2006
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