Falstaff: A Novel
Shakespeare’s beloved comic figure spins his own outrageous tell-all, in an award-winning novel by the author of Mrs. Shakespeare: The Complete Works.
Winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Guardian Fiction Prize
William Shakespeare’s bawdy knight, irascible and still lecherous at eighty-one, believes that history hasn’t done him justice. To correct the record, Jack Falstaff decides to tell his life story in his own fashion. Leaving nothing to the imagination and adding more than a few embellishments, he reveals what history and the Bard of Avon overlooked or avoided: what really happened the night Falstaff and Justice Shallow heard the chimes at midnight; who really killed Hotspur; how many men fell at the Battle of Agincourt; what actually transpired at the coronation of Henry V; and just what made the wives of Windsor so merry.
At the same time, Falstaff’s sprawling narrative offers us a tapestry of the Middle Ages: the Black Death and May Day; an expedition to Ireland and a pilgrimage to the Holy Land; nights at the Boar’s Head; the splendor of London Bridge; and hundreds of other sights, sounds, and people recalled in-between scabrous opinions and irreverent meditations. Like its reckless and rowdy protagonist, Robert Nye’s Falstaff is vivid, oversized, and big as life.
“[A] delightfully raucous, slyly insightful fable.” —Publishers Weekly
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