Dark Aemilia: A Novel of Shakespeare's Dark Lady

Front Cover
Myriad Editions (US&CA), Apr 1, 2015 - Fiction - 435 pages
6 Reviews
"For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright; Who art as black as hell, as dark as night." —William Shakespeare, Sonnet 147 In the boldest imagining of the era since Shakespeare in Love and Elizabeth, a finalist for the Italian Premio del Castello del Terriccio, this spellbinding novel of witchcraft, poetry, and passion, brings to life Aemilia Lanyer, the "Dark Lady" of Shakespeare's Sonnets—the playwright's muse and his one true love. The daughter of a Venetian musician but orphaned as a young girl, Aemilia Bassano grows up in the court of Elizabeth I, becoming the Queen's favorite. She absorbs a love of poetry and learning, maturing into a striking young woman with a sharp mind and a quick tongue. Now brilliant, beautiful, and highly educated, she becomes mistress of Lord Hunsdon, the Lord Chamberlain and Queen's cousin. But her position is precarious; when she falls in love with court playwright William Shakespeare, her fortunes change irrevocably. A must-read for fans of Tracy Chevalier (Girl With a Pearl Earring) and Sarah Dunant (The Birth of Venus), Sally O'Reilly's richly atmospheric novel compellingly re-imagines the struggles for power, recognition, and survival in the brutal world of Elizabethan London. She conjures the art of England's first professional female poet, giving us a character for the ages—a woman who is ambitious and intelligent, true to herself, and true to her heart.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wagner.sarah35 - LibraryThing

This novel really captures the spirit of Shakespearean England, and it's themes play out like one of the bard's plays, complete with scorned lovers, devious plots, and witchcraft. Based on the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Mishker - LibraryThing

Aemilia Bassano grew up in Queen Elizabeth's court. She later becomes mistress to a much older Lord Hunsdon, the son of Mary Boleyn. Lord Hunsdon takes Aemilia to a play where she meets a young ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Praise for Dark Aemilia
Scene II
Scene III
Scene IV
Scene V
Scene VI
Scene VII
Scene VIII
Philosophy
Scene I
Scene III
Scene IV
Scene V
Scene VI
Scene VII
Scene VIII

Scene IX
Scene X
Scene XI
Scene XII
Scene I
Scene IV
Scene V
Scene VII
Scene XIII
Scene XIV
Scene IX
Poetry
Scene I
Historical Note
Background Events
Suggested Reading
Glossary
Acknowledgements
About the Author
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Sally O'Reilly has a PhD in creative writing from Brunel University, London, and is a lecturer in creative writing at the Open University. She is the author of How to be a Writer and (as Sam O'Reilly) two previous novels, The Best Possible Taste and You Spin Me Round. Her short stories have appeared in the UK, Australia, and South Africa.

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