The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession

Front Cover
Penguin Books, 2014 - Fiction - 352 pages
2 Reviews
A mysterious portrait ignites an antiquarian bookseller's search through time and the works of Shakespeare for his lost love

Guaranteed to capture the hearts of everyone who truly loves books, The Bookman's Tale is a former bookseller's sparkling novel and a delightful exploration of one of literature's most tantalizing mysteries with echoes of Shadow of the Wind and A.S. Byatt's Possession.

Hay-on-Wye, 1995. Peter Byerly isn't sure what drew him into this particular bookshop. Nine months earlier, the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, had left him shattered. The young antiquarian bookseller relocated from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an eighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, Peter is shocked when a portrait of Amanda tumbles out of its pages. Of course, it isn't really her. The watercolor is clearly Victorian. Yet the resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture's origins.

As he follows the trail back first to the Victorian era and then to Shakespeare's time, Peter communes with Amanda's spirit, learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book that might definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.


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The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession

User Review  - HT-V - Book Verdict

Peter is so unmoored by his wife's death that he relies on written instructions from his therapist reminding him to eat and sleep regularly. Restarting his life as a rare book dealer is important, too ... Read full review

The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession

User Review  - Barbara Hoffert - Book Verdict

Devastated by the death of his wife, Amanda, young antiquarian bookseller Peter Byerly leaves North Carolina for England. There, in a book on Shakespeare forgeries, he finds a small Victorian ... Read full review

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About the author (2014)

Charlie Lovett is a writer, teacher, and playwright whose plays for children have been seen in more than three thousand productions worldwide. He served for more than a decade as writer in residence at Summit School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is a former antiquarian bookseller, and he has collected rare books and other materials related to Lewis Carroll for more than twenty-five years. He and his wife, Janice, split their time between Winston-Salem and Kingham, Oxfordshire.

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