The Secret Life of William Shakespeare

The Secret Life of William Shakespeare Named One of Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Books of There are so few established facts about how the son of a glove maker from Warwickshire became one of the greatest writers of all time that some p

  • Title: The Secret Life of William Shakespeare
  • Author: Jude Morgan
  • ISBN: 9781250025036
  • Page: 261
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Named One of Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Books of 2014There are so few established facts about how the son of a glove maker from Warwickshire became one of the greatest writers of all time that some people doubt he could really have written so many astonishing plays We know that he married Anne Hathaway, who was pregnant and six years older than he, at the age of eighteenNamed One of Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Books of 2014There are so few established facts about how the son of a glove maker from Warwickshire became one of the greatest writers of all time that some people doubt he could really have written so many astonishing plays We know that he married Anne Hathaway, who was pregnant and six years older than he, at the age of eighteen, and that one of their children died of the plague We know that he left Stratford to seek his fortune in London, and eventually succeeded He was clearly an unwilling craftsman, ambitious actor, resentful son, almost good enough husband But when and how did he also become a genius The Secret Life of William Shakespeare pulls back the curtain to imagine what it might have really been like to be Shakespeare before a seemingly ordinary man became a legend In the hands of acclaimed historical novelist Jude Morgan, this is a brilliantly convincing story of unforgettable richness, warmth, and immediacy.

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      Published :2019-06-10T01:56:47+00:00

    About "Jude Morgan"

    1. Jude Morgan

      Jude Morgan was born and brought up in Peterborough on the edge of the Fens and was a student on the University of East Anglia MA Course in Creative Writing under Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter.A pseudonym used by Tim Wilson.Also writes under the name Hannah March.

    200 thoughts on “The Secret Life of William Shakespeare”

    1. I have no idea why I purchased this book when I don't even like Shakespeare that much. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that it was really cheap and that I had hope that it would actually turn out to be really entertaining. But no. Once again I was reminded that I actually don't like Shakespeare and never would. This book consists of three persons POVs. Shakespeare's (obviously); Shakespear's wife, Anne Hathaway; and Benjamin Jonson's, for who I really don't know why he was in this boo [...]


    2. I finished this book some days ago but couldn't write a review right away, I needed time to think through the conflicted feelings I was left with when I turned the last page. The writing definitely deserves five stars, it is rich and lush and lavish, dense with metaphor; it took me a long time to read, I could only digest it in small bites. The story on the other hand, is odd. It's not really about Shakespeare at all; Jude Morgan doesn't seem to ever get to grips with him as a character. Will's [...]


    3. The cover of this edition reflects the content perfectly for me - can't tell anything about the person at all.I borrowed this from my library because I know some of my GR friends think very highly of another of Morgan's books (Indiscretion) & my local library doesn't carry that particular title. So I thought I would try this one firstBut although Morgan's prose is beautiful, a lot of it about other people in Shakepeare's life. Maybe there is too little known to make an interesting tale. Or m [...]


    4. This is a beautifully written book. The prose is to die for and the characters are well rounded and interesting. The historical detail feels spot on too. The reason it's on my DNF shelf is that the effect is so strong that it's like eating strong cheese or dark chocolate - a little goes a very long way and it's my fault I didn't have the stamina to keep on going and to unravel some of the playful undercurrents. It's a book that got away from me in the end.I have kept it and may well return to it [...]


    5. The Secret Life of William Shakespeare - by Jude Morgan.Loved the cover of the paperback - and the title, of course. Wasn't quite sure whether I would get on with it at first - the language was challenging, and since I read at night for relaxation, I nearly gave up. Glad I didn't!Ben Jonson's language was much easier, so I read on - but by then Wm Shakespeare was also becoming real to me, and I was hooked. Gradually, this extraordinary man, of whom we know so little apart from his work, became, [...]


    6. Words. They are strange creatures,aren't they? The power to affect, to influence and to touch. At what point do words cease to become others' and embed themselves so deeply into your being that you forget these words originally weren't yours?The only issue I have with this book is that it touches on everything fleetingly. Will is in Stratford, then he is not. In London, then not. Unknown, then famous. Player, then writer, then once in a while back in the role of himself - father, son and husband [...]


    7. I only read this because it hadn't been checked out of the library yet. This "historical fiction" requires a leap of faith I'm not willing to take when it includes lines like, "Really?  Will thought Really?"  Perhaps I'm just a curmudgeon, but I have a hard time buying that William Shakespeare thought in present day vernacular.  It's been a long time since I've studied the bard, but I just don't think there's enough historical knowledge of the man himself for me to be able handle finding the [...]


    8. Hmmm, well. Usually I really enjoy historical fiction, but I do expect an author to write an afterword showing which parts of the book are pure fiction and which parts are based on historical record. Knowing that there wasn't this at the end (I always check before starting) affected my reading of the novel, lessening the enjoyment I might otherwise have had. I persevered with the book because it was interesting enough (just), but I think it would have been improved by being shorter. There seemed [...]



    9. While this book was interesting, it was a slow read. The language and phrasing are (purposely) archaic, reflecting its sixteenth-century England setting. (Thank God it wasn't written in iambic pentameter.) Other reviewers have complained that Shakespeare's character wasn't fleshed out, but my sense is that Morgan intended to show that Will didn't know himself and preferred to blend into the background. I thought it was clever to include Ben Jonson and Christopher Marlowe since many critics attri [...]


    10. „Английският ще свърши работа за списък на товарите, за балада или приказка може би – обясняваше учителят Камдън, - но все още не е подходящ инструмент за високата литература.“ (61)Геният, който променя статуквото на считания за беден и безизразен английски език е обявен за [...]


    11. The Bard is everywhere at the moment thanks to the World Shakespeare Festival which began on the date of his supposed birthday and definite demise, 23 April. Perfect timing for a new book from an excellent storyteller, Jude Morgan, who has written several historical novels including the critically acclaimed A Taste of Sorrow about the Bronte sisters.In this intelligent and very readable novel, Morgan takes advantage of the fact that little is really known about the man behind the prolific playwr [...]


    12. *REVIEWED FOR PUBLISHER*I’m a big ol’ fan of Shakespeare’s many beautiful works, so when this novel exploring his early life and his start in the world of theatres and writing, I was over the moon!Living up to the most famous writer in the world was always going to be a tall order, but Jude Morgan takes up the challenge with great aplomb and does a sterling job of showcasing The Bard’s works while presenting him as a real and very believable character in his own story – a fallible man [...]


    13. A dense, dense fictional exploration of Will Shakespeare and his relationships, this novel is both lovely and cryptic. Morgan uses the few facts we know about the enigmatic man to build a richly detailed story of his relationship with Anne and the "missing" years; as well as his rise to fame in London and his relationships with other players and writers like Jonson and Marlowe. She chooses her perspectives somewhat oddly, for example giving us a detailed accounting of Ben Jonson and his upbringi [...]


    14. I am taking this book in very slowly, like a cup of tea savored with a friend. The language is beautiful and needs to be enjoyed and absorbed. I like the fact that Anne Hathaway is neither a shrew abandoned nor a woman scorned (at least not so far) and Will and Anne are a couple deeply in love and trying to make this thing work. I also like the fact that this author has chosen to follow a straight-forward path from Stratford to London without any detours into speculative "Shakeshafte" the Cathol [...]


    15. Jude Morgan skillfully weaves together the story of the Shakespeare marriage with a possible account of his "missing years". In so doing the author cleverly includes a number of Shakespeare's literary comtemporaries and describes the theatrical and thespian life as well as evoking the smells, sounds and sights of Tudor life in London and Stratford. This is a literary historical novel with a very rich language, written in a style which in many places reflects Shakespeare's own writing. Some sente [...]


    16. William Shakespeare certainly lived an extraordinary life and I appreciated this imagining of his life with all of the historical details. However, for some reason, reading this book was just tedious. I didn't care for how the narrative jumps around constantly between people, places, and time. The characters just didn't connect with me, either. I found myself really wanting to like this book, but failing in the end.


    17. A very believable novel that gave me a good deal of understanding of his and times, along with many additional Elizabethan terms to add to my lexicon.




    18. I enjoyed it, but not as much as Jude Morgan's previous books. It's a fascinating period of time but I feel like the varying protagonists didn't always serve the narrative. The ending is particularly lackluster.


    19. I did not like the style this book was written in. I found it really hard to read, and did not actually finish the book. That makes me sad because I really like Shakespeare, and I was hoping to find out more about him.



    20. ‘…And all the men and women merely players’ If you're going to write a book about one of the greatest writers of all time, then you need your own writing skill to be able to stand the inevitable comparisons. Jude Morgan's does. This is a beautifully written novel, each word carefully crafted to draw the reader in to a world full of poetry and drama.Morgan fills the gaps in our knowledge about Shakespeare's life by creating a character who is completely convincing and compelling - a man w [...]


    21. I'm a bit of a Shakespeare fanatic. I kind of love the bard. Even though my students often groan when I tell them we are reading "King Lear" or "Hamlet," I get all a twitter about it. And, in the end, most of them even end up liking it, in prt because I get so enthusiastic.I've read several biographies and non-fiction books about his life and times, studied at The Globe, visited Stratford and even photographed his grave, however, what never ceases to perplex me is how a man who left such a legac [...]


    22. There is no phrase in the English language that can terrify a high school student (or even some adults) quite like " time to study Shakespeare". But what if The Bard could be rendered interesting, alive, and relevant without a lecture? That is what Jude Morgan manages to accomplish in this interesting piece of historical fiction.For a basic plot summary, "The Secret Life of William Shakespeare" looks at the young life of Will Shakespeare, beginning with his relationship/marriage to wife Ann and [...]


    23. Transports the reader into 1600s EnglandBy sally tarbox on 3 January 2017Format: Kindle EditionAn extraordinarily rich, vivid novel, almost Shakespearean in style, which takes the reader from Will at 18 - son of a Stratford glover, fascinated by the strolling players who visit the town, falling for 'older woman' Anne Hathaway, through the next twenty years of his life.By necessity imagining much, the author describes his relationships - with his siblings, his disapproving father, the wife who is [...]


    24. As a total Shakespeare nutter [he IS the greatest Briton ever!] I was really looking forward to this book and seeing how someone with imagination saw how the man lived and worked. The story covers a specific period of his life between teenage frustrations and middle age success. As well as how Will lived and loved, it covers much of his wife's feelings left behind in Stratford, plus those of Ben Jonson as some sort of comparison. I feel Morgan puts across very well many, many aspects of the life [...]


    25. Jude Morgan fills in - quite plausibly - some of the "missing" years in what we know of Shakespeare's life. The writing is exquisite and the dialogue hits just the right note - not modern, not Ye Olde. Morgan is such a skillful writer that he even breaks one of my cardinal rules: going back and forth between past and present tense in the same paragraph, sometimes the same sentence.The book begins and ends with Will and Anne, his wife. According to Morgan, though Anne was pregnant (not an unusual [...]


    26. I received this book in exchange for my review as part of the First Reads program.I am a huge Shakespeare fan and Jude Morgan gives us another way to look at this prolific writer. He has taken what little we know about the man and fleshed out his history so that Shakespeare becomes less of a legend and more of a real person. We see Shakespeare as he really might have been and how his career might have come to be. Jude Morgan gives us one possible story.I appreciate the amount of time that Jude [...]


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