The Gentleman Poet: A Novel Of Love, Danger, And Shakespeare's The Tempest (2010)
The Gentleman Poet: A Novel of Love, Danger, and Shakespeare's The Tempest (2010)
3.39 of 5 Votes: 3
0061965316 (ISBN13: 9780061965319)
William Morrow Paperbacks
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This is an enjoyable tale of a ship caught in a hurricane on its way to America in 1609. Servant girl Elizabeth Persons has a premonition in the form of a severe headache which is followed by a storm-tossed sea which wrecks the ship on the shore of the Bermudas. Elizabeth is caught up in trying to please the woman she serves, following the captain's orders, and an attraction to the ship's young cook. Trying to survive on this land rumored to possess evil spirits and dangerous natives is a challenge and an adventure. Elizabeth finds help and strength in a new friendship with the ship's historian, 'the gentleman poet' by the name of William Strachey. In reality he is William Shakespeare, traveling under an assumed name for reasons known only to himself. This is the adventure he will use to write The Tempest. I had the pleasure of meeting Kathryn Johnson in 2013 when she was a member of a panel discussion about inspirations for historical fiction. It was so interesting to hear how she came to write this imagined story with Shakespears as a character. I just had to buy it and was not disappointed. I read this book for a book group and have yet to go to the discussion, but wanted to get out my impressions before they were convoluted by others' opinions :) So, this book was good, but not great. It was engaging and I read it pretty quickly but I really thought it lacked the well-rounded perspective of a satisfying historical fiction novel! When I read historical fiction, I want to learn something! The lack of details and historical information and fairly narrow focus on the romantic relationship left it as general fiction, at which point I can say it was OK. As general fiction goes, I can appreciate the story and admit I loved the romantic notion of Shakespeare being part of the company and the adventure inspiring the Tempest. I thought the author was creative to use those events and spin them into a tale. Though it was a little too focused on love-making, I would recommend it to someone who was mature enough for those kinds of scenes and conversations and who was looking for general fiction based loosely on an event from history.
Interesting premise but not believable. Still, not bad for historical fiction.
Not the most challenging but enjoyable for an easy beach read.
One of the books available in the book kits at our library.
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