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Hamnet [9781472223821]

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** WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2020 **

A stunning new departure for Maggie O'Farrell's fiction - the heart-stopping story behind Shakespeare's most famous play.

On a summer's day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home?

Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week.

Hamnet is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. It is also the story of a flea that boards a ship in Alexandria; a kestrel and its mistress; and a glovemaker's son who flouts convention in pursuit of the woman he loves.

Above all, it is a tender and unforgettable reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written.

 


AUTHOR: Maggie O'Farrell is the author of the Sunday Times no. 1 bestselling memoir I AM, I AM, I AM, and eight novels: AFTER YOU'D GONE, MY LOVER'S LOVER, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX, THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, INSTRUCTIONS FOR A HEATWAVE, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award, THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Novel Award, and HAMNET. She lives in Edinburgh.

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SKU:
9781472223821
ISBN13:
9781472223821
Availability:
Delivery usually in 2-6 working days.
Author:
Maggie O'Farrell
Publisher:
Tinder Press
Publication:
01-Apr-2021
Format:
Paperback
Pages:
384
Chart Position:
8
Weight:
338 Grams
  • 4
    Hamnet

    Posted by Rita Banfield on 23rd May 2021

    A good reading very evocative of the life and times of Shakespearean England. It took me a little while to understand the jumping from generation to generation but the relationships being explored through this novel are a fascinating insight into the family lives of those living in the shadow of death in the family and the effects on their relationships.

  • 1
    Hamnet

    Posted by Chritstine Shepherd on 8th May 2021

    Dreadful - didn't like the style at all -had three tries at reading it, sorry, hated it - love books about Shakespeare but just couldn't get away witht he way this one is written

  • 5
    A fine evocation of Shakespeare's Stratford and the repercussions of losing a child

    Posted by Carl Merry. on 19th Apr 2021

    This is an almost faultless novel and one which the reader will be unable to put down. The sights and smells of 16th century Stratford on Avon are so clearly presented by the author that one is transported to that time and place. The descriptive passages are memorable leading the reader deeper into the lives of, and tensions within, the Shakespeare family. All the ingredients for tragedy are present within the family with the father, John, dominating and belittling his "witless" son; Mother Mary at odds with her son's wife Agnes, and Agnes herself at odds with the world. When tragedy finally strikes it is the arrival of plague in the house and the death of Hamnet while her husband is in London. Now Agnes has to face up to the decisions she has made and finds herself uncertain for the first time in her life. She is not helped by the discovery of the title of her husband's latest play.

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