A Memorable Shakespeare
I am new to Jude Morgan, so did not know what to expect. Attracted by the title, I was not sure at first whether the style of writing would defeat me, but within a few pages I was hooked. Gradually, Wm Shakespeare, this extraordinary man of whom we know little apart from his work, became a living, breathing person. What caught me most of all was the feeling – common to many actors – that he was empty, did not really exist except through the characters he portrayed on stage. That openness, that emptiness, was gradually filled by his writing, and his own experience of life as he grew older.
As to where his writing came from, Jude Morgan suggested that very well without going into detail. I found myself thinking further about that, and filling in the gaps myself. Shakespeare’s relationships – his difficult father, his wife Anne, his children and his theatrical friends – were completely convincing. The strange ‘dark lady’, damaged though she was, also struck a most believable note.
I have just finished the book, and am feeling satisfied by the ending – but also sad. I wanted it to go on – which has to be the best compliment of all. As an historical novelist myself – one who has also depicted real people in my work – I take my hat off to Jude Morgan. He has, like Hilary Mantel, shown us ‘a version’ of history, and given us, in the telling, a memorable, human, and lovable Mr Shakespeare.