Much has been written about Shakespeare including recently a book which claims that Shakespeare was in fact a pen name used by the Earl of Oxford. Victoria Lamb has used her fiction to imagine another Shakespeare. We see him through the eyes of Lucy, a singer and entertainer in the court of Queen Elizabeth. He is presented as a talented and intelligent writer but also a poor husband and a roguish seducer. Despite his bad behaviour this is a Shakespeare the reader can't help liking. However this is very much Lucy's story. The book moves forward in time from the events of The Queen's Secret to a court which is beset by intrigue and plots against the Queen at every turn. It is now the 1580s a dark and tense time at the Elizabethan court. Catholic plots and assassins are a constant threat and Elizabeth must decide the fate of her imprisoned cousin Mary Queen of Scots. Lucy is in the thick of it all, a witness to the elicit marriage of the Queen's favourite Robert Dudley to her cousin Lettice Knollys and entrusted by her guardian Master Goodluck to carry a message to a trusted friend instead she finds herself threatened. Her relationship with Shakespeare threatens to destroy her precarious position at court and Just as Lucy keeps her secrets from the Queen it seems that Will Shakespeare is keeping secrets from her. Whether you have read the previous novel in the series or not this is a fantastic novel of romance, intrigue and adventure perfect for fans of S.J. Parris, Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory.
His Dark lady is available now in Hardback from Bantam Press