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Shakespeare's Mistress: The Mystery of the Dark Lady Revealed [Hardcover]

Aubrey Burl
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 20.00
Price: 17.34 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

12 Jun 2012
She is a mystery without a name. The years when she brought delight, desire and disgust to Shakespeare came after the Spanish Armada of 1588 and before the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, a long, unsettled period of theatre, music, warfare and brutal death. Those years were dramatically rich. Shakespeare wrote plays including Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night, and King Lear. And he met the 'Dark Lady'. She was musical, alluring, married and faithless. Shakespeare never identified her. Scholars have - but for different women. She was well-born, or a slut, or a housewife, even a phantom of Shakespeare's poetical mind. She was an anchor and agony to him. His sonnets sang of her loveliness and cursed her for her infidelity. The quest to discover her name began in Elizabeth's reign, became an obsession in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and continues today. Card-sharps challenge passers by to 'find the lady' from one of the three playing-cards shown, turned upside-down and shuffled. Take your pick. Aubrey Burl's challenge also is to find her. But there is no deception. The 'Dark Lady' can be found in Shakespeare's unshuffled sonnets.Includes 40 illustrations - 8 in colour

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing; First Edition edition (12 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1445602172
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445602172
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 15.9 x 23.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,401,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Praise for Aubrey Burl: 'Aubrey Burl writes with skill and charm' NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS; 'Masterly - wonderfully readable' THE INDEPENDENT --The Independent

Praise for Aubrey Burl: 'Aubrey Burl writes with skill and charm' NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS; 'Masterly - wonderfully readable' THE INDEPENDENT --The Independant

About the Author

Aubrey Burl is an historian and archeologist of 40 years standing. He is Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and an Honorary Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. His other books include: The Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland & Brittany, A Brief History of Stonehenge, God's Heretics: The Albigensian Crusade, Prehistoric Avebury, and That Great Pyrate: Bartholomew Roberts and His Crew, 1718-1723. He lives in Birmingham.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars dreadful stuff 1 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a steaming heap of rocking-horse ordure this turned out to be. Good for a laugh I suppose, but if Amazon gave black marks as well as gold stars I would gladly give it four. I expect a supposed history book to contain history, facts, not wild imaginings based on nothing at all. Burl even makes up a name for Florio's wife before picturing 'Aline' and Shakespeare together at Titchfield Abbey (The Earl of Southampton's country estate) wandering the place as if they owned it and grabbing afternoons of passion in spare bedrooms. Florio had bought a house in Shoe Lane in London to house his family while he worked for the Earl as tutor and later, secretary. He did not take his wife and four kids to work. She and the three younger children died early, probably in the plague outbreak of 1592/3 and it is unlikely she ever met Shakespeare. (Just in case anyone is still interested in real history.) Burl should be writing steamy, bodice-ripper novels rather than history books if this is his path. I fear the success of Hilary Mantel has much to answer for. Dear historians, please behave yourselves and stick to the facts!
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