Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Interred with their Bones

Interred with their Bones
by Jennifer Lee Carrell
Dutton Books 2007

I'm reading this for the Bibliography Challenge even though it's actually about Shakespeare, but I wanted to post it here, (rather than BiblioShakespeare) because it was a great novel. I really really enjoyed it. I also learnt a lot of new things. And when a book is written in such a way that I learn new stuff, that's when I enjoy it.

As most of you know there are many many theories on who really wrote Shakespeare's plays. And all these theories claim that one man wrote them. Usually it was not Shakespeare because he was only a wool merchant, barely educated, and he never travelled to Europe, so how could he have written about foreign places and customs?

This novel posits a new theory - something I had never heard or read of before. All the facts it mentions actually make sense. The evidence does seem to fit.

The novel starts with Katherine Stanley (Kate - an American) working at the New Globe Theatre in London, England as a director. She is directing HAMLET and the play is due to open in a few weeks. But one day Kate's mentor shows up to tell Kate something important. Within a matter of hours, Roz (the mentor) is dead and the Globe has gone up in flames. Kate goes on the run to find whatever it was that Roz found, accompanied by a man who claims to be Roz's nephew. His name is Ben Pearl.

The search is for the manuscript of one of Shakespeare's lost plays, called Cardenio.

The search takes Kate from England to USA, to Spain, back to England, and then back to the United States. Along the way Kate is attacked a number of times, and every person she meets with, in her search, is killed shortly after she speaks with them. Kate is listed as the number one murder suspect.

This novel covers many topics such as Shakespeare, Delia Bacon, Renaissance England, and the intrigues of life at Queen Elizabeth's court.

I had never heard of Delia Bacon, (February 2, 1811 - September 2, 1859), but she was a real person, and she was the first modern scholar to come up with a theory that Sir Francis Bacon was the real author of the Shakespeare plays. But back in the 1800s when she was writing her book The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakespere Unfolded, she was laughed at, and called a crackpot. Delia went mad and eventually died in a mental asylum.

If you want something new about Shakespeare, if you want to learn lots of new information, and learn a whole new theory that is not common knowledge, then you will enjoy this wild ride.

I give it 5 out 5.

1 comment:

Charlene Martel said...

This book sounds great. Thanks for the great review of it and I will be adding it to be TBR list for sure!