The Dark Lady's Mask

Mary Sharratt

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The Dark Lady's Mask

The Dark Lady's Mask By Mary Sharratt The Dark Lady s Mask Shakespeare in Love meets Shakespeare s Sister in this novel of England s first professional woman poet and her collaboration and love affair with William Shakespeare London Aemilia Bassano Lani

  • Title: The Dark Lady's Mask
  • Author: Mary Sharratt
  • ISBN: 9780544300767
  • Page: 491
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Dark Lady's Mask By Mary Sharratt Shakespeare in Love meets Shakespeare s Sister in this novel of England s first professional woman poet and her collaboration and love affair with William Shakespeare.London, 1593 Aemilia Bassano Lanier is beautiful and accomplished, but her societal conformity ends there She frequently cross dresses to escape her loveless marriage and to gain freedoms only men enjoy, buShakespeare in Love meets Shakespeare s Sister in this novel of England s first professional woman poet and her collaboration and love affair with William Shakespeare.London, 1593 Aemilia Bassano Lanier is beautiful and accomplished, but her societal conformity ends there She frequently cross dresses to escape her loveless marriage and to gain freedoms only men enjoy, but a chance encounter with a ragged, little known poet named Shakespeare changes everything.Aemilia grabs at the chance to pursue her long held dream of writing and the two outsiders strike up a literary bargain They leave plague ridden London for Italy, where they begin secretly writing comedies together and where Will falls in love with the beautiful country and with Aemilia, his Dark Lady Their Italian idyll, though, cannot last and their collaborative affair comes to a devastating end Will gains fame and fortune for their plays back in London and years later publishes the sonnets mocking his former muse Not one to stand by in humiliation, Aemilia takes up her own pen in her defense and in defense of all women.The Dark Lady s Mask gives voice to a real Renaissance woman in every sense of the word.
    The Dark Lady's Mask By Mary Sharratt

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      Published :2020-01-03T00:17:57+00:00

    One thought on “The Dark Lady's Mask

    1. Erin on said:

      Find this and other reviews at flashlightcommentary.I wish I could say Mary Sharratt s The Dark Lady s Mask was the first fictional adaptation of Aemilia Bassano Lanier s life that I d encountered, but that honor goes to Dark Aemilia A Novel of Shakespeare s Dark Lady by Sally O Reilly My experience with the latter wasn t ideal as I ve issues with gratuitous vulgarity, but the source material left a certain impression and inspired a natural curiosity regarding the woman who inspired it which is [...]

    2. Wanda on said:

      This is a serviceable little historical fantasy If you are into all things Shakespeare or Aemilia Lanier, this book will be better for you than for others with no interest in either writer The author takes quite a lot of historical points and then, like one of those children s connect the dots pictures, creates an imaginative narrative that paints a picture that we may not have expected.The writing is solid, the connections are original, plenty of famous names appear in the pages, but I didn t f [...]

    3. Laurie on said:

      I greet a new Mary Sharratt novel like I would someone who brought me 5 lbs of See s Candy and the news that I was no longer a diabetic In this novel, Sharratt takes on the story of Aemilia Bassano Lanier, the woman who may have been Shakespeare s Dark Lady the story is definitely up to the author s usual standard Lanier was the first Englishwoman to be a professional, paid, poet This, and running a short lived school for girls, was how she made her living The cost of publishing her writing was [...]

    4. ♥ Marlene♥ on said:

      First book of this excellent author I am not enjoying Perhaps it is because I hardly know a thing about Shakespeare and I am not very interested in him or perhaps because I do not care for the main character I do not know why but I have read 42% and still not liking it I just do not care for her I guess.Update Tried another time but just not my cup of tea but I am definitely going to read the next book by this author.

    5. Daniella Bernett on said:

      Fluid, elegant prose woven into the captivating and moving story of Amelia Bassano Lanier Mary Sharrat draws a vibrant portrait of women during the Renaissance, who were restrained by their sex and yearned for from life Their struggles mirror many of the same issues women face today The Dark Lady s Mask is as much about Amelia s doomed love affairs as it is a celebration of language and poetry, and the perseverance of the human spirit to never give up on one s dreams A delightful read from begi [...]

    6. Audra (Unabridged Chick) on said:

      Aemilia Lanier is credited as one of the first Englishwomen to publish their poetry with the intention of profit.The daughter of one of Queen Elizabeth s Italian court musicians, Aemilia received a fabulously deep education at the hands of two noblewomen, becoming well versed in Greek and Latin, as well as other contemporary languages Through her wit and beauty, she becomes mistress to Elizabeth s Lord Chamberlain before an accidental pregnancy sends her into a miserable arranged marriage.Happin [...]

    7. Karen Laird on said:

      THE DARK LADY S MASKByMary SharrattSYNOPSIS THE DARK LADY S MASK is the story of Aemilia Bassano Lanier 1569 1645 , the first professional woman poet in Renaissance England, and her collaboration and star crossed love affair with William Shakespeare, as his Dark Lady.Shakespeare in Love meets Shakespeare s Sister in this novel of England s first professional woman poet and her collaboration and love affair with William ShakespeareLondon, 1593 Aemilia Bassano Lanier is beautiful and accomplished, [...]

    8. Julianne Douglas on said:

      Once again, Mary Sharratt captivates readers with a compelling tale of an extraordinary woman carving a place for herself in a man s world THE DARK LADY S MASK fictionalizes the life of Aemilia Bassano Lanier, the first Englishwoman to claim the title of professional poet Lanier was also, according to many scholars, the Dark Lady of Shakespeare s sonnets Sharratt s Aemilia is, however, no mute object of the male poet s desire, but a full fledged collaborator in the writing of his comedies In fac [...]

    9. Gaele on said:

      AudioBook Review Stars Overall 4 Narration 5 Story 4 A fortuitous upbringing for a young woman, daughter of a court musician, was innovative and interesting in and of itself, as women, particularly those of less than noble birth, were commodities But the young Aemilia was fortunate enough to be blessed with brains and determination, allowing her to make the most of her education and entr e into society her guardians provided While still being constrained by the laws and customs of the time, she [...]

    10. Sarah on said:

      I had to laugh at the irony that I finished this book on the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare s death, and the book ended with his death Made me chuckle This book was an intriguing look at the world of Elizabethan England in all its finery and squalor The plight of women and artists in the time frame came to vivid life in Sharratt s hands.The author definitely didn t hold back in her descriptions of Elizabethan England, urban, court life, and sedate country estate Late 1500s life in Renaissance [...]

    11. Stephanie Ward on said:

      The Dark Lady s Mask A Novel of Shakespeare s Muse is a fascinating historical fiction novel that tells the story of Aemilia Bassano Lanier the little known collaborator and lover of William Shakespeare Not only does the book talk about Aemilia s writing, her love and then rejection by Shakespeare it draws a vivid portrait of all women during the Renaissance era I m not a regular reader of historical fiction, but I do read some especially if the subjects are some of my favorites Shakespeare bein [...]

    12. Abigail on said:

      Well well well what a book P To say the least I hated it But here s the longer version So the book starts off pretty good We have an interesting main character Aemilia, a young half Jew married to man she hates because she got pregnant out of wedlock Now if that s not an interesting premise I don t know what is But as the book goes on Aemilia gets less and less likable She s annoying character and I never connected with her The plot is okay, we follow Aemilia around England to Italy and back aga [...]

    13. Deborah Swift on said:

      It is a brave writer that sets out to tackle anything about William Shakespeare and how he wrote his plays Even so when the author posits the idea that Shakespeare relied on a female poet as his collaborator I dare say the novel will have its detractors, particularly those who find the portrait of Shakespeare doesn t live up to their expectations of him as a romantic hero But this is a superb novel that immerses the reader firmly into the seamy world of the Elizabethan Court, viewed through the [...]

    14. Annette on said:

      This is a story of two talented poets, Aemilia Bassano Lanier and William Shakespeare A 7 year old Aemilia grows up listening to her father stories of his native country Italy It sounds so enchanting to Aemilia, setting her on a dream to visit those lands She receives the identical grammar school education that a boy would receive between the ages of 7 and 14 She has passion for poetry and her first exposure of her talent is at the court of Elizabeth I As a young woman, when she meets Shakespear [...]

    15. Meg - A Bookish Affair on said:

      The Dark Lady s Mask is the story of Aemilia who is mostly known to history as William Shakespeare s mistress This has been oft questioned and disputed but this books drives forward under the premise that she was his mistress This book breathes life into a woman s story who has mostly been lost to history.I loved the character of Aemilia and I loved that Sharatt lets her truly stand on her own and out of Mr Shakespeare s shadow So much of the detail of her life seems to be lost to history and sh [...]

    16. Mirella on said:

      The Dark Lady s Mask is intriguing, especially because it is based on a true historical person who knew Shakespeare Aemilia was a writer herself, a poet who could read Greek and Latin Most fascinating of all is that she often wore male clothing and was well traveled In Mary Sharratt s novel, the premise is that she was not only Shakespeare s lover, but also his muse Although no one will ever know the secrets of their relationship this book was a great imagining of a possible love story between t [...]

    17. Jacqueline on said:

      I am still immersed in 17th C England and Italy Mary Sharratt s characters are so well fleshed out that you fell that you know them as friends Even her villains redeem themselves in the end Mary Sharratt is the type of author that writes with a gift Her descriptions paint a scene and her characters are deeply dimensional, layered, and authentic Her writing grace is hard to match as she writes beautifully and with purpose In The Dark Lady s Mask, Sharratt uses parallels between Lanier s life and [...]

    18. Davida Chazan on said:

      With all due respect for Sharratt s really nicely written prose, I was unable to finish reading this book I have a great love of historical fiction, and am willing to accept no small amounts of literary license when it comes to adjusting some facts to fit the story for example, it is possible that William Shakespeare could have been bi sexual However, I was unable to overcome the blatant rewriting of history to suspend belief when, in this novel, William Shakespeare is still an impoverished poet [...]

    19. Lois on said:

      A perfect novel for both historical fiction and Shakespearean enthusiasts, Mary Sharratt offers us a view into the world of Shakespearean England through young Aemillia Lanier, a female poet of these times She has struggles with gender and class as she was born the daughter of a musician She has access to the Elizabethan court as a child, but is not included due to her common birth.Aemillia is first shown as a young girl and we follow her into middle age We travel England and into Italy with her [...]

    20. Jo-Ann on said:

      This novel of Shakespeare s muse weaves in some of the history surrounding Shakespeare and the time he lived in It is first and foremost the story of a female poet who navigates a world where women s lives are defined and often circumscribed by the s, customs and laws of the times Aemilia Lanyer, the protagonist, refuses to be limited by these and finds a way to live her life in a manner consistent with her own beliefs and voice I am now curious to learn about Mrs Lanyer and will certainly read [...]

    21. Anne on said:

      As always, Mary Sharratt gives us a provocative female protagonist from history in her portrayal of Amelia Bassano Lanier, an Italian poet and playwright who lived in London and who might have inspired Shakespeare s Dark Lady of the sonnets Mary paints a vivid picture of the seamy side of London in the 16th century as well as the sun kissed countryside of the Veneto A very plausible theory on how Shakespeare came to use so many Italian themes and locations in his plays I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    22. Mary Jensen on said:

      This story was a fiction based on a never proved hypothesis that Shakespeare had a female muse that inspired co authored a number of his plays, specifically the comedies based in Italy It was well enough written that I continued to read, but it seemed a little long and of course, was written from a feminist point of view Not entirely agenda driven, but a bit heavy handed.

    23. OLT on said:

      What we don t know about historical figures could fill many books than the ones existing that contain what we actually do know So it s no wonder that so much historical fiction and speculation abounds Here we have Mary Sharratt filling in some blanks about Aemilia Bassano Lanier and her relationship to William Shakespeare in Sharratt s own version of what might have been and who might have been the Dark Lady of Shakespeare s sonnets and even perhaps the playwright behind Shakespeare s play writ [...]

    24. Stephanie on said:

      The Dark Lady s Mask follows Aemilia Bassano Lanier, Elizabethan poet and author of Salve Deus Rex Jud orum, as she goes from daughter of a court musician to educated young lady to courtesan to muse, mistress, and poet Sharratt takes inspiration from theories that Bassano is Shakespeare s Dark Lady, the subject of some of his most famous sonnets, but her interactions with the Bard are only one part of this woman s story Aemilia longs to be a poet in a society where women are expected to serve th [...]

    25. Riversue on said:

      This novel follows the life of Aemilia Bassano Lanier , Britain s first professional poet and her possible but not prove historically relationship with Shakespeare Sharratt has woven a wonderful spell that cleverly integrates many of Shakespeare s plays and sonnets by creating a world in which they exist For example, the Weir sisters, who work as Aemilia s housekeeper, maids etc , one of whom is an herbalist, thus showing the origin of the Weird sisters in Macbeth There are too many to mention h [...]

    26. Lizzy on said:

      A lovely, imaginative novel The author seamlessly wove in actual history of great ladies, Shakespeare, and women poets, along with her musings of what an affair might have been I loved learning about Aemilia, and appreciated the mild Jewish undertone as part of her story.

    27. Amanda on said:

      I ve checked this book out several times from the library and still can t get through it The writing is good as well as the characters and storyline but for some reason it doesn t grab me I ve since had to move onto another book Maybe I ll return to this one later to give it another go.

    28. Kathy on said:

      Interesting premise that Aemilia Lanier was Shakespeare s dark muse Nothing particularly thought provoking though Read much like a romance novel with historical overtones.

    29. Judy G on said:

      Very well written historical fiction of a woman who was lovers w Shakespeare and how much of it is true is unknown as said by the author Mary Sharratt She did excellent writing here kept me enthralled and struck by how difficult it is and was then for woman Judy

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