For every fact that we know about William Shakespeare, there is a myth, an unconfirmed rumor that we may never know the truth about.
Sally O’ Reilly’s new novel, Dark Aemilia: A Novel Of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady introduces the reader to a woman forgotten by the modern world. Aemilia Lanyer (nee Bassano) is the daughter of a Venetian musician. A favorite of Queen Elizabeth, she is mistress to the much older Lord Hunsdon. Meeting William Shakespeare, they have an ill fated affair resulting in her pregnancy.
Ten years later, the Plague has come to London. Aemilia is now married to her cousin, Alfonso. When the Plague enters her home and strikes her son, Aemilia will do anything protect her son, even if means going back to ex lover or making deals with dark forces.
I liked this book. This is not the first, nor will this be the last foray into Elizabethan England and the unconfirmed myths of that era’s most famous playwright. This book is rich in historical detail, but not bogged down by the facts. It’s a fun read, taking the reader on a journey and introducing us to a woman we should be celebrating as much as we do the Bard.
I recommend this book.