FINALIST in Next Generation Indie Book Awards by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group
REVIEWERS ARE CALLING IT "A STUNNING ACHIEVEMENT,"
"A MUST READ ON THE TRUE AUTHORSHIP OF SOME OF SHAKESPEARE'S GREATEST WORK,"
"AN HISTORICAL WHO-WROTE-IT," "ENTHRALLING," "LOVINGLY RESEARCHED,"
"BELIEVABLE," "EXCELLENT," "A TRIBUTE TO A STRONG AND CREATIVE JEWISH WOMAN."
A NOVEL ABOUT THE JEWISH WOMAN WHO WROTE SHAKESPEARE'S SCRIPTS
Brimming with intrigue, SHAKESPEARE'S CONSPIRATOR shatters beliefs about the world's greatest playwright. Did he really write the thirty-seven plays credited to him?
It's 1587. Shakespeare is struggling to launch his career. Finally he persuades James Burbage, a theater owner, to stage Henry VI. Burbage is one of several proprietors who refused to look at Amelia Bassano's comedic script. Infuriated after being blocked at every turn, she reluctantly seals a secret pact with Shakespeare. So begins a fiery relationship that triggers suspicions, plots to expose them, and grave dangers.
Craving recognition and ways to break through, Amelia pursues illicit relationships with Elizabethan luminaries while becoming a controversial advocate for women. Scandals and complications follow as her life takes dreadful turns. When Shakespeare pressures her to write a soul-tormenting script, she fears being exposed as a hidden Jew, a felony in Elizabethan England. Undeterred, she embeds hints to her authorship and true identity in Shakespeare's plays. But not everyone is deceived. In this captivating story, the web of secrets and trail of clues reveals a perilous and cloaked Shakespearean world.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was the son of a glover (leather worker) in Stratford, England. Little is known about Shakespeare's personal life and education. It is assumed he attended King's New School until age 14. Thirty-seven plays and 154 sonnets, written over a span of 23 years, are credited to him—making him more prolific than all modern playwrights and almost all novelists. While he never left England, 50% of his scripts are set in foreign lands and reflect knowledge of many esoteric topics. How did he do it? Did he have a secret pact with Amelia Bassano Lanier? If so, why did he enter into it? How did it catapult his career? Was Amelia the "Dark Lady" in his sonnets? Why did he never acknowledge her? This novel presents possible scenarios.
Amelia Bassano Lanier (Lanyer) (1569-1645) was the daughter of a Jewish Venetian musician who played in the courts of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Was she Shakespeare's Conspirator? She was raised and educated from an early age by noblewomen after her father's death and lived in Venice at a key time. She became the first female poet and fourth woman to be published in England. She titled her "feminist" treatise Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (Latin for "Hail God, King of the Jews). Some scholars believe she wrote many of Shakespeare's scripts. This research-based novel speculates on why and how she might have. It portrays the dangers she may have endured, the cruel suspicions she may have aroused, and why she never received credit.
A Novel About Amelia Bassano Lanier and William Shakespeare—
and the Clues She Buried in His Scripts