It is January of 1616, and Will Shakespeare, retired to Stratford-upon-Avon, decides to confess his youth in writing. Will begins his story with his teenage pranks of stealing apples and poaching hares. When a deer is accidentally snared, he flees while his friend and accomplice Ned is arrested and jailed. He stays with an influential former teacher, Mr. John Cotton, who quickly becomes more than that. Then at Cotton’s instigation, Will joins a traveling summer theatre company where he first begins to hone his skills. Two years later, he is back at Stratford and marries Anne Hathaway. Soon after, he is off to London where he becomes, in every way, an intimate friend of Kit Marlowe, a talented aspiring play writer and competitor. Thus begins his early adventures.
Bruce Cook’s fictional account provides a lively, imaginative story of young William Shakespeare. He casts Will, Kit Marlowe, the Dark Lady of the Sonnets, and a host of other historical characters in a story of political intrigue, egotism, creativity, and intense emotional and sexual passion. A fascinating portrait of a foul, dangerous yet energetic London is the setting for the action and intrigue surrounding young Will. This is fascinating historical fiction.