Author: Mary Sharratt

Blog Book Tour | “The Dark Lady’s Mask” by Mary Sharratt

Posted Wednesday, 24 August, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “The Dark Lady’s Mask” direct from the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I wanted to read this novel about William Shakespeare:

Ahead of sharing my love of Shakespeare, I am celebrating the return of being able to read a novel of Mary Sharratt for review on Jorie Loves A Story! Whilst I was a 1st Year Book Blogger (observed my 3rd blog birthday earlier this month on the 6th of August), I had the pleasure of joy reading Illuminations: {A novel of Hildegard von Bingen} as my debut review for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in November, 2013! The novel introduced me to an enriched version of reading biographies – an introduction that would carry me forward into the wonderful world of what I refer to as ‘Biographical Historical Fiction’; a mainstay of my reading queues! As routed through this category of interest!

From that foundation, I started to seek out traditional biographies and memoirs, under the new vein of interest called ‘Creative Non-Fiction’ where the stories are threaded through an emotional contextual core of narrative. For you see, if I hadn’t first read Illuminations all the lovelies I’ve been discovering since might not have alighted in my hands to read. Mary Sharratt truly opened my mind and eyes to how a story could be told whilst peering back into the historical past through a living history of a person who once lived. Her style of the craft is quite acutely realistic for the time periods she’s exploring; she has a conviction of setting with a lifeblood of drawing characters out of the wells of history to give us a resounding portrait of ‘who once lived’ can live once again in our own imaginations.

You see, I fell in love with reading Shakespeare when I was fourteen; prior to that year, (as a freshman in high school) I knew of the Bard far more than I had read his works. I was smitten by the idea of what a Shakespearean play would contain but I had not started reading his works until it became required reading. Ironic, no? Of those readings (Romeo & Juliet & Julius Caesar), it was my readings of Caesar that staid with me the most! I liked the tenacity of the piece and the guttingly humanistic emotional tides ebbing in and out of the realisation of how the conspirators befell a leader. There was such a lot of dramatic eclipse in that back-story, I daresay, right then and there, I should have realised how much I would come to appreciate reading Historical Fiction! If only hindsight were available,..

I was gifted a portable collection of Shakespeare’s works for my four and twenty birthday, a fact that isn’t lost on me now that I’m in the latter years of my twentytens; of which selections of plausible readings are listed on my own Classics Club List where they lie in wait for me to soak inside their stories. It isn’t that I have balked at reading more Shakespeare, it’s the mere fact I simply haven’t felt in ‘the mood’ to re-enter his works. There are moments where I distinctively feel literature is based on our moods; this clearly is one of them! Another example would be my distance from the ghost stories of Heather Graham; for me, those require a certain atmosphere to enjoy (i.e. thunderstorms).

As so much has become disputed and/or proved in regards to Shakespeare’s legacy and identity, I felt it was proper time to delve into a portion of the history surrounding him I haven’t yet learnt of first-hand. This is where reading Biographical HistFic is especially fun for me! I get to tuck inside the research and the visionary plausibilities of where known fact and supposition reside to paint an image of ‘what could have been’ and very much could honestly be the living testament of a person who lived so very long ago!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “The Dark Lady’s Mask” by Mary SharrattThe Dark Lady's Mask
by Mary Sharratt
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

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, 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.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780544300767

Also by this author: Illuminations: {A novel of Hildegard von Bingen}

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

on 19th April, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 416

Published ByHoughton Mifflin Harcourt (@HMHCo)

Converse via: #TheDarkLadysMask, #Shakespeare + #HistFic
Available Formats: Hardcover, Trade Paperback & Ebook

Read about Aemilia Bassano Lanier via Poetry Foundation

Read Ms Sharratt’s blog post about The Dark Lady’s Mask via Feminism & Religion

About Mary Sharratt

Mary Sharratt

MARY SHARRATT is an American writer who has lived in the Pendle region of Lancashire, England, for the past seven years. The author of the critically acclaimed novels Summit Avenue, The Real Minerva, and The Vanishing Point, Sharratt is also the co-editor of the subversive fiction anthology Bitch Lit, a celebration of female antiheroes: strong women who break all the rules.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
Divider

Posted Wednesday, 24 August, 2016 by jorielov in 16th Century, Aemilia Bassano Lanier, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, Classical Literature, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, William Shakespeare

tCC (the Classics Club) | The #Classics Spin #8 eek! too wicked awesome for words! my first tCC Spin!

Posted Friday, 7 November, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 11 Comments

The Classics Club badge by Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story

Official Blurb & Rules: 

It’s time for another Classics Spin for any who are interested. What is the spin?

It’s easy. At your blog, by next Monday, November 10, list your choice of any twenty books you’ve left to read from your Classics Club list — in a separate post.

This is your Spin List. You have to read one of these twenty books in November & December. (Details follow.) So, try to challenge yourself. For example, you could list five Classics Club books you are dreading/hesitant to read, five you can’t WAIT to read, five you are neutral about, and five free choice (favorite author, rereads, ancients — whatever you choose.)

Next Monday, we’ll post a number from 1 through 20. The challenge is to read whatever book falls under that number on your Spin List, by January 5, 2015. We’ll have a check in here in January, to see who made it the whole way and finished the spin book.

Try to challenge yourself: list five you are dreading/hesitant to read, five you can’t WAIT to read, five you are neutral about, and five free choice (favorite author, rereads, ancients — whatever you choose.)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

5 Choices to Celebrate my participation in Sci Fi November: (SPIN 1-5)

  1. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  2. A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
  3. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
  4. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
  5. Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

5 Choices of Novels I am trepideriously curious about reading: (SPIN 6-10)

  1. The Murders of the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe
  2. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  3. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
  4. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
  5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

10 Novels I am wicked happy about Reading Next: (SPIN 11-20)

  1. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
  2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  3. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe (Lucky 13!)
  4. Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt
  5. The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley
  6. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  7. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
  8. Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
  9. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
  10. The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

I honestly haven’t had the proper chance to participate too much in The Classics Club for the first year I am a tenure in the club! I felt for sure I’d be visiting a heap of lovely clubbers throughout the book blogosphere, whilst participating in all the wicked fun activities that the club puts together for us to enjoy! However, 2014 proved to be a bit more unique as time went forward and thus, I have found myself on the fringes of being in the tCC rather than being directly apart of the community itself! So much so, that I honestly only remember joining in for ONE (oy vie!) club check-in and recently and I only recently published my thoughts on a collection of ghost stories by Edith Wharton (one review in twelvemonths? ohh, dear!)!

I even lost the hours to join in the wicked joy of being a part of Austen in August — whilst reminding myself that Austen can be appreciated any month of the year, and this year, I am picking *December!* as my Austen in Reading month! I am going to be blogging my visits within the joy of my first readings of the following:

Mansfield Park | Northanger Abbey | Persuasion

And, if I hadn’t been tweeting about the ghost stories by Wharton, I never would have had the beautifully lovely convo with the Wharton enthused ladies I met who have inspired me to combine my readings of Austen with Wharton between December & January respectively! (shared the convo on my interview with Marcia DeSanctis) I am going to put together a bit of an official RAL for the authors, and encourage anyone who wants to join me to do so! Especially the ladies who were involved with the tweeting!

I read the tCC updates by email subscription, as when I first read about the Spin this time round, I misunderstood the deadline completely and therefore, when Lost Generation Reader sent out this tweet: 

I had the happy-go-lucky moment of realising I could FINALLY play the SPIN! It was a wicked sweet moment, truly! And, now without further adieu I wanted to explain my choices!

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells | One of my focus tracks during SFN is a continuation of exploring “Time Travel”, and as I had declared last year, I have never had the honour of reading the one book I always felt set the stage for the stories published after it’s release; The Time Machine is simply a classic on a lot of different levels! To read my thoughts on Time Travel as a Focus Track, please visit the post I wrote for SFN 2013 which will become expanded for SFN 2014 this weekend!

A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge | One of my favourite branches of science fiction in tv series & motion picture is Space Opera, except when I stop to consider how much I’ve honestly read within this sub-genre I come up short each time I try to set a list to mind. This is one of my choices to branch into a beloved section of the genre and to seek out stories that take place in the cosmos and beyond our share of the universe.

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson | One of my favourite characters in the world of Star Trek is “Seven of Nine” who embraced the technology of nanos as much as giving credit to how a character you once would have feared has a way of transitioning into a character you are quite attached to rallying behind. This novel explores nanotechnology & artificial intelligence in a way that I felt befit exploring and taking a step outside the world of Trek.

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson | Ever since I was quite young scientists have been attempting to sort out ‘the next planet’ where man can continue to thrive within the range of planets outside our obit. Mars was always on the top level of choices and somewhere within the race to settle ourselves on Mars and the pursuit of seeing how far we have gone to create a plausible way to move there; I became quite enthralled in the science articles and non-fiction works which defended the choice. Robinson’s series was found whilst I was caught up in the race for Mars.

Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke | Quite literally one of my regrets as a letter-writer was not reaching out by pen and paper to Mr Clarke who passed before I found the courage to draft a letter to him. The Rama series has been on my list of ‘next reads’ long before I discovered the online bookish culture and world of book bloggers; it felt fitting to include this on my first SPIN!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Murders of the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe | Although I established a newfound respect and admiration for Poe whilst reading Mrs. Poe on a blog tour earlier this year, I am still curiously cautious about reading his collective works! If any book would put me betwixt and between knowing whether or not I wanted to read it, this surely qualifies!

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh | Quite happily I found the newest adaption for this classic novel on dvd earlier in the year, and soon after I had joined tCC officially! It was one of two dvd collections based on classic novels I had hoped would not only encourage me to expand my tCC List but encourage me forward towards reading the classics on a more regularly basis! Clearly I sidestepped a bit from that goal, but there was always a twitch of anxiety to begin this one for me.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë | My only attachment to the Brontë’ sisters is my readings of Jane Eyre which began during the Septemb-Eyre RAL in 2013; a RAL I had meant to continue forward with in step with the reading pace of my classically passionate friend Maggie (previously of ‘An American in France’ thus redefined as ‘Macarons & Paperbacks’) — yet haven’t yet found the hours to pick up from whence I left off! This includes an attempt to read Eyre during Horror October! Oy vie. I have had my eyes on her sisters for awhile and felt it was a fitting time to include one of them on this list; yet a bit daunting too, as I know their styles are entirely different from one another!

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell | I am personally a champion & enthused reader of Gaskell without ever once reading one of her novels! I had an instant connection to Gaskell first and foremost as a fellow writer (the appreciation I am referencing here also applies to Austen) and then shifted into the merriment of a reader who was discovering the breadth of her work whilst researching the life she lived. This was actually a purchase request I turnt in at my local library whereupon they acquired a beautiful hardback copy of the novel and the BBC/Masterpiece PBS adaptation of the novel at the same time. In hindsight, I wanted to read the novel prior to seeing the mini-series yet I ended up seeing Part 1 of the mini-series and as I was left emotionally shattered I never picked up the book! I have since spoilt myself on spoilers and learnt at least that I can handle what happens in Part 2! Only just barely! Hence why this is under the 5 novels I’m a bit unsure if whether or not I’m ready to read them!

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy | I recently felt re-inspired to start reading War and Peace due to my recent visit with #LitChat where I had the pleasure of talking about the novel I have been attempting to read since February! In fact, my War and Peace main post will finally publish on my blog this weekend as I simply haven’t had the proper chance to conclude my thoughts on how I want to read it and why I felt 2014 was the right year to tackle the breadth that is Tolstoy! Therefore, this is an obvious choice for me to include under the thread of a ‘daunting’ read, as who tackles War and Peace followed by Anna Karenina!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier | A lot of the books I want to read follow in sequence after reading Rebecca; within the last year alone I have stumbled across sequel authors and/or continuations of the story Du Maurier inspired from her original work. It is a novel I have wanted to start for a long time but I felt it might be the interesting to see if it comes up in the SPIN.

The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern | Of all the different start times I’ve tried to get into The Night Circus, it was last Christmas (2013) when I nearly found myself able to stay with the story! I heard a bit about this prior to becoming curious about reading it myself — but to be honest, I found it through my local library before anyone started to talk about it exclusively one way or the other. It is what I read on the opening pages that has kept my attention for nearly a full year! I want to know more of this story and perhaps now I can!?

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe | This was one of my personal gifts to myself for one of my birthdays, where I wanted to try to find a new author who was writing an incredible novel set in an era that either I had an interest to dig into more and/or was a new thread of story that held my attention as soon as I read the premise. Deliverance Dane fit that part of history where witch hunts and prejudice against people who were living a different life were running rampant against the truth of who they actually were.

Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt | Prior to reading Illuminations, I enjoyed learning more about the author via her website where I found a bit of a back-story on why she wrote Daughters of the Witching Hill and the measure of truth her own research yielded to become revealed on the historical women she rooted her story to focus on. It was such a captivating premise within an enriched part of the historical past that is not always given a focus in modern literature. I originally foresaw reading this alongside Deliverance Dane and will do so if one of them pops up in the SPIN!

The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley | Even before one of the Mods for #LitChat approached me about conversing about reading this novel, I had already earmarked myself to read this particular title! This is another classic example of the beautiful books I discover through browsing my local library’s card catalogue! I get excited seeing which books are being added to the collection as a whole and which new authors are penning stories who write outside the regular releases to wink at you to read!

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith | Earlier in 2014 or late in 2013, I had the pleasure of seeing a motion picture adaptation of this on Turner Classic Movies (TCM), although at the time I hadn’t been aware of that fact! There was a turning point in the film where I sort of put the pieces together for myself, to where I realised the title of the film and the fact it was a film based off a novel I had already thought to add to my tCC List! As even back in 2013, I was planning the books I would include on the list once I had my blog set-up to where I could join!

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender | A library find I was uncertain at first if I truly wanted to read because it was such a clever story that steps outside it’s own shelving spot! I like stories which push themselves out of a ‘genre’ designation because at the end of the day, I thrive on the craft of stories and the gift of story-telling; to me a story’s genre selection is not as important as the story within the pages of the novel! As I was setting up this list I saw the title on my tCC List and felt, “Why not?”

Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery | I honestly attempted to borrow this from a local library attached to a church I was attending in 2013 but the hours were not in my favour as the borrow time was limited. What fascinated me the most is there was a whole new series of novels by Montgomery I hadn’t discovered when I was younger! I am not sure how I missed Emily of New Moon when I devourted Anne of Green Gables!?

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen + The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni| For my last two selections I wanted to take a bit of a magical diversion in my reading selections as both The Sugar Queen & The Mistress of Spices are selections I made for reading more “Magical Realism”. They are not the only ones I choose to focus on for this SPIN either, but these two particular novels have enchanted me since I first breathed in their book synopsises and/or since I saw the film adaptation! There is a beautifully eloquent Bollywood inspired film for The Mistress of Spices (of which I have blogged about in the past) whose dream sequences, musical interludes, and the setting of the story at a spice market left me bewitched! I have wanted to read the novel ever since I first saw Aishwarya Rai on screen for the first time!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Reader Interactive Question:

Are any of my SPIN choices a novel that interests you?

Have you previously read one of them? IF so, include a link in your comment!

How do you curate your SPIN lists for tCC?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

UPDATE: 10th Monday, November 2014

Ooh, this is seriously beyond exciting!! Not only did I get a book I had put on my ‘short list’ of hopefuls to come out of the SPIN *but!* the tCC SPIN # is my LUCKY 13! I am over the moon in wicked sweet joy for this tCC SPIN READ! Ooh, boy! I’m simply bursting! Talk about a book I’ve been wanting to read for half an age and never could get myself motivated to pick it up!? Ooh, boy!

Lest I mention the tCC published a stellar survey for members!

Monday this week simply ROCKS!

For three key reasons:

  1. My SPIN # Choice is bang-on brilliant!
  2. I’m blogging & sharing my thoughts on book 2 of
    Piercing the Veil this evening!
  3. A new fun-loving survey about *books!* & my admiration for the *classics!*

How’s your Classic SPIN Monday going!?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The first 5 Classic Science Fiction Book Selections are part of my contribution of:

SFN 2014 Participant badge created by Jorie in Canva

{SOURCE: Wildlife photography by Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story, badge edited & created in PicMonkey by Jorie. Sci Fi Month badge created by Jorie in Canva.Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Divider

Posted Friday, 7 November, 2014 by jorielov in Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Discussions, British Literature, Children's Classics, Children's Literature, Classic Horror, Classic Mystery, Classic Science Fiction, Classical Literature, Crime Fiction, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Library Catalogues & Databases, Library Find, Literary Fiction, Literature of India, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, RALs | Thons via Blogs, Reading Challenges, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction, tCC The Classics Club, tCC The Classics Club SPIN, Time Travel

Page 1 of 212