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The Final Act Of Mr Shakespeare

Robert Winder

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Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

In this fascinating and thrilling novel, Robert Winder brilliantly imagines the writing of Shakespeare's missing royal play, Henry VII, and creates a suspenseful page-turner as well as a literary tour de force.

In the spring of 1613 Mr William Shakespeare, a gentleman farmer in Warwickshire, returns to London. It is a ceremonial visit; he has no further theatrical ambitions. But the city is still reeling from the terrorist panic of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, and fate soon forces him to take up his pen again. It was never possible to write about Henry VII while his granddaughter Elizabeth was Queen, but now he must. It is a perilous enterprise: King James I's spies are everywhere.

There is no evidence that Shakespeare wrote Henry VII, but in a compelling piece of historical recreation, Robert Winder asks: what if he did After 400 years, he gives us a unique world premiere - a brand-new, full-length Shakespeare play.

The Final Act of Mr Shakespeare is an exhilarating portrait of England's greatest author - not in love but raging against the dying of the light. It is an outrageous tour de force of theatrical imagination, full of the spirit of the Bard.

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Robert Winder

Robert Winder was literary editor of the INDEPENDENT for 5 years. He has written two novels.

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