Lo and behold, look what I just found at my local bookstore: my author friend Mary Sharratt‘s new novel, The Dark Lady’s Mask! This is one I’ve been eager to read for some time. Here’s the backstory:
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 gain freedoms only men enjoy, until 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, leaving 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 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.
Long time visitors to this blog may recall I reviewed Mary’s Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen some time ago, as well as interviewed her about Daughters of the Witching Hill. To cut to the chase, I was deeply moved by both books. Mary has a true gift for bringing light to the hidden lives of women. The Dark Lady’s Mask promises to be just as enthralling. What’s not to like about a novel exploring the story behind Shakespeare’s secret muse?
Learn more about The Dark Lady’s Mask here.
Now that my Bad Princess news is out in the world*, here’s a sample of what I’m reading these days. Each of these are fascinating in their own way.
I have a June deadline for this book, so I am very nose-to-the-grindstone in the studio. Though much of the book is mapped out, there’s still much to do. I’m fortunate to be enjoying such good reading along the way.
*After my announcement on Facebook and Twitter, I was astounded by all the lovely messages. Please know how grateful I am for all of your kind wishes about Bad Princess!
Bad Princess will be published in time for the 2017 holiday season. Interweaving royal biography, history, and pop culture with insight, Bad Princess is a witty and fascinating examination of all things pink and royal. It offers a thinking girl’s look at what it means to be a princess, enabling her to reclaim this most feminine of role models—whether or not it involves glass slippers and a gown.
So hooray! More news coming soon—and back to work I go.
Can you believe this is Brooklyn? Photographed recently near my home.
Photographed this morning in the Blue House garden.
Proof that spring is coming, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now.