Thursday, August 28, 2014

Shakespeare's Dark Lady: The Lost Story of Aemilia Bassano Lanyer by Sally O'Reilly

Rating: ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Personal Kindle Library
Read: August 27, 2014

The real Aemilia Basano Lanyer was Renaissance woman, centuries ahead of her time. England’s first professionally-published female poet, she is also suspected to have inspired the poetry of one our greatest and most beloved writers, William Shakespeare—and she continues to inspire writers to this day. With Dark Aemilia, Sally O’Reilly gives us a richly imagined novel of this mysterious, and nearly forgotten, woman, and now, she invites us to discover Ameilia Lanyer first-hand. A collection of Shakespeare’s famed "Dark Lady" sonnets; fascinating and hard-to-find historical details; and Aemilia’s own provocative poetry, as well as exclusive excerpts from the novel; Shakespeare’s Dark Lady is a must-read for poetry lovers and the ideal companion to Sally O’Reilly’s stunning debut—a novel "filled with all the passion, drama, and magic of Elizabethan England"

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Not to be blunt, but this "book" is a bloody waste of time. The jacket description is misleading in that it gives the impression the title will offer some sort of insight to Aemilia's character when in fact is does nothing of the sort. 

The Dark Lady Sonnets by Shakespeare and Eve's Apologie by Aemilia Lanyer are freely available (I looked them up online) and I can't admire the attempt to fashion the Prologue, Chapter One and Historical Note from Dark Aemilia: A Novel of Shakespeare's Dark Lady into a teaser release as the novel's early pages are hardly indicative of its overall content. 

Honestly, I would have liked bonus material, maybe a scene from the book as witnessed by Lilith or Henry, but as it stands, I can't begin to understand what Macmillan is trying to do here.

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I am a witch for the modern age. I keep my spells small, and price them high . What they ask for is the same as always. The common spells deal in love, or what love is meant to make, or else hate, and what that might accomplish. I mean the getting of lovers or babies (or the getting rid of them) or a handy hex for business or revenge. When a spell works, they keep you secret, and take the credit. When it fails, of course, the fault is yours. So a witch is wise to be cautious, quiet, and hard to find.
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