Cover image for Will
Tiffany, Grace, 1958-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Berkley Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
403 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


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FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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From the pen of Grace Tiffany, a Renaissance scholar and Shakespeare historian, leaps a wild, vivid tale that brings William Shakespeare to life. Will has left Stratford for London and pitched himself headlong into the chaotic, perilous world of the theatre. Through raw will - and an amazing gift for words - he raises himself from poor player to master playwright. But as his success earns him great pleasure and adoration from others, it also draws the jealous wrath of Christopher Marlowe, a baby-faced genius whose anger is as punishing as his poetry is sweet...

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Tiffany, author of My Father Had a Daughter (2003), which was a tale about Shakespeare's youngest daughter, Judith, tackles the life and work of the master himself here. As a boy, young Will admires his uncle, Edward Arden, who has an extensive library that he allows Will to use. It is Arden's eventual execution that sets Will against the monarchy and sets the stage for his complex relationship with Queen Elizabeth. After marrying Anne Hathaway and having three children with her, Will sets off for London to make his fortune. He is captivated by a group of players he witnesses putting,\b and he falls in with the theatrical literary crowd in London, including Thomas Kyd and rambunctious Christopher Marlowe. Both his patron, the young and almost pretty Henry Wriothesley, for whom Will writes sonnets, and the dark lady, Emilia, make appearances and capture Will's attentions and affections. For those who want to be immersed in the vibrant world of sixteenth-century London and the life of the great writer, this lively, boisterous novel will have much appeal. --Kristine Huntley Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Shakespeare scholar Tiffany, who had focused on the life of Shakespeare's daughter, Judith, in her debut novel, My Father Had a Daughter, now chronicles the life of the Bard himself. She opens with a young Will in school, failing miserably at Latin translations, before moving on to adulthood, marriage, his discovery of the theater, success as a playwright, and, finally, the burning of the Globe Theater. These events come across as minor because Tiffany focuses on Shakespeare's psyche and his motivations for writing, which are as complex as they are numerous, ranging from politics and love to abandonment and betrayal. There can be no doubting Tiffany's comprehensive historical research, which flavors her elegant prose. However, she is overly frugal in her use of background information, so those not fully versed in Elizabethan politics and Shakespeare's plays will be bored. Recommended only for large academic and public libraries.-Karen T. Bilton, Somerset Cty. Lib. Syst., Bridgewater, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-Tiffany's informative account of Shakespeare and his world weaves fact and fiction in a historically accurate setting. The colorful tale starts when young Will discovers the beauty of the written word not in the airless schoolroom where he spends his days copying Latin phrases, but in his Uncle Edward's library. He reads voraciously and learns much about the world from the books and from the perilous climate of religious intolerance. As events continue, he weds Anne Hathaway, and they have three children. He yearns to be a playwright, and his restlessness compels him to journey to London where he meets Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, and other famous contemporaries, all of whom influence his work. As he gains fame, he misses his family in Stratford, but his passion for the world of the stage overwhelms familial desires. This novel, by the author of My Father Had a Daughter (Berkley, 2003), which is about Judith Shakespeare, gives readers a wonderfully intimate view of day-to-day life in Shakespeare's England. Historical details, such as references to the plague and to fickle Queen Elizabeth, all help make this novel come alive. Teens will enjoy the brisk pace, colorful characters, and conflicts and successes in the life of this literary giant.-Susanne Bardelson, Kitsap Regional Library, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.