The jealous King of Sicily becomes convinced that his wife is carrying the child of his best friend. Imprisoned and put on trial, the Queen collapses when the King refuses to accept the divine confirmation of her innocence. The child is abandoned to die on the coast of Bohemia. But when she is found and raised by a shepherd, it seems redemption may be possible.
About the Author
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born in Stratford-upon-Avon where his father was a prosperous glover. His early life is obscure, but he married Anne Hathaway in 1682 with whom he had two children. By 1592 he was establishing himself in London, and over the next twenty years he wrote thirty-seven plays-and contributed to many more-was a prolific poet, and was taken up by several influential patrons. His Sonnets were first printed in 1609 by George Eld for Thomas Thorpe. The identity of Mr. W.H. to whom the Sonnets are dedicated remains a mystery, as does the identity of the aristocratic youth in the Sonnets and the enigmatic Dark Lady.
One of Shakespeare's more problematic romances gets a picture-book treatment in Coville's new rendition. Jealous King Leontes suspects without reason that his wife and best friend are having an affair. Despite the protests of his most trusted advisors, he sentences his wife to death and demands that her newborn babe be cast into the wilderness. There the child is discovered by a kindly shepherd and raised as a peasant until the day a wayfaring prince falls in love with her. In true Shakespearean fashion, all works out well in the end with true identities discovered, families reunited and multiple weddings to boot. For a tale of suspected infidelity and death, author and artist do as much as they can for what boils down to a fairly adult story. Some judicious editing of the text would not have been out of place - the character of Autolycus weighs down an otherwise succinct narrative. Yet the cleverly selected direct quotes and theatrical watercolor and gouache images make this a more than adequate companion to the original play. (Picture book/play. 7-10) (Kirkus Reviews)
Series: Penguin Shakespeare Ser.
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 9th June 2005
Dimensions (cm): 17.9 x 11.4 x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.18
Edition Number: 1