Hamnet - Maggie O'Farrell

Hamnet

By: Maggie O'Farrell

Hardcover | 31 March 2020 | Edition Number 1

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Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction

Told in Maggie O'Farrell's unique voice, Hamnet reveals for the first time in fiction the story of heartbreaking loss which inspired Shakespeare's most celebrated play


On a summer's day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home?

Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week.

Hamnet is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. It is also the story of a kestrel and its mistress; flea that boards a ship in Alexandria; and a glovemaker's son who flouts convention in pursuit of the woman he loves. Above all, it is a tender and unforgettable reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written.

About the Author

Maggie O'Farrell is the author of the Sunday Times no. 1 bestselling memoir I Am, I Am, I Am, and eight novels: After You'd Gone, My Lover's Lover, The Distance Between Us, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, The Hand That First Held Mine, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, Instructions for a Heatwave, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award, This Must Be the Place, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Novel Award, and Hamnet. She lives in Edinburgh.
Industry Reviews
A masterpiece. Historical fiction at its finest

Heartstopping. Hamnet does for the Shakespeare story what Jean Rhys did for Jane Eyre, inhabiting, enlarging and enriching it in ways that will alter the reader's view for ever

Exquisite, immersive and compelling... deserves to win prizes

Blisteringly brilliant... you'll lap this up

O'Farrell's remarkable novel bursts with life - Daily Telegraph

Other Editions and Formats

Paperback

Published: 30th March 2021

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