Lady of the Play by Deena Lindstedt

Lady of the Play is an enthralling historical novel solving the mystery of the Shakespeare authorship question, written in parallel historical and contemporary chapters. The modern story begins with Sudie McFadden finding an original page from A Midsummer Night’s Dream hidden in an ancient Book of Common Prayer. She contacts Cynthia Parsons, a history teacher, to help her prove her ancestor, the original owner of the prayer book, was the true Shakespeare. Cynthia devotes her life to researching England’s Renaissance Era, trying to prove Elizabeth Trentham was the authentic Shakespeare. As pieces of Elizabeth Trentham’s secret life are unraveled, there is a smooth transition to historical chapters.
The historical chapters are based on factual research into the life of Elizabeth Trentham, her innate genius, and how she obtained the necessary qualifications to be Shakespeare. The story begins with her childhood, then her ten years as a maid of honor in Queen Elizabeth I’s court, her collaboration with Edward deVere, the Seventeenth Earl of Oxford, and their subsequent marriage. The story continues by answering why it was necessary to hire an actor, Wm Shaksper, as their broker and, later, why they allowed him to take credit for the plays. Edward died in 1604, and Elizabeth continued to use Shaksper as her front until she died in 1612, the same year Shaksper was forced to retire. Included is her relationship with John Overall, one of the King James Bible translators.
The modern-day Cynthia faces intrigue, danger, and romance as others try to steal historical documents she had acquired, thwarting her efforts to reveal the truth.
Even though Lady of the Play depicts the fictional life of Elizabeth Trentham, events are based on the actual historical timeline and occurrences. Lady of the Play will appeal to the general population, whether a fan of Shakespeare or not.


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