The Tutor

The Tutor

A Novel

Book - 2015
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The year is 1590, and Queen Elizabeth's Spanish Armada victory has done nothing to quell her brutal persecution of the English Catholics. Katharine de L'Isle is living at Lufanwal Hall, the manor of her uncle, Sir Edward. Taught by her cherished uncle to read when a child, Katharine is now a thirty-one-year-old widow. She has resigned herself to a life of reading and keeping company with her cousins and their children. But all that changes when the family's priest, who had been performing Catholic services in secret, is found murdered. Faced with threats of imprisonment and death, Sir Edward is forced to flee the country, leaving Katharine adrift in a household rife with turmoil. At this time of unrest, a new schoolmaster arrives from Stratford, a man named William Shakespeare. Coarse, quick-witted, and brazenly flirtatious, Shakespeare swiftly disrupts what fragile peace there is left at Lufanwal. Katharine is at first appalled by the boldness of this new tutor, but when she learns he is a poet, and one of talent, things between them begin to shift, and soon Katharine finds herself drawn into Shakespeare's verse, and his life, in ways that will change her forever.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA), 2015.
ISBN: 9781594632549
Branch Call Number: FIC Chapi
Characteristics: 356 p. ; 24 cm.

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SRZ37
Apr 19, 2017

I really enjoyed this, 'tises and 'prithees aside (see NY Times review). It is a vibrant portrait of an unsettled time in Elizabethan times, during cruel religious intolerance and drastic class and gender divisions. Though a bit formulaic it's a great read -- a love story about a very young and still restless Shakespeare years before his success in London and Katharine de L'Isle, the aristocratic young widow in whose household Shakespeare is the tutor. Katharine is educated well beyond the usual limitations of the age and Chapin makes her the inspiration for the Dark Lady of the Sonnets. And the love story has a real twist.

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