Fools and Mortals: Book summary and reviews of Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell

Fools and Mortals

by Bernard Cornwell

Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell X
Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2018
    384 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell makes a dramatic departure with this enthralling, action-packed standalone novel that tells the story of the first production of A Midsummer Night's Dream - as related by William Shakespeare's estranged younger brother.

Lord, what fools these mortals be ...

In the heart of Elizabethan England, Richard Shakespeare dreams of a glittering career in one of the London playhouses, a world dominated by his older brother, William. But he is a penniless actor, making ends meet through a combination of a beautiful face, petty theft and a silver tongue. As William's star rises, Richard's onetime gratitude is souring and he is sorely tempted to abandon family loyalty.

So when a priceless manuscript goes missing, suspicion falls upon Richard, forcing him onto a perilous path through a bawdy and frequently brutal London. Entangled in a high-stakes game of duplicity and betrayal which threatens not only his career and potential fortune, but also the lives of his fellow players, Richard has to call on all he has now learned from the brightest stages and the darkest alleyways of the city. To avoid the gallows, he must play the part of a lifetime ...

Showcasing the superb storytelling skill that has won Bernard Cornwell international renown, Fools and Mortals is a richly portrayed tour de force that brings to life a vivid world of intricate stagecraft, fierce competition, and consuming ambition.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Full of drama, both on- and offstage, and with numerous delightful, laugh-out-loud moments, this novel is an absolute joy. A must-have for anyone who loves the theater, this is easily the best book this reviewer has read this year." - Library Journal

"Cornwell is superb with mood and setting ... A master craftsman at work: imaginative, intelligent, and just plain fun." - Kirkus

"Readers will learn much about the pathos and the pageantry of the Elizabethan theater while enjoying this sumptuously entertaining production." - Booklist

"Cornwell is an enthusiastic amateur dramatist. His portrayal of the actors' rivalries and superstitions is sharp and often funny. His combination of wit, adventure and deft characterization is a triumphant departure from his usual territory." - The Times (UK)

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Author Information

Bernard Cornwell Author Biography

Bernard Cornwell began as a researcher on the Nationwide programme and ended as Head of Current Affairs Television for the BBC in Northern Ireland. It was while working in Belfast that he met Judy, a visiting American, and fell in love. Judy was unable to move to Britain for family reasons so Bernard went to the States where he was refused a Green Card. He decided to earn a living by writing, a job that did not need a permit from the US government – and for some years he had been wanting to write the adventures of a British soldier in the Napoleonic wars – and so the Sharpe series was born. Bernard and Judy married in 1980, are still married, still live in the States and Bernard is still writing Sharpe.

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