Thursday, October 25, 2012

Book Note: The Madman of Venice

Masson, Sophie. The Madman of Venice. New York: Ember, 2012.

I'm preparing to teach a course entitled "Modern Shakespearean Fiction," and I'm thrilled. For one thing, it means that I get to re-read, teach, and explore some of the most amazing Shakespeare-related fiction—e.g., The Wednesday Wars (for which, q.v.), Undiscovered Country (for which, q.v.), and I Hate Hamlet (for which, q.v.).

It also means that I can justify reading a whole host of other books that I might find it harder to squeeze in.

One of those I've read lately is The Madman of Venice.  It's an intriguing young adult mystery thriller set primarily in 1602.  The protagonists are people from London who have travelled to Venice to investigate some ongoing oddities, including piracy and the mysterious disappearance from Venice's Ghetto of a young Jewish woman.

William Shakespeare doesn't make an appearance in the book, but he is mentioned.  Ned Fletcher, our hero, has seen and enjoyed many of Master Shakespeare's plays at the Globe theatre.

Emilia Lanier, on the other hand, does appear in the novel.  Yes, I thought that might get your attention!  She's part of the motivation for the trip to Venice.  It's a minor role, but an intriguing one.

The book itself is well-written and enjoyable.  The Shakespearean connections are oblique, but the plot, the romance, and the intrigue are a great deal of fun.

Click below to purchase the book from amazon.com
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).

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Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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