Thursday, July 14, 2011

A spotlight on Jude Morgan's next novel

Longtime blog readers may remember my high praise for Jude Morgan's The Taste of Sorrow, a masterful work about the Brontës.  One of the things I enjoy most about his biographical novels is how carefully he matches his approach and his subjects; his books are all excellent, yet each is stylistically different from the others.  He writes about artistic types, musicians and writers and such, and his books show deep insight into the creative process.

While glancing at my recent purchase of his subsequent novel, A Little Folly - he's been alternating biographical treatments with more lighthearted Regency fare - it occurred to me that it would be time for something new from him very soon.

So I checked Amazon UK, et voilà.  The Secret Life of William Shakespeare will be out from Headline Review on March 1st next year, and here's the plot description, from the publisher:

The greatest writer of them all, brought to glorious life.

How well do you know the man you love? How much do you think you know about Shakespeare? What if they were one and the same? He is an ordinary man: unwilling craftsman, ambitious actor, resentful son, almost good-enough husband. And he is also a genius. The story of how a glove-maker from Warwickshire became the greatest writer of them all is vaguely known to most of us, but it would take an exceptional modern novelist to bring him to life. And now at last Jude Morgan, acclaimed author of Passion and The Taste of Sorrow, has taken Shakespeare's life, and created a masterpiece.

The title is gimmicky, but it's what's inside that matters.  Did I preorder it? You bet.


  1. I still haven't read any of Jude Morgan's books!

    1. Anonymous6:25 AM

      start with a good edition of "An Accomplished Woman". If you love the Austen / Heyer style - delicious wit, beautiful language, wonderful characters - Jude Morgan is your author. I read this title as well as "Indiscretion" and "A little Folly". Can't wait to get my hands on his other books.

  2. Hi Marg, you'll have to give one a try sometime. I'm reading Susanna Kearsley now ;-)

  3. I can't wait to read Jude Morgan. I bought a book, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I was looking at it last night, though.

    And, yay, Susanna Kearsley!

  4. I've never read any books by Jude Morgan but I love the sound of this book. I'm off to pre-order it.

  5. Your post about The Taste Of Sorrow must be one of the most elegant reviews I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It reminds me how absurdly lucky we are to have free access to so many "wonders and marvels" via the Internet.

    I have not read anything by Morgan yet, but will do some research now, plus put the Shakespeare novel on my TBB list. Which are your favourites (besides, I assume, The Taste Of Sorrow)?

  6. I've just finished The Winter Sea and enjoyed it immensely, so thanks to the extra prodding to read it! It succeeded on several levels - the romantic storylines in both the 18thc and 21st timeframes were emotionally satisfying, the development of the background behind the unsuccessful Jacobite invasion was skillfully evoked, and I also appreciated the firsthand insight into the construction of and writing process for a historical novel. I'm sure other historical writers have their characters demand attention (though maybe not in the literal way that Carrie's did).

    Thanks, Danielle, I really appreciate your comment! My other favorite of his is Passion. I haven't read all of his books, so I have plenty still to look forward to. He has several pseudonyms and first wrote rural English sagas as T.R. Wilson, though I recently tried one of them (Heartsease) and found it difficult going, and too much of a pastiche. He hadn't yet broken out of the Hardyesque mode he first emulated to create his own style -- or styles, as the case may be.