At the centre of this intriguing, irresistible novel are the young Lambs: Charles, constrained by the tedium of his work as a clerk at the East India Company, taking refuge in a drink or three too many while spreading his wings as a young writer, and his clever, adoring sister Mary, confined by domesticity, an ailing, dotty father and a maddening mother- Into their lives comes William Ireland, an ambitious 17-year-old antiquarian and bookseller, anxious not only to impress his demanding showman of a father, but to make his mark on the literary world.
When Ireland turns up a document in the handwriting of Shakespeare himself, he takes Mary into his confidence - but soon scholars and actors alike are beating a path to the little bookshop in Holborn Passage.
Touching and tragic, ingenious, funny and vividly alive, this is Ackroyd at the top of his form in a masterly retelling of a nineteenth-century drama which keeps the reader guessing right to the end.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 224 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 05/08/2004
- Category: Historical fiction
- ISBN: 9780701177447
- Paperback from £6.65