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William Shakespeare has reached middle age. England is at a critical point in its history: Queen Elizabeth is dead, James I is waiting to claim the English throne, and the plague menaces once again. William Shakespeare is a much-changed man. Returning to London from Stratford, he is struggling with his own personal crises - t least the death of his son, Hamnet. He longer wants to write comic plays and his mind is obsessed with the story of a beautiful Egyptian queen and her Roman lover? This compelling and evocative sequel to 'Sweet Will' is a magnificent portrayal of life in and around London's Globe Theatre.
Eric Malpass worked in a bank after leaving school, but his firm ambition was to become a novelist and he wrote in his spare time for many years. His first book, 'Morning's at Seven', was published to wide acclaim. With an intuitive eye for the quirkiness of family life, his novels are full of wry comments and perceptive observations. This exquisite sense of detail has led to the filming of three of his books. His most engaging character is Gaylord Pentecost - a charming seven-year-old who observes the strange adult world with utter incredulity. Eric Malpass also wrote biographical novels, carefully researched and highly evocative of the period. Amongst these is 'Of Human Frailty', the moving story of Thomas Cramner. With his amusing and lovingly drawn details of life in rural England, Malpass' books typify a certain whimsical Englishness - a fact which undoubtedly contributes to his popularity in Europe. Married with a family, Eric Malpass lived in Long Eaton, near Nottingham, until his death in 1996.