Having written two historical biographies that read like a novel, it was time for me to write a novel that reads like history. This tale, which begins in the court of James I, takes a look at the myth of Shakespeare's involvement in the creation of the King James Bible. It's a murder mystery. Of a sort.
“Majestie is not some lone glittering star, but a living force, a capable and terrible force. Our new translation must reflect this Majestie above all things—glorious, incandescent, gorgeous Majestie. We must give back to God the highest and the best that is in our language and in ourselves. Majestie—solemn, terrible, imposing Majestie. Lucid, resplendent, express, consecrated. Like the waters that cover the sea, so this great metal must gild our reign. Do you mark me, William?”
This novella is actually an extract, that is, one half of a larger novel, O DEATH ROCK ME ASLEEP, that will release Fall 2021. The novel takes place in two time periods, 1608 London and present day Nashville, Tennessee. A Da Vinci Code meets Shakespeare In Love kind of tale, as the book opens successful songwriter, Brook Allen, is grieving the loss of his wife, April, a professor of Shakespeare Studies who, by discovery, theorized that William Shakespeare, by secret commission, actually had part in the creation of the King James Bible, an event that the academic world has long written off as myth. The added narration helps further explain the 1608 story told in I RIDDE MY SOULE OF THEE AT LASTE.
But now, to the cast of characters, in order of appearance.
King James I of England / VI of Scotland is not pictured with the others, for it is improper for a king. He does, however, maintain a continuous presence, here, and throughout the book. The players are listed as they appear in the image below, from left to right, top to bottom:
Henry Wriothesley: 2nd Earl of Southampton, once patron of Shakespeare
Robert Cecil: The Earl of Salisbury, First Minister of England, patron of Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson: Playwright and poet, so-called rival of Shakespeare
William Shakespeare: The Poet
Francis Bacon: Lawyer, Attorney General of England, friend of Shakespeare
Robert Greene: Playwright, pamphleteer, university wit
Christopher Marlowe: Playwright and poet
Anthony Bacon: Statesman, world traveler, friend to Shakespeare, brother to Francis
Simon Forman: Astrologer, occultist
Michael Drayton: Warwickshire poet, friend of Shakespeare
I Ridde My Soule of Thee at Laste [Audiobook, January 2023]
is a production of BUDDING GROVE
I RIDDE MY SOULE OF THEE AT LASTE
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