Author(s): Maggie O'Farrell

General Fiction

A stunning new departure for Maggie O'Farrell's fiction, HAMNET is the heart-stopping story behind Shakespeare's most famous play. On a summer's day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home? Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week. HAMNET is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. It is also the story of a kestrel and its mistress; flea that boards a ship in Alexandria; and a glovemaker's son who flouts convention in pursuit of the woman he loves. Above all, it is a tender and unforgettable reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written.


Set in 1580’s Warwickshire , Hamnet tells the tale of Agnes - wife of Shakespeare and the tragic death of their son Hamnet. Agnes is a formidable woman. She kept a Kestrel when she was young. She uses herbs for healing, keeps bees and knows things about people, just by touching their hands.  This beautifully written novel is set during the time of the Black Death and Maggie O’Farrell sets the scene so at times you feel like you are there. It is sad, tragic, fascinating, and a brilliant portrayal of a character about which very little is known. I loved it. Jo


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Product Information

Shortlisted for The Women's Prize for Fiction 2020

'Dazzling. Devastating' --Kamila Shamsie 'Stunning... deserves to win prizes' --Marian Keyes

General Fields

  • : 9781472223807
  • : Headline Publishing Group
  • : Headline Book Publishing
  • : February 2020
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 1
  • : Paperback
  • : Maggie O'Farrell
  • : 352