Hamnet

Hamnet

A New York Times Notable Book (2020)
Best Book of 2020: Guardian, Financial Times, Literary Hub, and NPR

Drawing on Maggie O'Farrell's long-term fascination with the little-known story behind Shakespeare's most enigmatic play, HAMNET is a luminous portrait of a marriage, at its heart the loss of a beloved child.

Warwickshire in the 1580s. Agnes is a woman as feared as she is sought after for her unusual gifts. She settles with her husband in Henley street, Stratford, and has three children: a daughter, Susanna, and then twins, Hamnet and Judith. The boy, Hamnet, dies in 1596, aged eleven. Four years or so later, the husband writes a play called Hamlet.

Award-winning author Maggie O'Farrell's new novel breathes full-blooded life into the story of a loss usually consigned to literary footnotes, and provides an unforgettable vindication of Agnes, a woman intriguingly absent from history.

Title:Hamnet
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781472223791
Format Type:

    Hamnet Reviews

  • Hannah Greendale

    2020 Best Books of the Year [#02 of 11]Quite often, the Women's Prize for Fiction longlist contains one book more fanciful than the rest. The rogue book in the lineup usually has unique qualities that...

  • Elyse  Walters

    Hamnet was wonderful. My favorite Maggie O’Farrell novel, so far!It grabbed me from the start....and I wasn’t expecting it to.I really enjoyed it — I can’t imagine any reader who wouldn’t li...

  • Angela M

    I have to admit that I was a little nervous going into this one for two reasons. I sometimes have a hard time with fictionalized accounts of real people. I’m always questioning how realistic they ar...

  • Roman Clodia

    I'm clearly in a minority here (again!) but I found this unengaging and flat. There's too much indirect speech and the whole story feels very distanced rather than immediate. O'Farrell talks in the fo...

  • Candi

    “What is given may be taken away, at any time. Cruelty and devastation wait for you around corners, inside coffers, behind doors: they can leap out at you at any moment, like a thief or brigand.”W...

  • Beata

    An emotionally-charged novel about grief after the death of a child. It takes a master author to create a story with scant background documents that goes deep, deep into a reader's heart. I admire the...

  • Amalia Gkavea

    *There is a golden phrase in every language. ''In my opinion''. Some of you need to start using it...* ‘’Then Judith is in a crowd. It is night- time, cold; the glow of lanterns punctuates the f...

  • jessica

    wow. this story is something else. i picked this up on a whim and i do not regret it.very early on, i thought this book would be too ‘description’ heavy for my personal liking. there are paragraph...

  • Marchpane

    WINNER OF THE 2020 WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTIONGrief fills the room up of my absent child,Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,Remembers me of all his ...

  • Violet wells

    There's an incredibly powerful and poignant moment in Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall when Cromwell's two young daughters die suddenly of the plague. You sense that scene might have had a profound influence...