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Download The Dark Lady’s Mask Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Dark Lady’s Mask Audiobook, by Mary Sharratt Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mary Sharratt Narrator: Jilly Bond Publisher: Dreamscape Format: Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2016 ISBN: 9781520004402
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Shakespeare in Love meets Shakespeare’s Sister in this novel of England’s first professional woman poet and her collaboration and love affair with William Shakespeare.

London, 1593. Aemilia Bassano Lanier is beautiful and accomplished, but her societal conformity ends there. She frequently cross-dresses to escape her loveless marriage and to gain freedoms only men enjoy, but a chance encounter with a ragged, little-known poet named Shakespeare changes everything.

Aemilia grabs at the chance to pursue her long-held dream of writing and the two outsiders strike up a literary bargain. They leave plague-ridden London for Italy, where they begin secretly writing comedies together and where Will falls in love with the beautiful country—and with Aemilia, his Dark Lady. Their Italian idyll, though, cannot last and their collaborative affair comes to a devastating end. Will gains fame and fortune for their plays back in London and years later publishes the sonnets mocking his former muse. Not one to stand by in humiliation, Aemilia takes up her own pen in her defense and in defense of all women.

The Dark Lady’s Mask gives voice to a real Renaissance woman in every sense of the word.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Jilly Bond narrates this charming fictionalized account of Amelia Bassano Lanier…Bond captures the magical language of Sharratt’s story, which includes poetry and plays filled with rhymes and metrical lines. Using a range of British accents, Bond embodies the story’s strong-willed women and manipulative men and delivers the narrative in melodious tones. Listeners will be swept away by Bond’s performance of the story within a play within a fictional biography. Who was the creative genius behind Shakespeare’s plays—was it the famous wordsmith or the poetess? Bond’s performance of this poetic audiobook is a marvel. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “Sharratt’s historical novel..grapples with strikingly contemporary issues of gender and religious identification, definitions and discrimination…At every turn the reader grows increasingly attached to this sympathetic and admirable heroine, whose weaknesses make her all the more convincingly human.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Sharratt delivers an immersive narrative of doomed romance.”

    Library Journal

  • “The many challenges of life in Elizabethan England, particularly for women, are expertly captured by Sharratt”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
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About the Author
Author Mary Sharratt

Mary Sharratt is an American writer who has lives in the Pendle region of Lancashire, England. The author of the critically acclaimed novels Summit Avenue, The Real Minerva, and The Vanishing Point, she is also the coeditor of the subversive fiction anthology Bitch Lit, a celebration of female antiheroes, strong women who break all the rules.

About the Narrator

Jilly Bond has worked extensively in theater and radio for many years. Her stage credits include Miranda in The Tempest, Fiona in When I Was a Girl I Used to Scream and Shout, and Anita in A Small Family Business. She is regularly heard in dramas for Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. She has won two AudioFile Earphones Awards for her audiobook narration.