Dark-haired and strong-willed, Elizabethan beauty Anne Whateley takes up her pen to divulge the intimate details of her daring life and her great love, William Shakespeare. As historical records show, Anne Whateley of Temple Grafton was betrothed to Will just days before he was forced to wed the pregnant Anne Hathaway of Shottery.
Their secret wedding in a country church brings together two passionate souls whose union survives separation, betrayal, and the barbs of small-town gossips. From rural Stratford-Upon-the-Avon to teeming London, Anne and Will struggle to forge his career and remain safe from Elizabeth I’s campaign to hunt down secret Catholics. Persecution and plague, insurrection and inferno, friends and foes, even executions, all come to life in Anne’s heart-rending story.
Spanning half a century of Elizabethan and Jacobean history and sweeping from the lowest reaches of society to the royal court, this richly textured novel tells the real story of Shakespeare in love.