'The Final Act of Mr. Shakespeare' by Robert Winder.
A novel set in the time of James 1, the son of Mary, Queen of Scots.
The year is 1613 , and William Shakespeare has retired to the genteel life in Warwickshire. His days of penning plays are over, or so he thinks until...
his mind becomes restless or his writing hand itchy, but he returns to London and there reunites with his 'famous' actors ,known as the 'King's Men'.
London is trying to recover from the Gunpowder plot of 1605 and many people remain nervous of the politics surrounding the city and royal spies abound.
This is the reign of James 1, some may think this a peaceful time after living their time with Elizabeth 1,others still hanker after Elizabethan ways.
To try and script a play in these times is dangerous work and Shakespeare and his 'men' need all their wits about them to create this masterpiece, namely writing the truth about Henry V11.
Tension mounts at every rehearsal and every time pen is put to paper...
''Things have not changed Will,' said Armin.'If anything they are worse. We are the King's Men in name only. There are spies everywhere, Take that new house of yours -- it is a well known Catholic safe house; they have been watching it for years!That is why we are slinking about here in Spitalfields, is it not? My God: a play that sets out to blacken the name of Henry Tudor. I don't know , Will...''
A good novel but I found the ending disappointing!