On a summer’s day in 1596, Judith, 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 & Judith is a novel inspired by the children 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; a 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.
A story about the death of a child and the birth of a masterpiece in 16th century England, Hamnet & Judith is mesmerizing, heart-wrenching, impossible to put down–historical fiction at its finest.