Ghostwriter (Kobo eBook)

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Part literary mystery, part an examination of what constitutes fiction versus reality, Ghostwriter is based on the true story of author Lawrence Wells, then 45, hired by the University of Mississippi in 1987 to ghostwrite a novel for a wealthy, eccentric donor (“Mrs. F,” then 75), who was convinced that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, was William Shakespeare. Believing herself to be the reincarnation of Queen Elizabeth I, Mrs. F treated ghostwriter Wells as a “captive” Edward de Vere.

Their roller-coaster literary collaboration dramatized Elizabeth and de Vere’s romance, which according to legend produced a son (Henry Wriothesley) born in secret. Henry grew up to become the 3rd Earl of Southampton, who is universally acknowledged as “The Fair Youth” of Shakespeare’s sonnets and whose real-life descendants include Princess Diana and her sons, Prince Harry and William, Prince of Wales.

Wells and his late wife, Dean Faulkner Wells, niece of William Faulkner, traveled to England to research the life of Edward de Vere and interview proponents of the Shakespeare authorship debate. That summer, London tabloids headlined the royal breakup of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, incidentally echoing Wells and Mrs. F’s tempestuous love story about Edward de Vere and Queen Elizabeth I.

Flashbacks weave several elements together—the seventeenth-century mystery of Queen Elizabeth’s “royal bastard,” Wells’s evolving relationship with his eccentric patron, his search for the “real” Shakespeare, and the bawdy Elizabethan narrative he composed for his benefactor. The stories merge, leading to a surprising conclusion.

Product Details
ISBN-13: 9781496852427
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
Publication Date: July 9th, 2024