The new Bernard Cornwell novel is out now. And the first thing I should say is that it’s not a Last Kingdom series novel. Instead this one is set in Elizabethan times and features none other than William Shakespeare’s actor brother Richard.
I have read some sniffy reviews on a certain Popular Internet Shopping Site that complain that it’s “not for Cornwell’s usual readers” or some such guff, citing the lack of, well, battles.
Nonsense, says I. This is Bernard Cornwell we’re talking about. He can make anything exciting. Plus I’m always glad to see him dip his toe into different historical periods.
A dramatic new departure for international bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, FOOLS AND MORTALS takes us into the heart of the Elizabethan era, long one of his favourite periods of British history.
Fools and Mortals follows the young Richard Shakespeare, an actor struggling to make his way in a company dominated by his estranged older brother, William. As the growth of theatre blooms, their rivalry – and that of the playhouses, playwrights and actors vying for acclaim and glory – propels a high-stakes story of conflict and betrayal.
Showcasing his renowned storyteller’s skill, Bernard Cornwell has created an Elizabethan world incredibly rich in its portrayal: you walk the London streets, stand in the palaces and are on stage in the playhouses, as he weaves a remarkable story in which performances, rivalries and ambition combine to form a tangled web of intrigue.
Fools and Mortals is published in hardcover by Harper Collins today, 19 October 2017.