Last night I finished the book Mistress Shakespeare, by Karen Harper. I cried.
This first person narrative told the life story of Anne Whately, who some believe to have been William Shakespeare's secret first wife. It was very well written, and an extensive look at Shakespeare's life through the eyes of a woman who loved him in secret and supported him and his writings in public.
The author did a wonderful job of bringing her characters and settings to life. She took me through poverty, the plague, Queen Elizabeth's palace, and the Globe theatre. I saw Shakespeare as a person, with flaws in the midst of his genius...and may even henceforth think of him as "Will" in my mind.
It renewed in me a desire to read (and reread) the works of this most famous playwright. I had recently purchased Hamlet, and simply had to begin reading it as soon as I finished Harper's book.
I would recommend this story to anyone who has a love for writing that includes historical figures.