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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
The Queen and the Playwright: Love's Labor Lost by Bruce Hutchison is a love story between the famous queen of England and a young playwright. As a child, Edward de Vere had a reputation for disappearing into his own imagination as he was often compelled to act out plays on the whims of his daydreams. After his father dies, he’s sent away to live as a ward of Queen Elizabeth under the housing of Minister Burghley. As the years pass, he forms a connection with the queen - a secret affair results that struggles as threats against the crown grow. A child between them changes everything which leads Edward to sever all ties with the crown and to attribute all his works to another playwright.
Bruce Hutchison delves into the question of what if William Shakespeare isn’t the true writer of his notable works and explores an answer through the life of Edward de Vere. Hutchison calls Shakespeare’s credibility into question about the true authorship of the famous works and delves into Edward’s life. The focus is a love story that’s fraught with scandal and secrets but isn’t without passion and an honest connection between two people during a time of thrones and heirs. The Queen and the Playwright is an ideal read for history lovers that want to open up their minds to different approaches to the history they’ve been taught.
The story focuses primarily on his relationship with the queen and the works attributed to Shakespeare with the rest of his life seen throughout key moments. Various historical events during Queen Elizabeth’s reign are incorporated as she deals with threats against her throne, possible invasion, and Mary Queen of Scots. The societal and royal happenings during the time period are at the root of why Edward and the queen have a doomed love story from the beginning, though the way the relationship evolves is fascinating and emotional. The various sonnets and plays get their time to shine in situations that are perfectly fitted to his cheeky attitude and brazen personality. The Queen and the Playwright: Love's Labor Lost is a love story fraught with tragedy and filled with passion as the playwright is brought to life in a tale of loss, affairs, marriage, love, and secrets.