"The Tutor is a terrific achievement, one that in recounting the story of Katharine and Will allows us a glimpse into the workings of Shakespeare’s mind and heart." —James Shapiro, author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare
"The Tutor plunges fearlessly into the uncharted years of history’s greatest bard to give us a sumptuous, page-turning account of 1590s England in the brutal throes of the Tudor dynasty… I was completely captivated. Andrea Chapin is a writer to watch." —Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife
“History springs to vivid life in this beautifully written novel about a young William Shakespeare and the passionate, intelligent woman who changed the course of his life—not to mention literature—forever.”—Christina Baker Kline, author of The Orphan Train
A bold and captivating novel about love, passion, and ambition that imagines the muse of William Shakespeare and the tumultuous year they spend together.
The year is 1590, and Queen Elizabeth’s Spanish Armada victory has done nothing to quell her brutal persecution of the English Catholics. Katharine de L'Isle is living at Lufanwal Hall, the manor of her uncle, Sir Edward. Taught by her cherished uncle to read when a child, Katharine is now a thirty-one-year-old widow. She has resigned herself to a life of reading and keeping company with her cousins and their children. But all that changes when the family's priest, who had been performing Catholic services in secret, is found murdered. Faced with threats of imprisonment and death, Sir Edward is forced to flee the country, leaving Katharine adrift in a household rife with turmoil.
At this time of unrest, a new schoolmaster arrives from Stratford, a man named William Shakespeare. Coarse, quick-witted, and brazenly flirtatious, Shakespeare swiftly disrupts what fragile peace there is left at Lufanwal. Katharine is at first appalled by the boldness of this new tutor, but when she learns he is a poet, and one of talent, things between them begin to shift, and soon Katharine finds herself drawn into Shakespeare’s verse, and his life, in ways that will change her forever.
Inventive and absorbing, The Tutor is a masterful work of historical fiction, casting Shakespeare in a light we've never seen.
Andrea Chapin acted professionally, touring Germany in Edward Albee’s Seascape. She has been an editor at movie, theater, and literary magazines, including The Paris Review, Conjunctions and The Lincoln Center Theater Review. She has written for More, Redbook, Town & Country, Self, Martha Stewart Living, and other publications. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.