Winner of the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction
One of The New York Times's 10 Best Books of the Year (2020)
In 1580's England, during the Black Plague, a young Latin tutor falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman in this "exceptional historical novel" (The New Yorker).
Agnes is a wild creature who walks her family's land with a falcon on her glove and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer, understanding plants and potions better than she does people. Once she settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford-upon-Avon she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband, whose career on the London stage is taking off when his beloved young son succumbs to sudden fever.
A luminous portrait of a marriage, a shattering evocation of a family ravaged by grief and loss, and a tender and unforgettable re-imagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, and whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays of all time, Hamnet is mesmerizing, seductive, impossible to put down — a magnificent leap forward from one of our most gifted novelists.
"A bold, beautiful, heart-breaking novel. Maggie has taken on both the most famous writer in the world and the mantle of history with effortless grace. In the process she's written the book of her life." — Tracy Chevalier