The protagonist Alexander Cooke, known as Sander, becomes a favorite performer of women's roles on the London stage, where only males are allowed to act. A dangerous secret: Sander was born female. She is at risk of flogging or even death if her identity is discovered. A few suspect the truth, including William Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth. Adding to her risks, she andThe protagonist Alexander Cooke, known as Sander, becomes a favorite performer of women's roles on the London stage, where only males are allowed to act. A dangerous secret: Sander was born female. She is at risk of flogging or even death if her identity is discovered. A few suspect the truth, including William Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth. Adding to her risks, she and the poet John Donne fall in love. In life and onstage, Sander Cooke dares to challenge the status quo....
|Title||:||The Secret Player (Shakespearean Actor Trilogy, #1)|
|Format Type||:||Other Book|
|Number of Pages||:||364 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Secret Player (Shakespearean Actor Trilogy, #1) Reviews
That was a fun -- and interesting -- read! It starts off as an almost "Boy's Own Adventure" with young Kate dreaming of escaping the strictures of village life in end of the 16th century England and becoming a pirate. (Not an entirely crazy dream, what with a few women actually out there pirating and scandalizing the village elders.) A sudden crisis forces her to put her plans into action and Kate flees the village, encounters a troupe of actors traveling the countryside, and becomes Alexander Cooke, boy-player.The first section of the story is a great deal of fun. Kate is bold and adventurous, but in a realistic way in that her plans don't always work out and she often has to make do with what's at hand. (I loved that she stumbled into becoming an actor rather than it being a life-long dream.) Running away from home, joining up with the players, arriving in London, winning a place in Shakespeare's company all read as a good adventure. A lovely story for a lazy summer's day.But then it gets interesting. Because Alexander can never take off her mask and be Kate. The family she lives with, her fellow players, her new friends and neighbors all know her as male. And they have to know her as male because women aren't allowed to act and she'll be turned out of the company and punished if she's discovered. So the only times she can be a woman is on stage playing a role. Which leads to questions of identity and gender and gender-roles. Especially as various people (men and women) start crushing on Alexander -- attractive young actor, and she starts crushing on John Donne. (Who, by the way, is exactly the sort of dark, emo poet girls dream of and parents dread.)So it's an entertaining story that leaves you thinking. It's the first of a trilogy, but it doesn't end in a cliffhanger, so you can definitely give the first book a try.
The time is 1593. After her grandmother is put to death, 15-year-old Kate Collins flees the village of Saffron Walden, dressed as a boy, hoping for a life at sea. Instead in London she becomes entangled with a troupe of players, all the while having to conceal her true gender under threat of death. As a boy she begins playing women's parts and takes the name of Alexander Cooke, who happens to have been a living person. Kate/Sander interacts with some amazing notables of the time: Shakespeare himself, the great playwright Kit Marlowe, Queen Elizabeth I and John Donne (who becomes her lover) as well as thieves, cutpurses and randy apprentices. Author Webber has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Elizabethan era. It gives this rollicking adventure story of a girl's growing up a wonderful sense of authenticity.