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Hamnet

Narrated by: Daisy Donovan
Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020

Drawing on Maggie O'Farrell's long-term fascination with the little-known story behind Shakespeare's most enigmatic play, Hamnet is a luminous portrait of a marriage, at its heart the loss of a beloved child.

Warwickshire in the 1580s. Agnes is a woman as feared as she is sought after for her unusual gifts. She settles with her husband in Henley street, Stratford, and has three children: a daughter, Susanna and then twins, Hamnet and Judith. The boy, Hamnet, dies in 1596, aged 11. Four years or so later, the husband writes a play called Hamlet

Award-winning author Maggie O'Farrell's new novel breathes full-blooded life into the story of a loss usually consigned to literary footnotes and provides an unforgettable vindication of Agnes, a woman intriguingly absent from history.

©2020 Maggie O'Farrell (P)2020 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

What listeners say about Hamnet

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Beautifully written and read

A great story with very fine historical detail and beautiful language. Highly recommended. Excellent reading.

4 people found this helpful

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Savour this one, I wanted it to go on and on!

Memorable, emotional and beautifully written and performed, I absolutely loved it and you will too!

4 people found this helpful

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Gripping, tragic, beautiful

What a remarkable talent is Maggie O’Farrell to be able to re-envisage the life and times of Shakespeare and his family and the pain that each one bears at the loss of Hamnet.. memorable!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-06-2020

comments

loved it. great narration. read with clarity and great understanding of the plot. bring alive the characters. a great job done. thanks.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jane F. Clifton
  • 31-07-2020

Superb listening

One of the best listens, so far. Daisy Donovan's precision delivery of Maggie O'Farrell's wonderful imaging of this story is a singular pleasure in these troubled times of modern plague.

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  • bookylady
  • 28-04-2020

Absolutely brilliant.

A 5* novel if ever there was one. Maggie O'Farrell brings to life of the Shakespeare family in Stratford-on-Avon before William moves permanently to London in a powerful, moving story of love, loyalty, being different, having dreams, family strife, ghosts and the ups and downs of married life.
When the Shakespeare's beloved son Hamnet dies of the plague, William cannot cope with the loss and removes himself more and more from family life. When his wife hears that he has written a play about their son she travels to London to confront Shakespeare about it.
Brilliantly written and narrated. I felt as if I was right there in Tudor times, living with a family confronting its own demons and aspirations.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-05-2020

Good story but...

I’m afraid I couldn’t get along with the narration at all - nothing wrong with it as a performance but completely clashed with the ‘voice’ of the book and made me wish I’d just read it instead of listened to it, when everything else I’ve had on audible I’ve felt the opposite

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-04-2020

A wonderful book

I loved this book. Every word was perfect. Elizabethan life was portrayed in fascinating detail. The grief felt (differently) by each character was detailed with such searing clarity that I was often brought to tears. One of the best books I’ve ever read.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-04-2020

Loved this book

I absolutely loved this book, I found it by chance and having enjoyed Maggie o Farrell before I thought I’d give it a go, not a subject matter I knew anything about but really captivating, well read and gripping.

4 people found this helpful

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  • DartmoorDiva
  • 27-04-2020

Awful narrator

I’ve only managed about half an hour of this book and I’m giving up. It really hasn’t gripped me in terms of the writing, plus the narrator has such a modern voice it just doesn’t sound at all right for the period in which this book is set. I keep coming across audiobooks with poor narration, it’s very frustrating.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Leaf Green
  • 20-07-2020

Narrator fights writing and wins (sadly)

A very strange choice of voice for the narration, and style of speaking. Style-wise, the pace is so fast, that the poetry of the writing can't be absorbed. The voice is bland, modern, all surface, lacking in depth, more suited to a consumer affairs or news programme, than this work. This work needs more room to breathe and a voice that registers the deep feeling of life, rather than rushes on endlessly to find the next word in a shopping list.

The writing itself is most interesting, fleshing out the possible family life, domestic life, of the women in one Will Shakespeare's life and throwing out suggestions about his writing. I will read this novel myself rather than listen to a narration which takes so much away from the writing.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-04-2020

Beautifully written

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is cleverly written and draws the reader further and further into the story.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Alison Wood
  • 06-04-2020

Exceptional

What an amazing book telling the back story of such a famous play in a truly wonderful way. I just loved it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mari Mitchell
  • 22-07-2020

Breathtaking

Fascinating story and well written. I loved the extensive description of the country around, and town of, Stratford upon Avon. The vivid pictures of the life, the people and complex feelings of love, loss and discovery carried me from the start to the end of the journey that I felt I was taking with Anyis. Loved it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lesley B
  • 20-07-2020

wonderful

a moving story, with rich descriptions of family relationships, of loss and life in that time, I didn't want it to end. I listened to it on Audible which enhanced my enjoyment of it. beautifullly written and beautifully narrated

1 person found this helpful