We refer, of course, to Romeo and Juliet by Mr William Shakespeare. The tale of star-crossed lovers denied their happy ending by the feuding Montagues and Capulets and the small matter of a misunderstanding of who is dead and who is not quite. Oh how my teenage self adored drowning in the tragedy of it all at the RSC and then swooned over the glorious production of Baz Luhrmann and the beautiful Claire Danes and Leonardo Di Caprio BUT, here comes the subversive part, was Romeo and nonce? Why does Mr Shakespeare continually draw our attention to the fact that Juliet is 13? Was the greatest love story of all time a LIE?
Author Natasha Solomons explores this in her new novel FAIR ROSALINE - A powerful un-telling of Shakespeare's best known tale from the fierce forgotten voice of Rosaline.
Rosaline, headstrong and independent, is unsure of Romeo's attentions but with her father determined that she join a convent, this handsome and charming stranger offers her the chance of a different life. Soon though, Rosaline begins to doubt all that Romeo has told her.
She breaks off the match, only for Romeo's gaze to turn towards her cousin, thirteen-year-old Juliet. Gradually Rosaline realises that it is not only Juliet's reputation at stake, but her life.
With only hours remaining before she will be banished behind the nunnery walls, will Rosaline save Juliet from her Romeo? Or can this story only ever end one way?
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