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The Really Popular Book Club: Hamnet

Tue 25 January

The Really Popular Book Club is the reading group hosted by Cambridge University Libraries. Everyone is invited to join us and our special guests to discuss a really popular book, one that we all know and perhaps or perhaps not love.

This January we will be discussing Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet (2020). Hamnet reimagines the story of William Shakespeare’s wife Anne (or Agnes) Hathaway, and in particular the sudden death of their son Hamnet, twin brother of Judith, from the plague in the summer of 1596. Agnes is a countrywoman, a free spirit, and a healer and her husband is a dreamer, enthralled by ideas and by words; both have fraught relationships with their own families and a determination to make their own way in the world. Hamnet’s death is the novel’s pivot, but it is a novel concerned as much with joy and tenderness, between lovers, parents and children, siblings and friends, as it is with loss.

Our special guest for the evening will be Hester Lees-Jeffries, who lectures in the Cambridge University Faculty of English, mostly about Shakespeare and early modern English literature. She’s particularly interested in material culture, and at the moment she’s finishing her third book, titled Textile Shakespeare: in it, she’s written about gloves and glove-making, wool, silk, and linen, sewing and embroidery, as well as what people wore, onstage and off, in Renaissance England. Her second book, Shakespeare and Memory, thought a little about Shakespeare’s life in Stratford, too, and she’s currently also writing a new introduction to the New Cambridge Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet, and an Oxford Very Short Introduction to Shakespeare’s Histories.

Event will take place online using Zoom Meetings. For full details about our book club, including the topics we will be discussing at this book club event and our FAQs, please visit our booking page.

Cost: Free

Enquiries and booking

Please note that booking is required for this event.

For queries relating to this event, please email events@lib.cam.ac.uk.

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Timing

Live Stream

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Tue 25 January 7:00PM - 8:00PM

Venue

Please note: the venue is to be confirmed

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