A stunning new departure for Maggie O’Farrell’s fiction, Hamnet is the heart-stopping story behind Shakespeare’s most famous play.


On a summer’s day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home?


Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week.


Hamnet is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. It is also the story of a kestrel and its mistress; a flea that boards a ship in Alexandria; and a glovemaker’s son who flouts convention in pursuit of the woman he loves. Above all, it is a tender and unforgettable reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written.


O’Farrell’s remarkable book bursts with life. Her sentences are packed with commas, as though this teeming, sensual world can only be jotted down in gathered flashes.’ - The Sunday Telegraph


Publisher: Headline Publishing Group 
ISBN: 9781472223791 


  • Publisher : Tinder Press; 1st edition (1 April 2021)
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1472223821

Hamnet (PB)