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The school of night : a novel
Alan Wall
Adult Fiction WALL

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Part scholarly mystery, part thriller, this novel grips the reader from the opening moment when its narrator, BBC editor Sean Tallow, steals two Elizabethan-era tomes from a university library. In the Hariot Notebooks, as they are called, he hopes to find reference to the enigmatic School of Night, a group of Elizabethans possibly including George Chapman, the writer who obliquely hinted at its existence, and the charismatic adventurer, Sir Walter Raleigh. Tallow is convinced Hariot will furnish proof not only of the existence of the school but will also reveal which of the group's members was the real author of the plays commonly believed to have been written by William Shakespeare. As Sean examines the manuscript, he must also come to terms with the death of his childhood friend, Daniel Pagett (always referred to as "dear dead Dan"), who Sean hero-worshiped for many years. Dan did not make it into Oxford with Sean, but went on to amass a fortune and marry Sean's high school sweetheart. After 20 years of study, Tallow is ready to award the authorship to Christopher Marlowe (a favorite of Shakespeare conspiracy theorists), deciding that Marlowe's death in a fight at a bar was actually staged, and that he escaped to Italy, where he wrote the famous plays. In a stunning and unexpected climax, Dan's fate is revealed to be linked to Sean's investigations. Readers familiar with the underworld of debate swirling around Shakespeare's oeuvre won't be surprised by the theories bandied about here, but they should enjoy the tale nonetheless. Agent, Gill Coleridge. (Mar. 19) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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main characters Sean Tallow
Obsessed with the mystery of Shakespeare's identity.

Daniel Pagett
Sean's boyhood friend.

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