A Rose by Any Other Name

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By Mary McMyne

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★ “A fascinating fictional exposé [with] a touch of mysticism and an LGBTQ twist."–Booklist (starred review)
★ “A delightfully impish heroine… a tempestuous erotic connection… a captivating imagining of the life of the Dark Lady, the illusive inspiration for Shakespeare's later sonnets."–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

My name has only been whispered, heretofore…

England, 1591. Rose Rushe’s passion for life runs deep—she loves mead and music, meddles with astrology, and laughs at her mother’s warnings to guard her reputation. When Rose’s father dies and a noble accuses her and her dear friend Cecely of witchcraft, they flee to the household of respected alchemists in London. But as their bond deepens, their sanctuary begins to feel more like a cage. To escape, they turn to the occult, secretly casting charms and selling astrological advice in the hopes of building a life together. This thriving underground business leads Rose to fair young noble Henry and playwright Will Shakespeare, and so begins a brief, tempestuous, and powerful romance—one filled with secret longings and deep betrayals. 

In this world of dazzling masques and decadent feasts, where the stars decide futures, Rose will write her own fate instead. 

From the author of The Book of Gothel comes the lush, magical story behind Shakespeare's sonnets, as told by one of his most famous subjects—the incendiary and mysterious Dark Lady.

Genre:

  • "McMyne brings rich creativity, feminist sensibility, and a meticulous grounding in history to her captivating imagining of the life of the Dark Lady, the illusive inspiration for Shakespeare’s later sonnets... A satisfying alternate history that fits the facts without being limited by them. This is an impressive feat."
    Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • A Rose by Any Other Name is a sensual and witchy look at Shakespeare’s England, as well as a compelling and singular take on the Bard himself. Rose blazes to life, stepping from the shadows cast by Shakespeare’s (in)famous Dark Lady as an exceptional heroine in her own right, one who is determined to forge a life as an independent woman by any means necessary. Mary McMyne has crafted a masterful tale full of magic, poetry, and intrigue that will keep readers turning the pages into the dark of the night.
    Alyssa Palombo, author of The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel
  • "A triumph of feminist imagination. Rose Rushe is the Dark Lady we've all been waiting for, and her story of star-signs and spellbooks, betrayal and true love will enchant readers of historical fantasy. I adored it." 
     
    Allison Epstein, author of A Tip for the Hangman
  • “The Dark Lady of Shakespeare’s sonnets comes to life in Mary McMyne’s clever and captivating sophomore novel.  A perfect blend of the historical and supernatural, A Rose by Any Other Name is a twisty, atmospheric reimagining of one of the most mysterious women in Shakespeare lore.  Both fresh and gripping, this is the must-read romantic historical fantasy of the summer.” 
     
    Constance Sayers, author of A Witch in Time
  • "In A Rose by Any Other Name, the Dark Lady of Shakespeare's sonnets takes center stage. Rose Rushe is a woman of audacious passion, who laughs in the face of  Elizabethan correctness. She is an artist, a lover, a witch, and she is all those things without shame or apology, shattering conventions in the same way she breaks hearts. This book is an alchemical combination of meticulous research and immersive storytelling. Mary McMyne takes up the Bard's quill and gives us a historical romantasy that will have you on the edge of your reading chair from the prologue to the very last scene." 
    Lauren J. A. Bear, author of Medusa's Sisters
  • "A bold and inventive tale about a woman ahead of her time in an Elizabethan England you can practically see and touch. Timely, feminist, and wonderfully original."
    Olesya Salnikova Gilmore, author of The Witch and the Tsar
  • Praise for The Book of Gothel:

    "Smart, swift, sure-footed and fleet-winged, The Book of Gothel launches its magic from a most reliable source: the troubled heart. Mary McMyne is a magician. Her take on the Rapunzel tale glows like a cloisonné gem set against a fist of dark soapstone." —Gregory Maguire, NYT bestselling author of Wicked

    "Mary McMyne's debut novel is dark and moody...This atmosphere, combined with the deep longings and confusion of a girl just entering womanhood and the fact that readers have a good idea of the fate that awaits her, shadows The Book of Gothel with an overwhelming sense of dread--but will also compel readers to keep going to the very end." —BookPage

    "The Book of Gothel is wonderfully rich with historical detail, and sparkles with the intermingled magic of gods and goddesses, seers and wisewomen. Haelewise is a memorable heroine, worthy of legend. Readers will see the story of Rapunzel in a new and refreshing light." —Louisa Morgan, author of A Secret History of Witches

    "McMyne’s debut is a reinvention of the Rapunzel fairy tale, a luscious origin story from the witch’s point of view.... McMyne melds folklore with actual historical figures and cleverly bookends the narrative with opening and closing chapters set in the twenty-first century." —Booklist (starred review)

    "McMyne’s shimmering debut gives a fresh, exciting backstory to one of the most famous villains in fairy tale lore: the witch who put Rapunzel in her tower.... The result is a sprawling epic, full of magic, love, and heartbreak. Fans of Circe and The Wolf and the Woodsman will devour this taut, empowering fairy tale." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

     

On Sale
Jul 16, 2024
Page Count
384 pages
Publisher
Redhook
ISBN-13
9780316393614

Mary McMyne

Mary McMyne

About the Author

Mary McMyne has widely published stories and poems in venues like Redivider, Gulf Coast, Strange Horizons, and Apex Magazine, and her debut fairytale poetry chapbook, Wolf Skin (Dancing Girl Press, 2014), won the Elgin Chapbook Award. She is a graduate of the New York University MFA Program.

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