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Learwife By J.R. Thorp

Learwife by J.R. Thorp

Condition - Very Good
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Inspired by Shakespeare's King Lear, this breathtaking debut novel tells the story of the most famous woman ever written out of literary history

Learwife Summary

Learwife by J.R. Thorp

'Seductive . . . Gorgeous' The Times
'A fresh perspective on an age-old tale' Irish Times

'I am the queen of two crowns, banished fifteen years, the famed and gilded woman, bad-luck baleful girl, mother of three small animals, now gone. I am fifty-five years old. I am Lear's wife. I am here.'

Word has come. Care-bent King Lear is dead, driven mad and betrayed. His three daughters too, broken in battle. But someone has survived: Lear's queen. Exiled to a nunnery years ago, written out of history, her name forgotten. Now she can tell her story.

Though her grief and rage may threaten to crack the earth open, she knows she must seek answers. Why was she sent away in shame and disgrace? What has happened to Kent, her oldest friend and ally? And what will become of her now, in this place of women? To find peace she must reckon with her past and make a terrible choice - one upon which her destiny, and that of the entire abbey, rests.

Giving unforgettable voice to a woman whose absence has been a tantalising mystery, Learwife is a breathtaking novel of loss, renewal and how history bleeds into the present.

Learwife Reviews

Poetic . . . Distinctive and compelling . . . Thorp's poignant and surprising narrative allows a character absent from the original play to obtain her long overdue agency * * Observer * *
Seductive . . . Gorgeous * * The Times * *
Thorp's vivid debut novel gives voice to one of fiction's most conspicuously absent women . . . Lyrical . . . Thorp's distinctive style is heady and evocative . . . Learwife slots into a strong alternative canon of feminist retellings of classic stories * * i * *
Original, intriguing . . . Thorp's novel is beautifully written in rich, imaginative prose * * Sunday Times, Best New Historical Fiction * *

The wife of King Lear is given a powerful voice in this haunting narrative of her life . . . The writing in this novel is pitch-perfect: lyrical, imaginative and there to savour . . . Fascinating and heart-wrenching

* * Daily Mail * *
This vivid reimagining of King Lear's wife shows Shakespearean scholars what they are missing . . . An original and highly accomplished debut that reimagines the life of a woman written out of literary history . . . A fresh perspective on an age-old tale . . . With Learwife, Thorp also joins the ranks of authors such as Pat Barker, Natalie Haynes and Madeline Miller, who have in recent times successfully depicted female characters omitted from myth and literary history . . . Thorp is a stylish writer, who blends old and new worlds in prose that is elegant, rhythmic and innovative * * Irish Times * *
Thorp's prose is sweepingly lyrical; studded with jewels, wrapped in rich fabrics, blooming with resonant images: light of all sorts - sun, moon, torches, conflagration; the changing face of water. She finds mystery in the everyday, locates the poison that lurks within * * Spectator * *
Tells the story of King Lear's wife in a blistering reimagination . . . A must for fans of Margaret Atwood, Sarah Waters, Pat Barker and Natalie Haynes * * Irish Independent * *
With Learwife, J.R. Thorp has created an entire world out of a void. A stunning voice, hers is one you will remember, and look out for, in the years to come -- JING-JING LEE, author of the Women's Prize-longlisted HOW WE DISAPPEARED
It would come as no surprise if this dreamlike and haunting book appears on a prize shortlist * * Sunday Times Ireland * *

About J.R. Thorp

J.R. Thorp is a writer, lyricist and librettist. She won the London Short Story Award in 2011 and was shortlisted for the BBC Opening Lines Prize, and has had work published in the Cambridge Literary Review, Manchester Review, Antithesis, Wave Composition and elsewhere. She wrote the libretto for the highly acclaimed modern opera Dear Marie Stopes and has had works commissioned by the Arts Council, the Wellcome Trust and St Paul's Cathedral. Born in Australia, she now lives in Cork, Ireland.

Learwife is her first novel.

@ThoroughlyThorp |

Additional information

Learwife by J.R. Thorp
Used - Very Good
Canongate Books Ltd
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

Customer Reviews - Learwife