Mary Sharratt Author Events 2017





Wednesday, June 21

12:00 – 1:00 pm, The Mystery of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady, at the History Center, Goodhue County Historical Society, 1166 Oak Street, Red Wing, MN 55066. 

Author Mary Sharratt talks about her novel, The Dark Lady’s Mask, drawn from the dramatic life of England’s first professional female writer. A short presentation will be followed by Q & A and a book signing.

6:00 – 7:30 pm, Shakespeare’s Sisters: Writing Literary Women Back into History, at the History Center, Goodhue County Historical Society, 1166 Oak Street, Red Wing, MN 55066.

400 years after his death, we are still celebrating Shakespeare’s legacy, but who were his female literary contemporaries and why don’t we know more about them? Author Mary Sharratt will discuss some of the greatest women writers you’ve never heard of. She’ll also address Renaissance literature’s fascination with rollicking and adventurous women, such as legendary outlaw, Moll Cutpurse, the real life inspiration of Dekker and Middleton’s play, The Roaring Girl.




Historical Novel Society North American Conference, Portland Hilton, 921 SW 6th Ave., Portland, Oregon. (Conference registration required to attend events.)

Friday, June 23

9:15 am – 10:15am, Is Nothing Sacred? Religion in Historical Novels. Panel discussion with Geraldine Brooks, Sherry Jones, Rebecca Kanner, Mitchell James Kaplan; moderator: Vanitha Sankaran.

When writing about religious figures, what are the rules? How reverent or realistic should we be? Should we engage in myth-busting, or write tales of miracles? Given readers’ sensitivities, why write about the sacred at all? Five authors of historical fiction portraying religious figures talk about the risks and rewards of breathing humanity back into history’s sacred icons — and whether, given what we know now, we would do it again.

1:15 pm – 2:15 pm, Gender Fluidity in Shakespeare’s England. Panel discussion with Jinny Webber; moderator Sophie Perinot.

Shakespeare’s England revealed a surprising degree of gender fluidity. Boys played female roles on the English stage while playwrights across Europe celebrated the adventures of outspoken crossdressing women. Offstage, women like Moll Frith, the real life Roaring Girl, dressed in male attire and did exactly as she pleased. This panel will discuss variations of gender representation in this era and how historical fiction can explore this intriguing territory and make it come alive.

Saturday, June 24

9:15 – 10:15, Putting the Her in History. Panel discussion with Patricia Bracewell, Nicole Evelina, Rebecca Kanner; moderator: Stephanie Lehmann.

Historical novelists creating female protagonists face particular challenges. For centuries, history has defined “greatness” in terms of politics, power, and invention — realms largely closed to women. Only about half a percent of recorded history pertains to women. But personal experience is historical, too, and can be political as any war. This panel will address ways that women have been written out of history, and how authors can fill in the gaps and update the past

10:30 – 11:30, The Audacity of Will: Writing Shakespeare! Intimate “Kaffee Klatsch” with Stephanie Cowell and audience.

A pair of authors , each of whom dared to put words in Shakespeare’s mouth as a main character in one of their novels, discuss this enduring icon. The Bard of Avon arguably left behind the greatest corpus of literature in the English language, yet much of his life is steeped in mystery. We don’t even have a record that he attended grammar school. This dearth of evidence hasn’t stopped academic historians from weighing in on Shakespeare’s marriage, his religion, and even his sexuality. But the question remains: who was Shakespeare, the man behind the plays?