Review: The Gentleman Poet


“The miracle of it was–we did not immediately drown.”

Kathryn Johnson, The Gentleman Poet


Kathryn Johnson’s The Gentleman Poet: A Novel of Love, Danger, and Shakespeare’s The Tempest was published by Avon in September of 2010 and is 336 pages. It was recommended to me because, like my work in progress, it blends fact and fiction and features a real writer from history as a character.

Apparently,  some historians and scholars believe Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest, was based on the real shipwreck of the Sea Venture in Bermuda as it made its way to Jamestown. Because there were no records of Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon or London at the time of the wreck, Kathryn Johnson wondered what if the playwrite did leave his native shores? Using true ship records, quotes from plays, and words from Shakespeare himself, Johnson creates a compelling story of the awakening of a young woman, Elizabeth Miranda Persons, in the dangerous, exotic, and new world of the Americas.

I loved this book.  Johnson is a gifted storyteller, and I enjoyed her references to Shakespeare’s plays.  The rich historical detail, new world adventure, and romance in the book offer something satisfying to all kinds of readers.

It’s such a pleasure to find a new voice in historical fiction worth following. I look forward to more from Kathryn Johnson.


5 thoughts on “Review: The Gentleman Poet

  1. Emily says:

    Thanks for the review, Erika. This sounds like something I would enjoy!! Going to go check it out on amazon right now!

  2. Erika Robuck says:

    Great! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  3. Kirsten Coombs says:

    Erika –

    I enjoy the historical perspectives of the author’s background as well. Have you read The Secret Confessions of Anne Shakespeare? It offers another version of events!

    Thanks for the rec – I’ll put it on my list!

  4. Sounds intriguing! Good find and great review! Love the weaving of fact and fiction.

    Thanks for the heads up a great one for “The List”.

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