The Bookman's Tale

A Novel of Obsession

Lovett, Charles C.

(Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Bookman's Tale
After the death of his wife, Peter Byerly, a young antiquarian bookseller, relocates from the States to the English countryside, where he hopes to rediscover the joys of life through his passion for collecting and restoring rare books. But when he opens an eighteenth-century study on Shakespeare forgeries, he is shocked to find a Victorian portrait strikingly similar to his wife tumble out of its pages, and becomes obsessed with tracking down its origins. As he follows the trail back to the nineteenth century and then to Shakespeare's time, Peter learns the truth about his own past and unearths a book that might prove that Shakespeare was indeed the author of all his plays.
Publisher: New York :, Viking,, [2013]
ISBN: 0670026476
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY LOVETT 2013
Characteristics: 352 pages ;,24 cm


From Library Staff

Antiquarian book enthusiast Peter Byerly discovers an eighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries that contains a Victorian portrait strongly resembling his late wife, a finding that sparks an obsessive search through the bard's historical period. Available in ebook.

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Feb 06, 2014
  • jazpur rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I found this book fascinating as it moved backwards and forwards across the 3 time lines. The detail about forging and antique books and documents and the mysteries overlaid with the poignant love stories was well sustained.

If you are interested in the production of books and their history this is for you. A good read that keeps you on your toes as it moves between three timelines.

Jan 06, 2014
  • mrsgail5756 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The book was okay – but not one of my favorites.

Dec 26, 2013
  • KateHillier rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Interesting and nostalgic in that it really made me miss my rare books class. Believe it or not I actually could have done without the flashbacks to Shakespearian past and beyond. Peter's education and marriage was much more interesting, as was his grief and rekindling of his passion for book preservation.

Dec 08, 2013
  • clevebookgeek rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I greatly enjoyed this story - both because of the bibliophile aspect and for the history of Elizabethan England. I recommend this story.

Nov 30, 2013
  • cecilyfisher rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A very good exciting read with lots of interesting info about the world of rare books.

Oct 10, 2013
  • EllenPPL rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

If you love books and a mystery, you'll love this charming tale.

Sep 06, 2013
  • JimmyGman rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

As a lit major (many years ago) I enjoyed the fantasy of living the Shakespeare era and the parts revolving around rare books and book collecting. The romance was okay (as a former geek, I could relate) but the tidy ending was a bit too tidy. Enjoyable reading. Different than the usual fare out there.

Jul 13, 2013
  • Woodstockgirl rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I did not want to put this book down! The story starts with Peter, a young widower who is also an antiquarian bookseller, when he finds a watercolor portrait of a woman who looks just like his deceased wife. He basically had been subsisting and not taking any interest in living since her death, but this portrait inspires him to find out how her picture ended up in an old book. The story alternates between the present, Peter's past when he met his wife and their love story, and different points in history when a play written by Robert Greene and marked up and used by William Shakespeare to create "A Winter's Tale" comes to belong to various people. I really enjoyed this book!


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