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So many readers wished me to make this novel available again and so Word for Word press has kindly republished it in its 20th Anniversary edition - the story of the early years of the young writer and his almost fatal loves. THE PLAYERS was a pick of the month by the Amazon.com literary fiction editor
THE STORY: In 1564 a boy was born to a middle-class family in the little town of Stratford. Thirty-four years later he would write Hamlet. In between was his both troubled and carefree childhood, his disastrous forced marriage and his early wild years in London poverty with the brilliant young writers and actors who were forming the Elizabethan Theater. But even as he was rising into his first successes as a writer, he fell into a passionate bisexual love affair with his patron and an Italian girl that threatened to bring down both his work and his life.
“The Players dreams up a glorious man called William Shakespeare...the thinker, the questioner, the sensitive soul and of the sixteenth century city in which he finds himself.” —The Chicago Tribune
“Poetry, work, and friendship rule William's life until a bisexual love triangle brings William to a hard-won maturity as both a writer and man. An illuminating historical novel from an expert at reconstructing the Elizabethan era.” —Library Journal
"There is a passion in her prose and a lingering love for every detail of time and place. Shakespeare's love for Southampton is so intense that everything else, even the words he must write, become insignificant to him.” —Union Jack
CLAUDE AND CAMILLE
Now in its ninth U.S. printing and several translations. Recommended by People Magazine.
THE STORY: Journey back to the Bohemian streets of Paris 1865, a time of young love and the early beginnings of Impressionism. We are climbing five steep flights of dark steps to a small painters’ studio cluttered with art to meet the handsome young Claude Monet and his friends, his passion for painting, and the young woman who will haunt him all his life — the beautiful and mysterious Camille.
"Stephanie Cowell is one of the best and brightest writers of historical fiction, a master of her genre. The historical figures become as real to the reader as any contemporary character." WASHINGTON TIMES
"Stephanie Cowell is building a reputation writing beautiful, cinematic books that bring to life artists from various eras. She seems poised on the cusp of very great things." JANUARY MAGAZINE
"Cowell is nothing short of masterful in writing about Claude Monet’s life and love... Claude & Camille is both a historical novel and a romance, but Cowell’s graceful, moving treatment of Claude and Camille’s turbulent love defies categorization. It’s an enthralling story, beautifully told... Cowell’s glimpse into Monet’s life and art is convincing and intimate...vividly portrays not just the couple and their life together, but their time and place, their world. She writes in language that is simple, elegant, and extraordinarily evocative."" THE BOSTON GLOBE
" ......a diverting fictional representation of the Impressionist maverick Claude .Monet and his first wife, who died at the age of 32...an account of his rocky ascent as he endures poverty, disappointment and disapproving parents, flanked by fellow artists Renoir, Pissarro, Cézanne, Manet and Degas." NEW YORK TIMES
"Cowell presents a vivid portrait of Monet’s remarkable career. She writes with intelligence and reverence for her subject matter, providing a rich exploration of the points at which life and art converged for one of history’s greatest painters.” BOOKPAGE
"You'll never look at Monet's water lilies the same way after reading Stephanie Cowell's luminous [novel] of the artist and his muse. An ode to the Impressionists and the women...who inspired them."ROMANTIC TIMES
"To be swept up by this novel which reveals the man and woman behind--no, in, the waterlily paintings, the seascapes and landscapes, is a heartbreak. The story is lovely, touching, delicately written, and extraordinarily compelling. Read it with a book of Monet's paintings by your side, and be prepared to marvel, and to weep." SUSAN VREELAND
“Cowell mines the tempestuous relationship of Monet and his romantic and artistic inspiration with a nimble and discerning command as she indelibly evokes the lush demimonde of nineteenth-century Paris.” BOOKLIST
"Moving through war, illness, prosperity, and poverty, Cowell writes the couple's love story with an eye for perspective as skilled as any painter's. By novel's end, readers are left with not only the satisfying drama of life among the Impressionists but also a greater appreciation for Monet's art and the driving forces behind it....a rich, artsy read." LIBRARY JOURNAL
"Beautiful bourgeoise Camille Doncieux leaves her family for Monet, whom Cowell depicts early on as a rebellious young man trying to capture in his paintings fleeting moments of color and light. A convincing narrative about how masterpieces are created and a detailed portrait of a complex couple, Cowell's novel suggests that a fabulous, if flawed, love is the source of both the beauty and sadness of Monet's art." PUBLISHER's WEEKLY
: "Claude & Camille" is a wonderfully absorbing and romantic novel, the story of Claude Monet's passion for his painting and his equally passionate love for a woman who is as elusive as the water lilies that he strove to capture on canvas. This elegant novel was hard to put down, and once I did, I rushed to view Monet's paintings with a deeper understanding. Stephanie Cowell is a wonderful writer." SANDRA GUILLAND