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Shadowplay (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

O'Connor chronicles the dark despair of the act of writing itself through the lens of London's famous Lyceum Theater. A book-within-a-book of the highest caliber, it treads the boards from the dazzling spectacle of Shakespeare to the quiet desperation of everyday life. It's also occasionally, as befits a story of Dracula's creator, creepingly spooky...  Very good reading as the nights (hopefully) turn to chilly autumn. Shadowplay made me laugh, weep, and most importantly, begat a sense of intimately knowing its real-life muses: Abraham Stoker, Ellen Terry, and and Henry Irving.

— From Amanda's Selections


Set during the golden age of West End theater in a lamp-lit London shaken by the crimes of Jack the Ripper, Shadowplay is a gripping novel of love, celebrity, and ambition by New York Times best-selling author, Joseph O'Connor.

Henry Irving is Victorian London's most celebrated actor and theater impresario. As Irving's Lyceum theater grows in reputation, he first lures to his company a young Dublin clerk harboring literary ambitions by the name of Bram Stoker, and then entices the century's most beloved actress, the dazzlingly talented leading lady Ellen Terry, who nightly casts a spell not only on her audiences but on Stoker and Irving both.

Bram Stoker's extraordinary experiences at the Lyceum Theatre inspire him to write Dracula, the most iconic and best-selling supernatural tale ever published.

About the Author

Joseph O'Connor was born in Dublin. He is the author of nine novels, two collections of short stories, and a number of bestselling works of non-fiction. He has also written film scripts and radio and stage-plays. His novel Star of the Sea was an international bestseller, selling more than a million copies and being published in 38 languages. It won France's Prix Millepages, Italy's Premio Acerbi, the Irish Post Award for Fiction, the Nielsen Bookscan Golden Book Award, an American Library Association Award, the Hennessy/Sunday Tribune Hall of Fame Award, and the Prix Litteraire Zepter for European Novel of the Year. In 2009 he was the Harman Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Baruch College, City University of New York. He holds an honorary Doctorate in Literature from University College Dublin, and received the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature in 2012. He lives in Ireland and is the Inaugural Frank McCourt Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Limerick.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781609456986
ISBN-10: 160945698X
Publisher: Europa Editions
Publication Date: November 9th, 2021
Pages: 400
Language: English