About the Book
‘Men, who forgetting they were born of women, nourished of women, and if they were not of the means of women, they would be quite extinguished out of the world, and a final end of them all; do like vipers deface the wombs wherein they were bred.’
Emilia Bassano, ‘To the Vertuous Reader’
In 1611 Emilia Bassano penned these words to her ‘Vertuous Reader’, as part of a volume of radical, feminist and subversive poetry. It was one of the first published collections of poetry written by a woman in England.
The little we know of Emilia Bassano is restricted to the possibility that she may have been the ‘Dark Lady’ of Shakespeare’s Sonnets – and the rest of Her Story has been erased by History. Commissioned specifically for Shakespeare’s Globe, and with an all-female cast, this world premiere will reveal the life of Emilia: poet, mother and feminist. This time, the focus will be on this exceptional woman who managed to outlive all the men the history books tethered her to.