Hamnet Summary by Maggie O’Farrell

Hamnet Summary by Maggie O’Farrell , Hamnet may be a historical fiction novel published in 2020 by the Irish-British author Maggie O’Farrell. It fictionalizes the lifetime of William Shakespeare’s family at the time of his son Hamnet’s death in 1596 and therefore the writing of the play Hamlet around 1600. Hamnet won the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction, a prestigious literary award within the uk .

Hamnet Summary

The novel comprises two alternating narratives. the primary begins with the events leading up to Hamnet’s death in 1596, while the second describes the events between Hamnet’s parents’ meeting and his birth.

The first narrative of the novel opens with eleven-year-old Hamnet discovering that his twin sister Judith is ill with a fever and buboes, egg-shaped bulges, under her skin. He tries to seek out the physician and his mother Agnes, who may be a healer, but both are absent. His grandparents are too distracted while his father, a playwright, is away in London. When Agnes and therefore the physician arrive, Hamnet Summary by Maggie O’Farrell the latter expects that Judith will die. Agnes, who may be a more successful healer than the physician, attempts all the cures she knows so as to heal her daughter. The family is unaware that the origin of Judith’s sickness was the faraway meeting of a Venetian glass merchant with a flea that fell off the rear of a monkey in Alexandria, Egypt.


Hamnet too is showing symptoms of illness, but nobody notices these. As Hamnet cannot bear the thought that his twin will die while he continues to measure , he makes a pact with death. He swaps clothes with Judith and vows to require her place as Death’s victim. Agnes wakes up to seek out that the dying twin is Hamnet and not Judith. there's nothing she will do to save lots of him.

The second narrative of the novel begins with the meeting of Hamnet’s parents. His father may be a Latin tutor and therefore the son of a disreputable glove-maker, while his mother is that the daughter of a deceased yeoman and a forest-dwelling healer. By the time Agnes meets the Latin tutor, her mother is dead, and she or he is in commission to her stepmother Joan, who is intimidated by Agnes’ psychic and healing abilities. When Joan opposes a wedding between the Latin tutor and Agnes, the couple roll in the hay . Their union leads to a pregnancy and a rushed marriage which John, the Latin tutor’s father, favors because it lessens his debt to the deceased yeoman. Agnes goes to measure with the Latin tutor and his family within the town of Stratford. In accordance together with her dead mother’s guidance, she gives birth to her first baby, Susanna, within the forest. Over time, Agnes gains a reputation for her healing powers.

However, when Agnes is pregnant together with her second baby, she is troubled by her inability to divine the child’s sex and by her husband’s restlessness and depression. She senses that he must escape from confining Stratford and attend London. Agnes originally plans to follow him there after she gives birth. When Agnes gives birth to twins, Hamnet and Judith, she is afraid, due to the psychic feeling that she was only meant to possess two children and not three. She determines that she should oppose fate and ensure all three of her children’s survival. As Judith may be a frail child, Agnes maintains that London would kill her, then she decides that they're going to stay in Stratford. Subsequently, the youngsters get older aside from their father, who becomes an increasingly successful playwright.

The final a part of the novel chronicles the aftermath of Hamnet’s death. While a devastated Agnes mourns her son reception , her husband feels that he must escape his grief in London. Although he still visits home periodically and acquires a much bigger house for his wife and remaining daughters, he grows further aside from them and is unfaithful to Agnes. a couple of years later, when Agnes finds out that he wrote a play bearing their dead son’s name, she is horrified. Determined to ascertain the work, she finds that the play is her husband’s means of resurrecting Hamnet and consoling himself over the loss of a toddler .

In 1596, Agnes finally comes home and tries to treat Judith, confirming that she has "the pestilence" (the plague). The doctor shows up and warns them that nobody is to go away the house until it's passed. When nothing works, Eliza (William's sister) writes to her brother in London to inform him to return home to mention goodbye.

In an earlier timeline, Agnes becomes pregnant. John senses a business opportunity and strikes a bargain with Joan and Bartholomew regarding the debt, wool and Agnes. Soon, Agnes and therefore the tutor are married. The baby, Susanna, is born. Agnes notices that her husband is unhappy as an errand-boy for his father. Agnes comes up with an idea to urge John to send William to London. The plan works. Though Agnes is pregnant again, but William leaves for London, with plans to reunite once he's settled there.

An interlude traces the trail of the disease. It involves an opportunity meeting of a glassmaker in Venice and a servant on a ship. The servant brings a disease-ridden flea onto the ship after interacting with a monkey in Alexandria. The pestilence ravages the ship. After the glassmaker loads his cargo in Venice, fleas find yourself in those boxes, which is unloaded in London. One box makes its thanks to a dressmaker. Her neighbor's daughter, Judith, is interested by it. The dressmaker lets Judith unpackage the disease-ridden box.

In 1596, Hamnet sees his dying sister and needs to trick death into taking him instead. He crawls into bed next to her. Agnes is soon surprised to get that Judith is looking better, but Hamnet is barely breathing. She tries every remedy, but he dies.

In the earlier timeline, William sells some gloves to actors at a theater. Soon, he's acting (and later writing plays) and not dealing in gloves. In Stratford, Agnes is surprised to possess twins, though she is worried because she has always known she would have only two children. Judith is that the other out, and she or he is weak and smaller than Hamnet. Agnes delays getting to London until Judith is stronger, but Judith continues to be weak and sickly. The years pass, but the move to London never happens.

In 1596, William comes home to seek out Hamnet, not Judith, dead. Hamnet is buried. William is heartbroken. The home is filled with reminders of Hamnet, and he's worried about the life he has inbuilt London. William soon goes back to London and doesn't click for an extended time. Judith wonders if her resemblance to Hamnet is what keeps him away.  Hamnet Summary by Maggie O’Farrell , Agnes grieves, too.

A year after Hamnet's death, William finally comes home. Agnes senses that he has been with other women. William apologizes for everything and decides to shop for his family a house here in Stratford since it's clear that they're going to not be coming to London. He buys the most important house within the town, though he still only visits two or 3 times a year. because the girls get older , Judith develops a love of plants like her mother. Susanna helps out together with her father's affairs in terms of buying land, income , and other business affairs.

 Hamnet Summary by Maggie O’Farrell One day, Agnes learns that William has written a play (Hamlet) named after their son. Upset, Agnes goes (with Bartholomew) to London to seek out William. She finds him at the playhouse before a performance of Hamlet. As she watches the play, she realizes that her husband has written a play where the daddy is that the one that dies rather than the kid . In his play, "Hamlet"/Hamnet gets to measure . The book ends with the last line that the ghost delivers, "Remember me".


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