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Promotional banner featuring author Lawrence Wells with details of a book signing event, alongside cover images of his books "Ghostwriter" and "Fair Youth.

LAWRENCE WELLS AT NOVEL: GHOSTWRITER & FAIR YOUTH

Join us as we welcome LAWRENCE WELLS on SATURDAY, JULY 20 at 2:00 PM to celebrate the release of his new books GHOSTWRITER: SHAKESPEARE, LITERARY LANDMINES, AND AN ECCENTRIC PATRON’S ROYAL OBSESSION and FAIR YOUTH.

 

ABOUT GHOSTWRITER:

Part literary mystery, part an examination of what constitutes fiction versus reality, Ghostwriter is based on the true story of author Lawrence Wells, 45, hired by the University of Mississippi in 1987 to ghostwrite a novel for a wealthy, eccentric donor (“Mrs. F,” 75), who was convinced that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, was William Shakespeare. Believing herself to be the reincarnation of Queen Elizabeth I, Mrs. F treated ghostwriter Wells as a “captive” Edward de Vere.

Their roller-coaster literary collaboration dramatized Elizabeth and de Vere’s romance, which according to legend produced a son (Henry Wriothesley) born in secret. Henry grew up to become the 3rd Earl of Southampton, who is universally acknowledged as “The Fair Youth” of Shakespeare’s sonnets and whose real-life descendants include Princess Diana and her sons, Prince Harry and William, Prince of Wales.

Wells and his late wife, Dean Faulkner Wells, niece of William Faulkner, traveled to England to research the life of Edward de Vere and interview proponents of the Shakespeare authorship debate. That summer, London tabloids headlined the royal breakup of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, incidentally echoing Wells and Mrs. F’s tempestuous love story about Edward de Vere and Queen Elizabeth I.

Flashbacks weave several elements together–the seventeenth-century mystery of Queen Elizabeth’s “royal bastard,” Wells’s evolving relationship with his eccentric patron, his search for the “real” Shakespeare, and the bawdy Elizabethan narrative he composed for his benefactor. The stories merge, leading to a surprising conclusion.

 

ABOUT FAIR YOUTH:

Fair Youth is a mystery about the legend that a romance between Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, Lord Great Chamberlain, and Queen Elizabeth I, produced a son, Henry, born in secret but who, in real life, was universally acknowledged to be the “Fair Youth” of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. When Queen Elizabeth refuses to acknowledge Henry as her heir, he joins the Essex Rebellion and makes a vain attempt to seize the throne. He is sentenced to death but Elizabeth leaves orders for his sentence to be commuted.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

Lawrence Wells is the author of two historical novels: Rommel and the Rebel and Let the Band Play Dixie (Doubleday/Bantam, 1987-88, 100,000 in print). Recently edited RIOT: Witness to Anger and Change, a 2015 photo-essay on the 1962 University of Mississippi riot protesting the enrollment of James Meredith. Awarded the 2014 Faulkner-Wisdom prize for narrative non-fiction at the Words and Music Festival in New Orleans. Scripted Emmy-winning 1994 PBS documentary “Return to the River” narrated by James Earl Jones. Edited William Faulkner: the Cofield Collection, a photo-biography listed on NY Times’ top fifteen gift books list. Frequent contributor to NY Times Syndicate. Education: BA, MA, University of Alabama, PhD, University of Mississippi. Resides in Oxford, Mississippi.

 

 

Lawrence Wells’ “Ghostwriter” memoir, to be published in July 2024 by University Press of Mississippi, tells of ghostwriting a novel about the “Fair Youth” of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Wells’ “Ghostwriter” memoir was awarded the 2014 Faulkner-Wisdom prize for narrative non-fiction at the Words and Music Festival in New Orleans. His memoir “In Faulkner’s Shadow,” about his marriage to Dean Faulkner Wells, niece of author William Faulkner, was published by University Press of Mississippi in 2020. Wells is also the author of two historical novels, Rommel and the Rebel and Let the Band Play Dixie (Doubleday & Co). Awards include: 1994 Emmy for Best PBS Regional Documentary “Return to the River,” narrated by James Earl Jones; Best Comedy Screenplay “Rolling Stone” at the 2021 Paris Independent Screenplay Festival;  Best TV Pilot Screenplay “Selling Will’s Testament” at 2021 WRPN.TV Screenplay Awards; 2024 Vancouver Film Festival best drama script for “Fair Youth”; 2024 Prix Royal Script D’Or for “Fair Youth” at the Cannes International Screenplay Awards.

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Date

Jul 20 2024

Time

2:00 pm

Cost

Free to attend. GHOSTWRITER is $28.00. FAIR YOUTH IS $25.95.

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Location

Novel Memphis
387 Perkins Extd.
Website
https://www.novelmemphis.com
Category

Organizer

Novel Memphis
Phone
901-922-5526
Email
info@novelmemphis.com
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