MISTRESS MALAPERT by Sally Watson
Kirkus Star

MISTRESS MALAPERT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A skillfully written story about a spoiled Elizabethan poppet follows her as she runs away from her aristocratic family, disguises herself as a boy and joins Shakespeare's company to play the Globe in London. A real Kate, but clever, Valerie Leigh is slowly running her family ragged with an incessant fount of temper tantrums that springs from the wish to have her own way, when a group of players passing through their village, provides the stimulus for her theatrical nature to take over completely. Joining them, she is given bit parts. Eventually Burbage sees her in a performance, and invites her to London where Val goes- to the relief of her former co-workers -who also have grown weary of her outbursts. Secretly Val now realizes she must do something to control her temper, and she makes an honest effort at the Globe as she is given better and better roles. Shakespeare helps too as he tells her, among other things, where true happiness lies. At the last though, Val's identity must be discovered and as a woman she can no longer act, but she has grown up enough to realize a happy future married to Nick, one of the company, and the ability to turn her talents to writing and painting. A good companion volume to Marchette Chute's The Wonderful Winter (1954), this weaves a sparkling tapestry of Shakespeare's world.

Pub Date: April 25th, 1955
Publisher: Henry Holt