The Secret of the Rose

by Sarah L. Thomson

Rosalind Archer keeps dangerous secrets. She is a girl, disguised as a boy. She is... read more

Rosalind Archer keeps dangerous secrets. She is a girl, disguised as a boy. She is Catholic, but must hide her religion or risk imprisonment and possible execution. Her own father has just been pulled from their home for his Catholicism, forcing Rosalind and her younger brother Robin onto the streets of London in the year 1592. A chance encounter earns Rosalind, now disguised as Richard, a position as scribe to Kit Marlowe, a man with secrets of his own. Marlowe is a poet and playwright, but is he also leading the double life of a spy? Robin finds security and happiness as an apprentice at the Rose Theater, but Rosalind worries that player’s work is inappropriate and shamefully immoral. And although she is repelled by the theatrical crowd, Rosalind can’t deny that she is attracted to Will, the costumer’s apprentice. As Rosalind struggles to cope with a daily life vastly different than that to which she is accustomed, she discovers strength and adaptability within herself. Rosalind’s fictional story, rich with period details, is set within the historical framework of sixteenth-century England, with a cast including Christopher Marlowe, Philip Henslowe, Ned Alleyn, Queen Elizabeth I, and even a brief appearance by the Bard himself. (Ages 10–13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2007

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