riverrun signs biography of female Renaissance writers

Claire Coughlan
Rights - NonFiction Monday, 15 April 2019

Shakespeare's Sisters by Ramie Targoff focuses on the Bard's contemporaries Mary Herbert, Aemilia Lanyer, Elizabeth Cary and Anne Clifford

Quercus imprint riverrun has signed a biography of "four ambitious women who, against all odds, made themseleves heard - and read - in the time of Shakespeare". Shakespeare's Sisters by Ramie Targoff, who heads the Humanities Center at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, "restores a crucial missing chapter in the love story of women and writing", focusing on Shakespeare's contemporaries Mary Herbert, Aemilia Lanyer, Elizabeth Carya and Anne Clifford.

Jon Riley, riverrun publisher, bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Zoë Pagnamenta at the Zoë Pagnamenta Agency, and will publish in autumn 2022. North American rights have gone to LuAnn Walther at Knopf. riverrun is also planning an anthology of work by Herbert, Lanyer, Cary and Clifford to accompany publication.

Riley said: "Ramie Targoff is able to convey her scholarship and passion for her subject with elegance and style. Shakespeare's Sisters will be a work of importance and intense appeal to readers hungry for new narratives about writers and literary history."

Targoff said: "I am thrilled to have found a home for this book with Jon Riley and his colleagues at riverrun, who have already brought such extraordinary enthusiasm and energy to the project. It's truly an honour to be working with them."

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