(St. Martin’s Press; 1 edition, March 2, 2010) Many excellent “Künstlerromane” have recently been published – Jane Jakeman’s In the Kingdom of Mists, about Claude Monet, and Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier, about Johannes Vermeer. Haran’s The Lady and the Poet, about Elizabethan poet John Donne and his wife, Ann More, compares well to others in this category. Haran has written an engaging, eloquent imagining of their contentious love affair and their struggle against the class inequalities that typified 16th century England. Donne wrote of his marriage to Ann:
“We had not one another at so cheap a rate, as that we should ever be weary of one another.”
The commitment, passion and intellectual compatibility underlying this statement are beautifully portrayed in the novel.