By Any Other Name

By Any Other Name



What if the greatest writer of all time isn’t who we think he is?
What if he isn’t even a he?
Step back four hundred years and discover the female author who hid behind the mask of the man we know as William Shakespeare . . .

In 1581, Emilia Bassano is allowed no voice of her own. But as the Lord Chamberlain’s mistress she has access to the theatre, and finds a way to bring her work to the stage secretly. And yet, creating some of the world’s greatest dramatic masterpieces comes at a great cost: by paying a man for the use of his name, she will write her own out of history. His name? William Shakespeare . . .

In modern day New York, playwright Melina Green is determined to see one of her shows make the stage. After years of struggle to be recognised she has finally written again, inspired by the life of her Elizabethan ancestor — Emilia Bassano, England’s first published female poet. Although the challenges are different for her, four hundred years later, a woman’s voice is still not heard like a man’s. But what lengths will she be willing to go to in order to achieve her dreams?

Moving between Elizabethan England and modern day Manhattan, By Any Other Name is a beautifully written, compelling novel that explores the theme of identity and the ways in which two women, centuries apart—one of whom might just be the real author of Shakespeare’s plays—are both forced to hide behind another name to make their voices heard.


'A writer the world needs to be reading right now' Independent

'It is hard to exaggerate how well Picoult writes' Financial Times

She is the master of her craft' Daily Telegraph

'There are writers who try and do what Picoult does, and then there's Picoult' Marie Claire


  • By Any Other Name had me absolutely captivated . . . I loved all the questions this novel raised about who gets to tell which stories and how complex that can become. The importance of women's role in storytelling is something very close to my heart, and this was such a thought-provoking, evocative, fascinating and moving exploration of the topic. Jodi Picoult is a genius and this might be my favourite of her books so far
    Jennifer Saint, Sunday Times bestselling author of Ariadne

About the author

Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is the author of 29 novels, with 40 million copies sold worldwide. She has had 17 Sunday Times number one bestsellers. Five novels have been made into movies and Between The Lines (co-written with daughter Samantha van Leer) has been adapted as a musical. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including the New England Bookseller Award for
Fiction, the Alex Award from the YA Library Services Association, and the NH Literary Award for Outstanding Literary Merit.
She is also the co-librettist for the musicals BREATHE and THE BOOK THIEF, which debuted in the UK in 2022.
She lives in New Hampshire with her husband.
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