The Accidental Adventures of Young Shakespeare, by Indiana writer Conn McAuliffe

In 2010, the late Conn McAuliffe, Indiana writer, educator, and textbook writer, published a hefty 788-page novel on the young Shakespeare, a fast, fun, and imaginitive read, mostly in dialog, between the young Shakespeare and a character named Malachi. I’m still reading it… learning a lot of history….

Catch a glimpse on YouTube:

This is a good adjunct, to the study of Shakespeare. I would highly recommend this, as a good resource, for any educator, re: background info, for lectures, and materials, for lectures… This book is an entertaining way of presenting the political, religious, and sociological history of the era. For young readers, who can’t get into iambic pentameter, rhyming couplets, blank verse, chapters of this big work, could hook the young reader, … gently.

The lovely cover artwork, and design, was the work of Conn’s nephew Luke McAuliffe.

Here’s the Amazon product description:

Product Description


What happened to the real William Shakespeare in his twenties? How did a rustic lad disappear from historical records in 1585 and burst into view on London’s stage eight years later transformed into a playwright sophisticated in the complexities of political, social and romantic intrigue?

This wildly imaginative yarn with a strong historical flavor follows young Will on tantalizing and comedic adventures with spies and scholars, a plot to kill a queen, treachery in foreign lands, poetic interludes, battles at sea, encounters with great minds, and the carnal, bloody and unnatural acts Horatio later speaks of in “Hamlet.”

In pursuing their secret duties, William and his mentor, Malachi, trade quips and quotes with a wide range of their contemporaries from Marlowe to Montaigne, Spenser to Cervantes. Their spirited and humorous exchanges from the back alleys and battlefronts often preview lines we will hear later in the work of the mature Shakespeare.

One reviewer comments: “What a roller-coaster….spies, intrigue, torture, duels, queens, cannons, fighting sail & romance…but above all….HUMOR (prepare to be amused)…history as it could have (might have?) should have been!”

Blend the brash exuberance of “Shakespeare in Love” with the wise innocence of “Forrest Gump” and you’ll easily recognize irreverent young William as you join our players in a scene already in progress…

buy on Amazon; paper $29.95; Kindle $9.99


About John

About John John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BS and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado, where he resided for ten years before moving to Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth book is, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014. John’s most recent book is a novel titled Resisting Gravity, A Ghost Story, published the summer of 2018 View all posts by John →
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