Deanna James'sActs of Passion/Acts of Love
Deanna James's Acts of Passion follows a strikingly similar pattern to Christina Dodd's The Greatest Lover in England. Miranda Drummond, appalled that her mother plans to marry the man she thinks murdered her father, stows away with Sons of Thespis, Royal Shakespearean Company by Appointment to Her Majesty Queen Victoria. When she becomes the lead actress, her roles range widely in Shakespearean canon, but naturally Hamlet remains the central play. At one point she claims to be Hamlet and in fact manages to elicit a public confession from her stepfather when she appears as her father in response to his dedication of a monument to the deaths of soldiers he allowed to die in order to possess her mother.
James also resembles Dodd in her inclusion of chapter headings with Shakespearean quotations. She explains the strategy and claims Shakespearean structure in her afterword, "To the Reader"--
By now you have perceived that Acts of Passion is constructed like a play
Since the quotations from Pericles, Cymbeline and King John would surely escape most readers who are not Shakespeare enthusiasts, this transformation of romance into memory quiz seems destined to put the readers down. The claim to Shakespearean structure and thus mimicry of the "master writer of all time" insists on the craft of the novel's construction as well as its unexpected educational testing.
List of Actress Novels / Reference List by Play / Return to: Shakespearean Actresses
by William Shakespeare. In further homage to the master writer of all
time, I have begun each chapter with a quotation to foreshadow what will
follow. I hope the sources have piqued your interest. If so they have
served their purpose well. I further thought to allow you the fun of seeing
how well you remembered your Shakespeare. Have you tested yourself
thus far? Four points for each correct answer. Ninety-six is a perfect
score (Passion 477).