Rodney Bolt writes biography and historical fiction. His books are known for their engaging, readable style, and for rich and penetrating research, lightly borne. As ‘Britta Bolt’ (together with lawyer Britta Böhler) he writes crime novels, set in Amsterdam.
He is published in English by Harper Collins, Bloomsbury, Atlantic Books, and Mulholland Books Reviews
What if Christopher Marlowe staged his own death, fled to the Continent and went on to write the works we now attribute to Shakespeare? Working with hard facts and a healthy dose of conjecture, History Play questions the purpose of biography in a daring, imaginative narrative. As he ruffles the ruffs of Elizabethan society, Marlowe travels into a continent tinged with panic, beset with secrets, yet delighting in erudition.
By the time he was forty, Lorenzo Da Ponte had been a poet, priest, lover and libertine, a friend of Casanova, collaborator then enemy of Salieri, and ultimately the librettist for three of Mozart’s most sublime operas – The Marriage of Figaro, Cosí fan tutte and Don Giovanni. After losing all his money, he started afresh as a grocer in New York, going on to found the city’s first opera house and become the first Professor of Italian at Columbia.
When Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury, died on his knees in church in 1896, his wife Mary, whom Prime Minister Gladstone had called “the cleverest woman in Europe”, assumed the name ‘Ben’, took her friend Lucy Tait into her bed, and set up home in a rambling 17th-century house in Sussex.
A 103-year-old woman on a Greek island suddenly starts growing new teeth; an odd boy with ears like an ape’s signs something across a market place that makes two deaf sisters cry; a young man uncovers a secret work by Salvador Dalí. Rent-boys, bitter dowagers, political rebels, a frisky terrier – all inhabit the different worlds of STICKY ENDS. Worlds that seem very close to our own, but in which something has shifted – just a notch, but enough to move them into a realm of unease.