A wife for King Lear — J.R. Thorp imagines another Lady Macbeth

Shakespeare wastes no time on Lear’s backstory; we meet the brutal old autocrat as he divides his kingdom between two devoted daughters. Learwife begins where the play ends. The mad, broken old man and three daughters are dead; but why has a messenger brought the word to a remote nunnery where a forgotten woman paces the cloisters? She looks the reader in the eye: I am the queen of two crowns, banished 15 years, the famed and gilded woman, bad-luck baleful girl, mother of three… I am 55 years old. I am Lear’s wife. I am here. Other writers, such Jean Rhys, Margaret Atwood and Pat Barker, have given a