cover image The Lord Chamberlain’s Daughter

The Lord Chamberlain’s Daughter

Ron Fritsch. Asymmetric Worlds, $9.99 trade paper (150p) ISBN 978-0-9978829-7-1

Ophelia lives in Fritsch’s imaginative recasting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a murder mystery. Ten years after the events in the play’s last act, Fortinbras, now king of Denmark, learns Ophelia is alive, and visits her at the cottage she shares with her initially nameless husband and their four children. After Fortinbras expresses doubt about the accepted explanation for the death of Hamlet’s father—that he was poisoned by his brother, Claudius—the narrative flashes back to the past, starting 17 years earlier with Hamlet, Laertes, Ophelia, and Horatio playing as children in Elsinore Castle. When Ophelia is 12, people at court begin to talk about her one day marrying Hamlet. Years later, Hamlet’s father dies after drinking some wine Claudius offers him, and Hamlet loses interest in Ophelia. Fritsch (Cordelia Lionheart) keeps readers guessing the culprit responsible for the fatal beverage and the identity of Ophelia’s husband. Fans of alternate takes on classic characters will be intrigued. (Self-published)