Yorick: A Jester’s Tale, by John Pilkington

Georgina Graham

A new novel set in Denmark in the 12th century.
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Hamlet is a tale unto itself. Following the romance and betrayal from the play, John Pilkington brings to life the dead court jester who played an important role in Hamlet’s upbringing. Yorick tells his tale from his deathbed leaving no stone unturned.
Written as a confessional, his story begins by recounting his upbringing. We are introduced to his pre-jester self, where he is just the servant’s son Erick. He is soon taught the ways of a jester.

Yorick becomes Yorick and he experiences his first surprise calling in his new life, becoming a spy for the Princess Gurutha. This helps him gain the attention of the King and gain more power in the Danish court when his mentor, Makam, dies. We are introduced to Hamlet and follow Yorick’s rise in fame and influence. However, fame and influence can be short-lived. There is tragedy as well as comedy in this gripping novel.

Through Pilkington’s narrative we learn more about the man behind the skull. Yorick proves to be honest and funny. The author skilfully weaves the events of Shakespeare’s play into his narrative. Fans of both Hamlet and Pilkington’s bestselling Tudor crime fiction should find this novel a thoroughly rewarding read.

Yorick: A Jester’s Tale by John Pilkington is published by Sharpe Books and is out now.