Is the story of Hamnet true?
Infant mortality in Elizabethan England: Even before Hamnet is born, his mother and mother in law are painfully aware that he might die young. Sadly this is very historically accurate. Infant mortality rates were high in Elizabethan England.
Is Hamlet based on Shakespeare’s son?
Hamnet is named after William Shakespeare’s only son, who died aged 11 in 1596; a few years later, Shakespeare wrote Hamlet. According to Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt, the names Hamnet and Hamlet were entirely interchangeable at the time, and O’Farrell is interested in determining the connection.
What was most likely the cause of the death of Shakespeare’s only son?
When she was a teenager, Irish-born novelist Maggie O’Farrell became smitten with the works of William Shakespeare. While studying “Hamlet,” she was haunted by the brief life of the playwright’s only son, Hamnet, who died at age 11, possibly of bubonic plague.