Twelve Nights with Viola & Olivia

The New Countess: A Story of Sexy 16th Century Sapphists of Shakespeare Series, Book 1

By Lady Vanessa S.-G.

"The L Word" meets Shakespeare

Young, rich, and beautiful, Contessa Olivia di Castellamare has just announced that she will not marry for the next seven years. Why then, does she fall in love with the first boy she meets? Does she know that the boy she loves is really a girl?

Twelve Nights with Viola & Olivia retells the story of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night from the perspective of the three young women that the play leaves silent: Viola, the girl passing as a boy, Countess Olivia, and Olivia’s faithful lady of the bed-chamber Maria. Now from the recently-discovered manuscripts of an English aristocrat comes this story of Sapphic love and feminine courage too graphic to publish until today.

Lovingly compiled and restored by feminist scholar Dr. Hannah Miyamoto from the recently-discovered manuscripts of an English aristocrat, Twelve Nights with Viola & Olivia is the first in a remarkable story by Lady Vanessa–a contemporary of Virginia Woolf, Radclyffe Hall, and Vita Sackville-West–about women that love women, men that love men, and even an intersexed man that looks like a woman, living together 500 years ago in an Italy wracked by treachery, murder, and war.

Transferring Shakespeare’s mythical Illyria to a real kingdom during the Italian Wars (1494-1559), Lady Vanessa conveys the fears, anger, lusts and loves of Countess Olivia, as she wields her kiss and her sword with equal ability. Reading Vanessa’s brisk narrative, Twelve Nights with Viola & Olivia will leave you too asking: “What would You do for Love?”

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