Who was the famous Dark Lady of Shakespeare's sonnets? Debut novelist O'Reilly posits that she was real-life poet Aemilia Lanyer. In O'Reilly's tale, Aemilia, courtesan to the powerful Lord Hunsdon, and Shakespeare meet and become lovers in 1592. After Aemilia falls pregnant, the two part, with Aemilia forced into an ill-fated marriage. But their paths continue to cross for years to come. Full of passion and devilish schemes, Dark Aemilia is a tale worthy of the Bard.