My research field is historical fiction written from a feminist perspective, and my contribution to knowledge is to re-imagine historical events from the point of view of marginalised minorities, primarily that of women outside dominant elites. My writing interrogates established, patriarchal narratives of the past, suggesting that these are both limited and flawed. Therefore, my work presents alternatives to assumptions based on this hegemony, as well as foregrounding the fragmentary nature of archival proof. In the novel Dark Aemilia, the research question asks: what are the imaginative implications of proposing that the author of Macbeth was a woman? Supposing this woman was herself a poet, known to Shakespeare? The novel presents Aemilia Lanyer, one of England’s first published female poets, as the author of this drama. An additional factual element is that Aemilia Lanyer has been identified by Green (2006), Hopkins Hughes (2000), Lasocki & Prior (1995) and Rowse (1978) as a plausible ‘Dark Lady’, the potential inspiration for Shakespeare’s sonnets 127–154. Taking this into account, the novel suggests that Lanyer is Shakespeare’s mistress, and that that their affair is obsessive and unhappy. Dark Aemilia is metafiction, using Macbeth as the source text, and the events in the novel are proposed as imaginative cues for Shakespeare’s play. A central theme is the importance of transgressive women in Macbeth. Terry Eagleton (1986) argues that the play is unique in beginning with three women on the stage, and draws attention to the fact that the witches go unpunished at the end: the supposed restoration of natural order does not include them. In Dark Aemilia, Lanyer is presented as equally transgressive, choosing to ally herself with occult forces and to disregard her social status in order to become a poet herself rather than accept the passive, feminine role of poetic muse.