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An interesting story about the history of Johnson and Shakespeare


It has been six years since Boris Johnson agreed to write Shakespeare: The Secret of the Genius, receiving nearly $ 88,000 to start working on a book his publisher hoped would bring “his interest, conviction, and wisdom” to describe Britain’s greatest author.

Johnson, its publisher He said, can see if “Bard is really all he messed up to be”. As the country looks forward to hearing the answer to this question, Downing Street is being asked if the Prime Minister has been taking the time to write his own book, instead of running the country.

Westminster is full of rumors that Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s former No. 10 adviser has changed his mind, will appear before lawmakers on Wednesday to ask the Prime Minister to work on Shakespeare’s reputation instead of fighting the upcoming Covid-19 plague. .

Mr. Johnson’s spokesman openly denied Monday that the Prime Minister is paying close attention to the book in January and February 2020 – as problems loom. “The prime minister has always been in the forefront of the government’s response to the epidemic,” he said.

However, Downing Street did not deny that Johnson had ever worked on Shakespeare’s reputation, which he received £ 88,000 in advance from its publisher Hodder and Stoughton UK in May 2015, since becoming Prime Minister in July 2019.

Johnson’s financial woes – including divorce, child support and the makeover of his Downing Street home – have been well documented, with some allies saying he did not offer a job to the publisher at No. 10.

But the mystery revolved around Johnson’s disappearance of people 12 days in February 2020, during which time he returned to Chevening, a charitable state house, with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds.

In the first two months of 2020 Johnson did not attend five Cobra emergency committee meetings to discuss coronavirus. Downing Street said their leaders are the ones leading and this is not unusual.

Britain was also affected by the floods in February but Johnson did not travel to the affected areas. He later chaired a Cobra conference on Covid-19 on March 2, three weeks before the country’s suspension.

Shakespeare’s story is set to be published in 2016, to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Bard’s death. Hodder, a publisher of Johnson’s history at Winston Churchill, funded the first fundraiser for UK rights, while Riverhead arranged to publish the book in the US and McClelland & Stewart in Canada.

Publishers often pay their writers for bringing manuscripts and publishing the book. Some media reports have set the price of Johnson’s books at around $ 500,000 – a sum that publishers have said is unfortunate because of his popularity or reputation for writing as a best seller.

After signing the contract, Johnson was the mayor of London, and this came just weeks after he was re-elected to parliament in the May 2015 election. In addition to his writings, Johnson also wrote a part of the Daily Telegraph, which is paid about $ 260,000 a year.

But those promises soon became difficult to fulfill. Johnson missed the last day of Shakespeare’s history, which coincided with the 2016 Brexit referendum campaign. He was then forced to resign at the end of last year after being appointed foreign secretary by then-Prime Minister Theresa May. Hodder said at the time the book was delayed “in the future”.

When Johnson returned to the Conservative seat after resigning as foreign secretary in 2019, a new unfinished book date was set for April 2020. But this was changed again after Johnson won the Tory competition in July 2019.

Hodder said Monday: “Thanks to Boris Johnson Churchill’s painting, published in 2014, Hodder & Stoughton co-authored a book on Shakespeare, which originally planned to link to Shakespeare’s 2016 commemoration.

“When Boris Johnson became foreign secretary we agreed to delay the publication until further notice, and we did not plan for the book to be released in the future.”

Johnson’s colleagues said he would not be surprised if he worked in Book 10, perhaps because he wanted money and because he wrote to relax.

In 2009 he defended writing to the Daily Telegraph when he was mayor of London, saying there was no reason, on Sunday morning, “he should not knock on the news as a way to relax”.

In 2019, during the Conservative leadership campaign, Johnson said he had already begun writing his Shakespearean history and said he wanted to end this – albeit not as quickly “as expected.

“An author who has been unfairly ignored will not receive the appropriate treatment as soon as possible,” he added. “This will only make me sad because. . . I love writing about her. ”

Anthony Seldon, a series historian, said it would be “fun” for Johnson to find time to write books when he was in No. 10 because it would allow his mind to be elevated above the day-to-day work.

Additional reports by Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe and Sebastian Payne in London

© Lindsey Parnaby / Getty Photos


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