You are an Israeli so what is your connection with Shakespeare?
Well, although I have lived in Jerusalem Israel for the past 52 years I come originally from London and am very attached to my English cultural and literary roots which includes Shakespeare of course and so after all these years of admiring the Bard of Avon and his dramatic works I found myself writing about him and his unknown play.
Many books have been written about Shakespeare and his works so what is so special about yours and why is it mind-blowing?
Well it’s because it’s the first one to describe in detail the discovery of what actually was his last, lost, and hitherto unknown play. It’s something that Shakespeare enthusiasts and scholars would have given their eye-teeth for. And now here it is in black and white on the printed page of my 30,000-word as yet unpublished book. But the most mind-blowing thing is that Shakespeare in fact based this drama on the life and times of no less than the immortal hero of discovery, Christopher Columbus and in fact called the play “Admiral Columbus and his New World”. This is an incredible revelation.
Why is it so incredible?
Because almost the last person one would have expected Shakespeare to make the hero of his drama was the man who owed all his loyalty, support and success to the sovereigns of Spain, the land of the Spanish Armada and the biggest enemy of Elizabethan England. However, in my book Shakespeare’s letters explain in great detail the reasons for his choice.
It sounds quite incredible, hard to believe. In any case most people are convinced that Cardenio was Shakespeare’s last play .
Most experts seem to agree that in fact it was not at all by Shakespeare, and in any case the language is not at all of Shakespearean quality. And the famous Elizabethan actor and colleague of Shakespeare Richard Burbage is said on his deathbed to have mentioned a play by Shakespeare beginning with C. If not Cardenio then that only leaves Christopher Columbus. And you will see in the passages from the play in my book, the verse and imagery was pure Shakespearean in quality and depth.
What else is special about your book?
I think the quality of the writing and the accuracy of the historical background. After all, it took me the best part of ten years to write and live with. And when I finished I could not believe that I had had the temerity and ability to write such a work. In fact one leading editor friend called it “a marvelous idea and one that is particularly well executed.”
Is this your first novel?
No, it’s my third. Back in the 1980’s when I was the pioneer publisher of English teaching newspapers for the Israeli school system and a regular exhibitor at the Jerusalem International Book Fair I wrote a book called Bestseller, based on my experience as a publisher in Israel, which in fact was the first ever novel set against the background of the Jerusalem International Book Fair. Then some years later I wrote a hilarious serio-comic novel called the Golden Eggs of Sacramontes, about the first man in recorded history to lay real golden eggs.
So what are your plans now?
To find a good and visionary publisher. This is a golden opportunity for any major publisher, and also the fact that the novel is ideal film material which offers a unique starring role to play the roles of the hero Douglas Parsons and of his lady love, the world authority on Shakespeare’s plays, Professor Anne Cornwall.
And how will an interested publisher be able to judge the quality and uniqueness of the work?
Very simple. He will write to me at my email address email@example.com and I will then send him an introductory synopsis and the first chapter of the novel. If that captures his interest I will then immediately send him the full 30,000-word text.
Well, Mr. Herman, best of luck!