“Another Hamlet” – New Book on Leslie Howard by Charles Boyle Includes Essay & Screenplay

"Another Hamlet" by Charles Boyle, now available at Amazon.com

I have been meaning to post up news of an exciting new publication ANOTHER HAMLET: The Mystery of Leslie Howard, by my friend and colleague Charles Boyle — actor, director, author and playwright.

Charles tells an amazing true story that includes the making of the film Pimpernel Smith, which Howard produced and directed and in which he played the starring role.  One of most successful British war films, it was a satire of Nazism making merciless fun of Hitler’s minister of propaganda, Josef Goebbels.  And Howard, as Smith, tells him: “I’ve been reading a book that proves conclusively that Shakespeare wasn’t really Shakespeare at all!  He was the Earl of Oxford.  Now, you can’t pretend the Earl of Oxford was a German, can you?”   [The book was undoubtedly Shakespeare Identified by J.T. Looney, 1920.]

Here is the quote from Charles Beauclerk, author of Shakespeare’s Lost Kingdom, on the back cover of the book:

“In Another Hamlet Charles Boyle has produced a riveting political thriller that explores the life and tragic death of actor and filmmaker Leslie Howard, a British patriot drawn into a deadly propaganda duel with the Germans.

“Deftly interweaving the behind-the-scenes politics of World War II with the decadent showbiz world of the 1930’s -1940’s, Boyle makes the tantalizing suggestion that it Howard’s growing conviction that the Earl of Oxford wrote Shakespeare which sealed his doom.

“From Leslie Howard himself to Humphrey Bogart, Merle Oberon, Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, and Joseph Goebbels, Boyle brings to life a fascinating and often chilling cast of characters to tell the story of a maverick artist’s losing battle with the power-brokers of his age.”

Humphrey Bogart and Leslie Howard in "The Petrified Forest" (1936)

The book contains an introduction by his brother William Boyle, founding editor of Shakespeare Matters, the newsletter of the Shakespeare Fellowship, plus a newly revised and updated introductory essay by Charles and — the main attraction — his full screenplay version of the story, also revised and updated.

Maybe after the film ANONYMOUS from Roland Emmerich, we’ll see Hollywood grabbing hold of this one!

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Go, go…!

    Go, Oxford, go, go…!

    (As played by Chuck Berry.) Ha!

  2. Was Leslie Howard possibly related to the earl? Just musing here….

    • Here’s from Wikipedia: “Howard was born Leslie Howard Steiner to a British mother, Lilian (née Blumberg) and a Hungarian father, Ferdinand Steiner, in Forest Hill, London, UK. His father was Jewish, and his mother was the granddaughter of a Jewish immigrant from East Prussia who had married into the English upper classes.” I guess not:-)

  3. I forward you a post describing the ending of a shakespearean congress by Jan Kott:



  4. This is a fabulous read, highly recommended for anyone interested in the authorship question.

  5. PS, can anyone please verify for me if it is true that British documents relative to the Howard affair were recently reclassified for many more years. I seem to remember reading this on the net but I can’t find any reference to it now. If this is true, it would seem to confirm that we have yet to learn the full story of how and why Howard died.

    • Good point. Will try to find out. Thanks.

  6. Thanks Hank. It would be useful to have this info.

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