Is this the literary find of the year? The decade? The century? By great good fortune, and after years of searching, author David Collard has at long last unearthed William Shakespeare’s long-lost play Henry VII and presents it here for your enjoyment.
‘Many of the pages were by now indecipherable,’ David explains, ‘but I have done my best as an author to recreate them as I think Shakespeare intended.’
The full cast of well-known characters are present – Henry’s mother, Margaret Beaufort, his wife, Elizabeth of York, his sons Arthur and Henry and Arthur’s wife Katherine of Aragon. Even Katherine’s sister Juana the Mad makes an appearance. And don’t let’s forget the villains – Lambert Simnel, William Stanley, Edmund Dudley and Richard Empson. Did Elizabeth really think that Perkin Warbeck could be her brother Richard? True to Shakespeare’s intent, a Fool and a monkey turn up throughout to play havoc and add lightness.
So what do you think? Has David done a good job? And where has the play been for centuries?
Or was it perhaps, never written at all…?