Boris Johnson Shakespeare book shelved 'for foreseeable future' after leadership win

Boris Johnson Shakespeare book shelved 'for foreseeable future' after leadership win

Hodder and Stoughton has shelved plans to publish Boris Johnson’s long-delayed book on Shakespeare “for the foreseeable future” after he was announced as the next Prime Minister. 

The new Tory leader had reportedly been paid an advance ranging from £90,000 up to £500,000 for the Hodder and Stoughton title Shakespeare: The Riddle of Genius.

However, publication of the biography has repeatedly been pushed back from its original release date of October 2016. Most recently, the publisher had slated its release for April 2020.

Following his win in the Tory leadership contest on Tuesday 23rd July, a spokesman for the publisher told The Bookseller: “Hodder & Stoughton have no plans to publish Boris Johnson’s book on Shakespeare for the foreseeable future.”

During a hustings earlier this month, Johnson suggested he did not have time to finish the book and it was only in a preparatory stage, despite already running three years late.

Asked if he was making sacrifices in his bid to lead the country, he said: “There’s no doubt at all that being a full time politician means I won’t be able, for instance, to rapidly complete a book on Shakespeare that I have in preparation."

He added: "It means that unjustly neglected author will no longer get the treatment he deserves as fast as it might otherwise happen. That will grieve me because... I love writing about him.”

Johnson, who vowed to "deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn" during his victory speech this morning, is due to officially become Prime Minister tomorrow afternoon, after outgoing leader Theresa May formally resigns.  

Creative Industries Federation c.e.o. Alan Bishop has penned an open letter to Johnson calling on the Tory leader to re-think his commitment to Brexit saying the industry relies on free movement of goods, services, capital and people. 

It comes as Quercus plans to publish spoof teenage diary The Secret Diary of Boris Johnson Aged 13¼ on 17th October.