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HarperCollins is delighted to announce a dramatic new departure for international bestselling author Bernard Cornwell. Taking a break from his highly popular LAST KINGDOM series – though Uhtred will definitely return – Cornwell takes us into the heart of the Elizabethan era, long one of his favourite periods of British history.

FOOLS AND MORTALS follows the young Richard Shakespeare, an actor struggling to make his way in a company dominated by his estranged older brother, William. As the growth of theatre blooms, their rivalry – and that of the playhouses, playwrights and actors vying for acclaim and glory – propels a high-stakes story of conflict and betrayal.

Showcasing his renowned storyteller's skill, Bernard Cornwell has created an Elizabethan world incredibly rich in its portrayal: you walk the London streets, stand in the palaces and are on stage in the playhouses, as he weaves a remarkable story in which performances, rivalries and ambition combine to form a tangled web of intrigue.

A global brand – Bernard Cornwell is the author of 50 novels published in 30 countries and in 28 languages.

Kate Elton, Executive Publisher, says: "Bernard Cornwell is already one of the most successful novelists writing today – as his recent string of Sunday Times number one bestsellers has demonstrated.  He is famous for his creation of iconic flawed heroes, and in Richard Shakespeare has created his most fascinating character yet."

FOOLS AND MORTALS will be published in the UK on 19th October, and in the US on January 9th, 2018. 

About the Author

HarperCollins UK is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, the second largest consumer book publisher in the world, with operations in 18 countries. With two hundred years of history and more than 65 unique imprints around the world, HarperCollins publishes approximately 10,000 new books every year, in over 30 languages, and has a print and digital catalogue of more than 200,000 titles. Writing across dozens of genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals and the Man Booker Prize. HarperCollins UK has offices in London, Glasgow and Honley, and can be found online at

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April 23, 2017