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French Politician Quotes The Wrong Shakespeare

Is this a dagger which I see before me?

French Politician Quotes The Wrong Shakespeare
26 January 2012

When politicians want to invest some time-honoured grandeur into their rhetoric it’s commonplace to quote Shakespeare. And let’s face it, the rousing sentence; ‘They failed because they did not have a dream’ does invoke the great bard. Indeed, it was penned by Shakespeare.

Unfortunately for French presidential candidate Francois Hollande – the Socialist politician who uttered the line last weekend – it wasn’t William Shakespeare, rather the Daily Telegraph’s book critic and author Nicholas Shakespeare.

Granted, Nicholas is a direct descendant of the great playwright, so let’s not be too hard on Hollande, he was right to attribute the quote to Shakespeare.

The line itself comes from Nicholas Shakespeare’s first novel, The Vision of Elena Silves, which was published in 1989, and according to the writer himself, was not a big seller in France.

(Image: Richard Gardner/ Rex Features)