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Horatio’s Version

Alethea Hayter
Date Published
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What happened after the end of Hamlet, when the four corpses had been borne away? How did Horatio carry out the Prince’s dying injunction to ‘tell my story’? Alethea Hayter’s narrative takes the form of the proceedings of a Court of Enquiry with Voltimand as Chairman, alternating with Horatio’s commentary in his diary. As the one witness who knows all the facts, Horatio at first hopes he can bring out the truth by sticking to essentials, keeping out of the case the women, the voyage to England and, of course, the Ghost he was solemnly sworn not to mention to a living soul. But he finds himself up against formidable resistance . . .

This is a brilliant imaginative reconstruction, a work of virtuosity that immediately makes you want to re-read the play.

In addition to this title, Faber Finds is reissuing the following of Alethea Hayter’s titles: Opium and the Romantic Imagination, A Sultry Month, A Voyage in Vain and Mrs Browning.


Alethea Hayter (1911-2006) read modern history at Oxford, and after a period writing for Country Life she joined the British Council, retiring in 1971. Her many books include Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1962), The Wreck of the Abergavenny (2002) and the acclaimed Opium and the Romantic Imagination (1968). She was appointed Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1962.

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