The Ban­ished Heart

  • From the Publisher
May 13, 2013
For Paul Hoff­mann, a Jew­ish stu­dent at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Berlin, life would be sweet if he could write poet­ry and, of course, grad­u­ate. But since the year is 1933, his life is about to take a very dif­fer­ent turn — one that leads him back to Eliz­a­bethan Eng­land, where his idol, William Shake­speare, is hav­ing a cri­sis of his own. Shake­speare’s the­atre com­pa­ny expects him to write an anti-Jew­ish play that will incite the pub­lic against Dr. Rodri­go Lopez, a cryp­to-Jew accused of plan­ning to poi­son Queen Eliz­a­beth. But there is a prob­lem: Shake­speare knows that Lopez is inno­cent. Will Shake­speare remain loy­al to the truth and his friends in Lon­don’s cryp­to-Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty or sac­ri­fice Dr. Lopez to fur­ther his own career? As Shake­speare strug­gles over his rewrites of the play that will be known as The Mer­chant of Venice,” ques­tions are raised for Paul Hoff­mann, as well: in a world where he can no longer be a Ger­man, can he find the courage to rewrite the script” and be, first and last, a Jew? 

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