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Fools’ Gold


The Voyage of a Ship of Fools Seeking Gold

A Mock-Heroic Poem on Brexit

Published by O Books 2 December 2022

ISBN 978-1-78904-587-1 (Paperback)

ISBN 978-1-78904-588-8 (e-book)

The Back Cover says

In Fools’ Paradise Nicholas Hagger presented the UK’s attempt to leave the EU under Prime Minister Theresa May in terms of the voyage of Sebastian Brant’s 1494 Ship of Fools heading for the illusory, non-existent paradise of Narragonia with a mutinous crew. Hagger’s mock-heroic social satire on the political chaos surrounding the most important UK decision since the Second World War is in the tradition of Dryden and Pope.

In Fools’ Gold, the sequel, Hagger focuses on the beginning of Boris Johnson’s premiership, the promises that won him the 2019 General Election with an 80-seat majority, and his removal of the UK from the EU. Again Hagger approaches a national event from within the mock-heroic tradition of Dryden and Pope, and suggests that the UK public has been promised a new Golden Age, an age of plenty in which it has come to believe. It remains to be seen whether there will be prosperity for all – gold – when the UK stands on its own feet apart from its trading partner the EU, or whether the promises will be shown to confirm Shakespeare’s saying in The Merchant of Venice, “All that glisters is not gold”, and will turn out to be fools’ gold: worthless iron pyrites.

Nicholas Hagger