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The Truth Will Out: Unmasking the Real Shakespeare Hardcover – 14 Oct 2005

23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (14 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405824379
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405824378
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 302,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'A startling and brave book which advances another author for Shakespeare's works - Sir Henry Neville, a well-educated nobleman who spent four years travelling Europe, and thus was familiar with the background of many of the plays.'

Joan Bridgman, Contemporary Review

From the Back Cover

The question of who wrote Shakespeare’s plays has been the subject of furious debate among scholars for over 150 years. Everything known about the facts of William Shakespeare’s life seems incompatible with the extraordinary genius of his writing.  How could a man who left school at the age of 13, and apparently never travelled abroad have authored the incomparable Sonnets or so intricately described Renaissance Venice? Shakespeare ‘candidates’ abound, among them Sir Francis Bacon, The Earl of Oxford, even Queen Elizabeth I herself, but none have stood up to serious scrutiny. Until now….




This remarkable, intriguing, and provocative book offers a new answer and a completely plausible new candidate, with all the qualities of a believable author. […] it seems certain to provoke new discoveries which will finally resolve the most perplexing, the most abiding, and the most important of literary riddles. [This] publication may prove to be an event of genuine world-wide importance [which will] radically change our understanding of the source and course of the English literary and cultural renaissance.

Professor John Spiers, School of Humanities, Universityof Glamorgan, & Instituteof EnglishStudies, Universityof London.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By rwtw on 9 July 2015
Format: Hardcover
The case presented in this book is entirely compelling; in this reviewers mind, it is now known who the author of the Shakespearean oeuvre was.
The reviewer holds an MA from Cambridge in English literature. It never made the slightest sense in my years of study to suppose that Shakespeare from Stratford wrote the plays. They were obviously written by a man thoroughly immersed in court/political life….a man of considerable learning…well travelled and with a range of languages at his disposal. The most important thing to me was that somewhere in the author’s life there had to be an explanation as to why he suddenly started writing tragedies….. And there was one strange point that was always very evident to me: throughout the plays there is a remarkable ability of the author not to identify with his characters in a way that you felt he was intruding; Hamlet for example must be expressing things the author felt or could at least imagine feeling, but there is a distance between character and author; this is true for every character in ‘Shakespeare’ except one – somehow the character of Falstaff is different; I always felt that the author was investing, exploring, engaging with, something of himself in this one character.
Every desideratum is met in the person of Sir Henry Neville, and so much more. Why is Hamlet set in Elsinore? Because Neville went there. Why is it that in King Henry V we suddenly find a great and unique interest in speaking French? Because the play was written when a bored and unhappy Neville was an ambassador in France..…the details are multiple. Why suddenly start writing tragedies? Because they were written at the time that Neville, an unproven co-conspirator with Essex, was in the Tower with death hanging over him…..
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. Sedgwick on 14 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover
A quite ludicrous attempt to add yet another candidate to the list of alternative Shakespeare's and very much a case of fitting the evidence to suit the crime. What really rankles though is the dismissive and even contemptuous treatment of traditional Shakespeare scholarship. All previous research is blithely dismissed as the authors attempt to build a case for Henry Neville.

It's excrutiating, very, very excrutiating. There are some quite ludicrous interpretations of some of the bard's verses together with some staggeringly biased and blinkered examination into the minutiae of certain notebooks and other documents attributed to Sir Henry. But at the end of all this they just can't seem to suggest any kind of plausible reason as to why the Neville family took such pains (in their opinion) to publish the first folio in the name of Shakespeare, well after the death of Sir Henry. Put aside all the other fantastical theories posited in this book, but why would the family wish to immortalise Mr Shakespeare as the author for eternity? According to these two it was because they didn't want to cause confusion with another member of the family also called Sir Henry Neville!!!

Throughout this book the authors label just about every Stratfordian-Shakespearean theory as implausible and lacking 'a shred of evidence' and then without the slightest trace of irony go about producing this old load of tripe! A case of calling the pot black if ever there was one.

Without doubt the most blinkered book I have read about Shakespeare or anything else for that matter. The authors need certifying.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Wj Corbett on 25 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
On the face of it The Truth Will Out seems an earnest enough effort to solve the centuries-old mystery of who actually wrote Shakespeare's plays, but just a few pages in one begins to smell a rat. There is no hard evidence presented here, every 'supposition' is decorated with 'maybe's', 'could have's' and 'possibly's' in such profusion that I had to grab a highlighter and start marking them! The one great pleasure that can be had with the book is the comic frequency with which the authors have quantified their massive conjecture. Here's a choice example of their effort:-

The next four years were PROBABLY among the most satisfying of Nevill's life; they WERE CERTAINLY among the most productive. In this period which ended with his appointment as Ambassador to France, HE PROBABLY wrote eight plays. MANY WERE IN HIS HISTORY SEQUENCE, to which he APPARENTLY gave a more political edge as he SEEMINGLY became involved with the growing movement in support of the Earl of Essex. HIS PLAYS became more profound, even HIS so called comedies such as The Merchant of Venice, which was probably composed around 1596-7. In this period Neville also created HIS most popular character, Falstaff, and PROBABLY wrote most of his greatest patriotic play, Henry V.

And on it ploughs for 350 turgid pages. Don't waste your time or your money on this one.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By M. G. James on 27 April 2010
Format: Paperback
Like all the proposals for authorship before it, and all the ones that will doubtless come after, this theses has little going for it other than the "impossibility" of someone with Shakespeare's education background having written the plays and poems. In what they clearly think is a knockdown argument the authors ask, what would we say had Shakespeare's plays been published anonymously? Surely we would be looking for a well-educated and well travelled aristocrat?

Well would we? We've been pumping Oxbridge education, foreign travel and courtly experience into the nobility for centuries now and the returns in the form of groundbreaking literature have been vanishingly small. On the other hand, Tudor and Stuart "nobodies" like Marlowe, Jonson, Webster etc were cranking out works that have remained current until today (unlike, say, courtier Philip Sydney's Arcadia). Might this not inspire us to look for someone from the lower orders who was intimately connected with the theatre? Sooner or later someone would surely begin wonder how the obscure actor W. Shakespeare managed to fund his comfortable retirement in Stratford...
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