Why Shakespeare Was Shakespeare offers both a vivid account of the life of William Shakespeare and a vigorous rebuttal to those who claim his plays and poems were written by someone else. In this fascinating exploration, the renowned Shakespeare editor and critic Stanley Wells explains when these ‘deniers’ first emerged and who they are today. He looks at the reasons for their belief that Shakespeare wasn’t the author Shakespeare we know and love, and examines the claims made for others -- The Earl of Oxford and Christopher Marlowe are the usual suspects, though over the years a bewildering array of candidates has been proposed. Ultimately, Wells concludes, Shakespeare the Stratford-born man of historical fact and Shakespeare the greatest writer in English were undoubtedly one and the same.
Stanley Wells, CBE, FRSL, has devoted a lifetime to the study of Shakespeare. Honorary President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Professor Emeritus of Shakespeare Studies in the University of Birmingham, and Honorary Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, he is General Editor of both the Oxford and the Penguin editions of the works. He has written widely about Shakespeare and his contemporaries. His books include Shakespeare For All Time (Macmillan), Shakespeare & Co. (Penguin), Shakespeare, Sex, and Love (Oxford University Press), and (co-edited with Paul Edmondson) Shakespeare Beyond Doubt (Cambridge University Press).