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Thomas Reedy

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Why Shakespeare WAS Shakespeare (Kindle Singles)
Why Shakespeare WAS Shakespeare (Kindle Singles)
Price: £1.74

14 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great summary and rebuttal of the most ridiculous literary theory in history, 20 Feb. 2014
I saw on Stanley's Twitter feed that Richard Malim had posted the first review on Amazon and bragging that he didn't read it. I was puzzled, because I thought Malim posted his review after mine, but then I remembered the UK Amazon site. So here's by belated review from the American site.

This is a very good, succinct, and accurate condensation of the Shakespeare authorship question, one of the longest-running fringe arguments in crank history. I was happy to see that Professor Wells takes on Richard Roe and Diana Price and that he doesn't give the arguments for the individual 'candidates' any more space than they deserve. Without becoming tedious, Professor Wells gives more than sufficient evidence for Shakespeare's authorship that anti-Stratfordians have never successfully rebutted.

The distinctive characteristic of all anti-Stratfordian claims is that they are forced to invent labyrinthine, torturous scenarios to explain the most obvious objections to their assertions, i.e. both Marlowe and Oxford were dead long before half the plays were written. Their method is to peremptorily decide that William Shakespeare couldn't have written the works based on fallacious and (repeatedly) disproved reasoning, and then filling in the blanks they've created with whatever fiction takes their fancy. Not one scrap of evidence has ever been produced pointing to an author other than William Shakespeare, but anti-Stratfordians lack the intellectual honesty to look squarely at the evidence, instead positing a giant conspiracy (or not, depending on the exigencies of the moment) that covered up all the evidence for the true author.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 20, 2014 11:51 AM GMT

In Search of Shakespeare
In Search of Shakespeare
by Michael Wood
Edition: Hardcover

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare found, 25 Jun. 2003
P>The book is dense with context, and Wood demonstrates how much biography can be teased out by a good historian. One nice touch is the reproduction of photographs taken in the late 19th century of Elizabethan-era buildings that are no longer standing. I am also surprised at how many buildings related to Shakespeare's family still exist.
I'm fairly familiar with Shakespeare's life, but Wood combines old information with fairly recent discoveries to come up with some new interpretations. He doesn't constrict himself by typical academic reticence to speculate on Shakespeare's inner life using the plays and the sonnets, but his speculations never seem far-fetched.
A fun and educational read; probably the second-best biography of Shakespeare, right behind Samuel Schoenbaum's *A Documentary Life*. Footnotes or endnotes would have been nice, though.

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