Customer Reviews


11 Reviews
5 star:
 (6)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


13 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Doubters explain why
For anyone who is genuinely interested in why some people doubt that the works of William Shakespeare were written by the man from Stratford-upon-Avon, this book is essential reading. Here you can forget the usual slurs that it is because they are snobs, conspiracy theorists or crackpots, and simply look at the evidence they present which leads them to suspect that for...
Published 13 months ago by Peter Farey

versus
11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book falls short in providing essential proof.
This book falls short in providing essential proof.

For the theory that WS is not the author to be considered true, four people must be proven to be liars. Each of them knew Shakespeare personally and professionally, and each put their names to works that give Shakespeare's name as the author.

They are: John Heminges - Editor of the 1st folio; member...
Published 11 months ago by Dragonfly


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book falls short in providing essential proof., 31 Aug 2013
This review is from: Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? -- Exposing an Industry in Denial (Paperback)
This book falls short in providing essential proof.

For the theory that WS is not the author to be considered true, four people must be proven to be liars. Each of them knew Shakespeare personally and professionally, and each put their names to works that give Shakespeare's name as the author.

They are: John Heminges - Editor of the 1st folio; member of the same acting company as WS; mentioned in WS's will; and a shareholder in the Globe.

Henry Condell - like Heminges an editor of the 1st folio; member of the same acting company as WS; mentioned in WS's will; and a shareholder in the Globe.

Ben Jonson - Contributed introductory material to the 1st folio; mentioned WS to other writers who recorded the conversation; WS is listed as a cast member in a Jonson play.

Richard Field - Was the first publisher of WS's poetry; like WS he was born in Stratford Upon Avon and was the same age as Shakespeare; it is highly likely that they knew each other as boys and attended the same school.

All four of these people could not be mistaken or misled. They all worked with and knew Shakespeare personally, and by placing their names to works that give WS as the author they are either telling the truth or lying.

In history when four individuals, who definitely should know, make a claim then the weight of evidence is that the claim is true.

The alternative is a conspiracy. Conspiracies do happen but undiscovered conspiracies are rare and they require proof (not theories) before they can displace the documentary evidence.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Doubters explain why, 26 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? -- Exposing an Industry in Denial (Paperback)
For anyone who is genuinely interested in why some people doubt that the works of William Shakespeare were written by the man from Stratford-upon-Avon, this book is essential reading. Here you can forget the usual slurs that it is because they are snobs, conspiracy theorists or crackpots, and simply look at the evidence they present which leads them to suspect that for all these years we have most probably been the unwitting victims of a hoax.

Wisely omitting any mention of just who the real author might have been if not "William Shakspere" of Stratford, the book sticks closely to the simple question of whether or not there are reasonable grounds for doubt. This is an obvious response to the recently published Shakespeare Beyond Doubt: Evidence, Argument, Controversy, edited by Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells, in which the clear assertion is that there are not.

In the first part of the book, the Stratford-born William Shakspere (the most common spelling of his name) is looked at in depth. The name itself, his signatures, the documentary record, what was said about him, his Will, reactions to his death - each of these is put under the microscope. Some will complain that much of this concerns what is not there rather than what is, and that absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence. The answer here is that it is absence of evidence which really *should* have been there (such as there being not a single tribute paid to him at the time of his death), and that such absences are just as significant.

It then considers the amount of knowledge apparently possessed by the author William Shakespeare, concentrating upon just three areas - the law, medicine, and his detailed knowledge of Italy, wondering just how Mr. Shakspere could have acquired it. The next section discusses the two main pieces of evidence apparently linking the playwright to Stratford-upon-Avon - the First Folio and the Stratford monument. Although I do not personally find the argument that today's monument is significantly different from how it was originally all that convincing, I was particularly impressed by John Rollett's chapter on the engraving cut "for gentle Shakespeare" in the First Folio. In this he shows quite clearly that what appears to be the front of the sitter's left shoulder is in reality the back view of his right shoulder. There can be no doubt that this was done deliberately, and is as clear an indication as there can be that there's something fishy about the whole thing!

In September 2012 the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's website launched its campaign against doubters with "60 Minutes With Shakespeare" in which 60 eminent actors, writers and scholars were recorded addressing one of 60 authorship-related questions for 60 seconds each. Part two of the book transcribes all of these answers, together with a response to each of them by some of the best scholars in the authorship movement. Only the half dozen questions related to specific candidates are omitted.

For anyone who has, just out of interest, read either James Shapiro's Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? or Edmondson & Wells's Shakespeare Beyond Doubt and found it quite convincing, this book is precisely what they need to understand the opposite viewpoint, which anyone with a reasonably open mind must surely want to do.

Peter Farey
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare Beyond Doubt?, 16 July 2013
By 
Mac Cooper "Mac" (Westmorland, England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? -- Exposing an Industry in Denial (Paperback)
This is an excellent book and does exactly what it claims, i.e. it exposes the weakness of the Stratfordians' claims. If you are new to this subject, or if you have already done a bit of research, (or a lot!) this book is a must. It puts the case for doubting that William Shakspere, the glover's son from Stratford-upon- Avon, was the author of the works of William Shakespeare, clearly and eruditely. Read also 'Shakespeare Beyond Doubt,' edited by Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells. (To suggest that the similarity in title is to fool the gullible, as a previous reviewer has, is childish, and to suggest that readers of these books would be fooled is condescending to say the least!) Compare both books. Edmondson and Wells begin with a gross insult by referring to doubters as anti-Shakespeareans. All doubters, in my experience, love Shakespeare; but you can see what they are doing. This is one of their ploys, to deliberately muddy the waters by making no distinction between 'Shakespeare' and 'Shakspere,' when it has been shown 'beyond doubt' that the Stratford man always used 'Shakspere' or, occasionally, a close variant; never 'Shakespeare,' whereas when the name started to appear on the plays it was always 'Shakespeare' or 'Shake-speare, not once did it appear as 'Shakspere.' This is just one of their tricks. Another is to suggest, which they do often, that all doubters are snobs, not willing to believe that a 'common' person could write the plays and poems. This is utter nonsense, of course. These, and other underhand Stratfordian tactics are exposed in 'Shakespeare Beyond Doubt?' Notice how the Edmondson/Wells book never answers the really important questions. These are discussed lucidly in the Shahan/Waugh book. Buy it; read it. Make up your own mind!
Terry McIntee
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read, 12 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A must read for all students of Shakespeare. It answers most of the questions regarding did the bard from Stratford write the plays and sonnets, it does not concern itself with who was the actual writer, which is perhaps the more interesting question. However a great addition to the topic.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes the case for reasonable certainty, 24 Oct 2013
This review is from: Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? -- Exposing an Industry in Denial (Paperback)
Have you heard of a world-class writer who, so far as we know, knew the mighty of the land and yet never wrote a letter, who was never once claimed to be, or was referred to as a writer in his lifetime, whose educational achievements went entirely unrecorded, who never once visited the places he wrote so convincingly about, who could barely sign his name, and who though his works showed evidence of extensive learning, possessed on his death not a single book? Only one person this side of antiquity meets any of those criteria: Will Shakspere, the alleged author of the Shakespeare canon.

Of all the candidates for authorship, this obscure, apparently mean-minded small businessman from Stratford-upon-Avon has the least to commend him. And yet the Stratfordian juggernaut rolls on, and the best they can do is to shower the doubters with vituperation and insult. At least two of the negative reviews on this site provide neat examples of this trait.

The articles in this book don't say that Shakspere was definitely NOT the author: the book merely sets out evidence that makes an undeniable case that there is cause for reasonable doubt. For example, legal and medical experts show just how good and faultless was the author's knowledge of the principles and practice of both medicine and the law; Alexander Waugh describes in detail how much detail about life in Italy is contained in the plays; there is an interesting piece on the famous but bizarre frontispiece to the Folio edition, which consists of expertly drawn individual ineptly combined into a physically impossible composition.

I should also say that I found the writing style of the contributors both vivid and accessible, a joy to read.

Though I am an expert neither on literature or history, this book makes it plain to me that the evidence that Will Shakspere was not the author is pretty much unanswerable. That leaves two great mysteries. Firstly, who was the actual author? Secondly, why do the Shakespeare experts as a body not accept the evidence and apply their considerable energies and abilities to establishing who the true author was?

Buy this book: you will not be disappointed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Two houses both unlike in dignity., 9 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? -- Exposing an Industry in Denial (Paperback)
Hell hath no fury like the opposing camps of the authorship question (as can be seen from the polarization of critical opinion on show here.) This constant invective and name calling is depressing and it runs through this book and that which it counters.
Proposed as a denial that the Stratford Will wrote the Shakespeare canon and that those who think he did are 'in denial' it comprises a series of collected papers and essays,disparate in quality on a variety of postulated conundrums which the editors consider that certain (or perhaps most) of established Shakespeare academia ignore or answer ineffectively. Their special wrath is reserved in the main for the Birthplace Trust although others also feel the lash.
Each topic is presented by a different piece from a different author. This leads to an unsettling lack of evenness in the quality. This in turn is not assisted because only a finite space can be afforded for each essay and so several lack depth although normally there is a reasonable reading list for those who want to examine it in greater depth. Unfortunately many essays are unbalanced to some degree and are as guilty of the obfuscation, muddled logic, avoidance, selective focus and extrapolated conjecture they lay upon their opponents. There is an awful area consisting of rants,challenges and quasi-legal challenges written in cod legalese presumably in an attempt to give it some gravitas. The discerning reader will put these to one side,there being enough meat throughout the essays to be getting on with.
The thread of puerile and uniformed contributions made by both sides in this "debate" really is annoying though. On balance this book raises some reasonable points which will provide a deeper entry point for further investigation by those who have a light working knowledge of the field. the same may be said for its Birthplace "reverse parallel"
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute rubbish, 30 Aug 2013
This review is from: Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? -- Exposing an Industry in Denial (Paperback)
What a pile of absolute rubbish written by a money grabbing fool. At least it might be of some use if I run out of paper in the lavatory.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never has the case aginst the Stratford man been so clear and compelling, 28 July 2013
This review is from: Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? -- Exposing an Industry in Denial (Paperback)
This book is a must read for anyone who has an interest in the Shakespearean authorship debate. It takes a highly critical and very well argued stance against the 'evidence' traditionally expounded by Stratfordians including an extensive response to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's "60 minutes with Shakespeare". It shows that the majority of the Stratfordian arguments are very weak, often without substance, sometimes outright forgeries and that many writers have continued to repeat such evidence (often simply because they read it in an earlier book supporting the Stratfordian cause) without critically examining it.

As the book says on the front cover, it is "exposing an industry in denial" and it does this very well indeed and in a very readable manner. It should be made essential reading for anyone studying Shakespearean literature at either school or graduate/postgraduate level along with "The Man who was never Shakespeare" by A J Pointon and "The Shakespeare Guide to Italy" by Richard Paul Roe. At last, the evidence why the Stratford man's case is so weak is becoming increasingly accessible to a wider audience.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars tosh & drivel, 1 July 2013
By 
D. Steele (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? -- Exposing an Industry in Denial (Paperback)
having read and compared this alongside Shakespeare Beyond Doubt (whose title it so apes - presumably hoping that some gullible innocents will buy the wrong one) I can only say that the authors should be ashamed to have any pretence to academic or intellectual credibility. Their false premises, contorted logic and fundamentally biased propositions make the whole book and its foundation a nonsense. Whereas I had hoped for a balanced debate this is pure propoganda aimed solely at supporting what is clearly an unsupportable proposition. Only for 'flat earthers'.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concerted Criticism at Last, 24 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? -- Exposing an Industry in Denial (Paperback)
Such an exposure (debunking Shaxper the ignoramus and his mendacious defenders) has been mandatory for generations. All those heretical scholars who contributed deserve our warmest praise. There have been many admirable heretics who have exposed the Shaxper puppet, but never have so many assembled to challenge prejudice with fearless truth. Well done to all. A landmark publication, and certain to incommode complacent Shaxperians.
Their sinecures are doomed!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? -- Exposing an Industry in Denial
Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? -- Exposing an Industry in Denial by John M. Shahan (Paperback - 11 Jun 2013)
12.36
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews