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19 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare Beyond Doubt?, 16 July 2013
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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
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Mar 2014 20:51:20 GMT
Last edited by the author on 9 Mar 2014 20:55:39 GMT
Donald Bain says:
t there are weaknesses in the "official" version is hardly surprising. Not only are such gaps and confusions commonplace in historical record (which in any case is hostage to interpretation) but they add to the credibility of it. It's a balance of probabilities and reality is a confusion not a series of complex conspiracies. Didn't Mark Twain say" if you've read two witness statements about a train crash you start to worry about history!"
The calumny that Stratfordians peddle a mythology to maintain some sort of cash cow could be equally levelled at some of the so-called alternative conspiracy theorists. It doesn't advance the argument much and merely provides annoyingly infantile grist in ill-mannered conduct. If the question is to be Will or not to be Will the debate would benefit from acceptance that both circumstances have yet to ravel up the sleeve of uncertainties conclusively or accept that there will always be the unexplained. Exposing these for what they are and seeking discussion as to all possible influences while accepting that there always will be untidy patches that probably will defy resolution is a consummation to be desired rather than engaging in slanging matches. It does the general cause harm I believe.

Posted on 22 Jul 2014 18:43:59 BDT
Your comment about the Edmondson/Wells book insulting doubters by calling them 'anti-Shakespeareans' indicates that you have either not read the relevant passage or have not understood it. The authors make it very clear that they are using this term to represent those who 'dispute Shakespeare's authorship and co-authorship of the works attributed to him'. That is all. They are simply calling a spade a spade. They make no reference to doubters not 'loving Shakespeare'. To suggest that they do is entirely misleading. Similarly, your statement that the Edmondson/Wells book 'never answers the really important questions' is simply wrong. It does. You might not like the answers they give, but that is a different matter.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jul 2014 20:48:12 BDT
Mac Cooper says:
You quote Wells and Edmondson saying they are using 'anti-Shakespearian' to mean 'those who dispute Shakespeare's authorship and co-authorship of the works attributed to him.' For someone accusing me of not understanding plain English that's rich. I thought I knew what 'anti' and 'Shakespearian' meant but, just to make absolutely sure, I checked in my Chambers dictionary. 'Anti - acting against, counteracting, resisting . . ..' 'Shakespearian - of or relating to William Shakespeare or his literary works.' That seems clear, even to a thicko like me; 'anti-Shakespearian' means 'against Shakespeare and/or his literary works.' But this is not what Wells and Edmondson say it means. Far from calling a spade a spade, they are making up their own definitions. In fact, nobody is disputing Shakespeare's authorship. This is only what the Stratfordians want everybody to believe. The argument centres around who Shakespeare was. You say I may not like the answers; I wish I could find some. And you are quite wrong in assuming I might not like the answers. For most of my life I was happy, no delighted, with the idea that the largely self-taught working class lad from Stratford could write the poetry and drama published under the name Shakespeare; until I started to look a little closer. You see, there is no evidence to link Shakspere, the glover's son, with this great body of work. If you find some please let me know. I would be over the moon!

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jul 2014 21:17:49 BDT
Strewth. As long as the terminology is made clear, what's the problem? You seem to be determined to find offence when it is clear that none was intended.

Your argument seems to come down to the variation in spelling of the names Shakespeare and Shakspere (never mind that these might have been pronounced the same.) On that basis you are presumably of the opinion that Christopher Marley could not have written the works attributed to Christopher Marlowe?

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jul 2014 15:20:40 BDT
Mac Cooper says:
The terminology, i.e. 'anti'/'Shakesperian' is perfectly clear. We all know what these terms mean. People can't go around inventing new definitions for commonly understood words just to suit themselves!

I don't see what you are trying to prove by talking about variations in Marlowe's name. As far as I know his authorship is not in question. The point about 'Shakespeare' and 'Shakspere' (regardless of how they were pronounced, which nobody knows) is that the Stratford family invariably used 'Shakspere' or, occasionally, a close variation. Not once did they ever use 'Shakespeare.' (See 'The Man Who was Never Shakespeare, by A. J. Pointon) On the other hand, when a name began to appear on the published works it was always 'Shakespeare' or 'Shake-speare,' never 'Shakspere,' never ever, not once! You may not think this is important, and as it stands it isn't - an author can call himself what he, or she, likes - but when you begin to look for firm evidence to connect William Shakspere of Stratford-upon-Avon to the 'Shakespeare' oeuvre you find, alas, there is none!.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jul 2014 23:25:07 BDT
If you really, genuinely, cannot see the relevance of variable spelling of surnames amongst Shakespeare's contemporaries (including one whose only verified signature differs markedly from that attached to his works) to your argument, then there's really no point in continuing with this discussion. Thanks anyway.


In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jul 2014 08:43:32 BDT
Mac Cooper says:
Am I going mad or are you! Please read A. J. Pointon's book! Pointon shows very clearly that among the Stratford family there is very little variation in the name they use - 'Shakspere.' This is important - but the big question is still the lack of evidence which connects the Stratford Glover's son with the works of 'Shakespeare.' You seem so set in or ways - the mark of the true Stratfordian - that you are not willing to enter into a reasonable debate; so, I agree, it's time to call it a day. Good luck. Terry
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