Shakespeare Beyond Doubt: Evidence, Argument, Controversy Paperback – 18 Apr 2013
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'Until now no book has provided the comprehensive evidence necessary to satisfy those 'Reasonable Doubters'.' James Shapiro, Columbia University, and author of Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?
'The Shakespeare debate has never been hotter.' London Evening Standard
'This book helpfully pulls together irrefutable evidence that Shakespeare really was Shakespeare.' New Statesman
'Well conceived and energetic.' The Times Literary Supplement
'… salutary …' Standpoint
'Shakespeare Beyond Doubt shows, once more, that the fickle authorship controversy still exists not because there is no evidence that Shakespeare was Shakespeare but because anti-Shakespeareans refuse to acknowledge it and prefer the creative route of constructing an imaginary and speculative truth. History does not work like that. It is not a Hollywood movie.' The Huffington Post
'Thorough, rigorous, scholarly, and a lot of fun.' History Today
'The range of evidence, from dialect, through manuscript analysis, to stagecraft, makes it a wonderfully rounded introduction to the period, as well as to the playwright.' Judith Flanders, The Times Literary Supplement
'This excellent collection, edited by Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells, assumes that it is possible to engage with the doubters in an honest, honourable, and constructive dialogue.' Quarto
'… a most useful volume …' The New Criterion
'The achievement here is substantial. Edmondson and Wells have curated an impressive collection that leaves few stones unturned and sets out a weighty case that defies easy rebuttal.' Cahiers Élisabéthains
'All the essays are brief and accessible. Often summarising their own groundbreaking research, the contributors accomplish a two-fold task: they expose the feebleness of the anti-Shakespeareans' contentions and simultaneously provide accounts of the most recent developments in various branches of Shakespeare studies, whose scope and interest go well beyond the authorship question.' Laura Talarico, Memoria di Shakespeare: A Journal of Shakespearean Studies
'The volume's distinguished editors, Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells, have assembled a tight volume that both addresses the questions at the heart of the so-called authorship controversy and discusses the phenomenon in critically sophisticated ways.' Curtis Perry, SEL: Studies in English Literature 1500–1900
Did Shakespeare write Shakespeare? The authorship question has been much treated in works of fiction, film and television, provoking interest all over the world. The book explores the issues surrounding the debate in the light of biographical, textual and bibliographical evidence to bring fresh perspectives on an intriguing cultural phenomenon.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
" Price writes that ‘Shakespeare is the only alleged writer of consequence from the time period for whom he [we?] must rely on posthumous evidence’ to prove that Shakespeare the writer was the man from Stratford.’ So far as documentary evidence goes this is true " - Stanley Wells
A large portion of the book is dedicated to the theory of 'group authorship' because the idea that Shakspere of Stratford wrote the works by himself is so completely unbelievable - so much for Shakespeare 'beyond doubt.'
We have now left behind these entertaining disputes and have entered a more unforgiving arena where all points proffered require predication on the basis of some tough questions. What is good historical evidence and what is dodgy historical evidence? How do you argue with the evidence of stylometrics? What is the difference between literature and autobiography? How does the human imagination work? How did a candidate who died in 1604 manage to collaborate with others in plays written after that date? How do we distinguish between logical and illogical speculation? What exactly is the relationship between the premise, `This man was a moneylender,' and the conclusion, `Therefore he could not have been a playwright'?
Two essays in the book shine a very specific floodlight into the arena which will be particularly unsettling for the anti-Shakespearians.Read more ›
Mathematically, each time an additional candidate is suggested, the probability decreases that any given name is the true author. -- Matt Kubus
In "Shakespeare as Author", the scholars expand on interesting topics like extant allusions to Shakespeare to 1642, Shakespeare's collaboration with other playwrights, his schooling. The chapter by David Kathman on Shakespeare's Warwickshire connections and the Warwickshire words in his plays is especially noteworthy.
In general, anti-Shakespearians' depictions of sixteenth-century Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwickshire are rooted in distortions, driven by an irrational hatred of William Shakespeare of Stratford and all he represents. Those who would deny Shakespeare's authorship and disparage his home town must turn a blind eye to a mountain of evidence showing that Stratford's leading residents, including Shakespeare's closest friends there, were educated and cultured by just about any standard. -- David Kathman
MacDonald P. Jackson shows how stylometric analysis of Shakespeare's texture proves the collaborative nature of the works. Anti-Shakespeareans, instead, automatically deny this evidence by favouring a proposition that a single author with a better formal education penned the canon.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If anyone was stupid enough to think Shakespeare did not write the plays then this book should convince them once and for all that they are wrong.Published 12 months ago by MR K J PYNE
Many reviews of this book (SBD) have already been posted here. I was not planning to write another, since my review of it is about to be published in a psychoanalytic journal (see... Read morePublished on 27 Jan. 2014 by Dr. Richard M. Waugaman
A subject i have always been fascinated by, even though i have never 'picked a side' as it were. I found the book very informative, intelligently written, as one would expect from... Read morePublished on 28 Nov. 2013 by Ian.D
For many years a weak literary criticism has granted orthodox Shaksperianism carte blanche to deal in suppressio veri (with consequent suggestio falsi), but heritical apposition,... Read morePublished on 11 Oct. 2013 by Brian Dutton
Shakespeare more in doubt than ever
(For a formatted and expanded version of this review essay with bibliography, please visit the author's website at... Read more
Winston Churchill called a fanatic "someone who won't change their mind and won't change the subject"
This book does something it never should have had to do in the... Read more
Reading this book I was reminded of a quote attributed to Dorothy Parker: 'This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly; it should be thrown with great force! Read morePublished on 29 July 2013 by Mac Cooper
This book's overriding theme is that readers should stop thinking for themselves and accept the word of "authority" when it comes to the Shakespeare authorship question. Read morePublished on 27 July 2013 by Macduff
The essays in this book undermining the Oxford theory are good, although he is an easy target. The case for Shakespeare is much more problematical, and more dubious than they... Read morePublished on 14 July 2013 by Prof W. D. Rubinstein