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Customer Review

7 of 15 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.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Jul 2014 16:32:56 BDT
To answer your opening question - yes. What you say is true of every other dramatist of the early modern period, and most of the poets. One thing you say is however not true; there is no evidence in the plays that their author was on close terms with the great of the land.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Aug 2014 21:56:14 BDT
Jeffrey L. says:
What you say is NOT true of every other dramatist of the early modern period. I won't go through each of the reviewer's points but just read a little about Ben Jonson and Christopher Marlowe and you will discover that both of these "tick the right boxes" more than once. Shakespeare of Stratford (if he was the author of the canon) is unique among outstanding writers of the period in ticking none at all. The dedications of "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrece" provide evidence that the author was on close terms with the great of the land (probably because he was one of their number!) and the Stratford actor was a member of companies that were under the patronage of theatre-loving aristocrats.
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