Synopses & Reviews
Was the most famous poet and writer of all time a fraud and a plagiarist? Was Shakespeare the "upstart crow" described by Greene as strutting in borrowed feathers, or Jonson's "Poet-Ape" who patched plays together from others' work?
These questions have been debated ever since the eighteenth century, when the writing styles of Marlowe and other playwrights were discerned in such plays as Titus Andronicus. The orthodox view is that the author of the works of Shakespeare was, of course, the actor and businessman of Statford-upon-Avon. But the known facts about this man are surprisingly meager and contrast puzzlingly with the learned, courtly philosopher revealed in the sonnets and plays -- the universal genius and supreme stylist.
John Michell's witty investigation of the theories and claims reads like a series of detective stories. By the end of the book even the most faithful disciples of the Bard will find themselves asking, "Who Wrote Shakespeare?"
Scholars have put forward many theories about who wrote the works of Shakespeare, suggesting it could have been Francis Bacon or the Earl of Oxford. This is an investigation of the claims and counter-claims, laying out the arguments for the various candidates, including Shakespeare himself.