Case For Shakespeare

Overview

While gaps in the biographical record for William Shakespeare continue to confound literary scholars, McCrea here concludes that he was, indeed, the playwright and poet we have always thought him to be. This literary forensics case follows the trail of evidence in the historical record and in the plays and poems themselves. It investigates the counterclaims for other authors and the suppositions that the real author of the works must have been a soldier, a scholar, a lawyer, a courtier, and a traveler to Italy. ...

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Overview

While gaps in the biographical record for William Shakespeare continue to confound literary scholars, McCrea here concludes that he was, indeed, the playwright and poet we have always thought him to be. This literary forensics case follows the trail of evidence in the historical record and in the plays and poems themselves. It investigates the counterclaims for other authors and the suppositions that the real author of the works must have been a soldier, a scholar, a lawyer, a courtier, and a traveler to Italy. In spirited and fascinating detail, McCrea carefully takes apart the case for other authors and proves the case conclusively.

While gaps in the biographical record for William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon continue to confound literary scholars, McCrea here concludes that he was, indeed, the playwright and poet we have always thought him to be. This literary forensics case follows the trail of evidence in the historical record and in the plays and poems themselves. It investigates the counterclaims for other authors and the suppositions that the real author of the works must have been a soldier, a scholar, a lawyer, a courtier, and a traveler to Italy. In spirited and fascinating detail, McCrea carefully takes apart the case for other authors and proves the case conclusively.

Unlike other books that make the case for one or another candidate for the real Shakespeare, this book makes the case for the Bard of Avon even as it considers the alternative arguments for other authors and presents the evidence against them. Special attention is paid to the leading contender, Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, but like other conspiracy theories, this one is put to rest through a detailed combing of the clues and a convincing presentation of the facts. In the end, readers will be reassured as to the identity of the real Shakespeare, who was, and is, the glover's son from Avon.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"McCrea's position on the authorship question is instantly clear: he refers to those who deny that Will Shakespeare of Stratford is the author of the sonnets and plays credited to him as heretic. . . . McCrea examines all available biographical evidence about the Stratford Shakespeare. Because this evidence is scanty and does not prove or disprove Shakespeare's authorship, he supports his conclusions with ample quotes from primary materials and references to scholarly studies. Readers can judge for themselves whether to agree or disagree. . . . Recommended for all libraries needing to balance out collections about the authorship question."

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Library Journal

"McCrea establishes conclusively that Shakespeare, the Stratford-born actor--not Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, or Marlowe, Bacon, or anyone else--did in fact compose the works attributed to him. . . . Essential. All collections; all levels."

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Choice

"This is the latest in an honourable line of books reaffirming Shakespeare's authorship. . . . The Case for Shakespeare gives reliable and well argued accounts of both sides, bringing out the sleight of hand, specious logic, imaginary evidence, misdirection and above all subjective approaches that have spawned so many rival candidates."

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Times Literary Supplement

". . .. hundreds of examples of historical and literary consilience have been compiled by Purchase College theatre professor and playwright Scott McCrea in his aptly titled book The Case for Shakespeare (Praeger, 2008), which demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that, in the Bard's own words from Julius Caesar, Shakespeare was not just a man but the man. . ."

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Scientific American

Library Journal
McCrea's position on the authorship question is instantly clear: he refers to those who deny that Will Shakespeare of Stratford is the author of the sonnets and plays credited to him as "heretics." Himself a playwright and faculty member at the Conservatory of Theater Arts and Film at SUNY. McCrea examines all available biographical evidence about the Stratford Shakespeare. Because this evidence is scanty and does not prove or disprove Shakespeare's authorship, he supports his conclusions with ample quotes from primary materials and references to scholarly studies. Readers can judge for themselves whether to agree or disagree. McCrea strengthens his argument by placing information within a larger context rather than just extracting the one phrase that supports his conclusions. For example, some critics assert that the author of the Shakespeare plays must have been a lawyer because of the number of legal terms and issues in the plays. McCrea presents data showing that at least half of 17 other Elizabethan playwrights-none of them lawyers-used more legal terms than Shakespeare. In the second half of the volume, he evaluates arguments supporting other claimants-particularly Edward de Vere-and disposes of them quickly. Recommended for all libraries needing to balance out collections about the authorship question.-Shana C. Fair, Ohio Univ., Zanesville Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313361777
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/30/2005
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

SCOTT MCCREA is on the faculty of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film at the State University of New York, Purchase College. He is also a playwright.
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Table of Contents

Prologue : sleight of hand
Ch. 1 Two Shakespeares 3
Ch. 2 The third man 16
Ch. 3 The vacuum 27
Ch. 4 Reasonable doubts 53
Ch. 5 Lawyer's fingers 80
Ch. 6 The courtier's tongue 89
Ch. 7 The sonneteer 102
Ch. 8 Footprints in the garden 115
Ch. 9 Suspects 129
Ch. 10 The accused 154
Ch. 11 Motive and means 166
Ch. 12 Have the body 180
Ch. 13 The logjam 192
Ch. 14 Grief and strife 208
Ch. 15 All conspiracy theories are alike 215
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