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Who Wrote Shakespeare?
     

Who Wrote Shakespeare?

by John Michell
 

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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

Overview

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?"

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
01/01/2014
Michell's survey of the authorship debate looks at the evidence against William Shakespeare and discusses the cases for Francis Bacon and the Earl of Oxford, among others, as the true authors of the plays and poems. While not as thorough as James Shapiro's Contested Will (below), this favors the anti-Stratfordian view and will appeal to readers who may have already made up their minds that William Shakespeare did not write the works that appear under his name.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Michell, whose books include The New View over Atlantis and a study of Celtic and Norse symbolic landscapes, concedes that no conclusive case has ever been made for Ben Jonson, Francis Bacon or any of the other candidates alleged to have written the plays and poems commonly attributed to William Shakespeare. Yet in this unconvincing piece of shaky scholarship, he finds Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, "a highly credible candidate," while the case for politician/theatrical patron William Stanley, Earl of Derby, is deemed "plausible on all levels." Worse, Michell endorses the theory that Christopher Marlowe was the principal author of 10 of Shakespeare's plays written before 1593, and he further hypothesizes that Marlowe, having survived his reported murder in 1593, went on to write more of the Bard's plays. Michell also speculates that Bacon secretly supported the production of Shakespeare's dramas. The best aspect of this lame study are the 116 fetching period illustrations. (Sept.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500281130
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
07/28/1999
Pages:
274
Sales rank:
935,910
Product dimensions:
6.69(w) x 9.61(h) x 0.58(d)

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