The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust – the guardian of Shakespeare's global image – will publish a book of some 20 academic essays that sets out to prove definitively that Shakespeare wrote the plays and poems attributed to him. Shakespeare Beyond Doubt marks a radical development in the Shakespeare Authorship Question, for it is the first time that the "establishment" has felt the need to acknowledge its existence and importance.More details (and many comments) at The Guardian.
In the past, they have dismissed this question as only of interest to fantasists.. This is the first time that the subject is being taken seriously as "an intriguing cultural phenomenon". Why are they so worried?..
One reason is the publication in paperback of Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography by American scholar, Diana Price, in which she analyses every piece of evidence in existence concerning Shakespeare and concludes that the case for Shakespeare writing all of the works attributed to him is quite weak. As with my own research, Price does not argue for an alternative author but rather shows how the case for Shakespeare is built on mis-readings, mythologising and, often wilful deception...
A number of plays that appeared in the first collected works (the First Folio, printed in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare's death) have been shown to be works of more than one writer. I would argue that many more than this are collaborations and that some of the plays in that collection were not written by Shakespeare. For example, one record attributes Romeo and Juliet to Samuel Daniel, a contemporary of Shakespeare; Hamlet was being performed on stage 10 years before Shakespeare is supposed to have written it. These are just two of many such examples...
I receive hate mail on a regular basis and have been advised to "drop it now" if I wish to get published ever again. Yet I do not argue for an alternative author and do not suggest that any other individual wrote the plays and poems. I simply do not believe that Shakespeare wrote all of the plays and poems attributed to him and evidence seems to suggest I am right.
02 May 2013
Multiple authors of "Shakespearean" works?
For the birthday anniversary of the Stratford man, a Guardian columnist detailed one variation on the authorship controversy - that the corpus is the work of several authors.