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This text claims that the link between William Shakespeare and the works published under his name is weak, and it argues instead that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford and a literary Elizabethan courtier, is a far more plausible author than Shakespeare, the obscure country actor.


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This text claims that the link between William Shakespeare and the works published under his name is weak, and it argues instead that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford and a literary Elizabethan courtier, is a far more plausible author than Shakespeare, the obscure country actor.

30 review for Alias Shakespeare: Solving the Greatest Literary Mystery of All Time

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lyn Elliott

    Joseph Sobran clearly relished his search for an answer to the question – who wrote Shakespeare’s plays – and he’s written a very lively account of his researches and his conclusions. It’s fun to read if you’re interested in Shakespeare or in Elizabethan culture. He sketches the outline of authorship disputes – the orthodox Stratfordian view that William Shakespeare, author, is the same as William Shakspere, actor and small businessman of Stratford, against the authorship heretical views that sai Joseph Sobran clearly relished his search for an answer to the question – who wrote Shakespeare’s plays – and he’s written a very lively account of his researches and his conclusions. It’s fun to read if you’re interested in Shakespeare or in Elizabethan culture. He sketches the outline of authorship disputes – the orthodox Stratfordian view that William Shakespeare, author, is the same as William Shakspere, actor and small businessman of Stratford, against the authorship heretical views that said Shakspere could not possibly have written the sonnets and plays: that it must have been someone who knew much more of the world than could the man from Stratford. Many candidates have been put forward over the years, among them Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, Francis Bacon, ‘various earls – of Oxford, Derby, Rutland, Essex and Southampton. Among the more unlikely candidates who have been advanced are Elizabeth I, James I, Anne Hathaway [Shakspere’s unhappy wife] and Daniel Defoe’. Defoe wasn't even born until nearly all the plays were written. How did the Shakespearean myth arise? Were the sonnets autobiographical? Was the Stratford man illiterate or at best barely able to write his name? These are some of the Sobran’s questions and his search for answers makes for engrossing reading. Without revealing who Sobran believes was the author, he comes down solidly for a member of the nobility; someone with an excellent education, familiar with the life of royal courts, who travelled widely. He argues that there is no obvious connection between the life of the Stratford man and the plays, while there are significant parallels with the life of one earl in particular and the sonnets and plays. In September 2007, master-actors Derek Jacobi (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_J...) and Mark Rylance (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Ry...) unveiled a Declaration of Reasonable Doubt on the authorship of Shakespeare's work, to encourage further research into the question. They share Sobran’s conclusions on the authorship. A more recent book, Contested Will, Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro, comes to a very different conclusion, but gives Sobran an honourable mention along the way, says my husband, who has read much more widely in and on Elizabethan literature than I’m ever likely to. So Shapiro is next. There is little likelihood of the mystery being finally resolved in what seems to be the absence of any direct documentary evidence. It’s a bit like the mystery who ordered the murder of the young princes in the Tower? Richard III (the arch-villain according to Shakespeare)? Henry VII (the one with most to gain)? Another aristocrat with designs on the throne? Who knows? Sobran may not have the final answer, but his is a highly enjoyable book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brian Kohl

    Apparently, you can't actually believe this book and be taken seriously as a professional. So I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. However, if you dislike having your preconceptions challenged, then don't dare to read this book, because it presents some fascinating alternative theories. A piece of literary detection that rivals any other (perhaps even comparable to Planet Narnia!). Lots of interesting details about the plays and sonnets as well. Sobran's crotchety attitude will make you, too, Apparently, you can't actually believe this book and be taken seriously as a professional. So I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. However, if you dislike having your preconceptions challenged, then don't dare to read this book, because it presents some fascinating alternative theories. A piece of literary detection that rivals any other (perhaps even comparable to Planet Narnia!). Lots of interesting details about the plays and sonnets as well. Sobran's crotchety attitude will make you, too, feel as if you just pantsed the literary establishment and are now on the run. Looking back, it probably didn't get beyond the burden of reasonable doubt, especially (as others have said) because of how little we know about the personal lives of all authors from this time period (and before). EDIT: New research seems to point to "Mr. W.H." being a publisher at the time (and not Wriothesley). Heraldic evidence also seems to show that Shakespeare the actor was known as Shakespeare the playwright and gentleman. As much as I would love to be an Oxfordian, the barriers to belief seem to be increasing. I suppose I should take away another star, but it was a lot of fun to read, even if ultimately unpersuasive.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Richard Agemo

    I have studied the Shakespeare authorship debate for years. Sobran's book makes a very convincing case for Edward de Vere, the 17th earl of Oxford, as the writer behind the pseudonym "William Shakespeare." I know, the idea that "William Shakespeare" is a pseudonym might sound odd. But Sobran's book helps prove it. But you don't have to take Sobran's word for it. Thinkers that include Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens and Antonin Scalia, historian David McCullough, and Shakespearan actors S I have studied the Shakespeare authorship debate for years. Sobran's book makes a very convincing case for Edward de Vere, the 17th earl of Oxford, as the writer behind the pseudonym "William Shakespeare." I know, the idea that "William Shakespeare" is a pseudonym might sound odd. But Sobran's book helps prove it. But you don't have to take Sobran's word for it. Thinkers that include Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens and Antonin Scalia, historian David McCullough, and Shakespearan actors Sir Derek Jacobi, Michael York and Mark Rylance, and many others, have all concluded that Edward de Vere in fact was William Shakespeare. Check out Sobran's book. You won't be disappointed.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elliott

    Every book that advances a different author than William Shakespeare always begins in the same pitiable way: 'we don't know much about Shakespeare's life... these famous people agree with me... why do people think I'm a snob?' Never aware that these facts by themselves do nothing to eliminate Shakespeare from consideration as the play's author. As an aside there was a new one: "inverted snobbery" which shows you the seriousness of the book pretty well. In any case I was surprised though that Sob Every book that advances a different author than William Shakespeare always begins in the same pitiable way: 'we don't know much about Shakespeare's life... these famous people agree with me... why do people think I'm a snob?' Never aware that these facts by themselves do nothing to eliminate Shakespeare from consideration as the play's author. As an aside there was a new one: "inverted snobbery" which shows you the seriousness of the book pretty well. In any case I was surprised though that Sobran admitted that he bore the burden of proof for his book's thesis which is of course that Edward de Vere wrote Shakespeare even making allowance that he may be wrong! By itself this is a fantastic addendum that's so rare it deserves mention amongst those invested in the SAD (Shakespeare Authorship Debate). It threw me off that I was willing to take him seriously although still weighing his claims mercilessly. This early optimism on my part was all for nothing however. Page 32 begins a "debunking" of The Groatsworth of Wit which ends with Sobran claiming that the pamphlet is a forgery in a slightly odd manner. First he seems to intimate that it is not contemporaneous to Shakespeare, then that it was not written by Greene (although that's hardly a new assertion, Thomas Nashe denied being its author in 1594), then that Shakespeare didn't mind it because it had nothing to do with him (apparently Oxford also didn't mind it either but Sobran doesn't say that), and finally that it doesn't refer to Shakespeare at all which makes it a roundabout and pointless section to bother including in the first place. He simply could have states that it had nothing to do with Shakespeare which is actually a school of thought amongst Sobran's reviled "Orthodox" scholars. Not that I'm one of them: "Shake-scene" was only ever used once- in Groatsworth- and contains a reference to a play commonly ascribed to William Shakespeare. I think Sobran's source that takes it to be a reference to an actor who literally "shook" the stage is thinner than its application to Will of Stratford. A few pages later Sobran mentions Spenser's Teares of the Muses incorrectly arguing that it refers to an author sounding an awful lot like Shakespeare before scholars have Shakespeare beginning his career. The problem is that the poet Spenser refers to as "Willy" was the deceased Richard Willes. Page 39 refers to William Wayte and the sureties of peace against William Shakespeare. Here, Sobran makes limited use of fact: the surety was in reaction to a surety filed by Francis Langley against Wayte himself. Sobran doesn't mention who the three others are since it doesn't serve his purpose but they are: Francis Langley, Anne Lee, and Dorothy Soer. By all respects it seems that William Wayte was attempting to have Shakespeare's theatre shut down because he was a Puritan and anti-theatre. Sobran also doesn't mention that contemporaneous sources mention William Wayte as a less than reputable individual prone to these sorts of outbursts and just an overall dick. He unfortunately had a judge willing to humor him. His readings of the Sonnets are likewise unimpressive in that they are based on a reading of Oxford's letters and poems with "similar" (wink, wink) phrases highlighted. Fowler did the exact same thing in Shakespeare Revealed in Oxford's Letters, while Looney used Oxford's poems. Unless you are already a convinced Oxfordian Sobran's readings are less convincing than Fowler's and Looney's and they suck at comparative reading. Though there are other issues perhaps the most glaring are his timeline for The Tempest and Macbeth. The Tempest is Oxford's silver bullet because it can very confidently be dated within the 1609-1611 time period. Sobran has four points against this timeframe none of which are very good: he states that it's odd for the source to be so far removed from the publishing dates of Shakespeare's other sources, he tries dismissing the Strachey letter as a source because Shakespeare wouldn't have time to read it, the play is more Italian in setting and Bermuda had been claimed by Spain in the early 16th century. Shakespeare had time to read the Strachey letter since it didn't circulated in James' court, but rather the company that funded the expedition that Southampto-Shakespeare's patron-sat on the board of. Many scholars do believe the play is set near Italy and while Bermuda was discovered and named prior to Oxford's and Shakespeare's lives the first poetic usage of Bermuda occurred in 1611 around the time England were able to settle the island. Furthermore part of the original music for The Tempest survives and it is dated from 1611. If Oxford was such an accomplished musician it is doubtful he would not have written the music himself and yet there it is, that The Tempest uses sources later than others is in part circular reasoning based on the unfounded premise that Oxford wrote Shakespeare and furthermore moot because how close together the sources were published does not eliminate Shakespeare having read them. Finally Macbeth alludes often to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Does Sobran give "proof"? No. Indeed based upon what Sobran classifies as proof the real question becomes: 'does Sobran actually know what proof is?' At his best Sobran highlights instances in Shakespeare's plays and poems that are sort of kind of like parts of Oxford's life assuming that the sonnets are meant as examples of gay literature with the further assumption that Oxford wrote them. This isn't evidence. Thus, while Sobran didn't prove that Oxford wrote Shakespeare's plays and poems he did prove that he is perfectly willing to analyze and pose evidence either incompetently, or dishonestly.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    He makes a very compelling case for Oxfordian authorship but perhaps the most damning evidence is not simply the volume of proof for Edward deVere but rather the Stratfordians' insistence on proving a negative. The appalling lack of connection between the Stratford-upon-Avon man and any contemporary documentation aside from name similarity weakens the case for the 'accepted' view. The defense for Shakspere authorship seems to be dependent solely of scholastic dogma and cries of heresy and appare He makes a very compelling case for Oxfordian authorship but perhaps the most damning evidence is not simply the volume of proof for Edward deVere but rather the Stratfordians' insistence on proving a negative. The appalling lack of connection between the Stratford-upon-Avon man and any contemporary documentation aside from name similarity weakens the case for the 'accepted' view. The defense for Shakspere authorship seems to be dependent solely of scholastic dogma and cries of heresy and apparently the motive appears to nothing more than vaunted egalitarianism. Stratfordian authorship raises the bar of common man accomplishment and as such is not allowed to be doubted or disclaimed. Death to dogma!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    As someone who has modestly contributed to the state of research relating to Shakespeare and the Atlantic history of the Anglo-American middle class of the 17th century [1], I have tended to view the authorship debate involving Shakespeare's writings with a high degree of skepticism.  After all, those who affirm the scholarly consensus of William Shakespeare being the author of the plays that were published under his name (the Stratfordians) are surely right that those who critique their positio As someone who has modestly contributed to the state of research relating to Shakespeare and the Atlantic history of the Anglo-American middle class of the 17th century [1], I have tended to view the authorship debate involving Shakespeare's writings with a high degree of skepticism.  After all, those who affirm the scholarly consensus of William Shakespeare being the author of the plays that were published under his name (the Stratfordians) are surely right that those who critique their position are guilty of snobbery.  There is a great deal of snobbery present in this particular book, including the snobbery that only someone with the elite status of the author's choice of Shakespeare identity would be able to acquire the sort of books that served as sources to Shakespeare's plays, would have the sort of elite worldview that Shakespeare shows in his writings, and that William Shakespeare of Stratford was a near-illiterate who could not possibly have written works as insightful about human ways as the playwright was.  Snobbery can definitely be found here, but it is not clear that such snobbery is definitely wrong, not least when the author has written a worthy and intriguing defense of his snobbery here. This book is a relatively short one at between 200 and 300 pages (depending on whether one reads the appendices, which are interesting) and presents an Oxfordian perspective on Shakespeare's writings.  The first four chapters provide the author's thoughts on a supposed "Shakespeare myth," where the author talks about the life of William Shakespeare (who he continually labels as Shakspeare) (1), the origin of the connection between William Shakespeare and the plays that bear his name (2), the development of the biography, especially as it relates to the rather slim documentary material known about William Shakespeare of Stratford (3), and the disconnections that exist between the poetry and its perspective and the life of William Shakespeare (4).  The next six chapters provide the author's case for his Oxfordian position, with chapters on the life of Oxford (5), the critical year of 1604, when Oxford died (6), Oxford's social milieu (7), the connections that exist between Oxford's circles and the plays (8), the sonnets revisited (9), and the reinvention of Shakespeare (10).  The book then finishes with five appendices that provide supplementary material of interest, including Mr. Shakespeare's will (i), Oxford's poems (ii) and letters (iii), the preface to Cardanus Comfort (4), and the funeral elegy (5), after which there are notes, works cited, acknowledgements, and an index. There are at least a few obvious questions that a fair-minded reader would come to upon reading this book if they do not reject its thesis altogether.  For one, why would Oxford desire to have William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon to serve as a front man for his playwriting?  How ambivalent is Oxford's position if he seeks to secure a son-in-law for his daughter who shows himself reluctant to marry and then ends up being involved in an awkward affair with the young man himself, thus risking both his reputation and his life?  Are we to assume that all post 1604 plays were either left incomplete or unperformed if Oxford died then and Shakespeare plays continued to be released until 1613?  What Shakespeare plays are to be considered as genuine?  Does such a concept have any meaning when we are dealing with such a complex identity game?  Why is there such a strong belief among many that a self-educated man of middle class origins cannot be an insightful judge of human nature and psychology?  Are we to ascribe this snobbery to anti-bourgeois attitudes and leave it at that?  One cannot examine the problem of Shakespeare and the authorship of his plays without examining some very deep and dark and meaningful problems that remain problems today.  [1] See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2018...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    This is the only book of this sort I have read. I was relieved to see that the author does not make his case through reading the plays acrostically or anagrammatically. The book does not prove conclusively that the man from Stratford did not write the famous plays of Shakespeare, but it makes a fairly good case for an alternate hypothesis with regard to another person to whom the authorship of the plays could be attributed. Moreover, it makes some useful comments on some of the weaker foundations This is the only book of this sort I have read. I was relieved to see that the author does not make his case through reading the plays acrostically or anagrammatically. The book does not prove conclusively that the man from Stratford did not write the famous plays of Shakespeare, but it makes a fairly good case for an alternate hypothesis with regard to another person to whom the authorship of the plays could be attributed. Moreover, it makes some useful comments on some of the weaker foundations on which the myth of Shakespeare has been built (in particular, I have in mind Sobran's discussion of Grene's A Groatsworth of Wit).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Signe

    I did learn a lot about the controversey surrounding Shakespeare's identity. Very academic, and somewhat redundant. I did learn a lot about the controversey surrounding Shakespeare's identity. Very academic, and somewhat redundant.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    One of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. Beautifully written, very well researched, and clearly and cogently presented. Before reading this I was blissfully unaware of the raging authorship controversy - but not any more. For anyone interested in the question and prepared to lay aside long-held assumptions, this book is a must. For those who hate this question, it may not change your mind because when your mind is already made up it’s difficult to entertain new possibilities on what see One of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. Beautifully written, very well researched, and clearly and cogently presented. Before reading this I was blissfully unaware of the raging authorship controversy - but not any more. For anyone interested in the question and prepared to lay aside long-held assumptions, this book is a must. For those who hate this question, it may not change your mind because when your mind is already made up it’s difficult to entertain new possibilities on what seems a settled question. It is well worth your time should you care to take a look. I came to this question from a fairly neutral point of view, and although I don’t think anyone in this debate can claim certainty, it asks some very hard-to-answer questions.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This was a fun book to read. I found it very convincing, although the author tends to harp on the same things over and over, and he argues too strenuously sometimes over minor points of evidence, which is all unnecessary since the argument he presents is plenty convincing without either harping or straining. Still, quite enjoyable and entertaining. It kind of surprised me how much it affected me to think that I had been imagining the wrong guy as Shakespeare all this time. I do love Shakespeare b This was a fun book to read. I found it very convincing, although the author tends to harp on the same things over and over, and he argues too strenuously sometimes over minor points of evidence, which is all unnecessary since the argument he presents is plenty convincing without either harping or straining. Still, quite enjoyable and entertaining. It kind of surprised me how much it affected me to think that I had been imagining the wrong guy as Shakespeare all this time. I do love Shakespeare but would never have considered myself such a devout fan as to be caught off balance by all this. Now I am very curious to learn more about the guy who seems fairly likely to have been the actual Bard.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    I agree with the author that Oxford is much more likely to be the bard than the man of Stratford, although some of the strange ideas he obsesses over in the book don't help his case. I agree with the author that Oxford is much more likely to be the bard than the man of Stratford, although some of the strange ideas he obsesses over in the book don't help his case.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    This is the best "The Earl of Oxford Is Shakespeare" book I have read so far, because it is the least "far-fetched". There is no argument made that Queen Elizabeth I was the Earl's mother or lover or both. The Earl's poems are included in an appendix. (If Oxford was Shakespeare, the poems under his own name must have been his early work. Still, Oxford was regarded by one of his contemporaries as "first" -- I forget in what, but definitely top of the man's list.) I confess that I'm an "anti-Stratf This is the best "The Earl of Oxford Is Shakespeare" book I have read so far, because it is the least "far-fetched". There is no argument made that Queen Elizabeth I was the Earl's mother or lover or both. The Earl's poems are included in an appendix. (If Oxford was Shakespeare, the poems under his own name must have been his early work. Still, Oxford was regarded by one of his contemporaries as "first" -- I forget in what, but definitely top of the man's list.) I confess that I'm an "anti-Stratfordian" because I don't think Mr. Shakespere of Stratford had either the schooling or the life experience before the date of the first play by Shakespeare was performed to have researched all the details and written so well. Mr. S. might have had the talent, but if the Stratford Grammar School was so great, why didn't he or any of his classmates attend university? It makes more sense if the playwright was an older man, with a background in law, the military, the court and in writing poetry. I don't know if Oxford was Shakespeare, but he is a good fit. Anyway, I'm almost convinced by this book that Oxford could have been Shakespeare. I'd be fully convinced had I not read a book that gave Henry Neville the credit.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Reordwyn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The author makes a nice case that De Vere could have written Shakespeare. He fails to prove that De Vere did write Shakespeare. His arguments can be divided between those against "Mr. Shakspere" and those for De Vere. The arguments against Mr. Shakspere in turn are mainly that: 1. He was probably illiterate or almost 2. He did not have the life experience to have written the plays 3. His personality does not fit what one would expect the playwrite to have 4. No one noticed when he died 5. His name has The author makes a nice case that De Vere could have written Shakespeare. He fails to prove that De Vere did write Shakespeare. His arguments can be divided between those against "Mr. Shakspere" and those for De Vere. The arguments against Mr. Shakspere in turn are mainly that: 1. He was probably illiterate or almost 2. He did not have the life experience to have written the plays 3. His personality does not fit what one would expect the playwrite to have 4. No one noticed when he died 5. His name has various spellings These arguments seem weak because: 1. How could someone who works with scripts as an actor or a supervisor of actors (Sobran does not deny this) be illiterate? How could he hide his illiteracy if he is posing for someone else? 2. Life experience is not required to write fiction. How do our modern writers of fantasy manage? Or mystery novels for that matter-do they need to be criminals or detectives? I would be hesitant to say that someone CANNOT make a work of art outside of his immediate experience. If one is an artist, one can imagine. 3. Like #2, the personality issue is not realistic. Successful authors of fiction are not as a rule tormented romantics but talented people who know what the audience wants and are capable of producing something that will sell. If you are the talented poet Virgil and your audience is Caesar Augustus, you'll write the Aeneid about the greatness of Rome, etc. which does not mean that it is not great poetry. A great artist can incorporate what the audience want and still produce great art. 4. The answer to this is in James Shapiro's book Contested Will. There WERE eulogies written for Shakespeare when he died. 5. Again, Shapiro explains the answer to this with a fascinating insight into Elizabethan printing. As to the arguments for, these are generally good as far as Oxford COULD have written the plays. That is still a far cry to proving his authorship. Some of the weaker argument are that: 1. He had three daughters and King Lear had three daughters. Oka-a-ay...I wonder if he had two evil daughters and a good one? 2. He was captured by pirates and Hamlet was in a similar situation. Again, being captured by pirates does not prove that one wrote a play generally ascribed to someone else (and uncontested for a couple of centuries) in which someone is captured by pirates. I am sure we could all imagine what it would be like to be captured by pirates and could write about it if we have the talent. Even if there are various coincidences (which there are), it does not follow that Oxford must have written the plays in the face of other evidence to the contrary. Alias Shakespeare still gets two stars from me because Sobran's book is well-written and he does not go into all the code-breaking silliness, and thus deserves to be taken seriously.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I've never really questioned the whole Shakespeare authorship question, mainly because I don't ultimately care WHO wrote these amazing works, only that they were written. This book was given to me as a Christmas gift, however, from my fiance who enjoys the author's other writings. Sobran is apparently currently a political writer who had planned early in life to be a Shakespearean scholar. He was a firm believer that "Mr. Shakespere" was truly the bard, and has since changed his mind based on ex I've never really questioned the whole Shakespeare authorship question, mainly because I don't ultimately care WHO wrote these amazing works, only that they were written. This book was given to me as a Christmas gift, however, from my fiance who enjoys the author's other writings. Sobran is apparently currently a political writer who had planned early in life to be a Shakespearean scholar. He was a firm believer that "Mr. Shakespere" was truly the bard, and has since changed his mind based on extensive study. Once I began the book, I was drawn in. Whether or not one agrees with Sobran's ultimate claim that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, actually wrote the plays and poems, he presents a very level, logical and well-written argument. I was actually shocked at how little connection there really is between "Mr. Shakespere" and William Shakespeare's writing. It's a very intriguing read- I devoured it in a weekend.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah - All The Book Blog Names Are Taken

    My Blog ---> http://allthebookblognamesaretaken.bl... While Sobran makes a compelling case, he is entirely condescending throughout - often times making assumptions in the same way that he belittles Stratfordians for. It was a chore just to finish this one when muddling through that, which is sad to say, because Oxford himself is so intriguing - regardless of whether or not he is the man we know today as Shakespeare. The evidence presented is certainly thought-provoking. While I personally will ho My Blog ---> http://allthebookblognamesaretaken.bl... While Sobran makes a compelling case, he is entirely condescending throughout - often times making assumptions in the same way that he belittles Stratfordians for. It was a chore just to finish this one when muddling through that, which is sad to say, because Oxford himself is so intriguing - regardless of whether or not he is the man we know today as Shakespeare. The evidence presented is certainly thought-provoking. While I personally will hold to my belief that Shakespeare was Shakespeare, I enjoy reading the evidence that anti-Stratfordians have to offer. Some make interesting arguments and present interesting evidence. Hopefully others do it in a less condescending way. This is not a terrible book as a whole, the most frustrating thing was not the theory, but the author himself. If the authorship question is of interest to you, give this one a try.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    Sobran was repetitive at points, but I didn't even mind. I doubt he could have presented his case with more eloquence or force. He has me absolutely convinced--until, that is, I read the next book on the authorship controversy. The real question for mainline scholars, as I see it, is this--Why does the life of Edward de Vere make sense of Shakespeare's plays, and sonnets, in so many ways, while the man from Stratford makes these self-same works seem impossibly obscure and opaque? Sobran was repetitive at points, but I didn't even mind. I doubt he could have presented his case with more eloquence or force. He has me absolutely convinced--until, that is, I read the next book on the authorship controversy. The real question for mainline scholars, as I see it, is this--Why does the life of Edward de Vere make sense of Shakespeare's plays, and sonnets, in so many ways, while the man from Stratford makes these self-same works seem impossibly obscure and opaque?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shelly

    Whether one believes that Shakespeare's works were penned by someone other than the William Shakespeare on record, Sobran presents a well thought out theory. Whether one believes that Shakespeare's works were penned by someone other than the William Shakespeare on record, Sobran presents a well thought out theory.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Wilson

    Really good -- just as good as the first time, which was in May of 1997.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dean

    I believed it was deVere when I finished.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Makes a succinct case for understanding the basics of the Shakespeare authorship question, but I don’t know if it would convince someone to change beliefs.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Carlson

    I was already sympathetic to the author's position but still found the book a bit dull. It was well-researched and well-organized but very dry. I was already sympathetic to the author's position but still found the book a bit dull. It was well-researched and well-organized but very dry.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robert Walrod

    I could certainly criticize this book for its conspiracy-mongering, but a much more important criticism is simply that this book is very boring.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    Like most such books, this one was continually enjoyable. How will the author organize the story, what spins and twists will be put on some otherwise obscure piece of data?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael Thomas

    William Fakespeare... That was my title of an essay I submitted on the Shakespeare controversy over 15 years ago (I got a c+).

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  26. 5 out of 5

    LandOLakes Library

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sue

  28. 5 out of 5

    Biblio Jungle (Dana)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emma

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jake Maguire

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