Autobiography/Biography, Historical

Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro

This was a great book! Though it is listed under “Biography” it is really a literary mystery story. It describes the life of William Shakespeare, and examines all the alternate theories about who might have written his plays—Francis Bacon; Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford; Christopher Marlowe; and many others (though today the Oxfordian camp is in ascendance). Shapiro presents a wealth of detail and evidence about each theory and its advocates, describing famous proponents of the alternate theories—like Mark Twain and Sigmund Freud—along with the strengths and weaknesses of each theory. By the end of the book, however, he presents the best case for Will of Stratford being the actual author of the plays by Shakespeare. I was convinced. Highly recommended.


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