Did Shakespeare write Shakespeare? The authorship question has been much treated in works of fiction, film and television, provoking interest all over the world. Sceptics have proposed many candidates as the author of Shakespeare's works, including Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe and Edward De Vere, the seventeenth Earl of Oxford. But why and how did the authorship question arise and what does surviving evidence offer in answer to it? This authoritative, accessible and frequently entertaining book sets the debate in its historical context and provides an account of its main protagonists and their theories. Presenting the authorship of Shakespeare's works in relation to historiography, psychology and literary theory, twenty-three distinguished scholars reposition and develop the discussion. The book explores the issues in the light of biographical, textual and bibliographical evidence to bring fresh perspectives to an intriguing cultural phenomenon.
About the Author
Dr. Paul Edmondson is Head of Research and Knowledge and Director of the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival for The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. His publications include: Twelfth Night: A Guide to the Text and Its Theatrical Life, and (co-authored with Stanley Wells), Shakespeare's Sonnets, Coffee with Shakespeare, and Shakespeare Bites Back (an e-book about the Shakespeare Authorship Discussion, published in October 2011). His other publications include work on Shakespeare and the Brontes, the poetry of Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, and the musicality of Shakespeare's words.
'Until now no book has provided the comprehensive evidence necessary to satisfy those 'Reasonable Doubters'.' James Shapiro, Columbia University, and author of Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? 'The Shakespeare debate has never been hotter.' London Evening Standard 'This book helpfully pulls together irrefutable evidence that Shakespeare really was Shakespeare.' New Statesman 'Well conceived and energetic.' The Times Literary Supplement '... salutary ...' Standpoint 'Shakespeare Beyond Doubt shows, once more, that the fickle authorship controversy still exists not because there is no evidence that Shakespeare was Shakespeare but because anti-Shakespeareans refuse to acknowledge it and prefer the creative route of constructing an imaginary and speculative truth. History does not work like that. It is not a Hollywood movie.' The Huffington Post 'Thorough, rigorous, scholarly, and a lot of fun.' History Today 'The range of evidence, from dialect, through manuscript analysis, to stagecraft, makes it a wonderfully rounded introduction to the period, as well as to the playwright.' Judith Flanders, The Times Literary Supplement 'This excellent collection, edited by Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells, assumes that it is possible to engage with the doubters in an honest, honourable, and constructive dialogue.' Quarto '... a most useful volume ...' The New Criterion 'The achievement here is substantial. Edmondson and Wells have curated an impressive collection that leaves few stones unturned and sets out a weighty case that defies easy rebuttal.' Cahiers Elisabethains 'All the essays are brief and accessible. Often summarising their own groundbreaking research, the contributors accomplish a two-fold task: they expose the feebleness of the anti-Shakespeareans' contentions and simultaneously provide accounts of the most recent developments in various branches of Shakespeare studies, whose scope and interest go well beyond the authorship question.' Laura Talarico, Memoria di Shakespeare: A Journal of Shakespearean Studies
Number Of Pages: 298
Published: 18th April 2013
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2 x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.49