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Contested Will

Who Wrote Shakespeare ?

Contested Will by James Shapiro
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For two hundred years after William Shakespeare's death, no one thought to argue that somebody else had written his plays. Since then dozens of rival candidates - including The Earl of Oxford, Sir Francis Bacon and Christopher Marlowe - have been proposed as their true author. Contested Will unravels the mystery of when and why so many people began to question whether Shakespeare wrote the plays (among them such leading writers and artists as Sigmund Freud, Henry James, Mark Twain, Helen Keller, Orson Welles, and Sir Derek Jacobi).

Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro's fascinating search for the source of this controversy retraces a path strewn with fabricated documents, calls for trials, false claimants, concealed identity, bald-faced deception and a failure to grasp what could not be imagined. If Contested Will does not end the authorship question once and for all, it will nonetheless irrevocably change the nature of the debate by confronting what's really contested: are the plays and poems of Shakespeare autobiographical, and if so, do they hold the key to the question of who wrote them?

'[Shapiro] writes erudite, undumbed-down history that . . . reads as fluidly as a good novel.' David Mitchell, the Guardian

Faber & Faber; September 2011
320 pages; ISBN 9780571258697
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: Contested Will
Author: James Shapiro
  • News
Who really wrote Shakespeare? - The Guardian
Wed, 21 Jan 2015 22:45:00 -0800
The GuardianWho really wrote Shakespeare?The GuardianFinally, in January, along came the first proof of Shapiro's new book. ...
To Be Or Not To Be Falsely Equivalent: The Shakespeare Authorship Debate - NPR
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 10:50:11 -0700
NPRTo Be Or Not To Be Falsely Equivalent: The Shakespeare Authorship DebateNPRIn a recent story on the same topic, by contrast, ...
1606: Shakespeare's 'Year of Lear' - WBUR
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 21:04:01 -0700
WBUR1606: Shakespeare's 'Year of Lear'WBUR1606 was a year of plague, terror fallout, religious strife – and “King ...

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