This book is a fascinating, comprehensive, and up-to-date look at one of history's greatest mysteries.
For over 150 years many intelligent, highly educated men and women have questioned whether William Shakespeare wrote the works attributed to him.
From an obscure family in a small provincial town, Shakespeare had no formal education after the age of thirteen. His surviving handwriting consists of six signatures on legal documents. His will makes no mention of his books or manuscripts. His two daughters were illiterate. There is, in other words, a seemingly enormous gap between the meagreness of Shakespeare's background and his achievements as the greatest and most famous writer in the English language.
Over the years, numerous 'candidates' have been proposed as the true author. Often dismissed by the orthodox Shakespeare establishment in Britain and America as crackpots, the Anti-Stratfordians, as they are known, have become increasingly visible and numerous during the past thirty years. Who Wrote Shakespeare's Plays? provides a clear, objective guide to the Shakespeare authorship question by examining all of the candidates, including William Shakespeare himself.
It is the first book to examine in an objective way the strengths and deficiencies of the arguments for each potential Shakespeare: Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford; Sir Francis Bacon; Christopher Marlowe; William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby; Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland; Mary Sidney; Sir Henry Neville. William Rubinstein goes on to consider William Shakespeare himself in the same objective fashion.