The debate over the true author of the Shakespeare canon has raged for centuries. Astonishingly little evidence supports the traditional belief that Will Shakespeare, the actor and businessman from Stratford-upon-Avon, was the author. Legendary figures such as Mark Twain, Walt Whitman and Sigmund Freud have all expressed grave doubts that an uneducated man who apparently owned no books and never left England wrote plays and poems that consistently reflect a learned and well-traveled insider's perspective on royal courts and the ancient feudal nobility. Recent scholarship has turned to Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford-an Elizabethan court playwright known to have written in secret and who had ample means, motive and opportunity to in fact have assumed the "Shakespeare" disguise. "Shakespeare" by Another Name is the literary biography of Edward de Vere as "Shakespeare." This groundbreaking book tells the story of de Vere's action-packed life-as Renaissance man, spendthrift, courtier, wit, student, scoundrel, patron, military adventurer, and, above all, prolific ghostwriter-finding in it the background material for all of The Bard's works. Biographer Mark Anderson incorporates a wealth of new evidence, including de Vere's personal copy of the Bible (in which de Vere underlines scores of passages that are also prominent Shakespearean biblical references).
Formerly published as "English Renaissance Theatre History: A Reference Guide" by G. K. Hall in 1982, this annotated bibliography of scholarship in the field of Elizabethan theatre history has been out of print for almost 30 years. Most academic libraries have a copy in their reference departments, and this classic is now available for the personal libraries of students and scholars in the field. It has never been easier to review the academic literature in such areas as reconstructions of Shakespeare's Globe Playhouse, and other public and private playhouses of Shakespeare's London; the court masques; Inigo Jones; Richard Burbage and other actors of the time; the Lord Mayor's Shows; Puritan opposition to the stage; and other such topics. The terminal date of 1979 reflects the date of original production, but with this tool it is a simple matter for the scholar to update his or her review of the literature. The comprehensive Index is invaluable, and Stevens also provides a preface and introduction.
For many years scholars have puzzled over the whereabouts of the young William Shakespeare. Where was he and what was he doing during the "lost years" between leaving school and appearing as an actor and playwright in London? This fascinating literary detective story throws fresh light onthese problems and provides some intriguing and significant answers. Bringing forward new historic and documentary evidence, one of Britain's most senior Shakespeare scholars makes it as clear as it now can be that Shakespeare worked as a schoolmaster and player for a wealthy Catholic landowner in Lancashire and later for the Earl of Derby. One of Honigmann's moststartling conclusions is that Shakespeare was probably brought up as a Roman Catholic. Step by step this strange story of patronage, recusancy and aspiring talent is pursued through complex family relationships in a lucid and readable way which will delight anyone who likes a good story about a great national figure. For the serious scholar, the book shows how the Lancashireconnection and the catholic background help to explain mysterious references in a number of the plays and poems, and also fills a major gap in the understanding of our literary heritage. For this revised edition E. A. J. Honigmann has updated the scholarship surrounding this fascinating research.
No issue in Shakespeare studies is more important than determining what he wrote. For over two centuries scholars have discussed the evidence that Shakespeare worked with co-authors on several plays, and have used a variety of methods to differentiate their contributions from his. In this wide-ranging study, Brian Vickers takes up and extends these discussions, presenting compelling evidence that Shakespeare wrote Titus Andronicus together with George Peele, Timon of Athens with Thomas Middleton, Pericles with George Wilkins, and Henry VIII and The Two Noble Kinsmen with John Fletcher. In Part One Vickers reviews the standard processes of co-authorship as they can be reconstructed from documents connected with the Elizabethan stage, and shows that every major, and most minor dramatists in the Elizabethan, Jacobean, and Caroline theatres collaborated in getting plays written and staged. This is combined with a survey of the types of methodology used since the early nineteenth century to identify co-authorship, and a critical evaluation of some 'stylometric' techniques. Part Two is devoted to detailed analyses of the five collaborative plays, discussing every significant case made for and against Shakespeare's co-authorship. Synthesizing two centuries of discussion, Vickers reveals a solidly based scholarly tradition, building on and extending previous work, identifying the co-authors' contributions in increasing detail. The range and quantity of close verbal analysis brought together in Shakespeare, Co-Author present a compelling case to counter those 'conservators' of Shakespeare who maintain that he is the sole author of his plays.