Who Wrote Shakespeare?

John Michell, Author Thames & Hudson $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-500-01700-5
Michell, whose books include The New View over Atlantis and a study of Celtic and Norse symbolic landscapes, concedes that no conclusive case has ever been made for Ben Jonson, Francis Bacon or any of the other candidates alleged to have written the plays and poems commonly attributed to William Shakespeare. Yet in this unconvincing piece of shaky scholarship, he finds Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, ""a highly credible candidate,"" while the case for politician/theatrical patron William Stanley, Earl of Derby, is deemed ""plausible on all levels."" Worse, Michell endorses the theory that Christopher Marlowe was the principal author of 10 of Shakespeare's plays written before 1593, and he further hypothesizes that Marlowe, having survived his reported murder in 1593, went on to write more of the Bard's plays. Michell also speculates that Bacon secretly supported the production of Shakespeare's dramas. The best aspect of this lame study are the 116 fetching period illustrations. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
Paperback - 274 pages - 978-0-500-28113-0
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