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What's in a name?

September 21, 2007 @ 10:52am

There is a site called that aims to convince people that the man known as William Shakespeare was not the author of all of the plays and poetry which he is generally credited with writing.

There are other famous historical authors like Homer who have little biographical evidence outside of their attributed works, "but there is only one great writer about whom the more we learn, the less he appears to have been a writer."

Here are some of their facts:

The subject matter alone in his works makes it so unlikely that this guy from Stratford-upon-Avon could have been the author of everything we consider the works of Shakespeare these days:

Some say that the Stratford grammar school would have provided all the formal education Mr. Shakspere would have needed to launch him on a trajectory consistent with the author's literary output. We disagree. The works show extensive knowledge of law, philosophy, classical literature, ancient and modern history, mathematics, astronomy, art, music, medicine, horticulture, heraldry, military and naval terminology and tactics; etiquette and manners of the nobility; English, French and Italian court life; Italy; and aristocratic pastimes such as falconry, equestrian sports and royal tennis. Nothing that we know about Mr. Shakspere accounts for this. Much of the knowledge displayed in the works was the exclusive province of the upper classes, yet no record places Mr. Shakspere among them for any length of time. The works are based on myriad ancient and modern sources, including works in French, Italian, Spanish, Latin and Greek not yet translated into English. How Mr. Shakspere could have acquired knowledge of these sources is a mystery.

Very interesting stuff.

I could see comic book historians a hundred years from now making a site called

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