The Case for Shakespeare
The End of the Authorship Question
by Scott McCrea
January 2005, 296pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-98527-1
$50, £38, 44€, A68
Paperback: 978-0-313-36177-7
$25, £19, 22€, A34
eBook Available: 978-0-313-04207-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Demonstrates that William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon really did write the plays and poems attributed to him via a literary forensics case that puts all other authorship theories to rest.

While gaps in the biographical record for William Shakespeare continue to confound literary scholars, McCrea here concludes that he was, indeed, the playwright and poet we have always thought him to be. This literary forensics case follows the trail of evidence in the historical record and in the plays and poems themselves. It investigates the counterclaims for other authors and the suppositions that the real author of the works must have been a soldier, a scholar, a lawyer, a courtier, and a traveler to Italy. In spirited and fascinating detail, McCrea carefully takes apart the case for other authors and proves the case conclusively.

While gaps in the biographical record for William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon continue to confound literary scholars, McCrea here concludes that he was, indeed, the playwright and poet we have always thought him to be. This literary forensics case follows the trail of evidence in the historical record and in the plays and poems themselves. It investigates the counterclaims for other authors and the suppositions that the real author of the works must have been a soldier, a scholar, a lawyer, a courtier, and a traveler to Italy. In spirited and fascinating detail, McCrea carefully takes apart the case for other authors and proves the case conclusively.

Unlike other books that make the case for one or another candidate for the real Shakespeare, this book makes the case for the Bard of Avon even as it considers the alternative arguments for other authors and presents the evidence against them. Special attention is paid to the leading contender, Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, but like other conspiracy theories, this one is put to rest through a detailed combing of the clues and a convincing presentation of the facts. In the end, readers will be reassured as to the identity of the real Shakespeare, who was, and is, the glover’s son from Avon.

Awards

CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles, 2005, January 1, 2005

Reviews

"McCrea establishes conclusively that Shakespeare, the Stratford-born actor--not Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, or Marlowe, Bacon, or anyone else--did in fact compose the works attributed to him....Essential. All collections; all levels."—Choice, July 1, 2005

"McCrea's position on the authorship question is instantly clear: he refers to those who deny that Will Shakespeare of Stratford is the author of the sonnets and plays credited to him as heretic....McCrea examines all available biographical evidence about the Stratford Shakespeare. Because this evidence is scanty and does not prove or disprove Shakespeare's authorship, he supports his conclusions with ample quotes from primary materials and references to scholarly studies. Readers can judge for themselves whether to agree or disagree....Recommended for all libraries needing to balance out collections about the authorship question."—Library Journal, April 15, 2005

"This is the latest in an honourable line of books reaffirming Shakespeare's authorship....The Case for Shakespeare gives reliable and well argued accounts of both sides, bringing out the sleight of hand, specious logic, imaginary evidence, misdirection and above all subjective approaches that have spawned so many rival candidates."—Times Literary Supplement, August 19, 2005

"[This volume] is not only compellingly written but it also has an inviting, conversational tone that I found both appealing and suspenseful, convincing as scholarship and at the same time stimulating to read.... McCrea skillfully disarms the Oxfordian pretensions and, as he does so, illuminates the claim of Shakespeare to his rightful name."—Albert Bermel, author of Shakespeare at the Moment

"Engagingly written, a nice informal anecdotal start.... The book accomplishes what it sets out to accomplish."—David Bevington, Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities, University of Chicago
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