The Case for Shakespeare: The End of the Authorship Question

The Case for Shakespeare: The End of the Authorship Question

The Case for Shakespeare: The End of the Authorship Question

The Case for Shakespeare: The End of the Authorship Question


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.


The voice accosted me from behind. It was a raspy voice, deep and full of confidence, a preacher's voice. It said, “I know where ya got those shoes.”

I wheeled around. Slouching against a brick wall with his arms folded was a forty-year-old black man with wild hair and a professor's goatee. He must have stepped out of the shadows because I hadn't noticed him when I walked by. Dressed in new jeans and a clean white t-shirt, he didn't seem to be crazy or drunk, but it was hard to tell—anyone can be anything on a Saturday. “I know where ya got those shoes,” he said again, as a challenge.

We were in Jackson Square in New Orleans. It was a beautiful day— warm, sunny, blue-skyed—and I was on vacation. Please remember that. It was a gorgeous day and I was on vacation. I pointed at my sneakers and looked him in the eye. “You know where I got these shoes?”

He nodded solemnly. He knew the answer as well as he knew his own name. “Will ya give me five dollars if I can tell ya where ya got those shoes?”

Now, obviously I smelled a con. Obviously he couldn't really tell me where I bought my footwear. But it was a beautiful day, and I wondered how the con played out. Maybe, like Henry Higgins, he could glean something from my accent. Maybe he was some kind of shoe mystic. In any case, I wondered what his answer would be, and if he said New York or anywhere close, I would gladly pay five dollars for the miracle—and if he got it wrong, it would cost me nothing. Right?

“I'll give you five dollars,” I said.

He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a rag and a tin of clear . . .

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