For many years, a gentle joke has circulated in academic
circles. The plays of William Shakespeare, it says, were not
written by Shakespeare, but by another man of the same name. Not a
very good joke, for sure, but a reminder that the controversy over
authorship of those immortal plays and sonnets still thrives today.
Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro tells us that some 50 different
candidates have been suggested as the “real” author of
the Shakespeare canon.
Shapiro himself is not a doubter --- he te