• If you have students who have seen the film Anonymous, or who have delved into one of the thousands of books casting doubt on the authorship of the Shakespeare canon, you might like to be equipped to answer this question; my answer might surprise you.  After reading some of the best and most up-to-date scholarship on Shakespeare, I have come to this startling conclusion:  the plays commonly attributed to William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon, were actually written by William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon.  Shocking, right?  Well, you’d be surprised how many people (including some characters in my novel) disagree with me.
    • Bill Bryson, whose book is slim, readable, witty and perfect for high school students or even middle school students wanting to know more about Shakespeare, writes that “nearly all of the anti-Shakespeare sentiment — actually all of it, every bit — involves manipulative scholarship or sweeping misstatements of fact.”  This is another great learning opportunity for students.  We live in an age when, more than ever, students need to learn to evaluate the information they receive.  Showing students that information that has appeared in such venerated sources as the New York Times, History Today and Scientific American can still be based on “manipulative scholarship and sweeping misstatements of fact” can help open their eyes to the dangers of taking any information at face value without corroborating research.
    • Simply stated, the problem with the anti-Stratfordians is twofold.  First, after nearly two hundred years of challenging Shakespeare (following two hundred years during which no one, including those who knew him, challenged him), they have yet to present a single shred of solid evidence that someone else wrote Shakespeare’s plays.  Secondly, they have summarily ignored quite a few shreds of evidence that Shakespeare did in fact write his plays.

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