In two days we will be commemorating the 399th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare of Stratford. And if tradition is correct, extrapolating from his baptismal date,
we will also be celebrating the 451st anniversary of his birth. The Man from Stratford
has been both adulated and disowned by the world. His amazing gift turned him into a god for some. But Nineteenth-Century adulation paved the way for the world's perhaps predictable reaction. Today, his lack of breeding, rank, and a university education makes him suspect as the unworthy and false receiver of Shakespeare Worship. 'Tis said the lavish credit due to the plays and poems of "Shakespeare" undoubtedly belongs to some highly educated aristocrat whose name has been lost in the mists of time.
I cannot review here and now each claim, reviewing each absurdity and dismissing it. James Shapiro has done all the legwork needed and made well-presented and well-founded conclusions. If you have the slightest doubt who wrote The Works of Shakespeare, please read a copy of Shapiro's Contested Will. Not only will you be convinced of Will's authorship, you will also read a ripping good tale of fan lunacy, with one would-be debunker sadly but amusingly named Looney.
SO, IT IS ALMOST HERE:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WILL!! AND THANK YOU FOR ENRICHING OUR LIVES AND OUR CULTURE BEYOND MEASURE.