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Alias Shakespeare: Solving the Greatest Literary Mystery of All Time
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Alias Shakespeare: Solving the Greatest Literary Mystery of All Time

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  83 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Who wrote Shakespeare's plays? Today, the long-standing and impassioned debate about the so-called authorship question is perceived by Shakespearean scholars as the preserve of eccentrics and cranks. But in this contrarian work of literary detection, author Joseph Sobran boldly reopens this debate and allows the members of Shakespeare's vast contemporary public to weigh al ...more
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Free Press
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Jul 19, 2016 Elliott rated it did not like it
Every book that advances a different author than William Shakespeare always begins in the same pitiable way: 'we don't know much about Shakespeare's life... these famous people agree with me... why do people think I'm a snob?' Never aware that these facts by themselves do nothing to eliminate Shakespeare from consideration as the play's author. As an aside there was a new one: "inverted snobbery" which shows you the seriousness of the book pretty well.
In any case I was surprised though that Sob
Richard Agemo
Jan 17, 2010 Richard Agemo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shakespeare
I have studied the Shakespeare authorship debate for years. Sobran's book makes a very convincing case for Edward de Vere, the 17th earl of Oxford, as the writer behind the pseudonym "William Shakespeare."

I know, the idea that "William Shakespeare" is a pseudonym might sound odd. But Sobran's book helps prove it.

But you don't have to take Sobran's word for it. Thinkers that include Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens and Antonin Scalia, historian David McCullough, and Shakespearan actors S
Aug 31, 2016 Bdkohl rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfic
Apparently, you can't actually believe this book and be taken seriously as a professional. So I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. However, if you dislike having your preconceptions challenged, then don't dare to read this book, because it presents some fascinating alternative theories. A piece of literary detection that rivals any other (perhaps even comparable to Planet Narnia!). Lots of interesting details about the plays and sonnets as well. Sobran's crotchety attitude will make you, too, ...more
Dec 21, 2011 Dave rated it it was amazing
He makes a very compelling case for Oxfordian authorship but perhaps the most damning evidence is not simply the volume of proof for Edward deVere but rather the Stratfordians' insistence on proving a negative. The appalling lack of connection between the Stratford-upon-Avon man and any contemporary documentation aside from name similarity weakens the case for the 'accepted' view. The defense for Shakspere authorship seems to be dependent solely of scholastic dogma and cries of heresy and appare ...more
Dec 09, 2008 Dan rated it liked it
This is the only book of this sort I have read. I was relieved to see that the author does not make his case through reading the plays acrostically or anagrammatically.

The book does not prove conclusively that the man from Stratford did not write the famous plays of Shakespeare, but it makes a fairly good case for an alternate hypothesis with regard to another person to whom the authorship of the plays could be attributed. Moreover, it makes some useful comments on some of the weaker foundations
Sarah(All The Book Blog Names Are Taken)
My Blog --->

While Sobran makes a compelling case, he is entirely condescending throughout - often times making assumptions in the same way that he belittles Stratfordians for. It was a chore just to finish this one when muddling through that, which is sad to say, because Oxford himself is so intriguing - regardless of whether or not he is the man we know today as Shakespeare.

The evidence presented is certainly thought-provoking. While I personally will
Oct 20, 2009 Signe rated it it was ok
I did learn a lot about the controversey surrounding Shakespeare's identity. Very academic, and somewhat redundant.
Oct 31, 2013 Reordwyn rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 06, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it
I've never really questioned the whole Shakespeare authorship question, mainly because I don't ultimately care WHO wrote these amazing works, only that they were written. This book was given to me as a Christmas gift, however, from my fiance who enjoys the author's other writings. Sobran is apparently currently a political writer who had planned early in life to be a Shakespearean scholar. He was a firm believer that "Mr. Shakespere" was truly the bard, and has since changed his mind based on ex ...more
Michael Thomas
Feb 07, 2015 Michael Thomas rated it really liked it
William Fakespeare... That was my title of an essay I submitted on the Shakespeare controversy over 15 years ago (I got a c+).
Brandon Zaffini
Mar 28, 2014 Brandon Zaffini rated it it was amazing
Sobran was repetitive at points, but I didn't even mind. I doubt he could have presented his case with more eloquence or force. He has me absolutely convinced--until, that is, I read the next book on the authorship controversy.

The real question for mainline scholars, as I see it, is this--Why does the life of Edward de Vere make sense of Shakespeare's plays, and sonnets, in so many ways, while the man from Stratford makes these self-same works seem impossibly obscure and opaque?

Jan 31, 2009 Shelly rated it really liked it
Whether one believes that Shakespeare's works were penned by someone other than the William Shakespeare on record, Sobran presents a well thought out theory.
Jun 24, 2008 Ed rated it liked it
Like most such books, this one was continually enjoyable. How will the author organize the story, what spins and twists will be put on some otherwise obscure piece of data?
Courtney Joshua
Oct 17, 2012 Courtney Joshua rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, culture
I was already sympathetic to the author's position but still found the book a bit dull. It was well-researched and well-organized but very dry.
Douglas Wilson
Mar 01, 2009 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-study
Really good -- just as good as the first time, which was in May of 1997.
Nov 21, 2008 Dean rated it liked it
Recommended to Dean by: Suzy Enos
I believed it was deVere when I finished.
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American journalist and writer.

In 1972, Sobran began working at National Review. He stayed 21 years.

From 1988 to 2007, Sobran wrote a column for the Roman Catholic newsweekly The Wanderer entitled Washington Watch.

Through much of his career, Sobran identified as a paleoconservative and Constitutionalist. In 2002, Sobran announced his philosophical and political shift to libertarianism.

More about Joseph Sobran...

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