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Shakespeare by Another Name: The Life of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, the Man Who Was Shakespeare
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Shakespeare by Another Name: The Life of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, the Man Who Was Shakespeare

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  399 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
A triumph of literary detective work: the first popular biography of the adventurous Elizabethan earl whose life and letters indicate that he was the true author of the works of Shakespeare

William Shaksper of Stratford was an actor and entrepreneur who had little education, never left England, and apparently owned no books. In the centuries since his death more and more q

Hardcover, 640 pages
Published August 4th 2005 by Gotham (first published 2005)
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T.K. Kenyon
Mar 12, 2011 T.K. Kenyon rated it it was amazing
This life-changing book is a must-read for anyone who has not delved into the Authorship Question.

This is the best book that I've read in years. It was fascinating. I left it on the passenger seat of my car, open, so I could read it at red lights. The designation of "Red Light Book" is my highest honor for a book.

More to the point: I like Shakespeare's works. I took two Shakespeare classes in undergrad. When I watch a play, I tote along my big, red Bevington (dog-eared, written-on, and wrinkle
K.D. Absolutely
Nov 06, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, bio
This book is anti-Stratfordian. This is that term that is normally used to claim that William Shakespeare (1564-1616), also known as "The Bard" of Stratford-upon-Avon was not the primary author of the plays and poems traditionally attibuted to him. This includes his works like Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, etc. The reason: Shakespeare lacks the education, aristocratic sensibility, or familiarity with the royal court which they say is apparent in his works.

I h
[I am editing my review to the review that I posted on of this book, where I have noted a textual problem with Mark Anderson's book. Mark Anderson refused to answer the discrepancy, and so here it stands. I apologize for the length.]

Anderson devotes Appendix C towards general questions as to new plays supposedly appearing after 1604. The Tempest is very often cited, he states as evidence against de Vere's candidacy, and quite rightly so. De Vere could not have written the plays of Sha
Jun 02, 2007 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The greatest literary mystery of all time! What do Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Sigmund Freud, and Charlie Chaplin have in common? None of them thought the man from Stratford wrote the works of Shakespeare. I completely subscribe to the theory that Edward de Vere was the true author of the works of Shakespeare. This book is a comprehensive and amazingly researched biography of EDV which draws very convincing parallels between his life and the Shakespeare canon. Before you delve into this one, thoug ...more
Keith Mukai
Feb 06, 2007 Keith Mukai marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This research further convinced my UCLA Shakespeare prof that Edward de Vere was the man who wrote the Shakespeare plays. From everything she's said and what I've read of this book so far, I gotta say I'm pretty convinced.

The argument for the man from Stratford is pretty weak with many unexplainable conflicts and contradictions whereas the "Oxford" theory (de Vere was Earl of Oxford and is referred to by his named title) has countless intriguing anecdotes and evidence that account for much more
Mar 01, 2009 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I challenge you to read this book and retain a dismissive attitude towards its thesis -- that Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, wrote the works of Shakespeare. No one or two or three telling facts or coincidences can carry much weight in an argument like this but in this book they keep accumulating through 380 pages, with 4 appendices and 157 pages of footnotes, with heavy use of details in the plays themselves as well as other sources. Well-written and reasonable in tone, it's a pleasurable detec ...more
Stephen Gallup
Feb 11, 2010 Stephen Gallup rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My reading these days is mostly light enough to page through for a few minutes before going to sleep, and the more serious books are fairly short. Shakespeare by Another Name is an exception. It requires focus, and because it's also lengthy, that focus must be sustained.

On the other hand, what a delight it is for me to learn this stuff!

For years I'd been aware that some scholars doubted whether Shakespeare's plays and poems could have been written by the uneducated actor named William Shakespear
May 29, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I was skeptical at first, I will admit. Was it possible that the mysterious man from Stratford, who has been called the greatest writer and dramatist of all time for centuries, didnt actually create the works that have immortalized him? After reading this book. I believe the answer is yes. I am an Oxfordian believer, and Im not afraid to admit it, even if it's not a popular opinion.

This book is so well-researched, and the parallels between not only de Vere's personal life but the political and s
Sep 27, 2015 Ron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author sets out to prove that Edward de Vere was, indeed, the author of the works attributed to William Shakespeare. That he accomplishes far beyond any doubt. Taking de Vere's life virtually year by year, he shows that the literary works are a virtual autobiography of the earl's life. His education, his travels, his travails are all in the canon. Anderson has me a complete believer! From Amazon:The debate over the true author of the Shakespeare canon has raged for centuries. Astonishingly l ...more
Well now. Of course I was slightly biased when I started to read this book, since I'm inclined to take the indication in Gary R. Renard's The Disappearance of the Universe (DU) seriously, that Edward de Vere was in fact Shakespeare.

This book would have been deeply convincing without that, but it would be a joy to read for anyone interested in the seeming inner contradictions of the mythical William Shakespeare, and the unlikelihood that his identity is the one that is supported by the Stratford
Jeff Raymond
Shakespeare authorship conspiracies have always interested me ever since sopohomore year of high school, where my teacher at the time pointed out a Shakespearean sonnet that could be a veiled reference to homosexuality, "not that such a bright and intelligent man like Shakespeare would ever succumb to that!" (oh, Catholic education). Anyhow, this book mostly addresses the Oxfordian theory, which believes that Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, was really Shakespeare. The book does so with over ...more
Nov 30, 2009 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anderson presents a very well-researched argument that the true author of Shakespeare's works was the Earl of Oxford, Edward DeVere. While the depth of the examination can at times be tedious I appreciated the secondary literary sources from that era which lent some credence to this investigation as others also questioned his authorship, even in his own day and age! That being said, some examples used by Anderson felt like a stretch, as we often see what we want to see unless we've set up a peer ...more
Skylar Burris
This was fun to read if you like literary conspiracy theories, and, if you don't know the arguments on the other side, it's quite convincing. If you do, however, know the arguments on the other side, it's a bit laughable. Is it really that painful for people to believe that a man without a university education could have been the greatest writer of the English language? If you really must have evidence to believe the obvious--that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare-- well, then go here: http://shakes ...more
Nov 19, 2012 Malcolm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This might seem a very strange choice for anyone who has studied the works of Shakespeare, read many of the avalanche of biographies, and seen many of the plays, but it's compelling reading nonetheless. If you've got an open mind on this incendiary subject, read and enjoy. If not, fine. It's a fine biography of the Earl and exquisite scholarship.
Apr 11, 2013 Kim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Conspiracy theory rubbish, built on the thinnest arguments and non-existant evidence, Anyone interested in the authorship "question" would be much better served by reading James Shapiro's CONTESTED WILL.
Nikki *the awesome*
This is my life's goal.. I will forever be reading this book...
Dec 14, 2016 Dana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a hardcore Shakespeare fan. One of my bosses at work knows this and let me borrow her copy of this book thinking that it would interest me. Unfortunately, it fell a little flat.

I do not agree with the main argument of this biography: that William Shakespeare was, in fact, only a pen name for Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford. No. I do not agree with this claim, like so many other Shakespeare scholars and lovers because the "facts" put forth are just very thin
Public Offering
Columbia Business School adjunct finance professor Seth Freeman reviews: Who wrote Hamlet, Macbeth, Lear, the Sonnets, and the other works that make up the Shakespeare cannon? Conventional wisdom says that's a dumb question- Shakespeare, the Bard of Stratford, did. But strong evidence suggests this is like saying 'Mark Twain, a grain dealer from Vermont, wrote Huckleberry Finn': right pen name, wrong person. It turns out there is little or no evidence connecting the grain dealer and actor Willia ...more
Nov 20, 2008 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I've heard from vaccine deniers, HIV deniers, evolution deniers, but I've never given the Shakespeare deniers a chance. I don't worry overmuch about who wrote the plays, but I do consider myself a New Historicist when I can be bothered to analyze literature, so I am very interesting in learning about why this is important.

It doesn't bother me that Shakespeare could have been a commoner with little formal schooling, but I don't think this book takes the snobbery route. If you don't want to read
Jan 09, 2015 Cindy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this on CD and I just had a hard time staying focused on what was going on (not usually a problem for me with audio books). From what I did follow, it didn't really convince me. One example of the "proof" that Shakespeare's works were written by de Vere:
Petruchio and Katherina from "The Taming of the Shrew" have a fiery courtship, during which a comet appeared in the sky.
Edward de Vere's sister and her husband had a fiery courtship, during which a comet appeared in the sky.
Some of
Jun 24, 2012 Rayah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a biography of Edward de Vere, written with the presumption that he was actually the man who wrote the works we know of as Shakespeare's. It really makes some good points, interesting observations, and a few leaps of faith, as well. Still, it convinced me enough to go from, "No way! Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare! End of story!" to "Hmmm, maybe this de Vere guy really did write Shakespeare."

It's a question that will facinate and entertain me forever, even if I never make up my mind
Jan 11, 2010 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, along with Diana Price's Unorthodox Biography, fairly destroys the argument that the man from Stratford, with no known education, could have authored the greatest works in the English Language. Gone is the miracle of the untutored and untrained genius, instead we have a very human author.

Literary biography is that all writers use the products of their own life in their art. Traditional scholarship would have us believe that Shakespeare alone eschews this method of creation. Twain rid
Apr 01, 2011 Dick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anderson substitles his book "The Life of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, the Man Who Was Shakespeare". This Elizabethan aristocrat was first proposed as the true identity of the author "William Shakespeare" in 1920, and support for the truth of this thesis has grown from decade to decade. A thorough treatment of his subject matter, Anderson has written 380 compelling pages in support of Oxfordian authorship of the Shakespeare canon, plus 130 pages of appendices and over 150 pages of notes. He h ...more
Mar 06, 2008 Arwen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in the Shakespeare controversy
Recommended to Arwen by: Bob Poole
Fascinating history (and so nice to see the Earl of Oxford vindicated!), but the style of writing is rather smug for my taste, and the author makes an awful lot of assumptions about events that occurred 500 years ago. He asserts rather than proposes, which rubs even this confirmed Oxfordian the wrong way.

Nonetheless, it's an incredibly detailed book (the author, while not a scholar, spent 10 years researching the book) and should convince almost anyone of de Vere's legitimacy as a contender for
Oct 12, 2015 Heep rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book makes an utterly compelling case that Edward de Verr was the primary source, if not the sole author, of the literary works attributed to Shakespare. The best that I can now say of William Shakespeare is that he may have produced and perhaps recreated or edited some of de Vere's works later - certainly he took credit. There's not much credible evidence to support other conclusions. One thing that strikes me, and is reinforced by this work, is that there is actually a remarkable wealth o ...more
Caulyne B
Aug 21, 2007 Caulyne B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theatre
So, go with me on this one-- the historical Shakespeare never left England. Just happened to be creative and right about a lot of things.

Or.. just suppose... someone who had actually traveled to the places where some of the plays take place wrote them. Or perhaps characters were based upon people he knew.

Perhaps he was the Earl of Oxford, not William Shakespeare.

I came across this book first as a pod cast-- google it and listen. Fascinating. Made me want to reread all of the plays.
Stephanie Mason
I'm not convinced, even after listening to all the arguments and "coincidences" about De Vere's life and Shakespeare's writing. You can see what you want to see if that's what you're looking for. I guess it's possible; as possible as Elizabeth I having an illegitimate son with Dudley. Who can really say what went on in a world of lies and deceit.

This is obviously well researched, but not very exciting writing and bogged down with so many names and dates it's hard to keep it all straight. Anderso
Jun 20, 2014 Don rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
For me, this book was better researched than other books on Shake-speare that I've read causing me to revise my opinions of those attempts. Which also means my own theories on the subject bit the dust in the process. So thoroughly does this book wipe out the Shaksper authorship that it cannot even be considered tenable, and one wonders how one ever got into that frame of mind in the first place. Awesome read that shows what the Elizabethan and Jacobean (to a lesser degree) periods of British his ...more
Apr 26, 2014 Diana rated it liked it
This book makes a powerfully persuasive argument that the works of Shakespeare could not have been written by a semi-illiterate, lower-class actor from Stratford-on-Avon, but were in fact written by Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, a man who had all the education, travel, experience, connections, talent, and motivation to write these works. The style of writing is meticulous, and full of amazing gems, but the lack of narrative flow, with many interruptions to discuss evidence, makes it a little h ...more
Jean V. Naggar Literary
“Compelling…Impressive.” --The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Deserves serious attention…Anderson shows there are myriad Shakespeare authorship connections for de Vere.” --The New York Times

“A convincing argument…Anderson draws powerful connections between Shakespeare’s plays and the life of de Vere.” --USA Today

“Shocking.” --Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Lively…Audacious.” --Times Literary Supplement

“Tantalizing.” --New York Sun

“This book, with fascinating specificity, suits 'the action to the word, t
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