Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shakespeare: The Evidence: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Man and His Work” as Want to Read:
Shakespeare: The Evidence: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Man and His Work
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Shakespeare: The Evidence: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Man and His Work

by
3.77  ·  Rating details ·  43 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
A first-time-in-paperback reissue, this full-fledged biography takes on all of the famous Shakespearean debates, from whether or not Shakespeare actually wrote his plays to speculation regarding his sexuality to the mysterious curse he set upon his own grave. This lively and provocative book weaves together the most complete, objective, and readable account of Shakespeare' ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published January 15th 1999 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published September 8th 1993)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shakespeare, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Shakespeare

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Randy
Feb 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
I found this well-illustrated and well-researched book hard to put down. It reads like a detective novel. Like the title says, Mr. Wilson examines the evidence of Shakespeare’s life and tries to construct a reasonable account of what probably, or may have, happened. In doing so Mr. Wilson paints a vivid picture of what living in Elizabethan England was like; and that is what I liked most about this book.

And yet I also found this book flawed for two reasons and, therefore, somewhat lacking in cre
...more
Don
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
The Stratfordian view, which in conjunction with Dennis Kay's Shakespeare: His Life, Work, And Era (1992), that I finished reading earlier this year, that provides a counter argument to the Marlovian and De Vere theories of authorship.

Basically, Shakespeare (not Shakeshafte as Kay conjectured) was the son of a wealthy wool merchant and illegal money lender of Stratford-on-Avon, who was also a Catholic as key evidence that turned up later on reveals. The son is the author of his own plays and p
...more
Caroline
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best biographies of Shakespeare I've read. It isn't a literary study of his plays and poetry, and it doesn't pretend to be. It is far more of an exploration into what evidence concerning Shakespeare exists and what can be surmised from the little tidbits of information we have. Was he Catholic? Who was the 'lovely boy' of his sonnets? Who was his patron? How did he come by his knowledge of the Court? Who was the Dark Lady? What was his relationship with his wife really like?

Un
...more
Caroline
This is one of the best biographies of Shakespeare I've read. It isn't a literary study of his plays and poetry, and it doesn't pretend to be. It is far more of an exploration into what evidence concerning Shakespeare exists and what can be surmised from the little tidbits of information we have - was he Catholic? Who was the 'lovely boy' of his sonnets? Who was the Dark Lady? What was his relationship with his wife really like?

Unfortunately, as with so much about Shakespeare, a lot of it guessw
...more
David Powell
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am a little surprised that Wilson's book is not regarded as highly as some of the other books on Shakespeare. In Goodreads, for example, it is not considered among the top books on Shakespeare. Perhaps some people are put off by his dwelling upon Shakespeare's Catholicism which most other modern biographers seem willing to concede as plausible to quite likely. Nonetheless, this book is engaging, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to explore some of the "mysteries" in the title, but who ...more
John
Nov 13, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pre-2008
Well researched book dealing with the Authorship controversy. The author seems to have a fairly objective look at the subject. I can not deny his efforts and believe that he raises some interesting points.
Faye Faye
Jul 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Read this a while ago ... a lot of the reviews about this book aren't very good but I think it is a good intro into the world of Shakespeare. I've read a lot of people complain about the authors conjecture, but I enjoyed this nonetheless.
Amanda
Jun 06, 2012 rated it liked it
stopped book because it all became a bit much; but it's a fascinating story and amazing how well researched it is.
facts all laid out, not really an opinion.
Susan Wands
rated it liked it
Sep 09, 2007
Terri
rated it really liked it
Jun 29, 2012
James
rated it liked it
Jul 18, 2012
Vena
rated it really liked it
Dec 20, 2008
David Morley
rated it liked it
Jun 07, 2017
Hannah
rated it really liked it
Mar 04, 2014
Scott Eric Alt
rated it it was ok
Sep 24, 2008
Melissa
rated it it was ok
Jul 30, 2010
Kayrob
rated it really liked it
Apr 11, 2009
Becky
rated it it was amazing
Jan 01, 2012
Rich
rated it liked it
Jul 01, 2016
Jo
rated it really liked it
Jun 11, 2015
Erik Carl son
rated it really liked it
Aug 01, 2012
Libby
rated it really liked it
Feb 09, 2010
Katie Harron
rated it really liked it
Apr 23, 2017
Steve
rated it really liked it
Jun 14, 2008
Lauren
rated it really liked it
Aug 03, 2011
Amy Mutton
rated it really liked it
Jan 30, 2017
Kathleen Jones
rated it really liked it
Jul 03, 2013
Patrick
rated it it was ok
Apr 20, 2008
Allan Batchelder
rated it really liked it
Apr 19, 2013
Andy Barham
rated it it was amazing
Dec 07, 2016
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
33373
Author of historical and religious books. He was born in Clapham, south London, but now lives in Brisbane, Australia, with his wife, Judith and their two sons, Adrian and Noel.

Wilson is most well known for his research on the Shroud of Turin.
More about Ian Wilson...
“Quite possibly one of the most revealing passages about Shakespeare as a man comes from one of the roughest of the jottings made by gossip John Aubrey from his interview with William Beeston, son of the Christopher Beeston who had acted with Shakespeare's company. The partly cancelled note reads: 'the more to be admired, he was not a company keeper. [He] ... wouldn't be debauched, and if invited to, writ [i.e. wrote] he was in pain.' [Ch.24]” 1 likes
“There would therefore have been all the more delight at the birth of the first son William within less than a year of Margaret's death, tinged with more than a little anxiety, in view of the fateful words hic incepit pestis, 'here began plague', in the burial part of the register three months later. Just how close this dread flea-borne disease was to the Shakespeares can be guaged from the fact that their Henley Street neighbour Roger Green lost four of his children and town clerk Richard Symons three. One estimate suggests that the town lost around two hundred, or about fifteen per cent, of its population during this single outbreak. It is a sobering thought how much the world could have lost at this time by one ill-chanced flea-bite.” 1 likes
More quotes…