Contested Will

Author: James Shapiro
Book: Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?

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Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro examines and debunks the notorious "controversy" over the authorship of Shakespeare's plays.

Get more on James Shapiro at SimonandSchuster.com

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Victoria What James Shapiro doesn't say in this video, which is the great thing about the book besides giving one the ability to deal with Shakespeare conspiracy-minded people, is that he has traced the reasons why the idea that others had written the works arose: primarily, the change in understanding creative works from products of the imagination to expressions of personal experience. As might be expected, each unbeliever had his or her own personal reasons for thinking what they thought. James Shapiro is especially good in his intelligent, thorough, and kind treatment of Delia Bacon and J. Thomas Looney, who have been dealt with all too harshly elsewhere.

It's a very good book, and fun to read! I'd been interested in it since it came out, and then news of the silly film Anonymous coming out meant needing ammunition. But apparently that film was so bad it disappeared from view leaving only a poor bunch of teachers who have to field the questions students may have because of it.

Now I'm almost finished A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599 -- also highly recommended.


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