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James Shapiro’s timely—and polite—debunking of the claims that rival authors wrote the works of the great bard will never convince the conspiracy theorists

By Robert Winder   April 2010

Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro (Faber, £20)

It was only a matter of time. At some point someone was going to have to roll up some sleeves and assert once more, from a proper scholarly height, that William Shakespeare’s plays were actually written by… William Shakespeare.

It is sad that such a book is even necessary, but the modern world seems keen to see the origin of Shakespeare’s collected works as one of those mysteries—like the Marie Celeste, the death of Princess Diana, or extraterrestrials—that may never be truly “solved.” We must be thankful, then, that the…

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