One of the comments I often will get is this: “How long did it take you to research this book?” And the truthful answer is, “Not very long. Actually, not much research went into it.” People will tell me, “This man, John Jones, has studied Shakespeare for more than 30 years. Why do you think you know more than John Jones?” My answer is that maybe I am looking at the same material but I am looking at it differently. Here is an example: what do you see when someone shows you this picture? A young woman, right?
But some folks will only see an old woman.
So let me start out by asking you, how long does it take YOU to read four poems? One hour? How long would it take you to read 154 sonnets? One day? One week? The point is, this is ALL the evidence there is on the authorship question. It does not take very long!
How many letters do you think Shakespeare wrote to his wife over 20 years? (His family home was located about 100 miles away from London or a 3-4 day ride on horseback.)
a. 200 letters?
b. 14 letters?
c. 63 letters?
Over 20 years.
What makes the authorship question open to interpretation is that the correct answer is D, none. Shakespeare wrote zero letters to his friends. No letters came to him. Wait. There one letter did arrive to him, asking him to broker a loan.
For this reason, if William Shakespeare did NOT attend a grammar school then he most likely did NOT write the works. How did I look at this differently?
My simple observation was this: it seems like everyone in the past has looked at this situation and started out the same way. They get bogged down in Shakespeare’s murky grammar school quicksand.
Instead of starting with Stratford’s birth and then his education, why not start out by talking about Shakespeare’s death?
By starting with his death and moving backwards, one can differentiate more easily between the two men. Edward de Vere died in 1604 and William Shakespeare died in 1616, so why not start out by reading the poetry written by Shakespeare AFTER Edward de Vere died in 1604? Read all his poems from 1604 all the way to 1616. I dare you.
If you do, you will see that Shakespeare’s poetry has turned to schlock. Surprising? It’s true. Check it out and see for yourself in Hang Shakespeare!