Much Ado About Something
a fine mystery
a bard in the hand?
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readings & links
A selection of essays, book excerpts, and websites related to Shakespeare, Marlowe, and the authorship debate.

· Stratfordians and Anti-Stratfordians

 Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography

In this excerpt from Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography: New Evidence of an Authorship Problem (2001), independent scholar Diana Price challenges the traditional scholarship supporting the man from Stratford as the author of the plays and poems attributed to William Shakespeare.

In addition, Price's website includes several critiques of the book along with her rebuttals.

 Scenes from the Birth of a Myth and the Death of a Dramatist

Shakespeare scholar Jonathan Bate, in this essay reprinted from Shakespeare's Face (2002), argues the case for the man from Stratford and offers an explanation for why the authorship question has proven so irresistible for nearly two hundred years.

 The Shakespeare Authorship Page

This site, which says it is "dedicated to the proposition that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare," offers rebuttals to the major authorship theories and provides links to supporting articles and other documents.

· The Shakespeare-Oxford Debate

 FRONTLINE's 'The Shakespeare Mystery'

This FRONTLINE documentary originally aired in 1989 (the companion website was produced in 1996). It examines the evidence behind the argument that the 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, authored the plays of Shakespeare. The site offers a collection of related readings, with transcripts from three debates on the issue, including a moot-court presentation adjudicated by three justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

 Shakespeare Oxford Society

The Shakespeare Oxford Society is an organization devoted to the theory that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, wrote the works of Shakespeare. Its website, however, is a resource for all. The homepage offers a rich network of Internet resources on Shakespeare and the authorship question: reading lists of Oxfordian works, Stratfordian works, and works in response to the authorship debate; links to interesting sites about Shakespeare; discussion groups, a list of films based on Shakespeare, and more.

 Looking for Shakespeare

In October 1991, The Atlantic Monthly contributed to the authorship debate with dueling articles from Tom Bethell, an Oxfordian, and Irvin Matus, a Stratfordian. While Bethell's article has been superceded by more recent contributions to the Oxford case, Matus's essay still serves as a strong rebuttal to the case against the man from Stratford.

 Alan H. Nelson's Shakespeare Authorship Pages

Nelson, a professor of literature at the University of California at Berkeley and author of a forthcoming biography of Edward de Vere that purports to refute the Oxfordian case, has posted several of his own essays and rebuttals to anti-Stratfordian arguments.

· Marlowe and Marlovians

 The Marlowe Society

The website for this U.K.-based organization provides a detailed biography of Christopher Marlowe, including background on his education and work as a government agent, and an introduction to his literary works. The Marlowe Society itself does not take a position on the authorship question.

 The Murder of the Man Who Was 'Shakespeare'

This is Calvin Hoffman's introduction to his book, The Murder of the Man Who Was "Shakespeare" (first published in 1955 and long since out of print), which is credited with launching the modern case for Christopher Marlowe as author of the works of Shakespeare.

 The Killing of Christopher Marlowe

Prof. David Riggs of Stanford University, in this essay from the Spring 2000 issue of Stanford Humanities Review, argues that Marlowe's death was a political assassination, authorized by Queen Elizabeth herself.

 Peter Farey's Marlowe Page

An exhaustive repository of information regarding Christopher Marlowe, compiled and maintained by Peter Farey, an amateur historian interviewed in "Much Ado About Something." The site contains a number of essays about Marlowe's life and death, including "Marlowe's Sudden and Fearful End: Self-Defence, Murder, or Fake?," in which Farey introduces and summarizes the many theories about Marlowe's death.

 John Baker's Marlowe/Shakespeare School of Thought Emporium

This website, compiled and maintained by John Baker, an independent scholar and Marlovian who appears in "Much Ado About Something," includes Baker's essay, "The Case for the Christopher Marlowe's Authorship of the Works attributed to William Shakespeare," in which Baker details everything from Marlowe's years in the secret service to the rationale behind the faked-death theory.

· The Shakespeare Canon

 The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

An invaluable resource, this M.I.T.-sponsored site offers the full text of the complete works of Shakespeare (tragedies, histories, comedies, poetry). Visitors can search the texts using key words.

 Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet

This site, hosted by Palomar College in California, has links to a wealth of resources: the prefatory materials from the First Folio, including Ben Jonson's famous and much-disputed dedication; a quiz on Shakespeare's biography; an overview of the authorship problem, including a link to Mark Twain's essay, "Is Shakespeare Dead?"; and more.

 Shakespeare Resource Center

Compiled by J.M. Pressley, a writer from Illinois. Includes the text from Shakespeare's will, synopses of the plays, and an overview of Elizabethan England, with related links.

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