About the Book
Readers of Shakespeare: The Evidence say"I think it is going to be of enormous value, and only wish I had had such a thing available years ago." - Peter Farey "Good stuff! Really enjoying the clarity it brings to the debate." - John Byrne "It is very useful indeed." - William D. Rubinstein
Shakespeare: The Evidence is a comprehensive survey of all the evidence relevant to determining whether William Shakspere of Stratford wrote the works attributed to him, with clear arguments from both sides of the Shakespeare Authorship Question, arranged in a simple bullet-pointed format. Compiled from the writings of dozens of researchers on both sides of the authorship debate, the author brings order and logic to an enormous and sometimes confusing field by listing hundreds of items of disputed evidence relating to William Shakespeare/Shakspere, detailing arguments and counter-arguments for each one. Both Stratfordian and non-Stratfordian arguments are well-represented.
Locate Primary Sources
Comprehensive appendices contain the full text of documents, plays and poems that are referenced in the debate. Wherever possible, each section is hyperlinked to primary sources so you can read the original texts in their contexts. Contains dozens of images of original documents: manuscripts, title pages, official records. Builds into a central repository for everything we know - or think we know - about William Shakspere of Stratford, and the author William Shakespeare - corralling all evidence which can shed light on whether they are one and the same. No cherry-picking here: every piece of evidence forwarded in both the non-Stratfordian and the Stratfordian cause is considered.
Open Your Mind
If you've been interested in the Shakespeare authorship question for some time, you'll probably have some fixed ideas about it. But there is always another way of looking at things. Don't fall prey to confirmation bias: interpreting evidence to support your pre-formed beliefs. Instead, open your mind to absorb a range of possibilities. If you're a relative newcomer to the Shakspeare authorship question, this book is also ideal. It is not pressing one point of view on its readers, or attempting to persuade you of a single truth. Its easily digestible bullet-pointed format and neutral stance allows readers to quickly absorb the essentials of this complex issue.
Strengthen Your Arguments
Whether you are a firm believer that "Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare", or suspect that he didn't, this book offers you the chance to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the problems at hand and clarify your thinking. It enables you to identify weaknesses in, and logical rebuttals to, the arguments of your opponents, as well as potentially strengthening your own. Never again be wrong-footed by relying on an argument that is a logical fallacy, or is poorly supported by the evidence. Instead, identify the strongest arguments to support your case and how best to put them.
Contribute to the debate
The Shakespeare authorship question is an enormous field, and the only way to compile this book is to pick the brains of many, many people. Readers are encourage to suggest any evidence items not currently included, and contribute arguments and counter arguments, in order to make this book truly comprehensive and truly neutral. Currently many readers are Shakespeare sceptics, and the author would specifically like to ask more Stratfordians to contribute their points of view in order to make it more balanced. Significant contributors to the book will be named on the Acknowledgements page, with the contributor's permission.
Decide for yourself
This book will not tell you what to think. It respects all of its readers as intelligent beings that will have different perspectives on the evidence and arguments presented. Some will come at the book with minds made up. Others will come in a spirit of curiosity. Either way, this is the only book on the Shakespeare authorship question that is determined to let you, the reader, sift through all the evidence - no cherry-picking here - and decide for yourself.
If you're not sure the book is for you, have a look at the free sample. And remember, reader satisfaction is guaranteed. You have 45 days in which to read Shakespeare: The Evidence and if you decide it isn't for you, you can get a no-questions-asked 100% refund at the click of a button. The risk is all mine; you have nothing to lose.
A Comprehensive Compendium
Check this web-page for a full table of contents for the current version. There is a great deal more in development. Shakespeare: the Evidence grows by 6,000-10,000 words every instalment. Buy Shakespeare: The Evidence now and every future instalment and update is yours free. If you have a Kindle (or Kindle app on your phone or tablet), the book will automatically update to the latest version without you having to lift a finger. In other e-book formats, you will receive an e-mail letting you know when a new version is available and can download it when you wish. You don't need to be a Kindle, tablet or smartphone owner to read this book - just access to a computer will allow you to read the pdf (and print it off, if you wish). You automatically have access to the book in all its formats. The 45-day refund policy means your happiness is 100% guaranteed.
About the Author
Ros Barber has a PhD in English Literature, the second in the world to focus exclusively on the Shakespeare Authorship Question. Her background is in science and IT. A prizewinning author, her debut novel The Marlowe Papers (Sceptre 2012, St Martin's Press 2013) was winner (in manuscript form) of the Hoffman Prize 2011, long-listed for the Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize) 2013, and winner of the both the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Authors' Club First Novel Award 2013. She has published scholarly articles on the Shakespeare authorship question in the journals Rethinking History and Critical Survey. In the absence of hard evidence for any candidate (including the traditional one), she is agnostic on the issue of Shakespeare's authorship. She is Director of Research for the Shakespearean Authorship Trust, a Visiting Research Fellow in English at the University of Sussex and a Lecturer in the English & Comparative Literature Department of Goldsmiths, University of London.