The Map in Shakespeare's Sonnets
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Completed on 2017-06-13
About the Book
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The 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in April 2016 has reignited discussion on the vexed authorship question. No candidate satisfies all readers. Code-based conspiracy theories come and go, all apparently alien to the humanity and wit of the writer.
In 2005 Brenda James and William Rubinstein published The Truth Will Out. The book was initiated by James's discovery that the Dedication to Shakespeare's Sonnets was a cryptogram which revealed the name Sir Henry Neville. James had never heard of him until she made this discovery. We found their evidence and arguments very interesting. However, the book did not reveal any details of the decryption, and we began our own efforts. Our independent decryption strongly supported the idea that the polymath and diplomat Sir Henry Neville was the true author. Moreover, as ambassador to France, Neville had used encryption extensively.
Two years later we made a discovery which seemed to reinforce the evidence for Neville profoundly. This was the consistent mapping between the dedication text and the cryptic sonnets themselves. While we were encouraged that this code relied upon distinctively Shakespearean wordplay, so-called "half-puns", nevertheless we could find no precedent to this mapping approach. For another four years we questioned whether these elusive mappings were wishful thinking, as the code seemed to be unlike any other. But last year we found a clear precedent in the ancient Polybius Square. Even more remarkable was the immediate connection between this code and Sir Henry Neville. Neville’s lifelong friend and mentor Sir Henry Savile was one of two Greek scholars consulted on the translation of Polybius’s Histories, which describes the code.
With the Polybius Square as a common ancestor, the similarity between the code we had decrypted blind and the codes Neville had used 400 years earlier became demonstrably clear.
With over 50 consistent mappings between the dedication and the sonnets, this book provides definitive proof that Sir Henry Neville is the true author of the works of Shakespeare.
Dr Edward Black
Formerly Head of English, London School of Economics
This work reveals an astounding mapping between the strange Dedication to Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1609) and the Sonnets themselves. This predictable pattern not only spells out Sir Henry Neville, it illuminates key events in Neville’s biography. This is a poet’s code - worthy of the greatest English writer. If any doubt remains, Leyland and Goding show that this mapping corresponds to the codes used by Neville as Ambassador to France in 1601. Neville's story not only fits, it’s verifiable.
Dr John Casson
Author of four books on the Shakespeare authorship question.
This book is an astonishing achievement, breathtaking in the brilliance of the discoveries and almost overwhelming. The authors have discovered the most intricate mechanism in literature: the Dedication to Shake-speare’s Sonnets is like an advanced pocket watch. If they were only suggesting coded messages as others have in the past, we might doubt their discoveries but they show there is an intricate mechanism, logical and even mathematical in design. This cannot simply be a result of chance.
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