Players: The Mysterious Identity of William Shakespeare

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Mar 28, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 320 pages

For centuries scholars have debated the true identity of the author of the magnificent body of poems and plays attributed to William Shakespeare, the actor and co-owner of a successful theater company who hailed from Stratford-upon-Avon. And yet many credible voices -- Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, and Walt Whitman, to name a few -- have challenged conventional wisdom, proposing alternative candidates from rival playwrights Ben Jonson and Christopher Marlowe to Queen Elizabeth herself, in what has become a centuries-old parlor game.

In this provocative and convincing new book, historian and attorney Bertram Fields presents a stunning, and highly plausible, new theory of the case. Mastering four centuries of evidence and argument, Fields revisits all the critical facts and unanswered questions. Could there have been a single man in the English theater with such breadth and range of knowledge, a man who knew Latin and Greek, the etiquette and practices of nobility, the workings of the law, and the tactics of the military and navy? Or -- as Fields asks in his tantalizing conclusion -- was this not one man at all, but a magnificent collaboration between two very different men, a partnership born in the roiling culture of Elizabethan England, and protected for centuries by the greatest conspiracy in literary history?

Blending biography and historical investigation with vibrant scholarship and storytelling, Players revolutionizes our understanding of the greatest writer -- or writers -- in our history.

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PLAYERS: The Shakespeare Mystery

User Review  - Kirkus

Hollywood entertainment lawyer Fields (Royal Blood, 1998; aka D. Kincaid, The Lawyer's Tale, 1992, etc.) dabbles in literary criticism by sifting through the elusive evidence of Shakespeare's probable ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Cynfrank - LibraryThing

This book lays out the arguments for various authorships very objectively. Author’s analysis of some of the plays is way off base, but this is not a book you would read when doing research on ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Bertram Fields is widely regarded as the most prominent entertainment lawyer in America. The author of Royal Blood, which was named Ricardian Book of the Year by the Ricardian Society, and two novels under a pseudonym, he lives in Los Angeles.

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