Was Shakespeare 'just a frontman'?

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A new book claims to have discovered compelling evidence to prove Shakespeare was a well-paid frontman for the real author of his work, it emerged today. Two academics claim to have unmasked little known English politician and aristocrat Sir Henry Neville as the true creator of the bard’s celebrated plays and sonnets.

Former university lecturer Brenda James, and historian Professor William Rubinstein, of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, claim the evidence is difficult to ignore.

Published by Longman on October 25, The Truth Will Out, looks set to drive a deep division through the world of Shakespearean scholarship.

For centuries scholars have asked how a grammar school boy whose education was cut short at 12, and who never travelled abroad, could have gathered the breadth of learning displayed in his work.

The new book claims to have comprehensively answered that question by showing that he never did.

Previous theories claiming Francis Bacon or even Christopher Marlowe was the author of Shakespeare’s work have been relatively easy to write off.

The new book reduces Shakespeare to little more than an avaricious money lender whose heroic qualities are the result of having greatness thrust upon him.

James, who now lives in Bognor Regis, made what she regards as the breakthrough while living in Pontypridd, south Wales, after studying Elizabethan transformation codes.

She used her knowledge to decipher the identity of the mysterious W H to whom Shakespeare’s sonnets are dedicated, and said it led her to Henry Neville.

As a wealthy and distant relative of Shakespeare’s he was also his contemporary, born two years before the bard in 1562 and dying one year earlier in 1615.

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Elizabeth A Rodgers - 11/15/2005

What are Elizabethan tranformation codes?