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Contemporary Evidence of Shakespeare's Identity

Excerpt from Contemporary Evidence of Shakespeare's Identity In taking up the question, whether we should revise our opinion that William Shakespeare, born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564, was the author of the plays we know as Shakespeare's, it seems to me we should first review the extrinsic evidence on which for the last three centuries the English-speaking world has been satisfied to accept that belief. The Anti-Shakespeareans, Baconians, and others, seem to me for the most part to pass by all these primary outside evidences prior to the folio of 1623, and to assume, that the evidence of Shakespeare's authorship of his dramas, is based entirely on Hemmings & Condell's statement. By a hasty assumption of an absolute illiteracy, on the part of the actor at the Curtain and Globe Theatres, on the one hand, and an almost equally rash imputation of nearly universal knowledge and culture, to the author of the dramas on the other, they raise an apparent incongruity which they claim to be insuperable; and thus leave the field open, for the wild dreams and theories of Baconian or syndicate authorship, cypher secrets, and historic mysteries in which they delight. So long as the world holds so many studentes novarum rerum, who are ready to accept omne ignotum pro mirifico, they will never lack readers and followers. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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