The often debated subject of who really wrote the works of Shakespeare has reared its head again with a new ‘Shakespeare Authorship Coalition’ group forming in the UK.

Frontlined by Shakespearian actors Sir Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance the group questions how a 16th century commoner, raised in an illiterate household in Stratford-upon-Avon could have penned plays based on historical and legal fact and have such an intimate knowledge of the upper classes and all things Italian.

The group also cites ‘doubters’ of the past, naming Mark Twain, Charles Dickens and Charlie Chaplain as amongst those who think that Shakespeare may have been an imposter or just one member of a much larger group of writers!  Others believe that ‘William Shakespeare’ was merely the nom de plume – a theory much circulated in the 18th century, with Christopher Marlow or Francis Bacon touted as the ‘real’ playwright.

Of course Shakespeare isn’t here to defend himself and we’ll probably never know the truth – but if you think there might be something behind what they’re saying, add your name to the list of doubters at the Coalitions fascinating website, www.doubtaboutwill.org.

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