For four hundred years, doubts have been recorded about whether William Shakespeare actually wrote the works attributed to him. This website offers the chance to explore different arguments for the most prominent authorship candidates. Cases are presented for the following:
Group Theory of Authorship, Francis Bacon, Edward de Vere, Christopher Marlowe, Henry Neville, William Shakspere, Mary Sidney Herbert, and William Stanley.

Link and image of Francis Bacon Link and image of Edward de Vere
Link and image of William Stanley Link and image of Christopher Marlowe
Link and image of Henry Neville Link and image of Mary Sidney
Link and image of William Shakspere Link and image of Group Theory


We hope this website serves as a crossroads and meeting place. If you don't know what the fuss is about go to Why the Question? and read the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt. Who we are and What we do will tell you of our past activities and future plans. If you are interested in finding out more, upcoming lectures and related events can be found under News and Events. If you want to go straight to your favourite candidate just click on the face or name. If you cannot find your candidate here and know of a website we could link to here at the crossroads, contact us. You can also follow us on Twitter @ShakeAuthTrust.

Yours in doubt
Mark Rylance
Trustee of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust

The Shakespearean Authorship Trust is a registered charity dedicated to discovering the truth about the authorship of the works we know as William Shakespeare's. You can help:

Recommended Books

We recommend two books to anyone interesting in discovering more about the Shakespeare Authorship Question. Both were financially assisted by the Shakespearean Authorship Trust.

PAPERBACK: Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography: New Evidence of an Authorship Problem by Diana Price
Shakespeare's Unorthodox BiographyFor those new to the Authorship controversy, this book will help you understand and appreciate why the Question exists at all. The author does not promote any alternative candidate, but clearly analyses the evidence for suggesting that Shakespeare's authorship of all the plays and poems conventionally attributed to him can reasonably be called into doubt. For those familiar with the Authorship Question, Diana Price's brilliant book is affordable at last! Buy it at or Amazon UK

E-BOOK: Shakespeare: The Evidence by Ros Barber
Shakespeare The EvidenceShakespeare: The Evidence aims to be comprehensive resource listing all the evidence and arguments for and against William Shakspere of Stratford-upon-Avon as the author of the works attributed to him. Searchable and hyperlinked to numerous web-based resources, you can access it in all electronic formats, whether Kindle, nook, smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC. Print out pages of the PDF version and use it as you wish. Contribute evidence, arguments and counter-arguments. Read a free sample and get involved at

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format

News and Forthcoming Events

October 29 2017
Booking Opens for our 2017 Conference on 25th September
This year's conference title is 'What's The New News At The New Court?': Developments in the Authorship Question'. Hosted at Shakespeare's Globe in London, it showcases new research in the authorship question from some of the UK's leading researchers in the field, focused on four of the leading authorship candidates. It also features readings of key texts by Mark Rylance and other notable Shakespearean actors. This conference has sold out for the last few years, so don't be disappointed: make a date in your diary to book your tickets! For more details see our conference page.

September 21 2017
The Great Shakespeare Debate
In a major London event this autumn, leading non-Stratfordian Alexander Waugh will debate leading Stratfordian Sir Jonathan Bate OBE on the question of whether or not there is solid evidence supporting the Stratford man's authorship of the works. "Join celebrated Stratfordian Jonathan Bate and anti-Stratfordian Alexander Waugh for an impassioned debate on the most beguiling and unputdownable literary mystery of them all." Moderated by Hermione Eyre. Buy tickets at Who Wrote Shakespeare?

January 15 2017
The SAT on Twitter
The Shakespearean Authorship Trust is now on Twitter. To get authorship question news, including news about our conferences (and the publication of our 2016 conference videos, follow us on @ShakeAuthTrust.

October 20 2016
Booking Opens for 2016 Conference
Today, booking opens for our annual conference. This year's conference title is 'Who's There?': Shakespeare Biography, Biografiction and Bardolatry'. Hosted at Shakespeare's Globe in London, it showcases new research in the authorship question from some of the UK's leading researchers in the field and features readings of key texts by Mark Rylance and other notable Shakespearean actors. Our international guest this year is Canadian author and actor Keir Cutler. This conference has sold out for the last few years, so don't be disappointed: book your tickets now! For more details see our conference page.

April 6 2016
The Bard didn't use Warwickshire dialect - so was he really Shakespeare?
An article in The Conversation by Director of Research of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust, Dr Ros Barber, summarises her recent research into the claims that Shakespeare used Warwickshire dialect, a key argument of those who defend the traditional authorship of Shakespeare's works. In summary, not one of the claims for the two dozen words and phrases claimed to be Warwickshire dialect in sources including Stanley Wells and Paul Edmondson's Shakespeare Beyond Doubt (Cambridge University Press) and Michael Wood's In Search of Shakespeare (BBC Books) stand up to scrutiny. Read the article here.

March 23 2016
What Shakespeare, Jesus and Mickey Mouse Have in Common
An article in The Conversation by Chair of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust, Professor William Leahy, discusses the level of myth being promoted by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. As the 400th anniversary of the Stratford man's death approaches, celebrations centre around Stratford-on-Avon. But as tourists pay to explore houses claimed to be William Shakspere's birthplace, the childhood home of his wife, and the marital home of his daughter Susannah, does it matter that there is no evidence whatsoever that he or his family lived in any of them? Read the article here.

March 16 2016
Journal considers "The Many Lives of William Shakespeare"
The new volume of the Journal of Early Modern Studies - see - contains essays by scholars considering issues of authorship, attribution, collaboration and biography. It is a fascinating collection that contains cutting-edge studies from across the Shakespeare scholarship community and is a landmark publication that sets authorship studies at the very centre of Shakespearean criticism. Please enjoy.

September 23 2015
The Jefferson Exchange
While attending the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship conference in Ashland, Oregon, three leading British sceptics - Dr Ros Barber and Dr Kevin Gilvary of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust, and Alexander Waugh of the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition - appeared on Jefferson Public Radio to talk about the evidence (and the absence of evidence) that underpins the Shakespeare authorship question. You can listen to the podcast on the SAT's YouTube Channel.

September 22 2015
30-Second Shakespeare
Part of the successful 30-Second Series of books, 30-Second Shakespeare: 50 Key Aspects of His Work, Life and Legacy is published by Ivy Press, to be officially launched in November. Edited by the SAT's Director of Research Dr Ros Barber, and with a Foreword by Mark Rylance, with contributions from both non-Stratfordian and orthodox Shakespearean scholars, 30-Second Shakespeare focuses on the author and the plays, with a neutral stance on authorship. As such, it is book suitable for all lovers of Shakespeare, no matter who they believe him to be. For further details, see the book's page on Amazon.

April 23 2015
Lead article in The Conversation
An article by the Shakespearean Authorship Trust's chair, Professor William Leahy, was the lead article in The Conversation on the day deemed to be 'Shakespeare's birthday' (and death day). The article had 12,000 hits within the first 24 hours. Read it here: Shakespeare's birthday: ignore the avalanche of adulation - he was a chancer of the first order.

November 2014
Shakespeare and Vampires
An essay by the Shakespearean Authorship Trust's chair, Professor William Leahy, published in the American journal Studies in Popular Culture, is now available on open access. The essay - "'Exit Pursued by a Zombie': The Vampire we Desire, the Shakespeare we Reject" is about a number of things, including the Shakespeare authorship question. It is available on open access here: 'Exit Pursued by a Zombie: The Vampire we Desire, the Shakespeare we Reject'.

April 30 2014
The Shakespeare Authorship Question - Does This Matter?
On 30th April 2014 at the Ye Olde Cock Tavern, a panel of experts on the subject explained to the general public why exactly it does matter who wrote Shakespeare, the details of the question and it's broader relevance to society at large. On the panel were Professor William Leahy of Brunel University in London, Dr Ros Barber (author of "The Marlowe Papers" and "Shakespeare: The Evidence"), Professor Alan H.Nelson (author of "Monstrous Adversary"), Dr Duncan Salkeld (author of "Madness and Drama in the Age of Shakespeare"), Alexander Waugh of the Shakspeare Authorship Coalition and actor and writer Alain English of the Central London Debating Society. See a report on the event on Mr Steerpike's Spectator blog.

April 27 2014
Prince Philip revealed as authorship sceptic Click on the title to see the related article in the UK's Daily Mail. The report states that when Professor Stanley Wells of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust asked Prince Philip if he was a heretic, the prince replied 'All the more so after reading your book'.

Recent Publications... more

9th Planet Design