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Annual Authorship Day

Every year we organise an annual conference: a day in which authorship sceptics, and those curious about the question, can come together to hear scholars and actors exploring an aspect of the authorship question. Details of our conferences can be found here.

March 2019
'A Scientific Approach to the Authorship Question' published in Sage Open journal
Following the recent death of Dr John Casson, our attention was drawn to his final co-authored publication, in Sage Open. You can read the article here. Dr Casson was one of the key proponents of the Neville theory.

January 10 2019
Dating Shakespeare website goes live
A website which details the possible date ranges for all of Shakespeare's plays -- based on the book 'Dating Shakepseare's Plays: A Critical Review of the Evidence' edited by SAT Trustee Dr Kevin Gilvary -- has gone live. For more details see datingshakespeare.co.uk.

October 21 2018
Booking Opens for our 2018 Conference on 17th September
This year's conference title is 'The Merciful Construction of Good Women: Gender, Shakespeare, and Authorship. Hosted at Shakespeare's Globe in London, it includes an all-female roster of speakers focusing on the subjects including Emilia Bassano Lanier, Rouse's 'Dark Lady'. Leading Shakespearean actors will talk about playing Shakespeare's women, including Mark Rylance. For more details see our conference page.

Sep 15 2018
Authorship Debate in Wiltshire
On Saturday September 15th at 6.30pm, Alexander Waugh will engage in a debate on the Shakespeare authorship question with Clare, Countess of Oxford and Asquith at historic Mells Park near Frome. The debate, which is part of a Shakespeare Weekend will be chaired by Professor Gerard Kilroy. On Sunday September 16th at 2.00pm Illyria's The Merchant of Venice is performed in The Elizabethan Playhouse at Corsley. Tickets which include food and drink are £30 for each event. Proceeds to charity including The Shakespearean Authorship Trust. For more details and to book tickets, visit Shakespeare Weekend.

April 2018
Brunel University hosts Shakespeare Week
From 23 - 26 April, Brunel University will be hosting Shakespeare Week, a series of events dedicated to Shakespeare and focused on the authorship question. Events include Sir Mark Rylance and friends reading from 'I Am Shakespeare', a debate between Professor Alan Nelson and Dr Ros Barber, Alexander Waugh presenting a talk called 'Shakespeare Was a Fake ... and I can prove it', and Prof William Leahy and Prof Tom Betteridge discussion 'Brexit, Trump and the Bard's Legacy: Do Shakespeare's play still matter?' Apart from Sir Mark Rylance's event, tickets are free. For more details and to book tickets, visit Shakespeare week.

March 21 2018
New Book: My Shakespeare, edited by Prof William Leahy
My Shakespeare: The Authorship Controversy presents arguments for William Shakespeare (Prof Alan Nelson) alongside those for William Shakspere (Diana Price), the Earl of Oxford (Alexander Waugh), Sir Francis Bacon (Dr Barry Clarke), Christopher Marlowe (Dr Ros Barber), Mary Sidney (Dr Robin Williams) Sir Henry Neville (Dr John Casson, Prof William Rubenstein and David Ewald), and group authorship (Prof William Leahy). The book is available on Amazon or can be ordered through you local library or bookshop.

Feb 19 2018
University of London launches online course on the Shakespeare Authorship Question
Goldsmiths, University of London has launched the world's first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on the Shakespeare Authorship Question>. The course is launched on the Coursera platform, which has 26 million registered users. The four-week course, which focuses on the central question of whether the traditionally ascribed author wrote the works of Shakespeare, is completely free and globally accessible. The course will have a rolling registration, meaning that students can register to take it at any time. For more details see Coursera Introduction to Who Wrote Shakespeare.

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 conference videos, follow us on @ShakeAuthTrust.

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 www.fupress.net/index.php/bsfm-jems/issue/view/1248 - 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.

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'.

December 6 2011
SAC rebuttal to '60 Minutes with Shakespeare.
In response to The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's '60 Minutes with Shakespeare', a rebuttal entitled Exposing an Industry in Denial:Authorship Doubters Rebut ‘60 Minutes with Shakespeare’ from the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition can be found using the link below.

JUNE 26 2011

Shakespeare Authorship Debate held at the English-Speaking Union

On June 6th, two of the SAT's Trustees, Charles Beauclerk and William Leahy joined Roland Emmerich in debate at the English Speaking Union in Mayfair to speak against the motion - "This House believes that William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the plays and poems attributed to him." The Stratfordian panel who argued for the motion was made up of Stanley Wells, Michael Dobson and Paul Edmondson. The debate represents the first public discussion of the SAQ in the light of the impending release of Emmerich's film, Anonymous.

MARCH 2011

Shakespearean Collections at Brunel University Library

The De Vere Society and the Shakespearean Authorship Trust have donated their collections on long-term loan to Brunel University. The Shakespearean Collections also contain a small selection of materials which belonged to Edward Holmes and were donated by his wife, Jean. The Collections of materials include books, plays, poetry, journals and ephemera written by and about Shakespeare and his time. Some of the items are very rare. Brunel University Library is now making these materials accessible to the public.
Whilst some of the materials are accessible in the main section of the Library, most are located in the Special Collections room and may be consulted by appointment only. The materials are for reference use only.
For further details on how to arrange a visit to Brunel Library and for lists of the materials available in the collections please follow the link below.
Shakespeare Collections

JULY 2009

First Students Graduate in Shakespeare Authorship Studies

On Thursday 23 July the first four students to complete the MA Shakespeare Authorship Studies at Brunel University graduated. They were presented by Dr William Leahy in the School of Arts Graduation ceremony. The four students - Susan Sheridan, Amelia Mulley, Corina Pike and Rishpal Birdi - started the course in Sept 2007 and completed in Sept 2008. The course is currently running with students who formed its second cohort. The new (and third) cohort of students will start in Sept 2009. Congratulations to the four students whose graduation marks a world first in terms of Authorship Studies.


Professor Stanley Wells and Mark Rylance debate the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt

On 27 September, 2007, Professor Stanley Wells, Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford, criticized Mark Rylance, Chairman of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust, and Sir Derek Jacobi for signing the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt in an article in The Stage magazine. You can read Prof. Wells' letter, followed by Mark's reply, plus a point-by-point rebuttal to Wells' criticisms of the Declaration written by the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition, on its website, www.DoubtAboutWill.org, or you can read the full transcript here, as a pdf document.

If you require Adobe Reader to read pdf files, please refer to the link on the left of this page.

MA Shakespeare Authorship Studies at Brunel University

This MA programme, the first of its kind in the world, tackles and takes seriously Shakespeare and the subject of Authorship in all its diversity. The programme examines ways in which Shakespeare has been mythologised and how issues of collaboration change our notion of authorship, value and authority. The programme also examines the enormously controversial phenomenon of the Shakespeare Authorship Question and ponders why this question causes such controversy.

Course Content

The programme will begin with a Research methodologies module, which will involve understanding strategies necessary for deep research in this subject area. Another module will examine the ways in which Shakespeare has been made into the "cultural hero" that he is today. This will be achieved through a close analysis of the historical developments and forces which gave rise to the perceived need, or at least desire for a national and global icon/genius. The issue of Shakespeare and collaboration will also form an area of interest on the course. This will involve an examination of the concept of collaboration itself. A subsequent close textual analysis of a number of Shakespeare's writings will show that they contain the work of other writers.

The phenomenon of the Shakespeare Authorship Question will also be studied. The aim is not to promote an alternative candidate as the author of Shakespeare's work. Rather, it is to analyse the actual social and cultural phenomenon that is the Authorship Question itself. Why that Question is now more popular than ever amongst the general public will be an important area of discussion.

Download detailed course description

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