'Shakespeare' by Another Name is a wake-up call. The wealth of new and revelatory corroborative evidence in this biography fleshes out Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, as the man behind the plays of Shakespeare, and as the story unfolds the background to some of Shakespeare’s most important plays springs into life. Mark Anderson’s book will be a galvanizing force for actors and theatre people with its richly nourishing and illuminating information. No biography of the Stratford man is as persuasive.”

Kristin Linklater, Professor of Theatre Arts,
  Columbia University, New York
  co-founder, Shakespeare & Company
  co-founder, The Company of Women

“The controversy over who wrote Shakespeare's works has reached a turning point of sorts. A new biography of the Earl of Oxford [“Shakespeare” By Another Name] improves on the unorthodox argument that he was Shakespeare, while fantasy has now been firmly established as a primary tool of other, more traditional Shakespeare studies. ...

As Mr. Anderson shows, there are myriad Shakespeare authorship connections for de Vere. For example, the youngest of de Vere's three daughters, Susan, whom Mr. Anderson finds to be associated in a contemporary epigram with King Lear's youngest daughter, Cordelia, married Philip Herbert, the Earl of Montgomery, after an effort to marry her older sister Bridget to William Herbert, the Earl of Pembroke, failed. The compilers of the First Folio, the original source of many Shakespeare plays, dedicated it to these two earls.”

The New York Times

“Makes a convincing argument that the brilliant, rather tormented Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford—not Shakespeare—was the dramatist who wrote so brilliantly about the world, history, Italy, and men and women of power. Anderson draws powerful connections between Shakespeare's plays and the life of de Vere. ...

For: Anyone who likes mysteries, even the Bard-resistant.”

USA Today

“Tantalizing parallels between the plays and Oxford's life certainly exist. ... Anderson has a knack for finding fishy aspects of the traditional view that Shakespeare was Shakespeare.”

The New York Sun

Makes a compelling case... Anderson's demonstration of how de Vere's life matches the characters and circumstances found in the plays attributed to Shakespeare is especially impressive.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“This book, with fascinating specificity, suits 'the action to the word, the word to the action.' Innumerable instances of de Vere's experiences, his relationships, his travels, and his unusual circumstances find expression in his plays and poems. 'Shakespeare' By Another Name is one of the very best whodunnits you will ever read.”

Sir Derek Jacobi, actor (from his foreword)


Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Author Mark Anderson wasn't the first to put forth the idea that Edward de Vere, 17th earl of Oxford, was the true bard, but he spent 10 years researching the theory and has come up with quite a compelling argument to support it. ...

Anderson presents as detailed an account of de Vere's life as you may ever read. It's a fascinating subject, not only for the discussion of his being the "real" Shakespeare, but also for the historical examination of the Elizabethan period from a different perspective.”

The Chicago Sun-Times

The battle is won. In page after page, Anderson shows how characters and story lines in virtually every Shakespeare play reflect people, places, and incidents in de Vere's life.”

Compass (Connecticut)

Prepare to have the earth move under your feet.

City Pages

Without exaggeration, this is the most important Shakespeare biography of the past 400 years. Mark Anderson brings Shakespeare out of biographical limbo and, in fully documented and convincing detail, shows who he was, how he fit into his time, and how he became the genius of our culture. This will be a hotly debated book, and doubtless no one will agree with all its conclusions; but anyone who claims to have a serious interest in Shakespeare must read Mark Anderson.”

Sarah Smith, former Fulbright &
  Andrew W. Mellon scholar;
  author, Chasing Shakespeares (Atria, 2003)

A remarkable new book—one that will delight the initiated and intrigue those coming new to the Authorship Question!”

Michael York, actor;
  author, A Shakespearean Actor Prepares

“An extremely well written piece of prose... and a rewarding exploration that serves to add ever more depth to our experience of the [Shakespeare] plays.”

Against the Grain

“A fascinating, meticulously-researched book.”

Somerville Journal (Somerville, Mass.)

“A model of in-depth research, closely reasoned argument, and fine writing. I wish I had written it, and that's the highest compliment I can pay to�any author.”

—Don Ostrowski, lecturer in European History, Harvard University

“Even the staunchest anti-de Vere partisan will profit from hearing Mark Anderson.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Brick by brick, over the course of 380 pages, not to mention 30 pages of appendices and 145 pages of endnotes, Anderson builds an overwhelming circumstantial case for the Oxfordian position. As he admits, there is no smoking gun, no single piece of evidence that provides absolute proof—but the sum total of the evidence he submits ought to be dispositive to any open-minded reader.

I don't expect the walls of academe to come tumbling down just because Mark Anderson has blown his trumpet. The Stratfordians, stubborn defenders of orthodoxy, will resist the inescapable conclusions prompted by this book, just as they have resisted, dismissed, and laughed off the arguments of Looney, Ogburn, and others. But I now think that theirs is a rearguard action and a losing cause. The case has been made, and eventually it will carry the day.

Edward de Vere was Shakespeare. And sooner or later, everyone will know it.”

Michael Prescott, New York Times bestselling author
  Comes the Dark, Stealing Faces, Dangerous Games

Mark Anderson's 'Shakespeare' by Another Name is the best book that I've read in years. It was fascinating. I left it on the passenger seat of my car, open, so I could read it at red lights. The designation of "Red Light Book" is my highest honor for a book. ...

Anderson's writing is amusing, lucid, and strong. There are laugh-out-loud lines and paragraphs that made me gasp, astonished.�...

You have to read this book. It's a literary mystery wrapped in reimagining of history. Even if you're a die-hard Stratfordian, you should read Anderson's book.�

T.K. Kenyon, acclaimed author of
   Rabid: A Novel and Callous

Mark Anderson has achieved the seemingly impossible, weaving together the frayed ends of this mystery into a shining new tapestry to delight our eyes. ...

If you've ever been puzzled by those obscure scenes in Shakespeare's plays, the ones that go on and on and don't seem to make any sense, take heart: Anderson translates them in words we can understand today, and connects them to specific incidents and encounters in de Vere's life. He explains the portraits, the publishing, the pseudonym, the “source works” (early versions) of the plays, the Italian travels, the strained marriage and the in-laws, the failed investments, and the royal annuity. ... The collective weight of the circumstantial evidence, one “coincidence” after another, makes the case. Edward de Vere—“The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's eye, tongue, sword; / The expectancy and rose of the fair state; / The glass of fashion and the mould of form”—this literary genius was “difficult,” a supreme misfit; he was certainly no saint. Like Caravaggio, like Mozart, de Vere was far from ordinary, writing his diary in the form of sonnets and his autobiography in a play called Hamlet.

After devouring the first two-thirds of the book, I read more and more slowly, reluctant to come to the end, and then I started over again for the pure enjoyment of it. Anderson is an engaging writer—no mean feat when one's subject is such a great writer himself—and connects all the dots to make de Vere, with his many faults, come alive. I cannot recommend “Shakespeare” By Another Name more highly than to say whether you're already an Oxfordian or not, even if you think you never will be, this is without a doubt a must-read.”

ML Hart, playwright; photographer; artist;
  Photographic Artist-in-Residence, San Diego Opera Company;
  author, The Art of Making Opera

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