The “Anti-Stratfordian” Double Standard

In 2006 another name was added to the list of fellows who were supposedly “the real Shakespeare” and another couple of authors were added to the ignominous bibliography of “anti-Stratfordian” crackpots.

Every time another candidate is added to the company of pretended authors the already doubtful case that any one of them was “the writer of the Shakespeare plays” is rendered more ridiculous.

With what I presume was unintended irony, the title of the book in question is “The Truth Will Out” by Brenda James and William D. Rubinstein.

In an excellent review of the book (Shakespeare Quarterly, Summer 2007), David Kathman demolishes just about every pretense the book makes to credibility.

Common to all “anti-Stratfordian” hypotheses is the double standard:

“When we turn to the arguments that allegedly support Neville’s authorship of Shakespeare’s works, an extreme double standard becomes evident. In sharp contrast to the authors’ hyperskepticism of even ordinary evidence concerning Shakespeare, they blithely invent much less plausible stories about Neville, often presenting these fantasies as factual even in the face of contrary evidence. For example, despite the existence of two dedications to the earl of Southampton signed “William Shakespeare,” the authors surprisingly assert that “there is no evidence that Southampton was Shakespeare’s patron” (29), by which they apparently mean no documentary evidence apart from the dedications themselves.” (p. 246)

David Hurley