Shakespeare: As She Likes It

The tantalizing theory that William Shakespeare is not the author of the works credited to him has been argued since the 19th century. "The Shakespeare authorship question is the argument that someone other than William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the works attributed to him. Anti-Stratfordians—a collective term for adherents of the various alternative-authorship theories—say that Shakespeare of Stratford was a front to shield the identity of the real author or authors, who for some reason did not want or could not accept public credit." --

One of the most intriguing candidates for the authorship is Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke. Our special author event this Friday offers new insights into the authorship question; author Robin P. Williams makes a strong case for Mary Sidney in her book Sweet Swan of Avon. ;

Pardon Me, Shakespeare, But Your Slip Is Showing: Did a Woman Write the Plays and Sonnets of William Shakespeare?
Friday, March 28, 7-9 p.m.
Central Library, Level B2 Conference Center

Author Robin P. Williams has been studying and writing about the authorship question for years. Her thorough research and study has led to the conclusion that the likely author of Shakespeare’s body of work is a woman – Mary Sidney. There are a lot of missing pieces in the life and times of William Shakespeare – little formal education, even less knowledge of or access to the royal court and politics, no evidence that he could write at all. Is it possible that William Shakespeare was a front for someone else who was well educated, had unique access to the royal court and was savvy regarding politics of the day? The very idea gives new meaning to the phrase behind every great man, there is a great woman. Williams is the first and only American who holds a Masters degree in Shakespearean Authorship; she is currently finishing her doctoral dissertation in contemporary study and community reading of Shakespeare. Ms. Williams will present a fascinating look at Mary Sidney, who is the focus of Williams' book, Sweet Swan of Avon. Books will be available for purchase and signing. This event is free and open to the public.

Written by Chris on March 25, 2014



Thank you for the wonderful program. I was surprised there were 50 other literary sleuths who would give up a Friday evening to delve into playing with history. Ms. Williams' research was thought provoking and presentation just as engaging. Be you a member of Team Will or Team Mary, would the game even exist without libraries and technology? For without, nontraditional thinkers would not have access to traditional scholarship. And this combination, like peanut butter and chocolate, often leads to delicious innovation.


Laurie, So glad that you had a good time at this event. We, too, had a ball and it was an honor to host Ms. Williams. Many thanks for your support of cultural programming and DPL!! --

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