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Over the years various persons have expressed doubt as to the authorship of William Shakespeare These doubts are as old as his plays American author Henry James once said I am haunted by the conviction that the divine William is the biggest and the most successful fraud ever practiced on a patient world Hoffman 27 On the other hand author Calvin Hoffman was convinced that Shakespeare was the author of the most magnificent English dramatic prose and poetry ever written Hoffman 27 But he reiterated this belief nineteen years later stating They are magnificent Only William Shakespeare of Stratford-on- Avon never wrote the plays and poems Hoffman 27 Crime guilt fraud exile hate deceit and murder are all woven into this shroud of authorship that hides the identity of the worlds most renowned writer Cranks have proposed over fifty candidates for authorship from Queen Elizabeth to the Jesiuts Although many doubt that William Shakespeare ever wrote the works attributed to him some still resort to pro-Shakespearean arguments John Drinkwater author and believer felt that the flowers banks brooks pastures and woodlands of Shakespeares boyhood home Stratford were all transfigured in his plays by his wonderful verse but yet they still remained the scenes to which he was bred Drinkwater believed too that not only in Shakespeares humble folk shepherds gardeners and serving men but also in his princes and kings he reflected the humanity with which he was familiar in Stratford The knowledge and wisdom he acquired directly from his own enviroment was quite true to life Drinkwater also said that mere book- knowledge in Shakespeares works was usually incorrect because he used knowledge outside the range of his own experiences with a grand audacity It is true that William Shakespeare attended grammar school in Stratford and tha he acquired some competence in Latin and gained a limited knowledge of English history There was a period
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