In 1920 J. Thomas Looney‘s “Shakespeare” Identified introduced the idea that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, was the man behind the pseudonym “William Shakespeare.” It’s Looney’s fascinating account of how he, shining light from a new perspective on facts already known to Shakespeare scholars of his day, uncovered the true story of who “Shakespeare” actually was and how he came to write his works. Even as the centenary of its publication approaches, “Shakespeare” Identified remains the most revolutionary book on Shakespeare ever written.
Since its appearance several generations of scholars have deepened and extended Looney’s original findings, further substantiating his claim that Edward de Vere was indeed the author of the dramatic and poetic works widely regarded as the greatest in the English language. Perhaps most importantly for scholars, this edition of Looney’s classic text identifies the sources of more than 230 passages he quoted from other works, providing readers for the first time with accurate information on the books and papers he consulted in his research. A Bibliography at the end of the book supplements those notes for easy reference to Looney’s sources. So if you’re new to the Shakespeare authorship question, or even if you’ve read widely on the subject, get set to enjoy the book that novelist John Galsworthy called the best detective story he had ever read.