The question of who actually wrote the works attributed to “William Shakespeare” is a genuine conundrum. In fact it may be the greatest “whodunnit” of all time.
Although mainstream scholars tend to haughtily dismiss the issue, there are very serious problems with the hypothesis that the author was William Shakspere of Stratford upon Avon. However all other candidates also have serious problems. For example Edward de Vere died in 1604, but plays kept appearing for another decade or so. Hence the conundrum.
Recently however this conundrum may have been resolved. A small group of scholars (James, Rubinstein, Casson) have been arguing the case for Henry Neville. A new book, Sir Henry Neville Was Shakespeare, presents an “avalanche” of evidence supporting Neville. Nothing comparable has been available for any other candidate.
Suppose Rubinstein et al are right. How can the relevant experts, and interested parties more generally, reach rational consensus on this? How could the matter be decisively established? How can the process of collective rational resolution be expedited?
A workshop later this month in Melbourne will address this issue. The first half will involve traditional presentations and discussion, including Rubinstein making the case for Neville.
The second half will be attempting something quite novel. We will introduce a kind of website – an “arguwiki” where the arguments and evidence can be laid out, discussed and evaluated not as a debate, in any of the standard formats, but as a collaborative project. The workshop will be a low-key launch of the Shakespeare Authorship Arguwiki; and later, all going well, it will be opened up to the world at large. Our grand ambition is that the site, or something like it, may prove instrumental in resolving the greatest whodunnit of all time, and more generally be a model for collective rational resolution of difficult issues.
The workshop is open to any interested persons, but there are only a small number of places left.
Register now. There is no charge for attending.