For four hundred years, doubts have been recorded about whether William Shakespeare actually wrote the works attributed to him. This website offers the chance to explore different arguments for the most prominent authorship candidates. Cases are presented for the following:
Group Theory of Authorship, Francis Bacon, Edward de Vere, Christopher Marlowe, Henry Neville, William Shakspere, Mary Sidney Herbert, and William Stanley.

Link and image of Francis Bacon Link and image of Edward de Vere
Link and image of William Stanley Link and image of Christopher Marlowe
Link and image of Henry Neville Link and image of Mary Sidney
Link and image of William Shakspere Link and image of Group Theory


We hope this website serves as a crossroads and meeting place. If you don't know what the fuss is about go to Why the Question? and read the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt. Who we are and What we do will tell you of our past activities and future plans. If you are interested in finding out more, upcoming lectures and related events can be found under News and Events. If you want to go straight to your favourite candidate just click on the face or name. If you cannot find your candidate here and know of a website we could link to here at the crossroads, contact us.

Yours in doubt
Mark Rylance
Trustee of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust

The Shakespearean Authorship Trust is a registered charity dedicated to discovering the truth about the authorship of the works we know as William Shakespeare's. You can help:

Recommended Books

We recommend two books to anyone interesting in discovering more about the Shakespeare Authorship Question. Both were financially assisted by the Shakespearean Authorship Trust.

PAPERBACK: Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography: New Evidence of an Authorship Problem by Diana Price
Shakespeare's Unorthodox BiographyFor those new to the Authorship controversy, this book will help you understand and appreciate why the Question exists at all. The author does not promote any alternative candidate, but clearly analyses the evidence for suggesting that Shakespeare's authorship of all the plays and poems conventionally attributed to him can reasonably be called into doubt. For those familiar with the Authorship Question, Diana Price's brilliant book is affordable at last! Buy it at or Amazon UK

E-BOOK: Shakespeare: The Evidence by Ros Barber
Shakespeare The EvidenceUpdated and enlarged on a monthly basis, Shakespeare: The Evidence aims to be comprehensive resource listing all the evidence and arguments for and against William Shakspere of Stratford-upon-Avon as the author of the works attributed to him. Searchable and hyperlinked to numerous web-based resources, you can access it in all electronic formats, whether Kindle, nook, smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC. Print out pages of the PDF version and use it as you wish. Contribute evidence, arguments and counter-arguments. Read a free sample and get involved at

News and Forthcoming Events

November 22 2015
Authorship Conference 2015: Shakespeare's Histories
The Shakespearean Authorship Trust's annual conference focuses this year on Shakespeare's History plays, featuring well known Shakespearean actors and scholarly presentations. Hosted at Shakespeare's Globe at Bankside in London, the conference is a great place for all Shakespeare lovers and doubters to 'gather and surmise'. This year, the conference will be followed by a book launch and wine reception for 30 Second-Shakespeare (6pm-7pm), which will include short readings by Mark Rylance (Foreword) and Ros Barber (Editor). Book early, because we always sell out. For further details, follow this link.

September 23 2015
The Jefferson Exchange
While attending the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship conference in Ashland, Oregon, three leading British sceptics - Dr Ros Barber and Dr Kevin Gilvary of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust, and Alexander Waugh of the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition - appeared on Jefferson Public Radio to talk about the evidence (and the absence of evidence) that underpins the Shakespeare authorship question. You can listen to the podcast on the SAT's YouTube Channel.

September 22 2015
30-Second Shakespeare
Part of the successful 30-Second Series of books, 30-Second Shakespeare: 50 Key Aspects of His Work, Life and Legacy is published by Ivy Press, to be officially launched in November. Edited by the SAT's Director of Research Dr Ros Barber, and with a Foreword by Mark Rylance, with contributions from both non-Stratfordian and orthodox Shakespearean scholars, 30-Second Shakespeare focuses on the author and the plays, with a neutral stance on authorship. As such, it is book suitable for all lovers of Shakespeare, no matter who they believe him to be. For further details, see the book's page on Amazon.

April 23 2015
Lead article in The Conversation
An article by the Shakespearean Authorship Trust's chair, Professor William Leahy, was the lead article in The Conversation on the day deemed to be 'Shakespeare's birthday' (and death day). The article had 12,000 hits within the first 24 hours. Read it here: Shakespeare's birthday: ignore the avalanche of adulation - he was a chancer of the first order.

April 10 2015
Call For Papers 2015
The theme for this year's annual conference is 'Shakespeare's Histories'. We are inviting contributions on the theme from academics and independent scholars, to be received by 22 May 2015. You can download the call for papers here.

November 2014
Shakespeare and Vampires
An essay by the Shakespearean Authorship Trust's chair, Professor William Leahy, published in the American journal Studies in Popular Culture, is now available on open access. The essay – “’Exit Pursued by a Zombie’: The Vampire we Desire, the Shakespeare we Reject” is about a number of things, including the Shakespeare authorship question. It is available on open access here: 'Exit Pursued by a Zombie: The Vampire we Desire, the Shakespeare we Reject'.

November 23 2014
Shakespeare - The French Connection
The Shakespearean Authorship Trust's annual conference focuses this year on Shakespeare's French references, featuring well known Shakespearean actors and scholarly presentations. Hosted at Shakespeare's Globe at Bankside in London, the conference is a great place for all Shakespeare lovers and doubters to 'gather and surmise'. £40 for the day (11am to 6pm) including tea and coffee. Book early, because we always sell out. For further details, follow this link.

April 30 2014
The Shakespeare Authorship Question - Does This Matter?
On 30th April 2014 at the Ye Olde Cock Tavern, a panel of experts on the subject explained to the general public why exactly it does matter who wrote Shakespeare, the details of the question and it's broader relevance to society at large. On the panel were Professor William Leahy of Brunel University in London, Dr Ros Barber (author of "The Marlowe Papers" and "Shakespeare: The Evidence"), Professor Alan H.Nelson (author of "Monstrous Adversary"), Dr Duncan Salkeld (author of "Madness and Drama in the Age of Shakespeare"), Alexander Waugh of the Shakspeare Authorship Coalition and actor and writer Alain English of the Central London Debating Society.

See a report on the event on Mr Steerpike's Spectator blog.

April 27 2014
Prince Philip revealed as authorship sceptic Click on the title to see the related article in the UK's Daily Mail. The report states that when Professor Stanley Wells of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust asked Prince Philip if he was a heretic, the prince replied 'All the more so after reading your book'.

November 2013
Shakespeare: The Evidence
A new project sponsored by the Shakespearean Authorship Trust. A candidate-neutral, comprehensive, searchable and hyperlinked compendium of all the evidence, arguments and counter-arguments used on both sides of the Shakespeare authorship question. An invaluable resource for Shakespeare researchers and for the curious. Subscribe now at

September 2013
Shakespeare: The Hidden Truth
Jorgen Friberg's full-length documentary feature, Shakespeare: The Hidden Truth, had its UK premiere at the Cambridge Film Festival on 22 September 2013. This film documents the research of Norwegian polymath Petter Amundssen on Francis Bacon's involvement in the production of the First Folio, sceptically examined by Stratfordian scholar Robert Crompton.

August 2013
Last Will. & Testament, the major documentary which had an advance screening at the SAT Gathering held at Shakespeare's Globe in November 2011, was shown on Sky Arts 2 on Monday 19th August 2013. See here.

For further information on the advance screening of the film, go to our Conference page.

June 2013
Ros Barber's highly acclaimed new novel in verse,
The Marlowe Papers, won the Desmond Elliott prize for Debut Fiction in June 2013. For more information please visit the author's website here.

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