Recent calculations suggest that there are more than 66 individual candidates.
These eight candidates are perhaps the most-well known:
Francis Bacon, Viscount St Alban, (1561- 1626) Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (?1550- ?1604), Christopher Marlowe (1564- ?1593), Sir Henry Neville (1562- 1615), Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke (1561- 1621), William Shakspere (1564- 1616), William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby (1561- 1642). There is also a group theory relating to the authorship of the plays.
John Michell, Who Wrote Shakespeare?, Thames
& Hudson, 1996
Ian Wilson, Shakespeare: The Evidence, Headline, 1993
E K Chambers, William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems,
Reginald Charles Churchill, Shakespeare and his Betters, Reinhardt, 1958
H N Gibson, The Shakespeare Claimants, Methuen, 1971
Irvin Leigh Matus, Shakespeare, in Fact, Continuum, 1997
S Schoenbaum, Shakespeare's Lives, Clarendon Press, 1991