This book examines dozens of early authorship doubts before the 1616 death of William Shakespeare of Stratford, including five separate indications that the true author of the works of 'Shakespeare' (whoever that was) died years before 1616. This is the most sensational literary mystery of all time. The denial of these doubts by most orthodox scholars is an academic and intellectual scandal of the first order. Wildenthal brings fresh insights, humor, and rigorously impartial scholarship to this controversial subject. He shows that these doubts were an authentic and integral part of the time and culture that produced the works of 'Shakespeare.' This book has been hailed by acclaimed author Alexander Waugh: 'Professor Wildenthal's witty and forensic tour de force examines the evidence of Shakespeare's contemporaries and what they really thought of him. Seldom is the argument against conventional opinion so devastatingly articulated.'