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Shakespeare Authorship Question: Unravelling the Mystery

Who wrote the plays and why?

by Kate Cassidy


In 1621, Sir Francis Bacon celebrated his 60th birthday. His close friend Ben Jonson penned a tribute poem that hinted at a mysterious achievement. “Hail, happy Genius of this ancient pile! How comes it all things so about thee smile? The fire, the wine, the men! and in the midst, Thou stand’st as if some Mystery thou did’st!”

Jonson’s cryptic words suggest Bacon had accomplished something monumental, yet undisclosed.

The Baconian belief is that this “mystery” relates to the authorship of the Shakespeare plays and sonnets. On’s What’s New we feature a fascinating article by Kate Cassidy, which will be of interest to those who are completely new to the authorship question, and to anyone who wishes to understand why Bacon would have written the works in Shakespeare’s name and concealed his involvement.