Shakespeare’s Apprenticeship

Identifying the Real Playwright’s Earliest Works


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About the Book

The contents of the Shakespeare canon have come into question in recent years as scholars add plays or declare others only partially his work. Now, new literary and historical evidence demonstrates that five heretofore anonymous plays published or performed during his lifetime are actually his first versions of later canonical works.
Three histories, The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth, The True Tragedy of Richard the Third, and The Troublesome Reign of John; a comedy, The Taming of a Shrew; and a romance, King Leir, are products of Shakespeare’s juvenile years. Later in his career, he transformed them into the plays that bear nearly identical titles. Each is strikingly similar to its canonical counterpart in terms of structure, plot and cast, though the texts were entirely rewritten.
Virtually all scholars, critics and editors of Shakespeare have overlooked or disputed the idea that he had anything to do with them. This addition of five plays to the Shakespeare canon introduces a new facet to the authorship debate, and supplies further evidence that the real Shakespeare was Edward de Vere, seventeenth Earl of Oxford.

About the Author(s)

Ramon Jiménez is an independent historian focusing on Ancient Rome and Renaissance England. He is the author of two books on the Roman republic and has published more than twenty book reviews and articles on Shakespeare and his works. He lives in Berkeley, California.

Bibliographic Details

Ramon Jiménez
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 348
Bibliographic Info: 9 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7264-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3331-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
References, Abbreviations and Bibliographical Notes 3
Introduction 5
The Author of the Canon 14
I The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth and the Prince Hal Plays 31
II The True Tragedy of Richard the Third and Richard III 109
II The Troublesome Reign of John, King of England and King John 148
IV The Taming of a Shrew and The Taming of the Shrew 222
V The True Chronicle History of King Leir and The Tragedy of King Lear 249
A Summing Up 299
Chapter Notes 303
Bibliography 312
Index 331

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Valuable…the writing is lively and engaging”—The Oxfordian.