THE GREAT SHAKESPEARE FORGERY by Bernard Grebanier
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THE GREAT SHAKESPEARE FORGERY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Bernard Grebanier is a noted Shakespearean scholar and critic who has fortunately developed none of the more common antiquarian's more common anti-allergens. Years spent mining the depths of Shakespeareana and he is still capable of distinguishing must from fresh air!...The Great Shakespeare Forgery began in 1795, when twenty-year, old William Henry Ireland hit upon a way to please his father, Samuel Ireland, who had always considered the boy a total failure. Samuel, a bumbling collector, was presented with a document penned allegedly by the Bard himself. In fact, William had personally composed, signed, and sealed the thing as a rather pitifully small and filially desperate deception. It worked. Not only Dad, but most of Academe, were euphonically convinced of the document's authenticity. The small deception barreled into a mammoth hoax. And so there were more ""discoveries"" and finally his magnum opus: Shakespeare's hitherto undiscovered play Vortigen. The beautiful irony, of course, is that once William confesses the fraud everyone, including the father, dismisses it as the overweening boast Of a somewhat backward lad...Professor Grebanier has disinterred and set right a marvelous story. On the way, he makes some telling observations about the ""emperor's clothes"" syndrome in the Establishment, past and present. What a vehicle for Alec Guinness!

Publisher: Norton