THE SHAKESPEAREAN CIPHERS EXAMINED by Wm. F. & Elizabeth S. Friedman

THE SHAKESPEAREAN CIPHERS EXAMINED

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KIRKUS REVIEW

There's news value in any book on the moot subject, Who wrote Shakespeare? This book doesn't answer the question, but it certainly puts a few sturdy nails in the coffin of some of the Baconian addicts, and does it in serious, scientific fashion by examining the claims based on cryptography. This, the authors say, is the one approach to the question of disputed authorship which can be proved, one way or the other. The historical approach and the stylistic approach afford too many pitfalls. In opening chapters the whole controversy is aired, the Bacon, Earl of Oxford and Marlowe claims explored, note taken of some 4000 books and articles attempting to disprove Shakespeare's authorship and attributing the works to some seventeen possible candidates. The first mention of cipher was advanced by a Mrs. Winder in 1882; again by Donnelly in 1888; and in greatest detail the exhaustive research done by Mrs. Gallup is analyzed- and, to the satisfaction of the authors, disproved. Successive methods are proved unbased in factual findings, while the evidence of typographers seems unanswerable. No cryptographic system passes the essential and basic tests. Sure to produce another tempest.

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 1957
Publisher: Cambridge Univ. Press