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What if Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare...but someone else wrote him first?
Renegade scholar Dennis McCarthy believes that Sir Thomas North, an Elizabethan courtier, is the undiscovered source for Shakespeare’s plays. McCarthy’s wholly original conclusion is this: Shakespeare wrote the plays, but he adapted them from source plays written by North decades before.
Using plagiarism software, McCarthy has found direct links between Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and other plays and North’s published and unpublished writings—as well as Shakespearean plotlines seemingly lifted straight from North’s colorful life.
North by Shakespeare alternates between the enigmatic Thomas North, the intrigues of the Tudor court, the rivalries of English Renaissance theater, and academic outsider Dennis McCarthy’s attempts to air his provocative ideas in the clubby world of Shakespearean scholarship.
Through it all, Blanding employs his keen journalistic eye to craft a captivating drama, upending our understanding of the beloved playwright and his “singular genius.”
Michael Blanding is a Boston-based investigative journalist, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, WIRED, Slate, The Boston Globe Magazine, Boston magazine, and other publications. A former journalism fellow at Brandeis University and Harvard Law School, he has taught feature writing at Tufts University, Emerson College, and GrubStreet Writers.