An essay by WJ Ray

First Folio Martin Droeshout Etching
First Folio Martin Droeshout Etching

Professor Stanley Wells is Honorary President and a Life Trustee of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare Studies of the University of Birmingham, Honorary Emeritus Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, General Editor of the Oxford Shakespeare series, and of the Oxford Complete Works as well as writing forty four books. Reviewer Ramon Jimenez noted in 2003 that Wells has written or edited a book a year for the previous 30 years, nearly all of them about Shakespeare.

With such prestige and prolificacy, Wells is considered the doyen of Shakespeare studies. In the last decade he has taken a leadership role representing the assumptions, evidentiary precepts, and general consensus of the established guild and publication houses regarding the biographical origins of the Shakespeare canon. He assumed this responsibility again in June 2011 at the English Speaking Union in a debate occasioned by the eminent release of Roland Emmerich’s film about Shakespeare, ‘Anonymous’.

Click for PDF of the full talk without Appendix
Click for PDF of 24 page Appendix with annotations and graphics
(3.5 MB file)

(I encourage the reader to print out the graphics in the Appendix in order to follow along with the text)

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