From the acclaimed author of The Map Thief comes the true story of a self-taught Shakespeare sleuth's quest to prove his eye-opening theory about the source of the English language's most famous plays.
A work of gripping non-fiction, North by Shakespeare presents the twinning narratives of rogue scholar Dennis McCarthy, called "the Steve Jobs of the Shakespeare community," and Sir Thomas North, an Elizabethan courtier whom McCarthy believes to be the undiscovered source for Shakespeare's plays.
For the last fifteen years, Dennis McCarthy has obsessively pursued the true source of Shakespeare's works, with fascinating results. Using plagiarism software, he has found direct links between Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and other plays and Thomas North's published and unpublished writings-as well as Shakespearean plotlines seemingly lifted straight from North's colorful life.
McCarthy's wholly original conclusion is this: Shakespeare wrote the plays, but he adapted them from source plays written by North decades before-many of them penned on behalf of North's patron Robert Dudley, in his efforts to woo Queen Elizabeth. That bold theory answers many lingering questions about the Bard with compelling new evidence, including a newly unearthed journal of North's travels through France and Italy, filled with locations and details appearing in Shakespeare's plays.
North by Shakespeare alternates between the dramatic life of Thomas North, the intrigues of the Tudor court, the rivalries of English Renaissance theatre, 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 highly readable drama, up-ending our understanding of the beloved playwright and his "singular genius."