Every so often a book comes along which forces us to reappraise key writers such as Shakespeare. THE SHAKESPEARE ENIGMA, by Peter Dawkins, special advisor to London's 'Shakespeare's Globe' theatre, is such a book.
The writer of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets was a man of his time, deeply immersed in the religious and political struggles of the day, exceptionally well-versed in law, diplomacy, music and classical literature, and he was also widely traveled - much more so than the Stratford actor widely credited with their authorship today.
Through his illuminating and detailed study of the plays and hints they contain about the author, Peter Dawkins guides us down a fascinating trail, following clues that may have been left by the writer himself for us to uncover, centuries later. A whole new perspective on the plays emerges. As his argument develops, Peter Dawkins places them very firmly in their political, religious and philosophical context and out of that new understanding he comes to startling and original conclusions as to the true identity of the author of Shakespeare's works.
Like any good investigation, this book is compendious in its presentation of evidence and copiously illustrated. It will appeal to all literary-minded people, those interested in esoteric wisdom, and anyone involved in arts education. THE SHAKESPEARE ENIGMA also ties in well with modern attempts to understand how Elizabethans and Jacobeans regarded theatre, through such projects as Shakespeare's Globe on London's South Bank.