This is the best book on the so-called authorship controversy because Shapiro is the first well known Shakespearean scholar to accept an uncomfortable truth: that an idea that has gripped the public imagination needs to be studied, even if scholars find it nonsensical.
Although his book does include a superb chapter that concisely explains the absurdity of the 'authorship controversy', that is not the best thing about the book. Its most admirable quality is that Shapiro begins by explaining how slowly the biographical facts of Shakespeare's life were uncovered, helping you to understand why the nineteenth century was an environment in which daft ideas might seem plausible. It helps the orthodox Shakespearean to understand why such ideas flourished, even as it insists that they're wrong.
The narrator does a great job. She has the tone of a stern but patient schoolmistress.
A fascinating study of the disputes regarding Shakespeare's authorship of his plays. Very enjoyable, as well as being learned and informative. The reader is also quite good.
Ancient Civil Engineer and Land Surveyor
The best book I've read on the origin of this too, too trying canard. It points a dagger at the heart of this awful lible and shoves it in. The narrator brings a the proper tone to the procedings.
At least in Greenblatt's book there is some research of the period. Though both books provide nothing new on the man himself. As per usual of every "Shakespeare" biography its conjecture, supposition and what possibly may have sort of kinda happened. Real documented facts is scholarship. This book should be in historical fiction.