As a cub river pilot, one of Mark Twain’s masters was a pilot named George Ealer, who recited Shakespeare by the hour - from memory - and who was a virulent opponent of the notion that the Shakespeare plays and poems were in truth written by Sir Francis Bacon. At first, young Sam Clemens agreed with his teacher and boss, but he soon realized that it was no fun for the pilot to argue with someone who agreed with him all of the time. And so, young Sam Clemens became quite skilled in defending this position: He said he was not a Shakespearite nor a Baconite, but that he was a "Brontosaurian": he didn't know who did write them, but he knew Shakespeare didn't.
As Twain explained, "It is the very way Professor Osborn and I built the colossal skeleton brontosaur that stands fifty-seven feet long and sixteen feet high in the Natural History Museum, and is the awe and admiration of all the world, the stateliest skeleton that exists on the planet. We had nine bones, and we built the rest of him out of plaster of Paris. We ran short of plaster of Paris, or we'd have built a brontosaur that could sit down beside the Stratford Shakespeare and none but an expert could tell which was biggest or contained the most plaster."
Public Domain (P)2011 Richard Henzel
"[T]he entire audio book is a tribute to Twain's comic sense and word-play... If Is Shakespeare Dead? is one of Mark Twain's works that you've resisted reading until now, this audio book is an enjoyable way to experience one of Twain's last autobiographical writings.... Twain's words and Henzel's voice are at perfect pitch." (Kevin McConnell, in The Mark Twain Forum)
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