Jul 1, 2023

The Which of Shakespeare's Why by Leigh Light: Sunday Salon


After last week's Sunday post, I've been rereading the three books I featured there by Michel Bussi, French thriller writer, and have neglected all my TBRs. I'm almost finished (good reading all over again), and have to decide my next read. 

I've been ignoring the library as I have a stuffed Kindle, full of the ARCs I have to read. 

 In the meantime, a more literary novel came in the mail yesterday: 


The Which of Shakespeare's Why: A Novel of the Authorship Mystery Near Solution Today, by Leigh Light, publication September 19, 2023, City Point Press. 

The book dallies with the age old premise that the real Shakespeare could have been Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, an Elizabethan peer and courtier  (1550-1604)




Publisher:
 The controversy over who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays has been around almost since they were written. Was the genius behind the plays really that obscure glover’s son from Stratford? Or was it someone else entirely—a man whose class, background, education, and peculiarities make him a more than plausible candidate?
 

In The Which of Shakespeare’s Why, a 21st-century playwright named Harry Haines makes the case for a major contender via a play he himself is writing for a struggling New Jersey theatre company. Faced with strong disapproval from the “Stratfordites” and with the backing of supporters that sometimes takes some unusual forms, Harry attempts, against great odds, to get the play written and staged.

In the process he has to overcome his own doubts, stay on the right side of the right people, keep his romantic life under control, and deal with not only a difficult actress or two but a flock of opinionated Rockettes. Part hilarious farce, part serious critical examination, The Which of Shakespeare’s Why provides a thought-provoking look at a controversial puzzle with a surprising, ingenious, and wholly satisfying ending that Shakespeare—whoever he was—would have given a standing ovation.

Would you pick up this new novel about the Shakespeare controversy? 

Thanks to Wiley Sachek Publicity for a review/feature copy of this  intriguing book. 

Memes: The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated BookreviewerAlso,  It's Monday: What Are You Readingand Sunday SalonStacking the ShelvesMailbox Monday

32 comments:

  1. Oh, I've NEVER understood why people just can't accept that Shakespeare actually wrote his own plays and sonnets and stuff. Why does it have to be someone else?

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  2. Sometimes it's nice to switch course.,

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  3. People who want to prove something about Shakespeare’s identity always seem to have a problem with their own. And need attention. It’s the same with the self-advertisers who suddenly discover that Mona Lisa was whatever.
    best, mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. People do have strong imaginations at times.

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  4. This sounds like fun. I've read a few of those theories about Shakespeare's real identity, but I'm left really pulling for the true answer to be that the poor-boy-makes-good Shakespeare is real - and that everything else is just conspiracy theory stuff. I wonder if we'll ever really know...probably not.

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    1. Most people will want to back the poor boy!

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  5. I tend to get a kick out of pieces related to Shakespeare, as much or more as the plays sometimes. I liked the book Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell and the films The Dresser and Ophelia.

    I've never been excited about questioning Shakespeare's identity, but I'm sometimes interested in the people who are interested in that. There's a surprising connecting between that controversy and American codebreaking in the two world wars -- https://www.joyweesemoll.com/2021/11/15/the-woman-who-smashed-codes-bookreview-nanowrimo/

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    1. I don't have strong feelings about it either way. But I can see scholars devoting their energies to proving or disproving the theories.

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  6. I don't understand why there has ever been any controversy.

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  7. Shakespeare was Shakespeare and he wrote all of the works attributed to him. End of story.

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  8. Sounds like you needed a break. Hope it has refreshed you.

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    1. Yeah. Got this surprise book in the mail.

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  9. Was Shakespeare Shakespeare? It's delightfully fun to think about. Shakespeare's body of work is so exceptionally good and big that it seems impossible for one ordinary person to have created it. And so the speculation, the wondering, the questioning. And I would imagine that a play is one of those organic pieces of writing that a clever company of actors could stretch, enhance with every performance,

    I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much.

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    1. Haven’t read it yet, just the publisher’s description

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    2. Maybe he was just a genius...? It happens from time to time. Look at people like Mozart.... They pop up periodically, seemingly out of nowhere sometimes.

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  10. Not sure that this is one that I would have picked up but you do make it sound like a fun read!

    Have a great week!

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  11. I honestly don’t know much about the controversy about who might have really written Shakespeare’s plays, but it’s interesting that people still write books about it!

    It’s cool to see folks spend so much time on crafting their beliefs. It reminds me of how fans of a particular book (or tv show/game/etc) sometimes get into a detailed discussions about little details that might not add up or that could be interpreted in other ways.

    While that’s not my idea of a good time, good for them for following their passions in life. It takes all sorts of people to make the world go around. :)

    Lydia

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  12. All the speculation about Shakespeare is so interesting... hope you let us know what you think of the book.

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  13. I don't have a strong opinion about Shakespeare's identity (apparently, from your comments, some people do), but I definitely think this seems like an intriguing topic for a book!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  14. It is an interesting debate, isn't it? I cannot say I have a strong opinion one way or the other on the subject. This particular book does sound like it might be interesting though--a mix of being thought provoking and amusing. I hope you enjoy the book when you read it!

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  15. Sounds like an interesting book. Hope you enjoy it and have a great week!

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  16. I really need to make more time for rereading. There are so many favorites that I would love to revisit.

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  17. This book sounds interesting! I also have such a stuffed kindle but I still keep getting other books to read. Lol.

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  18. I am curious about The Which of Shakespeare's Why. Enjoy your week.

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  19. Sounds like an interesting book. I'm so glad that overstuffed Kindles don't actually bulge. Mine surely would. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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  20. I'm currently focused on rereading "King Lear", but will certainly consider this book if it may shed some light on the status of who wrote Shakespeare's plays.

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  21. The Shakespeare book looks very interesting. Happy Reading!

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  22. I never realized there was a controversy, so I'd be eager to learn more!

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  23. The story sounds a bit fun ... but I think I'm a Shakespeare was the writer believer. Lol. Enjoy.

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