Famous Doubters.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Other admirable men have led lives in some sort of keeping with their thought; but this man, in wide contrast... that he was a jovial actor and manager, I cannot marry this fact to his verse."

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Henry James: “The divine William is the biggest and most successful fraud ever practiced on a patient world."

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Walt Whitman: “Conceived out of the fullest heat and pulse of European feudalism, personifying in unparalleled ways the medieval aristocracy, its towering spirit of ruthless and gigantic caste, its own peculiar air and arrogance.  No mere imitation.  One of the wolfish earls so plenteous in the plays themselves, or some born descendent and knower, might seem to be the true author of those amazing works… I am firm against Shaxpere.  I mean the Avon man… It is my final belief that the Shakespearean plays were written by another hand than Shaxpere’s.  … The Shaxpere case is about closed.”

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Mark Twain: “Shaxpere had no prominence while he lived, and none until he had been dead two or three generations.  The Plays enjoyed high fame from the beginning; and if he wrote them, it seems a pity the world did not find it out.  He ought to have explained that he was the author, and not merely a nom de plume for another man to hide behind.  Shall I set down the rest of the Conjectures which constitute the great Biography of William Shake-speare?  It would strain the Unabridged dictionary to hold them.  He is a Brontosaur: nine bones and six-hundred barrels of plaster of paris… I only believed Bacon wrote Shake-speare, whereas I knew Shaxpere didn't."

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Sir Derek Jacobi: "Where did this Shakespeare come from?  Where did all that knowledge and eloquence and truth come from?… I am highly suspicious of that gentleman from Stratford on Avon… our playwright wasn't that fellow." 

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Orson Welles: “I think Oxford wrote Shake-speare.  If you don't agree, there are some awfully funny coincidences to explain away." 

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Charles Chaplin: “In the works of the greatest geniuses, humble beginnings will reveal themselves somewhere, but one cannot trace the slightest sign of them in Shake-speare…  Whoever wrote them had an aristocratic attitude."

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun: “If I had to cast my vote [today], it would be for the Oxfordians.”

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.: “I never thought that the man of Stratford-on-Avon wrote the plays of Shake-speare.  I know of no admissible evidence that he ever left England or was educated in the normal sense of the term.  One must wonder, for example, how he could have written The Merchant of Venice."

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens: "Even though there is no Santa Claus, it's still a wonderful myth."

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Sir John Gielgud

Kenneth Branagh

Michael York

Jeremy Irons

Mark Rylance

Leslie Howard

Tyrone Guthrie

Keanu Reeves

Kristin Linklater

Clifton Fadiman

Charles Dickens

William James

Sigmund Freud

John Galsworthy

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

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