Starting in 1590, Shakespeare wrote 37 plays over a period of 23 years. In those two decades, the English language was abruptly upgraded by that one brilliant individual. An actor in London, William Shakespeare, got the credit, but he was not the author.
The author of the plays was familiar with farming, falconry, hunting, forestry, astronomy, psychology, poetry, music, law, politics, Italy, France, Greek theater, Roman history, sea voyages, conscription, and munitions. Even metallurgy. No stage actor could have had that breadth and depth of knowledge.
For hundreds of years, scholars fought over their theories about Shakespeare's true identity. Who had lived during the active writing years? Who could have had the education to create so much spectacular writing? Who could have had all the insider information about the governing families of England?
In 2005, the "Who" was finally unveiled. Have you heard about it? Probably not, because the person who did the unveiling was quickly denounced as having no credibility. The unveilor was a lowly English teacher, not a university scholar like the self-proclaimed experts. And she was a woman.
Remember the name: Brenda James. She figured it out.
The author was Sir Henry Neville. Who was he? Consider an analogy: In 1970, President Nixon's government had a stout, discreet, and brilliant diplomat, Henry Kissinger; and, in 1590, Queen Elizabeth's government had a stout, discreet, and brilliant diplomat, Henry Neville.
Neville's life lined up perfectly. He was highly educated and famous for being well read. His family was one of the governing families of England, and they were featured throughout the plays. His family even owned a steel business.
Brenda James was not looking to prove it was Neville. She was just having fun using cryptograms to decode and see what might be hidden in the odd words of the dedication to the Sonnets. These were the same cryptograms that Sir Neville used for secret correspondence when he was ambassador to France.
After Brenda James discovered the name, she and others gathered evidence. They found match after match: life experiences, vocabulary, handwriting. Dedications in Shakespeare publications were all to prominent people in Neville's life. The evidence continues to accumulate because his personal library still exists. Many of the books have annotations in his handwriting about the plays.
Shakespeare is the Bard of Avon. He was also Sir Henry Neville, the Bard of Billingbere, his ancestral home west of London.
Sir Henry Neville