Elizabeth Winkler dares to addresses the Shakespeare authorship question; and thus finds herself facing severe blowback for challenging a paradigm. I discovered this problem when I stumbled upon spectacular studies by French scholars, Abel Lefranc, member of the Académie française, “Sous le masque de William Shakespeare” (“Beneath the Mask of William Shakespeare,” 1918-1919) and Georges Lambin, “Voyages de Shakespeare en France et en Italie” (1962), which English-speaking scholars simply refuse to acknowledge. These French studies reveal Shakespeare’s surprising  knowledge of  French, of secret French political intrigues (not put into print until after his death), as well as shockingly accurate descriptions of major and minor French historical figures, and detailed knowledge of Italy and France, which reveal it is English scholars, not Shakespeare, who don’t know Renaissance geography. Based on an untranslated French story, Hamlet was performed in 1593; but Shaksper only began to, possibly, learn French when he boarded with a French Huguenot family in 1602. All of this is buried in complete silence.

Paradigm shifts are very difficult and take time. Hopefully, Winkler’s book will finally open doors slammed shut for far too long. Once they open, it’s “a brave new world,” and we discover Shakespeare is even more amazing than we were allowed to know.

Elisabeth Pearson Waugaman *70
Potomac, Md.