Is Shakespeare’s Library Still Out There?

It’s long been one of the go-to arguments of the authorship question.  Shakespeare’s work proves knowledge of certain topics and literary works. Therefore he must have had books for researching and referencing those topics.  We have no record of his books, therefore he owned no books, therefore he cannot have had that knowledge, therefore he didn’t write the plays.  Then again, as Bill Bryson pointed out in The World As Stage, there’s no evidence that Shakespeare owned pants, either.  Therefore he must not have. Surely he would have willed his pants to someone!

Apparently there are people who still hold out hope that a trove of books inscribed “Property of William Shakespeare” is going to turn up any day now.  A new book by Stuart Kells details his quest to find it.

While positing that of course Shakespeare had a personal library, the article only barely hints at what happened to it.  Shakespeare’s friend Ben Jonson had a fire at his place. Maybe Shakespeare gave Jonson his books, and they were all lost in that fire?  That’s the same kind of reasoning that the authorship people use.  “I have no proof this didn’t happen, and it supports my argument if it did, so…”

I support any research that turns up actual facts about Shakespeare. I just don’t know how many of those this guy is finding. Besides that, this particular author loses credibility with me for citing the story of Samuel Ireland and his son “finding” the letters and diaries of Shakespeare that “turned out to be forgeries.”  Yes – because Ireland’s son was the one who forged them. You forgot to mention that part.





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