The Shakespeare Question


The Marlowe Society is NOT devoted to proving that Marlowe was the true author of the Shakespeare canon. It is devoted to promoting the generally accepted works of Marlowe as the founder of English drama and the perfecter of dramatic blank verse. Without Marlowe as guide and leader, Shakespeare and the other Elizabethan poets and dramatists would not have achieved the reputation they enjoy today.  There are, however, serious doubts about the record of Marlowe’s death at Deptford in 1593, doubts recognised by the question-mark in the Marlowe memorial window unveiled in Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey on 11 July 2002. Because so little is known of William Shakespeare’s life that corresponds with the personality of the playwright and sonneteer, there have been reputable scholars in all ages who have doubted that William Shakespeare could have written the works that carry his name. To recognise this “Shakespeare problem” and see Marlowe as the most convincing solution to it, is no bar to membership of the Marlowe Society. It does add to the interest of Marlowe, and it has brought more members to the Society. However, even without this added interest Marlowe deserves to be more widely known and performed. It is to his life and works that The Marlowe Society, and this site, are dedicated. Do join the Society and make your contribution. As to the Marlowe/Shakespeare debate: the Society is pleased to consider contributions (on either side of the argument) for these web pages, or for the pages of the Marlowe Society Newsletter, or the Research Journal, provided what they have to say is rational and based on fact, not on a hyperactive imagination. (To avoid ambiguity, contributions to the debate in these web pages are sub-headed “A Marlowe/Shakespeare Debate Page”.) Meanwhile, until somebody wins the Hoffman Prize by convincing the world that Marlowe was indeed Shakespeare, the Society’s objects are to promote the works of Marlowe that are generally accepted as his today. Summary: Dave Kathman and Terry Ross’ site dedicated to the proposition that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. Well researched arguments, many refuting the Oxfordian case, plus an extensive list of Bardlinks (although our site is misleadingly labelled as Marlovian). See also a related Discussion board. Website Link:

Shakespeare Fellowship

Summary: An Oxfordian site dedicated to research in the field of Shakespearean authorship, and the theory that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, is the true author. A Virtual Classroom contains a number of lengthy essays, and a revised chronology counters the fact of Oxford’s death in 1604. Heated Discussion Boards. Website Link:


Summary: An international electronic conference for Shakespearean researchers, instructors, students, and those who share their academic interests and concerns, edited by Hardy M. Cook. Submitted papers as well as the searchable mailing list. Not especially interested in the Authorship debate. Website Link:


Sir Bacon

Summary: Lawrence Gerald’s entertaining and enlightening site explores the many facets of Francis Bacon’s life and work including a summary of Baconian evidence, and Mather Walker’s essay Resurrecting Marley. See also Paul Dupuy’s site for Bacon texts and a chronology of Shakespeare documentation. Website Link: