William Shakespeare is the only literary figure whose very identity is a matter of long-standing and continuing dispute. Was he really the glover's son from Stratford-on-Avon? Or was he someone else writing under the pseudonym William Shakespeare? Interest is growing now that a consensus has formed for Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, as the leading candidate. This book claims that Oxford, a recognised poet, playwright and patron of acting companies, has eclipsed Bacon, Marlowe and all the other candidates. The Oxfordian challenge is now being covered in scholarly books, in articles in magazines such as The New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly and on television, including an hour-long PBS Frontline programme. The issue has even been debated in a moot court before three justices of the Supreme Court - with an intriguing outcome.