Controversy Timeline Part II - 21st Century

Astronomical Clock

2001 Roger Stritmatter, a student in the Comparative Literature Department at the University of Massachusetts, is the first person allowed to complete a Ph.D. dissertation on the subject of authorship (on Shakespeare and the Geneva Bible).

2001 History Today, a British magazine, runs a major story by historian William Rubinstein, who in 2006 cowrites with Brenda James a book, The Truth Will Out: Unmasking the Real Shakespeare, about Sir Henry Neville as the true author.

2001 A New York Times article by William S. Niederkorn, “Historic Whodunit: If Shakespeare Didn’t, Who Did?” gives more credibility to the authorship debate.

2002 "Much Ado About Something", a documentary about Marlowe by filmmaker Michael Rubbo, is screened at the Cannes Film Festival and receives positive reviews.

2002/2003/2004 The Shakespearean Authorship Trust sponsors 3 conferences at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, espousing all points of view. Globe Artistic Director Mark Rylance hosts.

2006 A Smithsonian magazine article, To Be or Not To Be Shakespeare, attempts to give a fair summary of the debate.

2006 The first in-depth study of Mary Sidney Herbert, the Countess of Pembroke, as author is published by Robin P. Williams, Sweet Swan of Avon: Did a Woman Write Shakespeare?, and wins four awards.

2006 The first of an ongoing annual authorship series of John Silberrad Memorial Lectures is presented in partnership with Friends of Shakespeare’s Globe and Brunel University in London. Speakers have included Dr. William Leahy, John Michell, Richard Paul Roe, Diana Price, and Hank Whittemore.

2007 The first Masters Degree program in Shakespearean Authorship is offered at Brunel University in West London under the leadership of Professor William Leahy.

2007 John Shahan forms the non-profit Shakespeare Authorship Coalition and issues a formal Declaration of Doubt. The document continues to acquire signatures from prominent groups and individuals who urge English professors to accept the controversy as a worthy subject for study. 2007:   I Am Shakespeare, a play written by and starring Mark Rylance (former Artistic Director of the Globe Theatre in London) is performed at the Chichester Festival Theatre in England

2007 Professor Stanley Wells and Mark Rylance debate the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt.

2008 NPR Radio presents a two-part series on Who Wrote the Shakespeare Plays, hosted by Renée Montagne of Morning Edition. She interviews Stephen Greenblatt, Mark Anderson, Daniel Wright, Charles Beauclerk, and others.

2009 The Wall Street Journal publishes a story about Justice John Paul Stevens and the United States Supreme Court’s interest in the Shakespeare authorship debate.

2009 The first of its kind in academia, the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre and Library is completed at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon.

2011  Charles Beauclerk and William Leahy joined film director Roland Emmerich in debate at the English Speaking union in Mayfair to speak against the motion: “This House believes that William Shakespeaere of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the plays and poems attributed to him.” Professor Stanley Wells, Michael Dobson and Paul Edmondson argued for the motion.

2011  Roland Emmerich’s feature film, Anonymous opens in theaters around the world.

2019 Bryan Wildenthal publishes "Early Shakespeare Authorship Doubts" with evidence that there were questions about Shakespeare's authenticity before Edward de Vere's death.

2019  The New Yorker publishes a letter from Justice Stevens about the Earl of Oxford.

2019 The Atlantic publishes an article by Mark Rylance, encouraging the 'authorship question'.

2019 The Deborah Harkness book, "A Discovery of Witches" and it's sequels are made into a T.V. series featuring Mary Sidney and Elizabethan England.