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It is perhaps the greatest story never told: the truth behind the most enduring works of literature in the English language, perhaps in any language. Who was the man behind Hamlet, King Lear, and the sonnets? What passion, what pain, what love inspired words so powerful that "not marble, nor the gilded monuments / Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme"? In Shakespeare's Lost Kingdom, critically acclaimed historian Charles Beauclerk pulls off an enchanting feat, humanizing the bard who for centuries has remained beyond our grasp. Beauclerk, the founder of the De Vere Society, former president of the Shake speare Oxford Society, and trustee of the Shakespeare Authorship Trust, has spent more than two decades researching the authorship question. If the plays and poems of Shakespeare were discovered today, he argues, we would see them for what they are--shocking political works written by a court insider, someone whose status and anonymity shielded him from repression in an unstable time of armada and reformation. A satirical writer as trenchant as "Shake-speare" would not have kept his head for long without the monarch's indulgence. But the author's unique status and identity were quickly swept under the rug after his death. The official history--of an uneducated Stratfordian merchant writing in near obscurity, and of a virginal queen married to her country--dominated for centuries. Shakespeare's Lost Kingdom delves deep into the conflicts and personalities of Elizabethan England as well as into the plays themselves to tell the true story of the "Soul of the Age." From the queen whose sexual escapades threatened to tear the curtain from the royal stage, to the poet whose identity crisis fueled a body of incomparable works, and the controversy that survived both of them, springing up again and again down through the centuries, this is a compelling, convincing history. You'll never look at Shakespeare the same way again.

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