A modern serial killer - hunting an ancient secret. A woman is left to die as the rebuilt Globe theatre burns. Another woman is drowned like Ophelia, skirts swirling in the water. A professor has his throat slashed open on the steps of Washington's Capitol building. A deadly serial killer is on the loose, modelling his murders on Shakespeare's plays. But why is he killing? And how can he be stopped? A gripping, shocking page turner, The Shakespeare Secret masterfully combines modern murder and startling true revelations from the life of Shakespeare. It has been acclaimed as one of the most compulsively readable thrillers of recent years.
Whilst Shakespeare's genius is universally recognized, there is a hidden, secretive side to his work that is little known: the fact that he made use of a mysterious code that figures widely in the esoteric literature of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. The Bard of Avon was a master of such encoding, and his methods were continued, in the Folio of 1623 and in his various memorials, by those who had known him. However, Shakespeare was not the inventor of this code. Among the many arcane authors who made use of it before him was Michel Nostradamus, the famous French prophet and savant. As David Ovason reveals, many leading esoteric writers - alchemists, occultists and Rosicrucians -contributed to this 'Secret booke'. Among the more outstanding English literary figures who used the code were the mysterious adviser to Elizabeth I, John Dee, the turbulent author of The Alchemist, Ben Jonson, and the more classically-minded Edmund Spenser, whose poem 'The Faerie Queene' is the best-known esoteric work of the period. Shakespeare's Secret Booke reveals many other literary figures who together form a remarkable underground literary movement, including the most influential esotericist of the period, Jacob Boehme, and alchemists such as the English polymath Robert Fludd. Another was Shakespeare's contemporary, the youthful Johann Valentin Andreae, credited as author of The Chymical Wedding - a Rosicrucian work replete with sophisticated examples of encoding. The fact that all these writers used the same or similar encoding points to a secret teaching designed to be recognized by initiates. Ovason explores and, for the first time, reveals what Shakespeare alluded to as 'a Secret booke'.
Macbeth is a famously cursed play, fraught with gruesome violence and supernatural evil. Some of Kate Stanley's friends question her choosing to direct its production for the 400th anniversary of its first performance, but Kate's expertise in the little-known secrets and obscure mysteries of Shakespeare make her a natural. However, bizarre ritual objects begin to turn up at rehearsals, and it becomes clear someone is using the production to send a message in the form of very dark ancient magic. The cast is unnerved both by the gruesome pranks and the historical creepiness of this play, and consider abandoning the production. But a local young boy, the namesake of the 17th-century actor who first played the role of Lady Macbeth, is abducted, and the puzzling ransom notes make the boy's survival dependent upon making the play happen. As opening night approaches, Kate digs deep into the obscure and magical allusions in Macbeth, and draws on all her skill and knowledge of occult Shakespeare to decipher the ransom note riddles and save the kidnapped boy.
Every so often a book comes along which forces us to reappraise key writers such as Shakespeare. THE SHAKESPEARE ENIGMA, by Peter Dawkins, special advisor to London's 'Shakespeare's Globe' theatre, is such a book. The writer of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets was a man of his time, deeply immersed in the religious and political struggles of the day, exceptionally well-versed in law, diplomacy, music and classical literature, and he was also widely traveled - much more so than the Stratford actor widely credited with their authorship today. Through his illuminating and detailed study of the plays and hints they contain about the author, Peter Dawkins guides us down a fascinating trail, following clues that may have been left by the writer himself for us to uncover, centuries later. A whole new perspective on the plays emerges. As his argument develops, Peter Dawkins places them very firmly in their political, religious and philosophical context and out of that new understanding he comes to startling and original conclusions as to the true identity of the author of Shakespeare's works. Like any good investigation, this book is compendious in its presentation of evidence and copiously illustrated. It will appeal to all literary-minded people, those interested in esoteric wisdom, and anyone involved in arts education. THE SHAKESPEARE ENIGMA also ties in well with modern attempts to understand how Elizabethans and Jacobeans regarded theatre, through such projects as Shakespeare's Globe on London's South Bank.
"The history of the Shakespeare controversy is presented in this revised edition of the 1992 work, with new information and additional chapters. Part I documents and assesses the important theories on the authorship question. Part II is an annotated bibliography, arranged chronologically, of the works that deal with the controversy from its vague beginnings to the present"--Provided by publisher.
Hero changed into a T-shirt, grabbed a book, and padded barefoot into her sister's room. The large windows overlooked the backyard. She could see the moonlight streaming over the trees and bushes, making long, crazy shadows across the grass. Was there a diamond hidden out there somewhere? She looked at Beatrice, already settled under the covers. She wanted to tell her about the Murphys, but at the same time, she didn't. She wanted to keep the secret. To have something that belonged only to her. A missing diamond, a mysterious neighbor, a link to Shakespeare-can Hero uncover the connections? When Hero starts sixth grade at a new school, she's less concerned about the literary origins of her Shakespearean name than about the teasing she's sure to suffer because of it. So she has the same name as a girl in a book by a dusty old author. Hero is simply not interested in the connections. But that's just the thing; suddenly connections are cropping up all over, and odd characters and uncertain pasts are exactly what do fascinate Hero. There's a mysterious diamond hidden in her new house, a curious woman next door who seems to know an awful lot about it, and then, well, then there's Shakespeare. Not to mention Danny Cordova, only the most popular boy in school. Is it all in keeping with her namesake's origin-just much ado about nothing? Hero, being Hero, is determined to figure it out. In this fast-paced novel, Elise Broach weaves an intriguing literary mystery full of historical insights and discoveries. A JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTION
October 1623 Sir Francis Bacon describes a new and ingenious method for writing in code. November 1623 one month later, the Shakespeare First Folio is published. Coincidence? For over 250 years, the Word Cipher, concealed in the plays of William Shakespeare, remained undiscovered until the late 1800s. The Shakespeare Code reveals an explosive story of secret marriage, children of Elizabeth I, Virgin Queen, and Francis Bacon as the true author of Shakespearean plays."