From the March 1993 issue of THE BAKER STREET JOURNAL (shown below), used with permission.

A popular sport among advanced scholars of English has been to refute the accomplishments of Mr. William Shakespeare. Hardly a decade passes but what some worthy pundit announces to the world that somebody other than Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. Sometimes it has been Raleigh, sometimes Bacon, Beaumont, or Fletcher, but in this century, Christopher Marlowe has been the most popular choice. Things went so far a few years back that a group of them actually dug up what was left of Marlowe’s body in hopes that evidence that he wrote Hamlet or Macbeth or Julius Caesar might be buried with it. The evidence was not there. Fortunately for them, Mr. Frankland of Lafter Hall was not there either, so they managed to avoid prosecution for opening a grave without consent of next of kin.
            The reasoning behind such activities is elementary enough. Above everything else, these Shakespeare-detractors have an enormous respect for education because they are themselves educated. Now, if these distinguished intellectuals do not have the command of the English language exhibited by the author of Hamlet—and they do not—then how could William Shakespeare, who could not always spell his own name right, possess such literary powers?

            This line of thought is irreproachable—so much so that it is imperative that we apply it wherever else we can. So we must find another English playwright who was alleged to have written works as elevated as Hamlet and then examine his educational background for evidence that he might have been just as ignorant as Shakespeare. The job is not as hard as one might think. We actually need look no further than Shaw. No, not John Bennett Shaw, and not the Shah of Iran, and not The Phantom Rickshaw! The reeeealy big Shaw, himself—George Bernard Shaw! The greatness of G.B.S. did not merely approach the genius of Shakespeare, it actually surpassed it; and we have this on the very best authority—Shaw’s own word, and who should know better than he?

Next, what of the immortal Bernard’s educational credentials? Was he a highly eminent scholar, therefore immune to the impeccable logic which has shown Shakespeare to be a fraud? Most authorities agree that Shakespeare’s formal education extended no further than his fourteenth year. Fourteen is precisely the age at which Shaw dropped out of school, never to return again. And although Shaw could spell “Shaw,” he spelled “show” s-h-e-w and was no better at spelling Shakespeare than Shakespeare was. We have him wriggling in our nets! He could no more have written Shaw than Shakespeare could have written Shakespeare. When you have eliminated the impossible, the truth remains, no matter how improbable!

            Then who did write Shaw? To find the answer we merely have to pursue the Marlowe-Shakespeare scenario to its ultimate conclusion. Marlowe misled the world into believing that he was dead by disappearing in a fistfight in 1593. Actually, he lived on to write all the plays now attributed to Shakespeare. The three parts of Henry VI, which appeared before Marlowe’s apparent death, are considered to have been written by neither Shakespeare nor Marlowe. The earliest truly Shakespearean play then is Richard III, which was first produced in 1594, or one year after Marlowe’s disappearance. Now, the earliest Shavian play, Widowers’ Houses, was first produced in 1892. It follows that its true writer was someone who misled the world into believing that he was dead by disappearing in a fistfight in 1891. Does that description fit anyone? It does. It fits one man and only one man, and anyone who doesn’t know who that man is has no business reading this journal.