Graham Phillips and I talk about two topics. We speak about Graham’s upcoming book The Lost Tomb of King Arthur: The Search for Camelot and the Isle of Avalon and about William Shakespeare since it is the 400th anniversary of his death. Listen to this wonderful interview with Graham Phillips.
William Shakespeare is the most famous playwright in history – but his private life remained a closely guarded secret. The Shakespeare Conspiracy reveals sensational evidence that William Shakespeare also worked as a government spy.
The historical facts concerning William Shakespeare’s life reveal many strange paradoxes. While the records from the theatrical world in London show that he was working as an actor and playwright, the records from his hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon show that he was simply a grain merchant. Nowhere in the contemporary records of Stratford-upon-Avon is there a single reference to Shakespeare being a dramatist or writer of any kind. No record exists of his receiving an education, buying a book or writing a single play. Even the monument besides his grave in Stratford’s Holy Trinity Church – the famous bust depicting the Bard composing his works – was an eighteenth-century fake.
Such monuments were erected to honour a deceased person’s professional standing and, as such, depicted him holding something associated with his profession. The present bust shows Shakespeare as a writer with a quill and parchment. To the modern visitor it appears that Shakespeare was recognized as a playwright in Stratford at the time of his death. However, the church records reveal that this particular bust was not erected until 1748. It was commissioned by a theatrical manager named John Hall who wished to promote the tourist industry in the town. Fortunately, an illustration of the original monument still survives as an engraving in Sir William Dugdale’s Antiquities of Warwickshire published almost a century earlier in 1656. Here there is no quill or parchment: instead Shakespeare is shown with his hands on a sack. It seems he was being depicted as a dealer in bagged commodities – a grain merchant.
Many authors have speculated that these paradoxes imply that Shakespeare had not been the writer of the plays attributed to him. In The Shakespeare Conspiracy, Graham Phillips and Martin Keatman uncover evidence of another, more intriguing explanation. The documentary evidence shows that William Shakespeare was leading a deliberate double life – a wealthy grain merchant in Stratford; a struggling playwright in London. For instance, the land registers of Stratford for 1597 show that Shakespeare was rich enough to buy New Place, the second largest house in the town, while the records in London at the very same time show that was unable to pay the rent on a small apartment in the poorest district of Billingsgate. The following year when Shakespeare was listed in Stratford as possessing substantial grain holdings and lending a considerable sum of money, in London, court transcripts show that he had been forced into hiding by debt collectors who were pursuing him for less than a pound.
Graham Phillips has been described as an historical detective, a modern-day adventurer and a real-life Indiana Jones. He has been one of Britain’s bestselling nonfiction authors for over twenty years. In 1981, after working as a radio journalist and broadcaster for the BBC and editing a popular monthly magazine, he first turned his talents to investigating unsolved historical mysteries. He has since written thirteen books which are in print around the world and have been published in ten different languages.
- 12 Tribes, 10 Plagues, and the 2 Men Who Were Moses
- Alexander the Great: Murder in Babylon
- Atlantis and the Ten Plagues of Egypt
- Merlin and the Discovery of Avalon in the New World
- The Chalice of Magdalene
- The End of Eden
- The Marian Conspiracy
- The Moses Legacy
- The Templars and the Ark of the Covenant
- The Lost Tomb of King Arthur