Theories abound as to the true identity of William Shakespeare, but a new book makes the most scandalous suggestion yet - that the creator of Hamlet and Macbeth was the illegitimate son of Queen Elizabeth I.
He further argues that the first child, secretly sired in 1548, was raised as Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford - who is one of the main claimants to the name of Shakespeare for those who do not believe a lad from rural Warwickshire capable of literary genius.
Mr. Streitz thinks that Elizabeth I had quite the brood of illegitimate children; that we don't know about them is, of course, a conspiracy. Or, as he puts it: "So, to think that Elizabeth did not have children because they were not documented is to contradict the culture she lived in, contradict what we know of her personally, and contradict the ability of a society to cover-up unwanted information" (83). Oh. The brouhaha is rather belated, one must note--the book first appeared in 2001. For some reason, the article on Mr. Streitz neglects to mention that he thinks that Oxford/Shakespeare is also at least partly responsible for the King James Version (scroll down to the McGrath review).