Was Shakespeare really a woman? Shirley not!


Shakespeare was really a mum of six called Shirley, according to new research.

Doubts about Shakespeare’s authorship have been voiced for more than 150 years, with the usual suspects including Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe and Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. However it is rare that the real identity of Shakespeare is suggested to be a woman.

In her new book, To Be or Not To Be… A Lady, Dr B Schidt says that she has irrefutable proof that Shakespeare was a woman.

“Numerology holds the key to unlocking the mystery over who the real Shakespeare was,” reckons Dr Schidt. “If you take Shakespeare’s birthdate (23041564) and times it by the number of plays she wrote (37), then times that by the number of sonnets (154) you end up with the figure 131290831672 – which when used to decipher Portia’s famous court speech in the Merchant of Venice (when she is disguised as a MAN!) it clearly spells out ‘Shirley mum x 6’.”

Dr Schidt continues: “The evidence is so compelling that we should stop thinking of Shakespeare as ‘the Bard of Avon’ and instead re-nickname her ‘the Broad of Avon’.”

(SNIP! That’s enough Schidt theories for now – Ed.)

  • Right. April Fool’s Day and all that.

    The good people of Stratford are not to blame for the misunderstanding about who wrote Shakespeare. It’s just that they now have a conflict of interest as to correcting that misunderstanding.

    There was indeed a Merchant of Stratford who was a successful businessman. He seems to have had some connection with London theater. But not as a playwright.

    I hope your town will continue to prosper even as more people realize the Stratfordian authorship theory is a hoax.

    • headlight

      “He seems to have had some connection with London theater.”

      Yes, indeed. He was a player (according to royal records related to preparation for the coronation of James I, where he along with others of his company received red cloth as members of the royal household; and according to Cuthbert Burbage, who mentioned him as a player and shareholder in the Globe and Blackfriars theaters). He was also noted as the playwright of a number of plays being performed by that same company at court a few months after the cloth was issued, in the records of the Master of the Revels.

      That you continue to show up in comment threads to spout your discredited fantasy is increasingly pathetic. You’re a laughingstock. I notice you never cite any actual evidence for your theory — why is that?

  • Jerry Ferraccio

    Can’t even enjoy a little April Fool nonsense without one of the grim, joyless anti-Stratfordian nutters ruining it.

  • A. R. Lyon

    Richard M. Waugaman, M.D. is a fool every day of the year! I hope he leaves his brain to science. Researchers don’t often get a chance to examine a brain that hasn’t been used.

  • I have been asked for evidence. It’s readily available to all who are open-minded. That does not include many adherents of the faith-based traditional theory, since they begin with the unquestioned premise that they must be right. They then interpret (and misinterpret) evidence to fit their preconceptions. That’s deductive, rather than inductive reasoning. It may be appropriate for theology, but not for exploring a historical question.

    As Headlight knows, my 80 publications on Shakespeare are available at

    And what has Headlight published on Shakespeare?

    • It’s readily available…

      Is it? I’ve never seen you produce any when asked. Nor have you here. And publishing scraps of discredited Oxfordian theory in deceased Oxfordian publications doesn’t add to your qualifications as an authority on Shakespeare.

      Perhaps, since you’re such a keen student of identities, you might be able to come up with a few real life candidates for the Dr Schidt referred to in the article. I think the residents of Stratford upon Avon may be ahead of you there.

    • headlight

      You failed to provide any evidence again. Your publications — many of which I’ve purchased or read — are not evidence themselves, and other than a rather tiny band of dead-enders, they’re ignored. Most of the citations to your works are in your own subsequent works! You recently published an article based on a misunderstanding of the figure of speech (hendiadys) you claimed to be analyzing. Embarrassing.

      But can you tell me just one primary source that says that anyone other than Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the works?

      Nope, I didn’t think so.

    • headlight

      “many adherents of the faith-based traditional theory . . . begin with the unquestioned premise that they must be right. They then interpret (and misinterpret) evidence to fit their preconceptions. That’s deductive, rather than inductive reasoning. It may be appropriate for theology, but not for exploring a historical question.”

      Please explain your interpretation of the evidence I mentioned above.

      — William Shakespeare is listed first among “players” in the Account of the Master of the Great Wardrobe, recording the issue of red cloth to Shakespeare and his fellows for the entry of King James I into London. I read that as evidence that William Shakespeare was a player. Do you imagine that the list includes that name as an allonym or alias for an earl? That it was included in an obscure account book as part of a cover story?

      — Cuthbert Burbage, who was part-owner of the Globe and Blackfriars theaters, in partnership with his brother Richard Burbage and William Shakespeare, stated that upon recovery of the lease to the Blackfriars Theatre, they “placed men Players, which were Hemings, Condall[,] Shakspeare &c. And Richard Burbage.” I read that as firsthand, eyewitness evidence that Shakspeare [Shakespeare] was a player.

      — The listing of plays for 1604-05, written by William Honnyng, clerk of the Revels, attributed several works to “Shaxberd,” Honnyng’s phonetic rendition of “Shakespeare.” I read this as evidence that Shakespeare of Stratford (as shown above, a member of the playing company performing the works) was the author of the works.

      The historical method takes into account reliable primary evidence. If all the sources agree, the question is settled. Is there any reliable evidence (beyond your speculation) that unambiguously contradicts these sources?

      I doubt you’ll respond.