Can you keep a secret?
For four hundred years the world has believed that the actor William Shakespeare was the greatest writer that has ever lived.
The world was wrong.William Corbett's new book uncovers the secret authorship of the plays attributed to William Shakespeare and the Catholic message encoded within their pages.
"When I came across the phrase 'the stings and terrors of a guilty conscience' in an anonymous treatise from 1595 I couldn't help noticing the echo of Hamlet's famous 'to be or not to be' speech with the line 'the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune'. Not something you come across everyday, but when I discovered that the man who wrote it is cited again and again by different scholars as a major source for the plays, an examination of his life was called for, which revealed him in a sequence of unique places, places only the author could have been."
Carol Enos has identified another of Lewkenor’s ‘fugitive’ soldiers as Jaques Francesco - the melancholy Jaques - one of the roster of characters found in Lewkenor’s treatise that completes the cast of As You Like It. Clare Asquith has equated the play’s exiled Duke with William Stanley and Orlando with his son, Rowland Stanley, and ‘Father Hugh the Welsh Parson’ with Hugh Owen. As You like It is closely based on Thomas Lodge’s Rosalynde published in 1590, which connects back to Edmund Spenser and his love for Rosalind, and here we can decipher another character; Orlando’s faithful retainer who attends him into exile is called Adam Spencer in Lodge’s book and so we would connect As You Like It’s Adam with Edmund Spenser. Enos says ‘The play depicts a seeming first-hand knowledge about the life of exiles that a student at (William) Allen’s school (at Douai) would have seen frequently.’ Interestingly she goes on to quote from John Strype, who in turn is quoting from Lewkenor’s anonymous letter.
 See her article ‘Catholic exiles in Flanders and As You Like It: or, what if you don’t like it at all?’ Theatre and Religion: Lancastrian Shakespeare.
 Shadowplay: the hidden belief and coded politics of William Shakespeare. Clare Asquith. 2005. P.138-9
 Annals of the Reformation. John Strype, V.III, p. 513.
Ferdinando Walker’s introduction sheds some interesting light on Lewes Lewkenor’s character,
“was the first labor of a worthy Gentleman of your Lordships Country of Sussex, . . who did it for his exercise in the Spanish tongue, and keeping it by him many years, as judging it utterly unworthy of his own name, did lately bestow the same upon me, with express charge howsoever I should dispose thereof, to conceal all mention of him: wherein I should have done both him and my self too much wrong in obeying him.”One commentator, William Hazlitt, remarked,
HOLOFERNES: I will something affect the letter, for it argues facility.
The preyful princess pierced and prick’d a pretty
Some say a sore; but not a sore, till now made
sore with shooting.
The dogs did yell: put L to sore, then sorel jumps
Or pricket sore, or else sorel; the people fall a-hooting.
If sore be sore, then L to sore makes fifty sores
Of one sore L an hundred make by adding but one more L.
‘Affecting the letter,’ the author tells us, ‘argues facility’ and any grammar school boy knows that the Roman numeral for 100 is C. But that’s not what he’s telling us, ‘Of one sore L an hundred make by adding but one more L’ Of one L -to achieve 100 per cent- add but one more L, which gives you LL, the initials of Lewes Lewkenor.
 A sorel is a buck in its third year.
But me thinks I hear it upbraid unto me, that it is now rather a time to do than to write: I confess it to be so for him that is well set on work: and yet he that writeth well is never the farther off from doing well: so that for my part I hold it no disgrace to write so long as my pen uttereth no dishonesty. My education hath been in the wars: This I only do to beguile time; wishing that whosoever shall herein censure me amiss, would be as ready as myself, both in mind and body, when either commandment of my prince, or occasion of my country shall injoin me to other courses.