William Henry Ireland, only nineteen, perpetrated the greatest Shakespeare forgery ever attempted. As a result, his father was personally destroyed in a tale worthy of a Greek tragedy, when William, driven by a simple yearning for his father's love, inverted his father's great passion for Shakespeare to impale him on the great Shakespeare fraud. This tragicomedy drew in everyone from the Prince of Wales to the queen of the stage, Mrs Siddons, from the great scholar Edmund Malone to James Boswell, from Dr Johnson to the Duke of Clarence, from perhaps the most famous playwright of his day, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, who staged the supposed new play by Shakespeare's hand, to H.J. Pye, the Poet Laureate. But soon so many documents had been 'discovered' that William Henry was being closely interrogated, and the ensuing furore when the documents were finally discovered to be forgeries became a national scandal. His father alone refused to believe that his 'simpleton' son was capable of such duplicity, remaining convinced that the forgeries were genuine.
Buy Great Shakespeare Fraud book by Patricia Pierce from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(230mm x 140mm x 20mm)
Sutton Publishing Ltd
Publisher: The History Press Ltd
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Author Biography - Patricia Pierce
Pat Pierce is the author of Old London Bridge which was Waterstones' Book of the month. She has also edited a series of anthologies and reviews for History Today and other magazines. A Canadian, Pat lives in Walton on Thames, Surrey.