Authorship Links | Home There are enough conspiracy theories out there regarding the works of Shakespeare (or attributed to Shakespeare, if you prefer) that entire careers have been built upon positing alternate candidates for the true authorship of the works. Whether or not the claim of Shakespeare is legitimate, the burden of proof would seem to lie on those who wish to discredit the Bard. On the other hand, it's only fair to give attention to this debate as it has been ongoing for quite some time and shows no signs of waning anytime soon. Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford: This contemporary of Shakespeare has been strongly advanced since the 1930s as the true author of Shakespeare's plays. A well-educated and well-traveled nobleman of Queen Elizabeth I's court, de Vere has been championed by the author Charlton Ogburn using parallels of the Earl's life with material from the plays—for instance, noting similarities between Polonius of Hamlet and the Earl's guardian, William Cecil.