"A tribute to a strong and creative woman"

If you like historical fiction this is a must read! In high school I found Shakespeare's plays to be a drag but as an adult I am intrigued by the possibility that he may have had a conspirator for his famous works! Amelia Bassano comes across as very dynamic, creative and courageous. A true advocate for women. I love the historical details, adventures and personalities developed by Steve Weitzenkorn.

Well worth a read. Even if you go in doubting - I assure you that your mind will be opened by its stirring end.


"A stunning achievement: An historical who-wrote-it":

Shakespeare's Conspirator is like a rock rolling downhill - gathering momentum as it goes. By the end - Mr. Weitzenkorn has established his credentials and the "facts" begin to strongly support his thesis that Ms. Bassano Lanier was in the right places at the right times - and lived the life (or lives) that could certainly support the idea that while Shakespeare's strength lay in the history (Henry IV etc.) - hers lay in everything else - from "The Merchant of Venice" highlighting her Jewish heritage and Venetian family background to "A Midsummer Nigh'ts Dream" and "Love's Labour's Lost" with her comic and fantastical sensibilities."Romeo and Juliet" and its star-crossed lovers. It sinks in slowly, but will ultimately grab you by your imagination...

All in all - he sold me on the idea of this woman before her time - at the center of history and some of the great fiction of all time. Ultimately, he made his case as well as Portia in "Merchant" - disguised as a man - ruling against Shylock, who cries out for his pound of flesh. Taken all of a piece - it is quite a stunning achievement. 


I couldn’t put it down. Others have also speculated that Shakespeare didn’t write all his plays. Christopher Marlowe, Edward de Vere, and Francis Bacon are sometimes named. But who has ever heard of Amelia Bassano? Suspenseful is how I would describe this well-researched historical fiction novel that immerses readers in Elizabethan intrigue and leads you to question what you assumed was true.

After reading it, I wanted to go back and revisit “The Merchant of Venice” and other works that Mr. Weitzenkorn attributes to this Jewish feminist who was forced to stay in the shadows. It was illegal to be a Jew in England during Shakespeare’s time.

I particularly appreciate that the website for this book allows one to read about the author’s research and separate truth from fiction. I think it’s interesting that more is factually known about Amelia Bassano than William Shakespeare. And you don’t need to like reading Shakespeare’s plays to love this novel. It pulls you in and is easy to read.

Lovingly researched:

This is a lovingly researched historical novel that seeks to answer some of the questions revolving around Shakespeare's huge literary output and the sophistication of his work, given the limited education and life experience he apparently had. I enjoyed the verve of the writing,

I thought at the end of Shakespeare's Conspirator - "Wow -- did that really happen?" But Mr. Weitzenkorn's elaborate research serves to back up the reality of what he's written... He furnishes the reader with links to the clues (family names buried amongst the characters, along with times and places lived by Ms. Lanyer - and NOT Mr. Shakespeare) so they can look it up (as Yogi Berra was wont to say) for themselves. It adds a very interesting layer to the veracity of his tale. There's a grace to her life coupled with many tragic twists and turns, not the least of which is the indelible seeming fact that she may have led quite a spectacular and accomplished life - only to have had it all hidden away behind a veneer of secrecy and lies for almost 500 years - until Mr. Weitzenkorn - like Toto in the Wizard of Oz - reached out to expose the man (Shakespeare) behind the curtain.

A most enjoyable and informative read. Can tell the author did a lot of research before writing the book. Great descriptions of people and places. It may be a novel but feels like reading a fun history book. Can recommend it to anyone who enjoys history, the writings of Shakespeare or just a good read.

Don't miss this story:

What a great read! I absolutely enjoyed it and didn't want to put it down. It was especially interesting to find that MY favorite Shakespearean plays were "probably" written by this amazing and strong young woman. I have long been fascinated with this era and have read many historical novels. The author did such a wonderful job describing the environment, fashion and attitudes, I almost felt like I was "there" in the story.

Fantastic read! Most enjoyable!!​

An amazing story; extremely well crafted!
Well researched and full of historical tidbits along with an engaging plot.

Did she or didn't she?

The setting of this novel is Elizabethan England, with its love of theatre, its hatred of Jews and its subjugation of women. Is it possible that a Jewish woman at that time wrote many of Shakespeare's plays? Steve Weitzenkorn makes a good case that Emilia Bassano Lanyer did. Even if she didn't, this novel reflects the difficulties inherent in being a talented, female rebel in an unforgiving society. This is an enjoyable, exciting recommended read.

A trove of convincing evidence and an enthralling story:

This story about passionate, intellectual, bold and brilliant Emilia Bassano and her partnership with William Shakespeare reveals important facts about the authorship of Shakespeare's plays while adding extra dimensions of meaning to them.

This absorbing book is a good read that will leave the reader with many seeds for thought and much to wonder about.

Interesting and intriguing:

I found it difficult to put down! I loved the premise and it has piqued my curiosity to learn more.

Loved this book! An excellent and believable storyline:

Fast moving action tied to actual historical events and people. I highly recommend this book.

This book was a wonderful and an easy read. I liked it so much that I bought it for a few of my friends, who also enjoyed it. Mr. Weitzenkorn, I hope you will continue to thrill us with your writting.

76% of reviewers on Amazon have rated Shakespeare's Conspirator with 5 Stars!  Below are representative comments:

"A must read book on the true authorship of some of the greatest literary work in all of human history."

I have been studying the Shakespeare myth of authorship ... and I am convinced that WS did NOT write the main body of monumental work attributed to him. This book is one of the best examples explaining, what I believe is the truth, about Emilia Bassano Lanyer who actually did write most of the(m)..."

​And from another reader: "It is a very compelling story that makes one of the more plausible cases for the authorship of some of Shakespeare's plays."

shakespeare's conspirator

Did a Jewish woman of color write many of Shakespeare's plays?

Did she embed clues in the scripts pointing to her identity and authorship?

Explore the Shakespeare Authorship Question and the Evidence Pointing to Emilia Bassano Lanyer