While a movie can be compelling on any subject because of the medium's attribute of making fiction seem like reality (see, for example, any number of vampire movies), it doesn’t count in the real world of Shakespeare scholarship. Immensely talented but, in this case, impenetrably blockheaded, actors such as Mark Rylance and Derek Jacobi notwithstanding, no serious Shakespeare scholar is an anti-Stratfordian, not one. In fact, the anti-Stratfordian bleat comes down to the same sort of offensive priggery now that Robert Greene advanced in Shakespeare’s own day: namely snobbery that an upcountry Warwickshire bumpkin without the benefit of an Oxbridge education could write this well. But even in Greene’s warning against the “upstart crow beautified with our [college-educated poets’] feathers” is the acknowledgement that Will Shakespeare is, in fact, writing plays (in this case, Henry VI). And think for a moment about this: if there was a conspiracy to hush up the non-authorship of Shakespeare, it would have required the collusion of half of literary London, including all of Shakespeare’s company, the court of Queen Elizabeth, Shakespeare’s family, friends, and enemies (there were law suits about land involving him)—and fellow playwright and rival, Ben Jonson, who, it must be assumed, kept the secret even in his private notebook, where he wrote, “I remember the players have often mentioned it as an honour to Shakespeare, that in his writing (whatsoever he penned) he never blotted out a line. My answer hath been, would he had blotted a thousand”—written a dozen years after Shakespeare’s death. Anti-Stratfordians can dream up a dozen conspiracy theories—the very stuff of exciting movie plots and aristocratic fever dreams—but not one has ever produced a shred of actual evidence that anyone other than Shakespeare wrote the plays and poems. Not one shred. Meanwhile, actual literary and historical scholars keep piling up more and more evidence that he did. For example, Warwickshire dialect—note that: Shakespeare’s dialect, not a courtier’s—runs pervasively (and delightfully) through all the plays. As for the Earl of Oxford, who died more than ten years before Shakespeare, Bill Bryson probably called this particular bluff best: “The Earl of Oxford, better still, additionally anticipated his own death and left a stock of work sufficient to keep the supply of new plays flowing at the same rate until Shakespeare himself was ready to die a decade of so later. Now that is genius!” (Bryson, Shakespeare, the World as Stage, 195, 196). No, we’re going to have to go elsewhere for credible conspiracies—you know, that Beyoncé isn’t really pregnant, that the Pope has secretly joined the Mormon Church, and that the President of the United States is a communist Kenyan.