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THE GREAT CRYPTOGRAM: Francis Bacon's Cipher in the So-Called Shakespeare Plays (1888) by Ignatius Donnelly

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THE GREAT CRYPTOGRAM: Francis Bacon's Cipher in the So-Called Shakespeare Plays (1888) by Ignatius Donnelly

150.00

DONNELLY, Ignatius

The Great Cryptogram: Francis Bacon's Cipher in the So-Called Shakespeare Plays

Chicago: R.S. Peale & Company, 1888. First US edition. Hardcover. Publisher's olive cloth with front and spine decorated in gilt. Engraved frontis of Bacon. ix + 998 pp. Folding chart and one black and white plate. 

Binding slightly shaken. Edge and corner wear. Folding chart has a clear tape repair to reverse. A very good copy. 

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Donnelly spends the first half of this massive tome discussing how Shakespeare could not have written the great plays attributed to him, and that the only alternative is that they were indeed written by Francis Bacon. He dissects Shakespeare's education, his real character, his lack of letters and a library, and more. Donnelly relies heavily on the ideas expressed by others since Shakespeare's time and weaves together some very valid points in order to make his argument. He then gives Bacon the same treatment but comes up with something altogether different. By looking at the fact that the true author must have been a philosopher, and by studying the geography, politics, religion, and purposes of the plays, as well as indicating reasons that concealment would be necessary, it becomes clear to Donnelly that Bacon is our playwright. To further his case he then describes many of what he calls "parallelisms". He collects numerous examples of identical expressions, metaphors, opinions, quotations, studies, errors, and the use of unusual words, by both Shakespeare and Bacon. There are also strange circumstances of character and style which the two share. The second half of the volume covers the cipher in the plays and the cipher narrative. Once again, there are a tremendous amount of details and further discrepancies that, regardless of preconceived notions, do require a closer look. The amount of material that Donnelly has gathered into this volume is staggering. By reading even a small portion of this work, it becomes rather easy to see things from quite a different viewpoint, as uncomfortable as it might feel. I'll leave it at that for now. The rest is up to you.