We have no such reports ("this guy's a bit clever") for Shakespeare. Not just when he was five, but for the whole of his life.
I hope I never unwittingly add to any such circle-jerking collection of wannabe playground bullies as is on display on this thread. I know am not, but I'd actually rather be a conspiracy theorist nutter etc than show the kind of behaviour several folks above have put forward.
Not if they worked on manuscripts passed on to them. "Co-author" is a preferred term, for this very reason.
Not long after my demob I joined what was then B.O.A.C., and remained with them (and British Airways as we later became) for the next thirty years. I had a whole range of jobs in that time, some overseas, and finished up specialising in management training and development. This was of enormous benefit to me personally, teaching me many of the techniques of clear thinking, problem solving and decision making that have served me well ever since. The experience also allowed me to go on and get the M.A. degree that my earlier education had not provided, and to set up as an independent consultant when I took early retirement from B.A. in 1989.
For several years I had also specialised in the design and layout of airport terminals, both passenger and cargo, which involved a great deal of overseas travel. It was on a trip of this type to New York in the early sixties, in fact, that I happened to pick up a copy of Esquire magazine, noticing that it apparently contained an article about Christopher Marlowe.
This turned out to be by a man called Calvin Hoffman, and outlined a theory that Marlowe's death in 1593 had been faked, and that it was really Marlowe who had been responsible for the works we know of as Shakespeare's. It made a great story, but I assumed that a closer look at the facts would show it to be the rubbish that it clearly had to be.
Well, that was some forty-five years ago, and having looked at the facts as closely as anyone can have done since then, I still cannot refute the theory, and much that I have found strongly supports it. Although Calvin Hoffman's actual argument was deeply flawed, and those of others since him often not much better, I now find it far more likely that the basic theory is right than that it is not.
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