The Shakespeare Forgeries
The cases of William Henry Ireland and John Payne Collier can be found in most recent biographies of William Shakespeare.
The best general discussion of the Shakespeare forgeries can be found in Samuel Schoenbaums Shakespeares Lives (1991). Both cases are discussed with reference to primary documents, and are framed beautifully within each mans era.
The judgment against William Henry Ireland is so clear that it seems surprising that he would be the subject of an entire book. Nonetheless, Bernard Grebanier (1966) has written a fascinating account of the
John Payne Collier has not only a biographer, but a champion in Dewey Ganzel, whose book Fortune and Mens Eyes (1982) is a serious attempt to exonerate Collier from the charge of forgery. He makes a compelling case for Colliers innocence, but his arguments require such a great degree of conspiracy amongst those who sought to frame Collier for the crime that his defense is difficult to accept.
Perhaps the most interesting book about the Shakespeare forgeries is In Search of Shakespeare, by the noted manuscript authority Charles Hamilton. While only a small portion of his book deals with the forgeries, it is a fascinating analysis of Shakespeares handwriting.
One is swept away with the evidence, until Hamilton proposes the novel theory that the shakiness of Shakespeares writing in his will is the result of his being poisoned by his son-in-law, Thomas Quiney. Few scholars who have written on these matters since
Adams, Joseph Quincy. 1923. A Life of William Shakespeare. Little, Brown.
Ganzel, Dewey. 1982. Fortune and Mens Eyes: The Career of John Payne Collier.
Grebanier, Bernard. 1966. The Great Shakespeare Forgery. Heinemann.
Hamilton, Charles. 1985. In Search of Shakespeare. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.
Holden, Anthony. 1999. William Shakespeare: The Man Behind the Genius. Little, Brown.
Rowse, A.L. 1963. William Shakespeare. Harper & Row.
Schoenbaum, S. 1991. Shakespeares Lives.
Wilson, Ian. 1999. Shakespeare: The Evidence. St. Martins