The Baconian theory of Shakespearean authorship holds that Sir Francis Bacon, philosopher, essayist and scientist, wrote the plays which were publicly attributed to William Shakespeare. Various explanations are offered for this alleged subterfuge, most commonly that Bacon's rise to high office might have been hindered were to it become known that he wrote plays for the public stage. Thus the plays were credited to Shakespeare, who was merely a front to shield the identity of Bacon.
Bacon was the first alternative candidate suggested as the true author of Shakespeare's plays. The theory was first put forth in the mid-nineteenth century, based on perceived correspondences between the philosophical ideas found in Bacon’s writings and the works of Shakespeare. Legal and autobiographical allusions and cryptographic ciphers and codes were later found in the plays and poems to buttress the theory. All but a few academic Shakespeare scholars reject the arguments for Bacon authorship, as well as those for all other alternative authors
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See also Shakespearean authorship