He claims de Vere’s known works and letters show a strong Shakespearean style and also points to the earl’s nickname at court, ‘Spear-shaker’.
Mr Kreiler says the earl graduated from Cambridge aged just 14; mastered law and Italian; and would have had a wide-ranging knowledge of the upper classes – in contrast to the lowly-born William Shakespeare. All this, he concludes, means de Vere was well placed to write works such as The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar.
Mr Kreiler also believes Hamlet was almost an autobiographical play about the Earl’s life. De Vere’s father-in-law, William Cecil, Lord Burghley, is said to be have been parodied as the character Polonius.
“Edward De Vere also lived in the same area as Shakespeare and scrutiny of specific stanzas of poetry he wrote show their style was not copied anywhere else at the time, except in what we call Shakespearean poems.”