The Authorship

For several hundred years the authorship of the work attributed to William Shakespeare has been a question in many people's minds. But none of the potential candidates proposed so far has satisfied as many issues of authorship as Mary Sidney.

The Woman

Mary Sidney Herbert, the Countess of Pembroke (1561 - 1621) was the leader of the most important literary circle in English history. Hundreds of pieces of circumstantial evidence make many people wonder if she wrote the works attributed to William Shakespeare.

The Book

Robin P. Williams spent seven years researching the possibility that Mary Sidney wrote the works attributed to Shakespeare. Her book is now available, Sweet Swan of Avon: Did a Woman Write Shakespeare?


All great truths begin as blasphemies.
George Bernard Shaw

Mary Sidney herself, by remaining within the established limits, became the most important woman writer and patron of the Elizabethan period, one who demonstrated what could and what could not be accomplished in the margins.
Margaret P. Hannay*