|Dr Heather Wolfe|
'In my scholarship, I build arguments based on documentary evidence. 'Through my work on the website Shakespeare Documented, I was fortunate to examine hundreds of manuscripts and printed works relating to Shakespeare, his family, and his works.
It is known William Shakespeare was baptised on April 26, 1564 and that he died on his birthday 52 years later.The poet and writer was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, the third child of eight to his middle-class parents, John and Mary Shakespeare.
Over the next 30 years he would produce 37 plays, and countless poems and other works, making him one of the world's most celebrated playwright five centuries later.
'This over-abundance of evidence, some of it linking the gentleman from Stratford with the London playwright, leaves absolutely no reason to doubt his authorship.'
Having scoured Elizabethan archives, Dr Wolfe has unearthed evidence including previously unknown depictions of Shakespeare's coat of arms from the seventeenth century which cast new light on William's status as a gentleman-writer.
'This new evidence really helps us get a little bit closer to the man himself,' Wolfe said.
'It shows Shakespeare shaping himself and building his reputation in a very intentional way.'
Speaking about the significance of the discoveries to The New York Times, Shakespeare scholar and Columbia University professor James Shapiro said: 'It's always been clear that Shakespeare of Stratford and 'Shakespeare the player' were one and the same.'
But if you hold the documents Heather has discovered together, that is the smoking gun.'