Former Northern Star editor conquers Shakespeare conspiracies in new book

Courtesy of Ted Bacino

Courtesy of Ted Bacino

By Brandon Montemayor , Lifestyle writer

The conspiracy of who actually wrote Shakespeare’s plays is the subject of former Northern Star editor and  author, Ted Bacino’s latest book, “The Shakespeare Conspiracy.” 

The suspicion as to who wrote these plays has become a popular conspiracy, gaining increased attention as more information about the playwright is discovered and more missing pieces show up.

 Released March 1, the revised second edition of the novel adds new evidence and expands upon some of the relationships within the novel. 

“There’s a little new evidence, but what I did crank in are a few more chapters about William Shakespeare and his wife,” Bacino said. Other new additions to the novel include Shakespeare’s time as an actor prior to writing.

The original version of  “The Shakespeare Conspiracy” is a fictional story that dives into the tangled and mysterious history of William Shakespeare, and what is touted as the “greatest literary deception of all time,” according to the novels subheading, which is finding out the true authorship of the Shakespearean works.

The novel follows the events after the supposed death of Christopher Marlowe, an English playwright who many believe actually wrote some of, if not all of, Shakespeare’s works. 

The ensuing chase is on as Inspector Maunder looks to track down a treasonous criminal amid the Black Plague and English Crusades after becoming suspicious of the Marlowe murder. Maunder discovers shocking similarities between the works of Shakespeare and Marlowe. He finds parallels in the wording and settings of the Shakespearean plays, according to the press release about the novel. 

Bacino, who grew up in Rockford, always had his eye on writing and theatre. 

“I started out as a teacher and taught for about 10-15 years, but then after that, I primarily went into writing and directing theatre,” Bacino said. 

These were programs that Bacino said he would continue to work on throughout his sophomore, junior and senior years, resulting in him writing a full-length musical, “Take It From the Top,” at the end of his senior year, in 1956. This experience is what Bacino himself attributes to his beginning love of directing and writing.

It was during his time at NIU when Bacino was drawn to the Shakespeare theories and conspiracies.

“When I was a sophomore, I read an article in a magazine by a man called Dr. Calvin Hoffman,” Bacino said. “He proposed the idea in the article, and he had written a book about the subject that it was actually Marlowe who really wrote the works.”

Hoffman’s book, “The Murder of the Man Who Was Shakespeare,” is what sparked Bacino’s interest in telling a fictional story of the events, rather than just relaying the actual events. 

While researched heavily, the fictional aspects of this novel are on the theory that the death of Marlowe, a suspected spy for Sir Francis Walsingham’s intelligence service, was all an act. Bacino theorizes that this faked death was done to get Marlowe into hiding. In his hiding, however, Marlowe can’t help but to continue his love for writing, so he hires commoner William Shakespeare to act as the author behind his works, Bacino said. 

“The researching was murder,” Bacino said. “It was before the days of the internet, so you couldn’t look anything up. It had to be done by book and of course I was in Europe, so I had to keep having books in English shipped to me.” 

Throughout 68 years of researching the topic, Bacino said he was finally able to release the first edition of his novel in 2010. The original release now coupled with the most recent release of the revised second edition will expand upon the mystery and tell a capturing story.

“I would want readers to believe that primarily the actor did not write the works, and more importantly I’d like to have them enjoy the novel,” Bacino said. 

  For more information about the book and where to purchase a copy, visit the books website or pick up a digital or physical copy on Amazon.