The literary conundrum to end all conundrums, an ongoing investigation for centuries now, may have a solution. Who wrote Hamlet and all the other twenty-eight plays attributed to William Shakespeare, as well as the sonnets and other odd bits? Hardly new, the question, since some suspected back in the 16th century that the theater personality William Shakespeare, actor, comedian, and impresario, collected and adapted for the stage plots conceived by others, in cultural, historical and geographical contexts different from England’s. Roman artist Mojmir Ježek, with the help of the scholar Marianna Iannaccone, has assembled persuasive new proof that behind Shakespeare’s signature lurked the celebrated English humanist of Italian origin, John Florio, a well-known lexicographer embroiled in Elizabethan court intrigues. It’s a name that can finally fling off all the slurs, omissions, and silences. This book is the story of Florio’s life, drawing on all the records and research available on John Florio, the English translator of Montaigne and friend to Giordano Bruno: the only literary figure, writes Ježek, “whom the glass slipper of the ghostwriter of the immortal works signed Shakespeare fits, and perfectly.” Afterword by Masolino D’Amico.
Umberto Mojmir Ježek, journalist, illustrator, painter, and sculptor, has worked at La Repubblica as a graphic designer, cartoonist, and illustrator and is well-known for his hearts that, for thirty years now, adorn Natalia Aspesi’s column in the supplement Il Venerdì di Repubblica. In the 1980s, he brought his Madame Inquieta to the magazine Linus. Ježek made the video Apollo&Daphne reloaded, which premiered at the 2010 Rome Film Festival. In recent he’s become fascinated with the question of Shakespeare’s real identity and is developing a TV series on the subject.
Marianna Iannaccone has a degree in comparative literature, with studies in Italy and London. She edits the well-documented and much-followed official John Florio website (www.resolutejohnflorio.com) and conducts various research projects on his life and work. She is the author of the book John Florio’s Italian & English sonnets (2021). Along with Saul Gerevini (shakespeareandflorio.net), Iannaccone is one of the world’s leading scholars of the humanist John Florio and the links between Shakespeare and Florio.