Daniel Mytens, James I of England, 1621, National Portrait Gallery, London

James Shapiro believes, and so do I, that Shakespeare’s plays and poems were written, on the whole, by one William Shakespeare, “a young man of ill condition, a lout from Stratford,” as Henry James, in conversation with Percy Lubbock, quaintly called him. In Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? (2010), Professor Shapiro examined the evidence in favor of other Elizabethans for whom a...