In Scott Evans’ new novel, “First Folio,” priceless handwritten manuscripts reveal that the most famous writer in the world — William Shakespeare — was a fraud, and that the true author of Shakespeare’s iconic plays actually was Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.
The book is fiction, and the Bard hasn’t really been officially dethroned. But other than that, and “the fact that Joe (the main character) receives handwritten documents, which don’t exist, all other factual information is well-researched and true,” said Evans, a Davis author.
“There are few samples of Shakespeare’s handwriting, all of which are signatures on legal documents. The handwriting is pretty halting and poor. It doesn’t look like something an experienced writer would produce,” Evans said.
Evans explores this conundrum in “First Folio,” a literary mystery that he says fans of “The Da Vinci Code” will enjoy.
The main character is Joe Conrad, a professor at the fictional Central Lutheran University in Stockton, who lives in Davis. His mentor, Jack Claire, finds what seem to be authentic handwritten manuscripts of Shakespeare’s plays, along with a leather-bound copy of the First Folio, the first collection of Shakespeare’s plays.
Local residents can meet him at 3 p.m. Sunday at Atria Covell Gardens, 1111 Alvarado Ave. in Davis. Bistro 33, 226 F St., also will host a reading and reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 18, and Evans will be at The Avid Reader, 617 Second St., at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 25.
Meet the author
Who: Scott Evans, author of “First Folio”
When: 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: Atria Covell Gardens, 1111 Alvarado Ave., Davis