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Unsolved Mysteries In Literary History

Books have emerged from a long, arcane history, inspiring, despite their unassuming pretext, several bizarre and chillingly sinister theories. Many of these conjectures have arised from the mysterious authors behind each novel — the recluse Emily Dickinson who, in her formative years, was only seen outside clad in white, and Edgar Allan Poe, who died in a fashion similar to his hallmark macabre tales: found unconscious clad in someone else’s clothes on an October morning in 1849, and dying four days later of a unknown cause. Several have proposed a vast array of sometimes farfetched, other times uncannily plausible, theories emerging from the strange habits of many familiar authors, yielding some of of the biggest unsolved mysteries in history.

Shakespeare is Not Who You Think He is

One of the most prominent literary theories questions the plausibility of Shakespeare’s authorship. This hallmark writer is perhaps the most eminent in history, penning a vast array of plays and compositions, even inventing several of our modern day idioms and words. However, there is little known about his not-so-auspicious origins, the sole known facts illustrating him as a unremarkable country boy emerging from a family devoid of notable wealth. His works, however, suggest a writer of great wisdom and worldliness, something the alleged Shakespeare seemed unlikely to possess. For example, the play “King Lear” would necessitate a familiarity with royalty, indicating the writer to be a member of the upper class. Many speculate candidates such as Francis Bacon or Christopher Marlowe to have employed the given alias, since their writing style are similar and backgrounds more suiting to the genuinity and intimacy “Shakespeare’s” writing inspires.

Lewis Carroll is a Notorious Killer

Lewis Carroll, author of fantastical children series “Alice in Wonderland,” seems an unlikely candidate for a cold blooded murderer. Although the theory has been written of as a fringe belief, and is supported from some rather dubious evidence, the author is known to be a sketchy character who reputabley wrote his most famous book under the influence of drugs. A man called Wallace Something invested a immense amount of perhaps futile time into proving Lewis Carroll was Jack the Ripper, a notorious murder who slaughtered several women during the 1880s, yet remained unidentified. He supported this conclusion by rearranging snippets of Carroll’s work into so-called confessions and highlighting the author’s close proximity to the murders occurrence. However, these conjectures are decidedly implausible and likely to remain as a mere speculation.

J.K Rowling Created her Own Horcruxes

Harry Potter fans will note the series fixation upon number seven in the univarassly renown series, a figure author J.K Rowling has deemed “magical.” Some have speculated that like her antagonist, the wicked “Lord Voldemort,” she too created a series of horcruxes. The imagined term denotes objects of which a piece of soul is injected by an act of murdering. J.K Rowling, as with most dedicated authors, poured herself into all seven books and also killed off at least one character each time. This is a more metaphorical theory, opposed to literal, but is nevertheless just as interesting.

Neverland is an Allegory for Heaven

This sinister theory is, unfortunately, perhaps the most credible of all. J.M Barrie’s famous book, “Peter Pan,” can superficially be interpreted as a tribute to a child’s vast imagination. However, some have proposed the alleged “Boy Who Never Grew Up” to alternatively be an angel who escorts children to heaven. The afterlife in question is a magical place where those who passed away before maturity can run wild forever in eternal childhood. This conjecture is supported by the presence of the lost boys, a group purportedly deceased and guided from life by the infamous Peter Pan. Author J.M Barrie had already weaved a couple rather dark portions into the novel Disney’s adoption has surreptitiously omitted. For example, Peter Pan is suggested to have a dark fascination with death, at one point purposely breathing quickly, as, according to the island’s folklore, every breath kills an adult. The concept of heaven would also justify why Neverland’s inhabitants were mysteriously barred from growing up, since, to put it starkly, they were all deceased.

The Voynich Manuscript

The Voynich Manuscript is indisputably mysterious. An dilpated book cloistered within the confines of Yale University’s Beinecke library, it first emerged in 1912 via Wilfrid Voynich. This Polish book dealer had uncovered the codex at Villa Mondragone in Italy and was subsequently captivated by the unidentified language scrawled across its pages. These mysterious words are accompanied by drawings of plants, castles on clouds, and other whimsical images, suggesting the book to catalogue some ancient and unknown culture. Others, however, deem it a hoax put on by mid-century fraudsters, or even Wilfrid himself. However, recently the vellum was carbon dated to reveal the book to have originated from the early fifteenth century, thus warranting the Voynich manuscript as a true, unsolved mystery.

By: Clara Chalmers

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