We conclude with the central question – did Shakespeare perpetrate this thing, either partially or in full?
Well as we’ve noted throughout, it’s quite true that there are echoes of later Shakespeare scattered throughout Edmund Ironside. But we can probably say that about quite a few anonymous plays of the era.
Eric Sams has made out a fairly convincing case that Ironside is Shakespeare’s first play. The most common guesstimate for composition date is 1587, which means Shakespeare would have been only 23 and brand new to show biz when he wrote this.
Well, I’m going to go all lawyer on you now. Taking into account the whole record, put me down with a verdict that the preponderance of the evidence is that a very young Shakespeare either wrote or co-wrote Edmund Ironside. So I’ll go with “yup.”