The story is about an attempt to uncover the identity of Mr W.H., the enigmatic dedicatee of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.
It is based on a theory, originated by Thomas Tyrwhitt, that the Sonnets were addressed to one Willie Hughes, portrayed in the story as a boy actor who specialized in playing women in Shakespeare’s company. This theory depends on the assumption that the dedicatee is also the Fair Youth who is the subject of most of the poems. The only evidence for this theory is a number of sonnets (such as “Sonnet 20”) that make puns on the words ‘Will’ and ‘Hues.’
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