I've been reading a very interesting book this week called, "The Truth Will Out: Unmasking the Real Shakespeare" by Brenda James and William Rubinstein.
The authors make the case that Sir Henry Neville (1562-1615) was the author of what we now know as the poems and plays of William Shakespeare. Among many things, they point out that Sir Henry was fluent in many European languages, had visited many of the the places where the plays take place (including Italy and Scotland), had a deep knowledge of the law and the royal court.
They also write about Sir Henry's growing Protestantism after being sent to the Tower of London by Queen Elizabeth before her death. This, they argue can be seen in the "problem plays" (like Hamlet) which were written after 1601.
He kept his authorship a secret, they argue, because of his high position in Parliament.
An interesting additional fact...Sir Henry played a role in the founding of America - he was an investor in the London Virginia Company, which sent an English expedition headed by Captain John Smith to North America. They founded the colony at Jamestown, Virginia in May 1607.
If you have an interest in Shakespeare or like a good mystery, I recommend this book.