The other day I received an intriguing email from Dr. Will Tosh at Shakespeare’s Globe. He had been contacted by someone who wanted him to confirm or deny the story that Shakespeare wrote – or was somehow connected with – the 46th Psalm in the King James Bible. Since this was not a story Will had heard before, his scholarly instincts made him pause before immediately pouring scorn on the idea (though he definitely thought it was untrue), so he asked me if I knew anything about the rumour.
The Psalm 46 legend, as I call it, seems to have been around for slightly over a hundred years. I’ve heard it in various versions, once from an editor I was writing for, once as an improbable story remarked on by a friend (though which friend I can’t remember) and several times online. Like Will, I don’t believe it’s true, or even within the realms of reasonable possibility. “Did Shakespeare write Psalm 46 in the King James Bible?” is a Question To Which The Answer Is No, in internet slang.
In fact, what interests me about the legend in why anyone believes it – or perhaps, why they want to believe it. The story seems to serve different purposes at different stages of its life, and to mean different things to different people. I became so intrigued by this legend that it became my next book project.
The book’s called Shakepeare and the Psalms Mystery – it was great fun to write and hopefully makes for interesting and enjoyable reading. It’s available for £3.99 on Kindle or £8.99 as a paperback. (Or free in Kindle Unlimited.) I hope you find this literary legend as fascinating as I did!