Maxwell, John Milo, 1865-1929
John Milo Maxwell (1865-1929) began his journalism career and friendship with Theodore Dreiser in 1892 while at the Chicago Globe and the Chicago Tribune. After World War I he returned to his home town to work for the Indianapolis Star and the Union. His most popular drama, The Killer, played on Broadway for three years. Maxwell began researching the issues surrounding Shakespearean authorship about 1908, publishing his first article on the topic in 1916. He completed the first portions of The Man Behind the Mask by 1918. Theodore Dreiser helped him in attempts to interest various publishers between 1919 and 1924, but none were successful.
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The John M. Maxwell Papers consist primarily of drafts and revisions of Maxwell's book, The Man Behind the Mask, which ascribes authorship of William Shakespeare's plays and sonnets to Sir Robert Cecil or George Somers. Maxwell failed in his attempts to get his book published, even though Theodore Dreiser interceded with publishers on his behalf.