This question as strange as it may seem started being

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(4) This question, as strange as it may seem, started being asked in earnest during the Victorian era of mid-nineteenth-century England (and persists to this day). (5) How, the Anti-Stratfordians (the name for those who challenge Shakespeare's authorship) wondered, could such wonderful works, displaying such a broad education, aristocratic sensibility, and familiarity with the royal courts, have been written by someone with Shakespeare's background? (6) According to these skeptics, Shakespeare's humble origins—he was the son of a glove maker and raised in a small market town—meant he could not have attained the education or social connections necessary to have been the author of these works. (7) The real author, they asserted, must have been a well-educated and well-connected aristocrat who needed to shield his or her true identity for some reason (there have been approximately 80 potential candidates proposed since the mid-nineteenth century). (8) Among the most popular candidates were philosopher Sir Francis Bacon; Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford; and poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe.
(9) This argument, like others made by the Anti-Stratfordians (for example, their claim that Shakespeare's authorship is discredited by irregularities in the spelling of his name that were quite common at the time) is completely unconvincing. (10) For one thing, there was an excellent grammar school near Shakespeare's home, where he would have had access to an outstanding free education in Latin, the classics, and rhetoric. (11) Still, because Shakespeare's father was both a prosperous merchant and the town bailiff, it is almost certain that Shakespeare would have attended this school. (12) Moreover, once Shakespeare moved to London as a young man, he would have been exposed to a wealth of ideas and knowledge, which, good for us, he used to create some of the greatest works of literature the world has ever known. 7. Which of the following versions of sentence 3 (reproduced below) would both engage the audience's interest and provide the most effective introduction to the main topic of the passage? Does any other writer even come close?

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