Kent Memorial Library will hold a book talk with resident John Milnes Baker Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.

Baker will discuss “The Case for Edward de Vere as the real William Shakespeare.”

Whether William Shakespeare was or was not the author we all studied in high school has been the subject of great debate for generations.

“This talk is simply an elementary introduction to what is surprisingly a heated - and at times even an acrimonious debate,” Baker said.

Here are some comments about The Case for Edward de Vere as the real William Shakespeare:

“When he (John) invited me to attend the Shakespeare Oxford Centennial Symposium in Washington DC, I was skeptical but went along out of family loyalty,” said Baker’s cousin, Annie Finch. “Even with a Ph.D in literature, I had never had any reason to consider seriously the question of whether deVere wrote the works we know as Shakespeare's. But I saw enough at the symposium to become intrigued by the question and impressed by the level of scholarship being carried out by a number of Oxfordians.”

“This book is a useful summary of some of the main biographical arguments for the case in an accessible format suitable for children or the general adult reader,” Finch said.

“This booklet is an excellent introduction to the evidence for Edward de Vere as the author of the Shakespeare canon,” said reader Bonner Miller Cutting. “There is a lot to know about de Vere: his early childhood education, his travels in Italy, his later life including the annual 1,000 pound annuity given to him by Queen Elizabeth. Baker presents the facts in a fluent narrative that is easily accessible to people who are new to the Shakespeare Authorship Question.”

Baker is an award-winning architect who specializes in residential design, including new homes, alterations and additions, and historic preservation.

He was a 2018 recipient of Marquis Who’s Who Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award as a “leader in the field of architecture.”

The Connecticut Chapter of the AIA and The Fairfield Museum History Center cosponsored Baker’s two-part program on the History of the American House in the spring of 2019.

Baker is the author of “American House Styles: a Concise Guide,” originally published by W.W. Norton & Co. in 1994. A new expanded edition was published in July 2018. He is also the author of “How to Build a House with an Architect,” published in 1988 by Harper & Row.

As an adjunct professor, he taught courses on the History of the American House at The New School in New York City.

A fine arts graduate of Middlebury College, Baker earned a master’s degree in architecture from Columbia University.

A member of the American Institute of Architects, he is registered with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards in Washington, D.C. and is licensed in several states.

Baker is also a member of the Society of Architectural Historians and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

He served for over 20 years as an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association.

A long-time member of the Katonah Historic District Advisory Commission when he lived in Bedford N.Y., he also served on the Bedford Historic Building Preservation Commission.

After moving to South Kent, CT in 2005, he was asked to stay on the preservation commission as a paid consultant.

A former member of Kent Affordable Housing, Baker also served on the Kent Architectural Review Board for several years from its inception.

For more information and to RSVP, visit www.kentmemoriallibrary.org.