The Friedman's, pioneering American cryptanalysts, met while working in 1917 for Elizabeth Wells Gallup, one of the chief proponents of the Baconian theory. Gallup believed that Sir Francis Bacon was not only the real author of Shakespeare’s works, but had also concealed encrypted messages to that effect during publication, using a bilateral cipher. The pair left Gallup’s employ in 1921, and went to work for the US government, both enjoying long and successful careers as cryptanalysts, culminating in vital contributions during World War II (William broke the Japanese PURPLE cipher, while Elizabeth was heavily involved in decrypting German Enigma communications). After the war, they retired and returned to studying Bacon and Shakespeare, the subject that brought them together. This book is the result, an extremely rare first edition, signed by both authors.
First edition, first printing, very good condition, in a dust jacket in archival acetate cover. 1957.