M. Peershakes lived from -204 EC to -152 EC; the personage known as Not Peershakes lived from goodness knows when to I really don't know. This lack of numerical clarity stems from the fact that whoever this guy, gal or grubling was, the identity is completely unknown or unremembered or very-well-forgotten by all of Ghyll. There have been and are, however, numerous people alleged to have been Not Peershakes: you just can't stop a curious public from making a guess, educated or not as the case may be. There are also numerous works attributed to Not Peershakes, all signed "Peershakes" of course, except for "T'as a blimey nikt," a play about the exploits of funnyman K Mrx. Again, lack of any factual basis with which to base their opinion doesn't seem to stop the masses from making a claim.
As to the most likely suspect (as defined by public opinion polls), the most widely accepted is the journeyman grenfer from Shepenor, Frank Sicksdagrees. He lived just prior to and during the Grenf Tracing Ban of -147 EC. Only one piece of poetry that surely is his has been saved for posterity, but it is so bad a piece that I refuse to print it here (but you may go to this scholar's work to read it). Other suspects include X R Quezlar, Olaff Devork, Pomfri Resgrew, and Rattallan.
As for disputed works, one that is proclaimed a Peershakes by one faction and a Not Peershake by another is "A Comedie of People Beinge Hit In The Face by Pie" written circa -171 EC. The pie in question is a lemming pie and, to this day, the work is cited in art history as the most famous use of the pie in the history of art. I, myself, do not care for lemming pie and cannot understand the devotion you screwballs have to the dessert!
As was said earlier, one work is definitely signed "Not Peershakes" and yet, the authorship is still in question: no one knows if indeed it truly was the person calling him- or herself "Not Peershakes" who had simply tired of faking any semblance of the talented writer, or if it was yet another imposter who wanted to ride on the pincertails of the "Great Imposter." What makes this discussion even more strange is the fact that "T'as a blimey nikt," is actually quite a good play. Indeed, so good a play that some hold the bold assertion that it was Peershakes himself who wrote it and then signed it "Not Peershakes" as a kind of perverse joke. Whether Peershakes was a pervert or not, this author cannot say: I report the facts, I don't necessarily believe them!
As for "true" Peershakes plays, the whole of the Amphitheatre aristocracy is quite agog about them, and at the same time blindly disgusted by anything that smells of Not Peershakes. This avoidance is so distinct and well-known that the NeoAlezanians took advantage of it in -12 EC and played the Mish prank, a joke of such disgusting frivolity that it is still spoken of today in both Peershakes and Not Peershakes circles.
--Nikos of Ant 23:32, 22 Aug 2005 (EDT)