This book challenges a longstanding and deeply ingrained belief in Shakespearean studies that The Tempest--long supposed to be Shakespeare's last play--was not written until 1611. In the course of investigating this proposition, which has not received the critical inquiry it deserves, a number of subsidiary and closely related interpretative puzzles come sharply into focus. These include the play's sources of New World imagery; its festival symbolism and structure; its relationship to William Strachey's True Reportory account of the 1609 Bermuda wreck of the Sea Venture (not published until 1625)--and the tangled history of how and why scholars have for so long misunderstood these matters. Publication of some preliminary elements of the authors' arguments in leading Shakespearean journals (starting in 2007) ignited a controversy that became part of the critical history. This book presents the case in full for the first time.