I make an exception when they have been dead for over 200 years, however.
Hee. And those of us who enjoy the way you write Will Shakespeare are glad that you do. :-)
Projection is something I deal with a fair bit in my line of work -- projection and transference, familiar to all clergy and therapists! -- but I hadn't considered the extent to which authors get hit with projection, too. Though of course you do.
There have been a lot of authors whose work I've read and reread and fallen in love with, and sometimes I have to remind myself that while I might feel like I know something about the authors in question (especially if what they write is nonfiction / memoir), I don't -- I know something about the constructed persona, or the fictional character(s), they've chosen to polish and put in front of the world. It's a tough thing to remember sometimes. But there it is. :-)