Shakesconspiracists! by Edward Pettit

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I thought you might like to see this guest-post by Edward Pettit, who has been leading his own authorship campaign and speaking up for Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon….

photo by Kyle Cassidy

I had always been aware of the Shakespeare authorship conspiracy, but always felt it was such a weird little fringe movement that I needn’t pay it any mind. I’m not a professional Shakespeare a scholar, but I am deeply devoted to Shakespeare’s works and also a writer who publishes mainly on matters of literary history, so how an author’s works are received and read over time interests me. And I think literary history matters, as much as political history.

So when I heard about the Anonymous film, I thought it was high time I did something about it. It’s one thing to have a few crackpots with their pretend literary history talking only to themselves (I’m sorry, but the more experience I have with Shakesconspiracists, the sillier I find them). It’s quite another when a Hollywood studio releases a historical costume drama that will be seen by millions and send the message that there is an actual controversy or debate about Shakespearean authorship.

I began organizing talks at public libraries in and around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I even had a prominent Oxfordian agree to do an event at which we would square off, much like American Presidential candidates, in a no-holds-bar “debate”, with lots of press. Alas, the Oxfordian’s feet suddenly became very cold and he backed out before the first press release. I tried to find a replacement. The library tried. And a professional Shakespeare company in our area tried. But to no avail. Seems that Anonymous was not encouraging Oxfordians (nor any other Shakesconspiracists) to join the fray. Of course, after seeing the dreadful film, I’m not surprised.

I still had my talks at the local libraries and they were well attended (30 readers at one, 50 at another). At these talks, I give a little history of the Shakesconspiracy movement— why and when it started, the players— then I lay out the facts of Shakespeare’s authorship. I find when you lay out the facts, people usually can’t believe there’s even one conspiracist, let alone a movement.

But it’s the question and answer sessions after my lectures that really gratify me. At both of my events, the Q&A lasted as long as my lectures. These readers were engaged, had thought about this issue, and were not willing to be easily persuaded by conspiracists. And I think that’s how it is with any conspiracy movement at large. Those who are convinced want to be convinced, are waiting for someone to come along and tell them that vast forces are at work (and have been toiling for centuries) to deceive them. I can’t worry about that sub-section of the population, especially when I come across so many devoted readers who recognize Shakesconspiracy for what it is.

As long as there are Shakespeare scholars and literary historians and devoted readers who will take the time to explain to other readers that there is no controversy, no doubt about Shakespeare’s authorship of his works, then the Shakesconspiracy movement will remain on the fringes where it has always existed, convincing only those want to be convinced. For the rest of us, we can continue to read the plays and enrich our understanding with true literary history.

Edward Pettit is a writer, literary provocateur and president of the Oak Lane Shakespeare Club, founded in 1908 and dedicated to reading the works of Shakespeare aloud. Lately, he has been giving public lectures about Shakesconspiracies. You can read about his literary endeavours at and

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Author:Paul Edmondson

Head of Research and Knowledge and Director of the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival for The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Follow Paul on Twitter @paul_edmondson
  • psi2u2

    Your outrage is misplaced and your derogatory comments are offensive to a growing number. You have either not read the Oxfordian argument or you do not know how to summarize a point of view with which you disagree. Just for the record.

  • Paul Crowley

    My apologies for not knowing about Steve Steinberg’s theory. I do my best to keep away from lunatic Oxfordians, and there are loads of them, especially in America. When I saw your reference I was puzzled. I could not recall any mention of ’17 boars’ in the poem. On investigation I see that, under the theory, Oxford supposedly expected decoders to count the number of times he ‘deliberately’ put the word ‘boar’ into his text — and this was long before computers made it so easy for us, or before anyone conceived of their possibility. Sorry, sorry, sorry — I apologise endlessly for the existence of nutters who call themselves “Oxfordians”, especially of the ‘Prince Tudor’ variety. But there is nothing I can do about them.

    However, that is not to deny that Oxford was the poet, nor even to concede that Oxford did not know the ordinal number of his peerage (a near-crazy idea).

    When it comes to sorting out the truth (of almost any situation) the human mind is exceedingly frail. But it’s pretty good at detecting nonsense, especially once it’s pointed out. Oxfordians are winning because the Stratman can no longer be taken seriously as a plausible candidate for the Bard.

  • Sicinius

    You are clearly in some hermetically sealed world of your own.

    The trashing of #17 numerology, formerly a favourite Oxfordian pastime, was a response to the publication of yet another ‘definitive identification’ of De Vere as the author after more magical decoding of mathematical messages hidden in the canon. All based around the number 17. The book was widely heralded, in the Oxfordian community, as an important new discovery. After the Oxfraud article appeared, the author of this book, Steve Steinberg, has completely disappeared from the public gaze, sales of his book may not have reached double figures and even fundamentalist Oxfordians don’t mention his name.

    Congratulations btw, on another inventive sonnet misreading.

    The argument for Oxford is over. The brief spark the film Anonymous ignited is extinguished and forgotten. Now there’s literally nothing supporting his candidacy. This time Wily Coyote is much too far beyond the cliff’s edge and much too high above the ravine for there to be any hope of recovery.

    And you wonder why academics aren’t playing with you any more?


  • Paul Crowley

    Thanks for (eventually) conceding my argument — even if you do so with your characteristic gracelessness. Stratfordians (and especially the academics) have been keeping their heads down for months. They’ve given up on confrontation, after seeing how disastrously they performed. Now they just keep quiet, praying that it will all go away.

    I have no idea why you keep banging on your ‘use-of-ordinals’ point. Even if true (which it isn’t) what difference would it make? No Oxfordian (as far as I know) claims that the poet encoded “17” anywhere in the canon. He does, in Sonnet 124, critically remark on the activities of “short-numbered whores” — peers who are (say) only number 2, 3, or 4 in their line. But that’s about it. (Btw, “showers” here is also derogatory.)

    It fears not policy, that heretic
    Which works on leases of short numbered hours,
    But all alone stands hugely politic,
    That it nor grows with heat, nor drowns with the show’rs.

  • Sicinius

    I see what is upsetting you.

    It’s not that every sortie from the now tiny Last Bastion of Oxfordianism is forced to return to quarters before it can get across the drawbridge. It’s not that Nat Whilk turned one of your favourite weapons to ash. Read the article on Oxfraud. The first time ordinals appear in association with the Earldom is in court records in 1625, and they don’t make Edward the 17th Earl because of genealogical mistakes made in the 13c. So if yon Edward DID know his number, it wouldn’t have been 17. There goes the whole science of Oxfordian Numerology.

    But what is currently itching your unreachable parts is that the pukka academics no longer think arguing with you is a worthwhile (or even defensible) use of their time.

    Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but we are reaching the point when no one will think arguing with Oxfordians is worth their time.

  • Paul Crowley

    > . . . . the idea that Edward de Vere actually knew himself as the 17th Earl was comprehensively trashed on Amazon.

    You need to be thoroughly ignorant of both Elizabethan history and human nature to believe that the 17th earl did not know his ordinal number. Still, that goes with being a Strat. This ‘theory’ springs from the juvenile mind of some deluded anti-anti-Strat, desperate for _some_ anti-Oxfordian argument. Apparently this person could not recall seeing a mention of such ordinal numbers in the Tudor documents that he (or she) had studied. So the ‘obvious’ conclusion was that Elizabethans could not count. But if you search the huge library of documents released by Edward Snowden you are unlikely to find many references to the ordinal numbers of the Secretary of State of the day. You would be very foolish to assume that that meant each was ignorant of their own ordinal. They would have learnt it during their appointment but — as with Elizabethan earls — there would have been little point in referring to it later, especially in the mass of day-to-day correspondence.

    > since when, a lot of Oxfordians have quit the public forum entirely

    Yes, that’s just the kind (and the quality) of ‘argument’ that Oxfordians find so devastating. You can see how they would want to run away and hide.

    > There’s not a lot of visible conflict to be found when one side runs away and hides.

    Over the past several months there has been no open public statement by a Stratfordian in a forum where questions were allowed. And here I am talking about the highly-remunerated leaders: the professors and authors of Stratfordian ‘biographies’ — Stanley Wells, Paul Edmondson Jonathan Bate, Gary Taylor, etc., etc. That ‘leadership’ made a brief effort to counter Oxfordianism after ‘Anonymous’, were shocked to find they the only result was that they were seen to be incompetent dolts , and has since run for cover.

    > Here’s a whole bunch of Strats with very powerful binoculars looking for the Oxfordian opposition on a 6,500 comment battlefield as recently as July 28th.

    Are you joking? You show the tail-end of a quite-dead 1,000-post (or 6,500-post??) thread where the last nine posts since 28th March are each of one short line (and each of utter banality) — and you regard THAT as a “discussion”?

  • Sicinius

    You haven’t been watching.

    It’s been relatively quiet since the idea that Edward de Vere actually knew himself as the 17th Earl was comprehensively trashed on Amazon since when a lot of Oxfordians have quit the public forum entirely and ShakesVere has closed its columns to public gaze.

    There’s not a lot of visible conflict to be found when one side runs away and hides. There’s no doubt about which side has done that.

    Here’s a whole bunch of Strats with the most powerful binoculars they can find looking for the Oxfordian opposition on a 6,500 comment battlefield as recently as July 28th. There are more examples if you insist.

  • Paul Crowley

    > What caused you to resurrect this ancient thread? Just curious.

    It was resurrected by Roger Stritmatter. Mike Leadbetter responded to him and I responded to Mike’s effusions.

    > That aside, it is despicable that you’d compare your small band of simpering Oxfordians to a fine fighting regiment that endured the horrors of Passchendaele.

    How far back does one have to go to remain politically correct when employing a military analogy? Ancient Greece and the 300? Or is Napoleon and his grapeshot OK? Can one refer to deckchairs on the Titanic? Another poster refers to Japanese soldiers emerging from the jungle decades after the war. But that forces me to ask what was the Stratfordian equivalent of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Somehow I missed it.

    > Not to mention that it’s the Oxfordians who have abandoned the field by closing their fB page (ShakesVere) from public view.

    I know nothing about that, never having read that page. Maybe (and this is a pure guess) it has something to do with the Prince Tudor issue. A lot of so-called Oxfordians are nuts. Fringe groups do attract such types. BUT that admission is certainly not to deny that ‘Shake-speare’ was Edward de Vere.

    > Oxfordians no longer even man the parapets.

    So point to ANY public statement of the Stratfordian case in the last three months in a forum where open criticism was allowed

  • Paul Crowley

    > If Paul would like an up-to-date list of the scores of arguments from which his fellow Oxfordians have ignominiously fled, or a list of the Oxfordian back row pieces which have recently been taken off the board, I’d be happy to supply.

    It’s a change of subject, but I’d like to see your list.

    However, would you deal with my point? Can you give any examples from the last three months, (June July and August 2015) or extending back into May or even April, of a Stratfordian breaking cover? Namely, promulgating some aspect of the Stratfordian case in a journal or other context (e.g. book review) where hostile comments were allowed?

    The last occasion I recall was Mark Griffith’s article in Country Life; but he is a genuine scholar and not part of mainstream Stratfordian ‘thinking’. He did not realise what he was letting himself in for — daring to publish a new idea within Stratfordia! Unthinkable! And unforgivable!

    Our own exchange here is, in itself, an illustration of my case. It’s part of a reactivation of a quite-dead four-year-old thread.

    > Since he’s fond of a military metaphor

    I took over the military metaphor from you.

  • Benjamin Hackman

    Mr. Crowley,

    What caused you to resurrect this ancient thread? Just curious.

    That aside, it is despicable that you’d compare your small band of simpering Oxfordians to a fine fighting regiment that endured the horrors of Passchendaele.

    Not to mention that it’s the Oxfordians who have abandoned the field by closing their fB page (ShakesVere) from public view.

    Oxfordians no longer even man the parapets.

    Instead, they’re all hiding in the bombproof.

  • william sutton

    hahahahahahaha! Wake me up when Oxenfraud finally returns with proof of a definitive kind. Until then I’ll be reciting Shakespeare words to whoever listens and not worrying about the fringe of authorship. No question arises that deserves an answer is the likeliest reason why there is a quiet in the trenches. My grandfather was one of the old contemptibles and made it to the end of the war. This Oxfordian analogy would be better served by another. That of the japanese soldier in the pacific still thinking there’s a war on 20 years after there is peace. Let be.

  • Sicinius

    If Paul would like an up-to-date list of the scores of arguments from which his fellow Oxfordians have ignominiously fled, or a list of the Oxfordian back row pieces which have recently been taken off the board, I’d be happy to supply.

    Since he’s fond of a military metaphor, we could supply a list of battlefields they have recently quit, like the Amazon reviews and comments sections, or perhaps a list of positions they no longer defend. Or simply point to the fact that their top discussion site and HQ, ShakesVere, has been closed to public access, unable to withstand even friendly fire.

    And I see you are placing your faith in Wonder Weapons. If this impending ‘catastrophe’ doesn’t happen soon, there may not be a single Oxfordian around to enjoy it outside the increasingly tiny, bunkered High Command.

    Comparing Oxfordians to the rather heroic chaps in the Royal Welch Fusiliers is a bit like comparing broken Etiquette Droids to Imperial Star Troopers

  • Paul Crowley

    It’s been a weird few months. Robert Graves tells (in ‘Goodbye to all that’) how in WW1 his regiment, the Royal Welch, dominated no man’s land from dusk to dawn. Oxfordians have reached a roughly similar stage in this campaign. Strats have not dared to put their heads above the parapet. Oxfordians, anxious to take a pot-shot at some moving object, have been reduced to making comments on trivial news-items in the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald! Strats lose every time they appear in the open. Their attempts to regain credibility failed hopelessly. Now all they can do is keep as silent as possible and pray that it will all go away. Of course that’s not a viable strategy and, although they don’t know it, catastrophe is imminent.

  • Sicinius

    The truth is Tom, that these days it has to be a very quiet part of the front line before Roger dares stick his head above the parapet. He seems to specialise in conversations with himself now.

  • Tom Reedy

    > start making those kinds of demands and impertinent “suggestions.” And
    while we are on the subject, sir, it is *not* acceptable for you to call
    me by my first name –

    Ha ha! If one only had this post to go by, one could be excused for thinking that Roger was a respected Shakespeare academic!

  • Mike Gordon

    Dear Dr Stritmatter,
    No, I didn’t respond for Reverend Dr Edmondson. I don’t know him, have never met him and have never worked for either him or the SBT. Neither am I a ubiquitous internet ‘specialist’.

    On the subject of ‘pretences’, your unwarranted and innacurate ad hominem slurs against me, can’t hide that you have not made Reverend Dr Edmonson aware of your challenge to him.

    To repeat, and so that anyone reading this thread understands how evasive you are, this is what I wrote:-

    “It would be a shame if Reverend Dr. Edmonson was, in some unfortunate way, open to criticism for appearing to ignore you”.

    I asked you to publicly confirm that you had communicated your views to Reverend Dr Edmonson. I think it’s perfectly reasonable and fair that a man being publicly criticised and called upon to respond (or not), has the opportunity to do so.

    In response, Sir, you wrote: “he [Rev. Edmondson] is in the habit of not owning up to his own malfeasance and therefore requires being contacted in some form other than the normal internet mode for such a discussion.”

    That’s a most unpleasant and disingenuous way of saying no, you haven’t made Rev. Edmondson aware of your criticisms, whilst repeating something of them.

    I think you reveal much of yourself in the way you’ve behaved towards Rev.Edmonson and in how you’ve reacted towards me.

    However, thanks for wishing me luck. Although why you think I’ll need it feels vaguely menacing.

    Goodbye, Dr Stritmatter.

  • MLAnotzi

    Another person confusing creative historical fiction with logical arguments.

  • psi2u2

    Mr. Gordon:

    Rev. Edmondson is the editor of record of the article. Perhaps, however, he is in the habit of not owning up to his own malfeasance and therefore requires being contacted in some form other than the normal internet mode for such a discussion. You say: “Have you actually attempted to contact Reverend Dr. Edmonson for real?” Yes. Unfortunately, you. Mr. “did you get the part” Gordon, the ubiquitous internet “specialist” with the long history of Stratfordian dirty tricks, responded for him.

    Now, if the Reverend Edmondso *still* doesn’t know that he’s been called out, then I suggest the people who work for him are not very good at their jobs, and that includes you.

    In any case, Mr. Gordon, You replied to my request for conversation with him. Whatever made you think that I wanted to talk to you? I don’t.

    Nor do I care, or know, what your relationship within him is; that is for others better informed than I to decide at the proper time and place.

    I certainly did not post that comment in the hope that you would show up and start making those kinds of demands and impertinent “suggestions.” And while we are on the subject, sir, it is *not* acceptable for you to call me by my first name – I neither know you on that basis nor seek to know you. I’m not fooled by your pretenses, and the thought that I owe you “confirmation” of anything is really pretty ridiculous. You must think you’re a really important guy.

    Good luck to you. I think you’ll need it. I will not be responding further to you in this venue.

  • Mike Gordon

    Dear Dr. Stritmatter, my only contacts with Reverend Dr. Edmonson were via email and (IIRC) a brief telephone conversation… about four years ago.

    I hope you manage to get in touch with him BTW, the broken link from your Wikipedia page to Coppin has now been fixed. No need for thanks, it wasn’t me.

    Have you actually attempted to contact Reverend Dr. Edmonson for real? If so please confirm here. The reason I ask is becasue your post stated “Reverend Edmondson — this is a message to you. You may answer in public here or, if you prefer, email me at Or you may ignore it.”

    I’m curious: How is Edmonson to know you’re calling him out, expecting an answer, if he’s (as I perhaps wrongly suspect) unaware of the challenge. There’s nothing from your post confirming he is aware of you and what you wrote? It would be a shame if Reverend Dr. Edmonson was, in some unfortunate way, open to criticism for appearing to ignore you. Which is why I suggested you email him, or that I would.

    Trusting you will publicly confirm you have contacted Reverend Dr. Edmonson, and advised him of you stated opinions from your post above.

    Best wishes, Roger.

    Mike Gordon
    Not Reverend Dr. Edmonson’s Front Man

  • psi2u2

    Dear Mr. Gordon:

    I asked to speak to Dr. Edmondson, not Dr. Edmondson’s front man.

    Good day, sir.

    Dr. Roger Stritmatter
    Professor, Coppin State University

  • Mike Gordon

    Dear Roger, I’m aware you upgraded from Assistant Professor at your institution. Credentials, and the reasons they were awarded are very important. You sign your post above as ‘Professor’. Yet, when I clicked on your Wikipedia page link to Coppin State University Profiles, I get ‘Page Not Found’ [As at 21:40 BST] What’s going on? A glitch, broken link, or a conspiracy?

    A couple of well meant observations, Roger. You really should address Paul Edmonson correctly. He is not merely “Reverend”. He is Reverend Dr. Unlike the breakdown in checking your status, from your own Wikipedia entry, his academic status and contribution to our knowledge of *Shakespeare* is demonstrable.

    With regard to to your comments on defamataion, I note your post to Reverend Dr Edmondson is not linked to him. You’d best email to make him aware of all you wrote. You can find his email address on the link I provided. Perhaps I can help? Would you like me to do it? Please advise.

    If I may, an objective person might worry about the wisdom of you writing:- “Is’t that I’m not part of the dialogue because I don’t like Donald Trump (he reminds me too much of your friends the Oxfrauds)?”

    Do tell, which of Reverend Dr Edmonson’s supposed Oxfraud friends reminds you of Donald Trump? Is Rev Dr Edmonson ‘friends’ with any member of Oxfraud?

    Yes. Let me help, Roger. I will forward your post, via email, so that contentions of defamation may be considered. Do you have Donald Trump’s contact details?

  • psi2u2

    Reverend Edmondson — this is a message to you. You may answer in public here or, if you prefer, email me at Or you may ignore it.

    At any rate I hope you’ll get a chance to read it and find some time out of your busy schedule authoring such charming bestsellers as “Shakespeare Bites Back” or “Shakespeare Beyond Doubt,” to condescend a reply. My friend Lynne Kositsky always objected to me getting involved in Wikipedia on the grounds that it is like writing on water, so perhaps we can be more free and more honest and more direct on a venue such as “bloggingshakespeare” — which, after all, purports to be “embracing Shakespearean discussion in a digital age.” My what a high sounding proposition.

    So, here’s my point.

    I was wondering why, if you are embracing “conversation,” there was no link between this article and this one: I mean, I spoke with Mr. Pettit about debating in the summer of 2011, and blogged about his unprofessional behavior on the 27th of September. Your blog, whoever wrote it, is dated November 21 of the same year, i.e. about two months later.

    I shall only assume that that is you in the first sentence saying that “Petitt has been leading his own authorship campaign.” Personally, I really like the fragmentation of responsibility for who wrote the piece, the way your persona shades so effortlessly in Petitt’s own, so that it almost sounds like Petitt is talking about himself when actually you are introducing him or he is speaking for you, or something….all the while dispersing any public responsibility for purporting to promote “dialogue” while failing an elementary test of netiquette by not including the link! Petitt is quite good at introducing himself so I don’t know why he should need your ringing endorsement to continue his studies, but there it is, you have blessed him.

    And yes, you guys are really “good” at the pr game. First you title your website, “embracing Shakespearean conversation,” and then you collaborate with Mr. Petitt on an article rather incomprehensibly titled “Shakesconpiracists!” and then you fail to post a link. No one can have a dialogue with the people you’re defaming. Sounds more and more like wikipedia every day.

    I started this dialogue with Petitt, Dr. Edmondson, two months previous to this posting, so why isn’t there a link to my analysis and commentary?

    Is’t that I’m not part of the dialogue because I don’t like Donald Trump (he reminds me too much of your friends the Oxfrauds)? Or is it more that its really not a dialogue after all, but a sort of a pseudo-dialogue in search of a pseudo-nym? That’s what dialogue is about, isn’t it? Linking and responding. Or could it be the case that “blogging Shakespeare” isn’t really about dialogue at all, but more about religion, after all.

    Dialogically awaiting your response,

    Dr. R. Stritmatter

    Coppin State University

  • psi2u2

    “How can I get it through to you William that I am not a blind believer?”

    Um, you sure *sound* like one. You also *sound* like you haven’t read very much on the topic and are relying on prejudice more than reason. Generally this is very much ,like being a blind believer.

    Here’s, for example, what I’m talkin’ about:

    “Did Oxford provide for his widow and children? No. Did he provide for the education of his daughters or grandchildren? Again no.”

    Completely wrong on both counts. What kind of a fraud are you, anyway? What are your sources? You just make shit up and think that because you’ve said it, that makes it true. Really, dude, you are no credit to this website.

  • psi2u2

    william sutton says: “You squawk like a parrot how Billy was a dickhead.”

    My, such manners Mr. Sutton. I really would be more careful if I were you. true, we do chuckle often at how wrong you are, that part at least you got right. And personally, I’m looking forward to a lot more laughter over the next few months.

  • psi2u2

    “an obvious victim of senile decay”

    Reedy, I saw William Ray last week (4 years after your comment), and if he is senile, then I’d say your’e about to be arrested. Wait, I meant to say he *isn’t* senile, so that really won’t do, will it? O dear. Why are things always in a muddle? Still looking forward to that link you’re going to make for me on Wikipedia, Tom. The clock is counting.

  • psi2u2

    Of course genius is not confined to the rich and powerful. Who said it was? Not the Oxfordians. This is your fantasy; it is called a “straw man.” It is used by those who can’t make more rational arguments.
    :”For the record,” you know even less about the Earl of Oxford than you do about Shakespeare, which is to say almost nothing.

  • psi2u2

    Edward, you haven’t shown much except that you are still as good at name calling than you always were before. Have you even read some of the exceptional postings in this discussion? Apparently not, and so you still don’t know how badly you’ve been had.

  • fm-200

    My solution when I was a director would have been to punch anyone who
    sexually harassed any of my staff–but you do need a legal structure.
    Some of the wide boys and perverts I’ve known in business would have a
    field day without one. (kitchen + building industry)

  • Wjray

    He never said the early poetic epics were pirated.

    To explain why Meres did not support Shakspere as a writer, didn’t even know of him, read Robert Detobel’s Shakespeare the Concealed Poet. The dual naming of Oxford and Shakespeare was part of a puzzle, whose solution was that they were one and the same.  Sixteen ancients, seventeen, note that number, moderns. Oxford listed @ #1, Shakespeare #9. 1+9=10. Earl of Oxford’s initials=EO.  EO sounds the same as IO in Italian, for ‘I’, first person singular. 10=IO=EO=Earl of Oxford.  Simple puzzle, simple solution.  But you take it at face value, the opposite of its nature.  The knowing Elizabethan knew, the propagandized would not.

  • Wjray

    The Shakespeare listing didn’t print.  It was #9.  1+9=10, resembling IO, Italian for first person singular I and sounding out as ee’oo, Oxford’s initials, (E)arl of (O)xford.

  • Wjray

    It looks like #9 for Shakespeare’s place on the puzzle list was not printed.  Oxford listed #1, Shakespeare #9, totally 10 in Arabic notation, and resembling IO, the Italian for the sound ee’oo, or EO, Oxford’s initials.

  • Wjray

    In support of Mikael’s point about Meres, Shakespeare and Oxford were both listed for comedies, Oxford #1 and Shakespeare  This was a puzzle, in that the context was a comparison of ancient to modern (English) playwrights.  Sixteen ancients, SEVENTEEN moderns. Meaning, to the astute reader of puzzles, a pastime then, two of those named among the Engish seventeen were identical. Which two?  This was answered by Oxford’s initials, EO, which 10 resembles in script, because in Italian the sound ee’oo is written IO.  IO=EO.

    Thus what Mr. Sutton and others of the same persuasion consider incontrovertible evidence turns out to be a critical piece of evidence, intentionally embedded as ploy, for identifying the true ‘Shakespeare’.

    This puzzle was first deciphered by Robert Detobel in Shakespeare the Concealed Poet, and I contributed to the solution.

    Oxford embedded the IO=EO clue in his poetry, as a subtextual bit of blazonry. Other writers were familiar with the device, for instance Jonson in making the introductory poem to the First Folio of no more or less than TEN (10=IO) lines, as a covert indication of his subject.  The ‘poem’ is a Cardano Grille which when read in a 13×22 cross-word puzzle frame, reads E Vere in the fourth file, twice.

    Expecting here automatic, or should I say reflexive, denial of this discussion of incontrovertible evidence of the identity of ‘Shakespeare’.

    In conclusion, Mr. Sutton misread that Mikael wrote that V&A and Lucrece were pirated.  They weren’t. The Archbishop of Canterbury sponsored V&A through the process of publication in 1593 and Lucrece followed the next year. The pirating began with the plays, a new thing as literature. Oxford was able to stop-press six of them, not the others.

  • William Ray

    For Oxford’s letter in French Mysterious William Shakespeare, p. 441; for Trentham poem, SBAN, pp. 249-50

  • kjellgren

    Sorry cannot stand this software anymore, but I like your skepticism and open mind. Good combination for further studies. Good luck.

  • william sutton

    Thanks Kjellgren. You still haven’t answered the questions fully. But Chiljan’s book has been coming up a lot in defence of Oxford so I should check it out. I’m curious to see how she shifts the evidence scale. If it’s on a par with the rest of the Anti-studies then I doubt much will be revealed. But an open mind is open. No matter how much I might dislike the result.

    Reedy and Kathman’s How do we know Sh is Sh? is still the best explanation and the one that fits the evidence. You’re going have to do a lot better to convince me. And it’s not like I don’t want to be convinced. But proper evidence please.

    This summer I met Dave Kathman in London and he gave me some interesting articles about 16thC actor George Birche, a Tudor royal interluder and Thomas Parris who ran the Bull Inn in Bishopsgate street. Both given at SAA which you might or might not attend.

    Public theatre started from the ground up and was a totally different entity from Court theatre and the later Indoor theatre. The world of acting was much bigger than Oxford and the University wits. The whole era I find fascinating for the contrasts. And of how it affected what we in the west have become today as a result of that mind set.

    Oxford, even on a kind day, pushes all the wrong buttons with me. Marlovians confuse me. Read the two side by side and voila two styles as different as chalk and cheese, except when Sh copied Kit. Bacon too. Oxford not even close, even when he’s close.

    I’m curious about this french letter William Ray talked of seeing. Like the barnyard dog, i’ll run a stretch of the road with anyone. Brendon Behan.

    BTW the close readers as a rule commented on the text in relation to the arguments found in it and not who wrote it. They also did little pointy hands and underlined favourite passages. If you’ve never done so go to this link and read what a fellow Scot has written:

  • kjellgren

    “if it’s that simple how come the close readers of the time missed it”

    Not Ray, but anyway…

    The simple answer is they didn’t, but you won’t find the records of it discussed in Stratford bios/novels. Chiljan in her book Shakespeare Suppressed discusses and lists 14 “overlooked commentary about Shakespeare by his contemporaries”, a subject well worth a study. And this does not include Willobie His Avisa, which has a chapter on its own.

    We have the portraits of the Stratford man in contemporary comedies as well as the portraits of him in the canon, all discussed at length by Chiljan.

    Her book is a great read actually.

    Best wishes,

  • Anonymous

    Why is ‘Shakesconspiracists’ “childish,” but ‘Shakespearitors’ (a William Ray creation found below) not? 

  • william sutton

    I think Shakspere would see these as fighting words! Especially if he was that boor as in Anon. (He slices Marlowe’s throat right? ROTFLMAO!  I still don’t see it working out. Much likelier he did it the same as his contemporary poets and playwrights.

    You can’t control a creative environment. You have to go with the flow. But you suggest a conspiracy so large too many would have known. That’s why your anagrams and ever veres are so irritating. Coz if it’s that simple how come the close readers of the time missed it. And all the evidence of marginalia shows us they were close readers. See the Meisei Univ folio for the proof.

    Who was in on this conspiracy? Besides the fact it was known in print i.e. public knowledge Oxford wrote plays and poems and anyone who could read would know. The stigma comes from the public stage presentations.

    Sh the actor knew both crafts of writing and playing. Oxenforde could never have acted on the public stage. Never. Pun intended. Private stage and the COurtly absolutely. He was definitely not to be discounted. I believe he had an influence on early modern private theatre but not the public stage. Too many grubby hands a Shakspere wouldn’t have minded shaking if a man’s spirit needed lifting. Romanticising biography stops here. But it is true. Reading lifts your spirits and engages your everything.

    Your shakespeare is priviliged by birth. Plagued by troubles, mostly by his own causing. I also don’t believe he’s either elizabeth’s sister mother or builder of gilded monuments with her for Southampton. Quirky and kinky but unprovable. And not evidence you would actually want to use really.

    Willy Ray when i read your posts I like to use a very RP accent. It’s hilarious! Binnen pret, as the Dutch say. Inside fun, its translation. SInce you’re from California I suspect your actual voice is rather different.

    These are some of the questions we like to ask. Our candidate passes the test on what you require of a poet playwright and provides a circular argument conclusively identifying the author and the actor. You can imagine the actor but not him being the playwright. then he must have been a pretty good actor because he was playing for the Queen too. 1594, him Kempe and Burbage, revels accounts.

  • william sutton

    immeasurably subjective point and worth laughing about. 

  • kjellgren

    Oxfordians have more fun.

  • william sutton

    So another fiction self-promoting and proposing another candidate.
    I’d rather say see these 2 films made on pretty much the same budget as catering on Anonymous:
    The first is called Muse of Fire and a trailer can be seen here.

    Or this one called How Shakespeare changed my life:

  • William Ray

    Your references to Mundy’s and Lyly’s post-Oxford activities are helpful. I didn’t know anything about that era, just that their creative periods paralleled his employment. Lyly for instance tried to get work from Burghley after he was caught spying on Oxford, was rejected and made destitute. Many of the listed works have been hypothesized as written or more likely influenced by Oxford and his circle.  The Euphues language in particular shows influence from Oxford’s poetry and to some extent Sidney’s. Interesting website that I hope gets a wide viewing.

  • TBacino

     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ted BacinoTBacino@AOL.com760-778-1030New Movie and Novel ChallengeInaccuracies in Film “Anonymous” Palm Springs, CA – The new movie “Anonymous” claims that Shakespeare was a fraud. He was. But not because of the arguments in this film released by Sony Pictures. The plot is based on the centuries-old conspiracy theory that the actor Shakespeare was not the playwright Shakespeare.“Anonymous” has, however, ordained a controversy the likes of which moviedom hasn’t seen in decades. England is aghast. Newspapers are aflame with blazing headlines. And Shakespeare’s statue in Stratford has been covered.The Los Angeles Times wrote “’Anonymous’ is the unkindest cut of all for Shakespearean scholars.” The review in The New York Times stated “’Anonymous’… is a travesty of British history.” Consequently, one week before the movie’s release, the numbers of screens showing the film was reduced from 2,500 down to 265. One of the major criticisms of the film is that it is not historically correct. But a second film on the same subject, presently being prepared in Canada, claims that every recorded fact or person named in this upcoming movie is historically accurate.It’s entitled “The Shakespeare Conspiracy,” produced by the Motion Picture Hall of Fame Corporation and Barone Films. The script is taken from a new novel of the same name, by Ted Bacino, published by AuthorHouse. ( new film contends that England’s prior leading playwright, Christopher Marlowe, was the actual author, based on the similarities between the writings of Marlowe and those of Shakespeare. (That would explain the almost 100 lines in the works of Shakespeare which are identical or highly similar to writings by Marlowe.) The claim that Shakespeare was a fraud, however, has always had powerful supporters, like Sigmund Freud, Mark Twain, U.S. Supreme Court members, as well as some of the greatest Shakespearean actors of the day and even the head of London’s Globe Theatre. Although many historians believe that the actor Shakespeare did not write those works, they disagree on who did write them. “Anonymous” purports it was Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, though many names have been tossed around: Ben Johnson, Francis Bacon, and even Queen Elizabeth.“The Shakespeare Conspiracy,” however, adds the most plausible contender. In 1593 Christopher Marlowe, England’s most celebrated playwright at the time, was to appear before the Privy Council on charges of treason, the penalty for which was death.Marlowe’s wild and decadent life style always seemed to lead him into trouble. He constantly spewed anti-religious remarks around London. (“Jesus was just a magician and his mother was a whore.”)However, days before the trial, Marlowe was conveniently “murdered” by friends over the “reckoning” of the dinner bill in a small pub outside London. The men then “unceremoniously buried” England’s foremost writer in an unmarked grave – a grave never to be located since.Almost immediately, an unknown actor named Shakespeare, who reputedly “held horses for the gentry while they watched plays,” began turning out magnificent dramas, sonnets and poems.The conspiracy theory is that Marlowe faked his own death and continued to write while in hiding, using Shakespeare as a front.Many historians believe Marlowe was gay – exemplified in his works like Edward II and the phrase he sprinkled all over town: “All they that love not boys and tobacco are fools.”On the other hand, Shakespeare the actor was known for his bordello affairs and illegitimate children. He certainly was not gay and yet so much of his writing indicates that that he was — giving credence to the argument that Marlowe was the actual writer.The movie, a comedy-drama, billed as “The greatest literary deception of all time,” concerns Constable Maunder’s search for the fugitive playwright.(A stage version of the movie has recently been completed and had its first staging in Rockford, IL.)#

  • William Ray

    Since any reputable scholar on this subject who quotes an “anti Stratfordian”, by this circular reasoning, automatically becomes not reputable, there is no reputable scholar on this subject who has ever quoted an “anti-Stratfordian”.  Conclusion: the construction of the assertion brings doubt upon the source for constructing a tautology.

    Donald P. Hayes, PhD, Professor of Sociology, Emeritus, Cornell University quoted the following in  “Social Network Theory and the Claim that Shakespeare of Stratford  Was the Famous Dramatist”:

    “Jimenez has found another Shakspere link to London. The Stratford Corporation’s solicitor and Town Clerk of Stratford for ten years was Londoner Thomas Greene. For many months, he, his wife and children actually lived in Shakspere’s New Place home. Greene’s diary mentions Shakspere once — in connection with the Welcombe land enclosure matter. He referred to Shakspere as ‘my cosen Shakspeare.’ Greene was a friend of John Marston, still another of Shakespeare’s London dramatist peers. They had gone school together in the mid-1590s, making it curious that Greene never made mention of his host’s place among London’s playwrights.”

    Ramon Jimenez is the author of books on classical subjects and an “anti-Stratfordian”.  Hayes quoted him, unmindful that there is an industry-wide embargo on quoting or publishing “anti-Stratfordian” scholarship. To Reedy, Hayes is therefore deficient as a reputable scholar on this subject.  Using social network theory Hayes established that since “Shakespeare” the dramatist was at the center of the playwrighting social network, the absence of literary notice about Shakspere’s death meant that this central dramatic figure and the Stratford figure were not the same individual.

    Since the Stratfordian bias is so deeply entrenched in academic scholarship that it approaches censorship, all individuals, not only academics, must be discredited to defend the ideological position of the status quo. This means discrediting as celebrity opiners any reputable figure taking a doubtful view: Emerson, Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman, Bismarck, James, Clemens, Galsworthy, Joyce, Greenwood, Chaplin, Freud, Welles, Fadiman, Basso, Guilgud, Olivier, Jacobi, York, Irons, Rylance, Stevens, O’Connor, and Scalia.  It also means ignoring, or discrediting if pushed, contemporary testimony that ‘Shakespeare’ was the Earl of Oxford: Thomas Nashe, John Marston, Gabriel Harvey, Richard Brathwait, Thomas Edwards, John Davies, Roger Ascham, Henry Peacham, Jr., and by inferential reference William Camden, Edmund Spenser, and Ben Jonson.  Achieving this intentional ignorance is then considered reputable scholarship. In actuality it amounts to an ideology focussed on the Stratford money-lender Shakspere.

    Mr. Reedy continues to argue from the shaky ground of such authority and manages little more than ad hominem potshots.  The sound-byte length and quality are themselves a self-disqualification as disinterested historian.

  • william sutton
  • william sutton

    81 is my favourite sonnet. I’ve memorised them all. How’s that for serio ludere?

  • william sutton


  • william sutton

    FTFY? Fug that fug you?

  • Kjellgren

    Thanks, William, but it’s surely not mine (my 12 year daughter is by far my superior in that language). I got it from the only published swedish book on the controversy by oxfordian writers, the poet/actress couple Gösta and Helena Friberg. 

    Oh you are both Williams I see, appropriate for this discussion, but you sutton are almost there. It’s very simple (and the point is that if you change the “The” article to the more expected “A” the pun will be spoiled):

    The Winter’s Tale  = Le Conte d’Hiver  = Le Comte de Vere  = The Earl of Oxford

  • william sutton

    Wow I would have put that dissolving monument to be more poetic rhetoric than hidden cryptic, like:

    And thou in this shalt find thy monument,
    When tyrant’s crests and tombs of brass are spent,
    nor gates of steel so strong but time decays?


  • william sutton

    Vachement bien! Oui le pun de conte l’ hivre, s’il vous plait!

  • Kjellgren

    Roper found anomalies in the text indicating manipulation to hide a message; e.g. same word spelled differently (whom/whome, this/ys) or wrong word order (monument shakspeare should be the opposite). He then found that an equidistant letter sequence of 34 (which happens to be 17×2) will give the name “VERE”. So he realized that the text on the Monument is actually a so called “Cardano Grille” with this solution (easy to read vertically if you put the text in a 34×7 grid):


    “Me” being, of course, Ionson, Ben, the composer of the text.

    It can of course be a cunning coincidence, and the mathematical probability for this is around 8 chances in ten-thousand-trillion-trillion-trillion trials.

    I don’t think “Straford and Avon refer to Hackney”, but i find it a fine example of all the double meanings of the FF introduction material. Like the Monument, it all bears the trademark of Ben Jonson, who apparently was in charge of all this. Also note that the Folio says “And Time dissolves thy Stratford Moniment”, which is exactly what now has happened; with Time (400 years) Roper has indeed (dis)solved the Monument.

  • Tom Reedy

    > No reputable scholar on this subject quotes any anti-Stratfordian, especially not the delusional Oxfordian pseudohistorians.


  • William Ray

    Good to see your name again.  Tell them your Winter’s Tale French language pun.  best wishes,

  • William Ray

    Hang out a shingle and see if you get any patients.

  • William Ray

    I never saw such copious tears of concern for wasted talent. Apparently you see this particular literary and historical search for truth as wasted. But the only purpose for talent is to help others, to find truth, and to appreciate beauty.  The good, the true, the beautiful. Remember Keats?  “Beauty is truth, truth beauty–that is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know.” Or as I put it once, “The beautiful is the splendor of the true.”

    In my dotage?  A riot. There actually CAN be comic relief in the afternoon at the computer. I told my wife and she laughed and said, “From now on, you’re Doat.”

    But enough with the minuet and on to “responding” to your pertinent questions, that you think I can’t answer.  Oxford writing plays for rival companies while he bankrupted himself running companies and producing plays?  Can we get our sequences right? From an early stage his ambition to produce plays was subverted by opportunists robbing him blind, and that is the theme of Timon of Athens. The generous wealthy man is a fool. Others gain. There was a reason Mundy and Lyly did not last as his secretaries, and as I said elsewhere they did not put on plays again. In the 1580’s he ran the Queen’s Men, particularly in preparation for the expected war with Spain, training and sending companies all over England. The Queen’s Men of the 1580’s became the Lord Chamberlain’s Men of the early 1590’s.  His Oxford’s Men and Oxford’s Boys were defunct by 1590. No competition there. So was Oxford defunct, bankrupted. Hence after Anne Cecil Vere died, (1588), Burghley took over the daughters’ care and education. And Oxford, at a complete loss and humiliation but justly, signed over Castle Hedingham to achieve that care and education. (1591)  Sussex’s Men, LCM, Pembroke’s, and Derby’s, both Ferdinando and William, played Shakespeare plays. It is on record post 1590, with Oxford destitute, as destitute as aristocrats get with four servants.  Oxford was a dyed-in-the-wool elitist, like ‘Shakespeare’–meaning the works, not the stage/play name or the real person Shakspere. Surely Shakspere was not that creator of elitist works.  Money-lender Will, is he the author of Lucrece Lines 854-, which condemn the money-grubber personality?

    “You also might want to explain why he let “an illiterate, miserly,
    wife-hating, coarse, ignorant, and mendacious burgher” take credit and
    get rich off the fruits of Oxford’s labor, while he had to rely on his
    father-in-law to support his wife and children.”  Oxford didn’t like Shakspere’s opportunism, as will be shown in the plays but he was powerless to stop this parasite’s deeds. You have raised the question of the  details of Shakspere’s profit-making role with Oxford.  It  is an absolutely critical point, examined in detail by ‘Shakespeare Suppressed’. 

    Shakspere no doubt took his share from the stock proceeds of LCM, in that sense honestly gaining from the Shakespeare plays performed by that company.  But judging from the characterizations in Shakespeare and Jonson, what he did dishonestly was more important.  He fraudulently authorized the publishers to publish the quartos, saying he was ‘Shakespeare’, so the allegorical tales say.  He obviously was not ‘Shakespeare’, but he and the pirates stood to gain from the sales and they knew the true author could not publically object. Graft. Scratch my back with a coin and I’ll scratch yours with a play.  This has been referred to in the literature as play brokering, an interesting euphemism. Sog-liar-do [O’s liar dog in anagram] was Oxford’s dog, trailing him for mendacious reasons. Sogliardo was called the “countenance”, the face or front. The only satisfaction Oxford could take from releasing the play scripts was that the people would read the plays and all that was in them. In the Shakespearean plays Henry IV, pt2,  AYLI, TWT, and The Tempest,
    the honorless opportunist characters are in order William the cook,
    William Visor (n.b.), William, Clown-Shepherd (n.b.),and Stephano (see
    Stephen above) who “murders” Prospero so he can play King of the island.
    Another imposter.

    Specifically, Jonson’s play title Poetaster has nothing to do with a poet tasting anything.  The title pun was Poet Aster, or poet’s following star, the same principle as Sogiardo for the same type of scheme. Crispinus (which means curly like a sheep’s wool, n.b.) wants to posture that he too is a Poet, because it adds sheen to his gentleman status. He is characterized in the play as a plagiary.  And in EMOOHH, the character Shift (meaning thief) states it would not be right to deny ‘his’ manuscripts. Obviously he was not one to have written any. His prattle about his having a rapier is another way to say his identity is as a spear-shaker manque, an imposter to the real Shake-speare, the author, and willing tool for his book-pirate manipulators.  As Katherine Chiljan wrote in ‘Shakespeare Suppressed’: “To emphasize [the guile involved in the piracy] Jonson characterized Shift and Sogliardo as ‘Judas’ and ‘the elder tree he hangs himself upon’ or in other words as puppeteer and puppet.”  The pirate printers (fellow thieves) used the opportunistic underling as puppet, no doubt for the price of a cut. From this sketch, Shakspere was a fencer of hot goods. EMIHH (1598) has a country gull and city gull, Stephen (see The Tempest below) and Mathew. Stephen like Shift has a sword he brandishes and he calls himself  a fencer–in the Elizabethan idiom, a dealer in hot goods. Not a funny pun, but the knowledgable would comprehend. Like Shakespeare Jonson concealed an otherwise identifiable real-life subject, by dividing the person’s characteristics between two characters.

    This should give an outline for understanding Shakspere’s mendacity and the contempt in which he was held by Shakespeare and Jonson. Oxford didn’t ‘let’ Shakspere gull him.  In a way they were symbiotic.  Like Sonnet 111, “Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,/ And almost thence my nature is subdu’d/ To what it works in, like the dyer’s hand.”

    The rest of your post, an ad hominem tract against me and  Roger Stritmatter, I will mostly ignore. You make a mistake though when you put me in his company. No comparison at all.  He made the most significant Shakespeare primary-evidence discovery in hundreds of years.  Robert Cecil never thought to confiscate Oxford’s Geneva bible. Or the daughters gave notice to slice anyone he sent.  All the servant had to do was head for the pub, then go back to Cranborne and say I tried milord.  The English underclass weren’t fools. Your huge count of eighty Shakespeare claimants is very nice, but everyone understands the list is a foil so that the Shakespeare establishment can fake-laugh to the public about those silly doubters. As their own gospel is riddled with holes.  If a granny in Scotland said Shakespeare was Drummond, they would add him too. But it is good to know Tom Reedy has feelings and convictions, not just quips.

  • William Ray

    Good questions. Oxford brought the Italian style to England, what is called ‘the English Renaissance’. There was no antecedent, so it was a catch-phrase for an outburst of innovation and talent.  Oxford’s secretaries were Mundy and Lyly, usually said to be “influences” on Shakespeare.  It was the other way round.  Mundy and Lyly “wrote” nothing after leaving his employ.  But they were experienced stage managers and the plays are lively with action and entertaining exchanges, just on the unprecedented level of aristocratic manners, which the public had never seen before. Oxford also sponsored a college of writers, the University Wits and others, which went on to continue the ‘Renaissance’ in the next generation, those who lived to do so.  Recall that Jonson’s praises for’Shakespeare’s’ contemorary playwrights specified “sporting Kid or Marlowe”, and Lily.  These were of the 1580’s well before Shakspere even arrived in London. Broad hint there as to who ‘Shakespeare’ really was.  Shakespeare’s/Oxford’s popularity was based first on the near-lurid Venus and Adonis and the also youthfully appealing Lucrece, before Shakespeare as a label ever got associated with the plays. Then presto a dozen anonymous plays were ‘Shakespeare’s’.  It sounds like a set-up deal and was, via the Meres’ announcement, but in such a form as to indicate to puzzle-readers Oxford and Shakespeare were one and the same playwright.

    It is incorrect to say the love between Elizabeth Trenton is based on a phrase of her will. He wrote her a quite famous acrostic poem that is clearly loving and admiring.  The character of Portia the legally skilled lawyer in Merchant of Venice is also based on her highly respected attempts to apply equity law more broadly, not just the precedents of common law that unfairly denied justice in civil law. There were almost no other women lawyers in England.  True, she had money and saved his creative career, so that he could rewrite the 1570-80’s court plays and present them in public.  His support for the Earl’s Colne school continued even when he was destitute, from tenant taxes owed to him by law from the estate.  About the missing will, it is indeed curious, but Camden suggested that the powers that were (Cecils) thought they could eliminate present events from future memory.  Oxford’s probably thousands of literary letters do not exist, only the mining and other unflattering begging letters, to go with the Howard defamations.  They did not turn up missing somehow.  About his grave, Percival Golding said it was in Francis Vere’s family vault, although his wife’s will implies it was near their King’s Place estate.  That is covered over now.  Nobody knows. In the present defensive climate, I don’t expect an officially approved wire-camera to search the Vere vault at Westminster.

    On “rival companies”, a big Alan Nelson bugaboo. (Why would he give plays to rival companies when he had two of his own?) The Shakespeare plays are listed in Lord Chamberlain’s Men, Pembrokes, Derbys, and Sussex’s companies, because one, Oxford’s Men and Oxford’s Boys disappeared by 1590, and two, Oxford was not concerned with the money to be gained, but with  the plenary education and understanding to be gained. (And no one knew this better than Elizabeth, whatever revulsion her advisors felt. He had royal protection.) He may have been the last stubborn feudalist, contemptuous of money and money-makers.

    Lastly, Jonson’s 1641 discussion of praise for ‘Shakespeare’s’ not blotting (smudging) a line.  Then he said he wished he had crossed out a thousand.  Typical ambiguity, take your pick or know no more than if he had said nothing. The first purpose seemed sincere–a prodigal talent, spoken from the underlying knowledge of the actual author’s skills.  The second purpose was to humanize ‘him’ as lively almost wild in temperament and quite capable of error. This instead of the ‘Monster’ (colossus) portrayed in the First Folio.  Neither description, 1623 or 1641, had anything to do with Shakspere. You can see what his script looks like.

    I looked at a letter written in French by de Vere when he was fourteen.  He not only didn’t make a single mistake in fine French, the calligraphy is perfect.  I believe it was this seemingly effortless artistic talent as much as the dramatic talent that impressed Jonson. The more you read the elegy, the more obvious it is a mixed message. The numerological cues confirm this impression. Seventeen words in the title, seventeen lines before Jonson writes, now I will begin, seventeen authors listed in the elegy, Shakespeare repeated four (four=vier=Vere) times, the references to the 1580’s playwrights, internal Latin puns about the AUTHORity of genius, references to Oxford’s praise of Spenser, Harvey’s praise of Oxford, the similarity to a tribute Jonson wrote to Susan Vere Herbert. It hasn’t been fully analyzed from the right angle yet.

  • William Ray

    Never had the background to rule on the script of Shakspere. Jane Cox had some authority to speak, having worked as a custodian of documents and seen thousands of signatures and near signatures. At least the British Records Office thought she did and sponsored the publication of her essay.  Consequently I have relied on it and so have many others. You sought to discredit her, without the requisite background to do so and lacking a clear and convincing basis.  Nothing wrong with thinking it. But there are credibility problems working from presumptive bias and the motive to discredit author and conclusions.

    In media communication the truth is not foremost.  The status and purposes of the employer are.  In scholarship, such conflicts-of-interest affect the path to the truth. Human nature cannot serve conflicting masters.  Not surprisingly, as a result the Shakespeare studies biography field is a dead end or a sacred cow, not to be thought about or you are somebody bad.  That has had the effect of undermining the entire purpose of inquiry, to think and know. But error can lead eventually to what really happened and why.  Identify and step away from the faulty assumptions and the biography is a gold-mine for your talents.

  • william sutton

    Gotta go to work and make people laugh, just as you’re begininng to tickle my funny bone.  I’ve heard of Roper but cannot recall the hidden message. I’ll bite. What is it?

    But we are a long way from finished. SO Straford and Avon refer to Hackney?! Oxford doesn’t have to have the same exact biography as Shakespeare of Stratford does he?

  • Kjellgren

    As you know Meres never says Shakespeare is from Stratford. He gives no personal information so that we can identify him with a human being. The interesting thing with Meres is that he is the first person in history that writes that there is dramatist with the name of William Shakespeare, and this at a time when “your man” is supposed to have been a commercial and successful playwright for almost a decade. Before Meres the plays were all by “Anonymous”, and after him they started to be connected with the name “Shakespeare”. Why this? Cannot answer, but I know it’s not in line with Stratfordian belief. I don’t have information enough to settle what was the background for Meres writing as he did.

     I don’t think “my man” ever “set up a straw man”. There are plenty of depictions of the Stratford man in contemporary drama, inside and outside the canon, for us to get a good glimpse on what really happened…

    “What a masochist that guy was if he did perpetuate this scam on succeeding generations”

    Did you ever read sonnet 81? There is your answer. I wouldn’t say masochist, I would say that he suffered from necessity. If we are to believe what he wrote himself. And I think we should.

    “As for juvenilia try sonnet 145”

    Nice try. A fine example of circular reasoning. I am talking about “your man”. My man has enough of records.

  • william sutton

    So when Meres said what he did about Shakespeare in 4 or 5 diffferent references, quoting as you know Oxford in the same section for comedy, he was referring to the straw man your man had set up at some point? Or is there another Shakespeare that comes from Stratford. Remember that’s our starting position.

    Your feeble ploy to complicate matters by having an alternative reading for each piece of orthodox evidence is obtuse and unproductive. I’ll bet there is a long story explaining why Oxford allowed his poems and plays into print whilst he suffered financially. likewise why his acting company never acted his works.

    And really that juvenilia line on his poetry is a little threadbare by now. The poems suck. There’s no redemption for them ever. Just like in Oxford’s 40 000 words left to us in his letters.

    But to stick to history. Why do you say the editions of V&A and Rape were pirated? Do you have a source or is it another fiction?

    I was making a joke with ass u me and not saying I know anything Peacham said. Did Peacham say anything of interest about either Shakespeare or Oxenforde?

    And the Shakspere Allusion Book contains every known reference to Sh, except of course that it was secretly the suffering Earl. What a masochist that guy was if he did perpetuate this scam on succeeding generations.

    As for juvenilia try sonnet 145 you know the one in tetrameter. Those lips that love’s own hand did make.

  • Kjellgren

    Funny enough, in the northeast of London, where Oxford lived at the end of his life, we find both “Stratford” and a river “Avon” close to King’s Place in Hackney. And this is only the top of the iceberg of all the ambiguities that can be found in the FF (it starts already with “published according to the True Originall Copies”. Did you ever see an original copy before? It’s either or, isn’t it?)

    Yes “we” (i.e. you) have “narrowed it”. So much that you insult anyone who tends to disagree with the thesis (even though you seem to have stopped this aspect for a moment, which I appreciate).

     “where the author lived and was buried”

    Here starts your problem, since you cannot prove that this “author” was even literate. Since he left no traces of literacy in his lifetime, and since the FF is ambiguous about the author’s identity, you have to put your whole trust to this “nice monument”. It’s surely situated in Stratford, but have you read what it actually says? It says (my emphasis): “read IF THOV CANST whom enviovs death hath plast with in this monument Shakspere”. No biographical information about the illustrious poet here, just this challenge to the passenger to find out who is “plast” in the Monument. If he “can”.

    I know someone who can. His name is David L Roper, and he has revealed the message that is hidden in the monument. But of course, since the solution is not to to the benefit of the ruling belief, you have not heard about it. Yet.

    I don’t understand your last paragraph. di Lasso was a master composer of 12-part motets. What’s the point here? Besides that you confirm what I wrote; all oxfordians including Peacham are snobs. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Make that “the MAN” you’re challenging.  (My keyboard is Oxfordian.)

  • Anonymous

    Yikes, Sock Boy, you must not know that the many you’re challenging is a four-star general in the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Brigade.  He has a long record of responding to Oxfordians, but they never forced him to respond to direct documentary evidence so far as I know.

    Former Private ninth-class, SBTB, Bob Grumman (dishonorably discharged for claiming Oxfordians are psitchotics 

  • Kjellgren

    “Sweet witty soul of ovid but then you know your Meres”

    Is it your opinion that Meres somehow confirms the Stratford man’s authorship? How is that? In what way does Meres’ talk about Ovid indicate Stratford? Have you found some evidence of the Stratford man’s interest in the classics? Or is it the similarity of names that is your evidence? Sorry, it’s not enough before you show that the man with this similar name was also treated as a writer by his contemporaries (or himself).

    “The comparison to VIrgil on the tombstone”

    Not the Tomb, the Monument. “Arto Maronem” is the expression, which was probably only understood by a very chosen few; who knows that Maro is the surname of Virgil? You didn’t mention the other two; Judcio Pilum means “judgment of Nestor”, a questionable virtue of a fiction king. The third reference is to a man who did not write a single word; Socrates. By the way, Virgil was a bad choice, Ovid would have done better. Anyway, none of these references indicate that the Stratford man was a writer, they are simply rather odd, aren’t they?. Maybe the location of the Monument in Stratford church indicates something, but the text tell us nothing about him.

    “the shakspere allusion book”

    Sorry you need to be more precise here.

    “Peacham I assume (I know)  he included Drayton Barnabe Barnes and Sh etc, in the sundry others”

    Can you show this?

    “Glad to see he appreciated Oxford’s poetry ”

    You know but fail to mention that the Oxford legacy (in his own name) is the work of a teenager. You are of course welcome to come up with some juvenilia of your man’s composition of the same quality.

    “Shakespeare was the one who had the best selling poetry on the bookshelves of St Paul’s.”

    Sure, but who got the money? Certainly not your man, and certainly not mine, since all prints except the first VA and Lucrece were pirates. Why didn’t your man, always eager to go to court, take action to protect his work? (I know why my didn’t)

    “Why did Oxford ever let those 2 poems be published and why doesn’t Peacham refer to those commodities as his?”

    Good question which require long answer; but of course the relation to Southampton is crucial (as it is for the Sonnets as well). Peacham was not very specific so it’s not easy to answer that. There are several possibilities; 1) he knew everything but kept his silence for some reason, 2) he didn’t know all about it, but he knew enough to celebrate Oxford on Shakspers cost, 3) he was just a snob, like all other oxfordians…

  • Tom Reedy

    > Reedy threw up a bunch of rationalizations on this matter but he had no credentials to say anything.

    I have a BA and an MA in English. I’ve published in the Review of English Studies. You denigrate my employment by calling me “the mouth-piece for a police department”. My exact title is “Communications Director/Media Specialist”. Before I took this job I was a journalist and before that I taught freshman and sophomore college English.

    You, on the other hand, are a retired rural mail carrier. What exactly are your credentials “to say anything”?

  • Tom Reedy

    No, by “respond to the evidence” I mean respond to the evidence on the pages whose addresses I gave. Here they are again to refresh your memory:
    While you’re at it, you might want to tell us why Oxford wrote his plays for a rival company, when he “bankrupted himself writing plays and running companies”, as you claim. You also might want to explain why he let “an illiterate, miserly, wife-hating, coarse, ignorant, and mendacious burgher” take credit and get rich of the fruits of Oxford’s labor, while he had to rely on his father-in-law to support his wife and children.
    I have no problem with people like you indulging themselves in anti-Stratfordism. After all, you’re well into your dotage and you need some kind of hobby to keep you from wandering the streets, and I suppose it’s better than becoming a member of the Tea Party (who with their cry of “Keep the government’s hands off my Social Security check use much the same logic as you do).
    No, the real damage wrought by this pernicious fringe theory is the waste of talent by the diversion of younger people who could have made some real contributions to scholarship, some who actually have in some small way despite being afflicted by anti-Stratfordism. Think what they could have done if their minds had not been seized by an insane obsession.
    Stritmatter is a good example: he actually made a discovery of the source of one of Shakespeare’s Biblical allusions, the “weaver’s beam” verse. Think what he could have done without having to defend the rotten baggage of Oxfordism all these years. Willis is another: his research and archival discoveries concerning Puttenham are valuable contributions to scholarship, but his pathetic obsession that Puttenham wrote the Sonnets to the Fair Youth Oxford make him a laughingstock, as are you and the rest of the Oxfordians, Baconians, Puttenhamians, etc. I suspect a good many anti-Stratfordians wish they had never gotten on the merry-go-round of twisted logic, distorted interpretation, and self-delusion so necessary to all alternative theories of authorship, but they’ve invested so much of their lives into it that simple human pride, another character defect, keeps them on the path to ultimate irrelevancy. I pity them, not you.
    That is the true tragedy here: the waste of life and talent, not the mad notion that Shakespeare somehow wrested credit away from the True Author (the count is now up to 80).

  • william sutton

    Avon as an etymology means river so yes there a lot of Avons.
    And Stratford means street over a ford in a river so yes there’s lots of them too.

    There were lots of Shakespeares in Warwickshire and all over England as well.

    But through our cunning we’ve narrowed it down to Shakespeare of Stratford upon Avon, where the author lived and was buried. They also built a nice monument to this man comparing him to Virgil. That denotes a literary bent of some kind.

    Peacham’s evidence shows him to be a bit of a snob where literature is concerned.
    A representative passage from The Compleat Gentleman:

    “For composition, I prefer next Ludovico de Victoria, a most
    judicious and a sweet composer: after him Orlando di Lasso, a very rare and
    excellent Author, who lived some forty years since in the court of the Duke of Bavier.”

    Oh yes he was a writer and poet though I’ve never read any of his poetry. Or even heard of him before. His dad on the other hand wrote a book on rhetoric. It seems the age and the people who lived in it were not as illiterate as you Oxfordians like to make out.

  • william sutton

    The answers to your questions are above answered by Humphrey. William that’s a nice fantasy you constructed about the lacunae in Oxford’s family biography. You’ve squared his bad side with his good. I’d never known before that he supported the school except perhaps in name. That’s probably why the recent Sh was a bad alumnus argument came into play.

    His second marriage fortunately was to someone who brought a dowry large enough for his children to carry on in the manner born. That she loved him seems to be from her request in his will. But we don’t know where his grave is right? Otherwise Oxfordians would have some kind of pilgrimage spot too. Also he didn’t leave a last will and testament either did he? Curious that.

    We have as you say only 6 signatures and no extant letters, as we do with de vere. You see a handicap in those signatures and by extension you claim he is illiterate. Ben Jonson’s quote about Sh his mind and hand went together scarcely a blot etc. But then that must have been about Oxford. What you present is an alternative personalised biography with unsupported assertions. A little too Harlequin romance or historical fictiony for my taste. Though I am aware that the Romantics made the Stratford man in that same image.

    I’d dearly love to see more unbiased info about Oxford that allows for the influence he must have had on the theatre of the 1570’s and 80’s. If only you could separate it from the delusion that he was Shakespeare.

    You isolate Sh from the rest of his dramatic and poetic contemporaries and apply rules for proving his authorship which you don’t apply to the rest. You cannot ignore the fact that part of Sh’s genius was in becoming a print phenomenon. He was literally, with the 2 re-printed poems and 18 plays, again with some being re-printed quartos, the best selling author of the time. I can square that with my venal yet venial candidate. You have to resort to a fiction as to why Oxford would have allowed such a thing.

    Lastly how about the rival theatre companies? Henslowe and Alleyne must have known who the writer was. Why did they not say anything, in your opinion?

    You still have a lot of convincing to do. I don’t accept your candidate on the current ‘evidence’.

  • William Ray

    You seem to not be concerned you are presenting a bunch of speculations and excuses as answers.  Taking them in turn: 1) you assert the ‘signatures’ are simply poor hand-writing.  This is a mistake. No single letter is formed consistently. There is no regularity between letters, no rhythm familiar to any writer, not even talking about a literary writer. There is no consistent sequence of letters even minute to minute among the three when signing the will before witnesses. This is why a former custodian of the records hypothesized that no two signatures were signed by the same man. Reedy threw up a bunch of rationalizations on this matter but he had no credentials to say anything. There are numerous signatures of Elizabethan literary figures and actors on record. None resembles this low a skill of formation. The writer demonstrated no familiarity with the practice of writing. Put it all together and we are making a preposterous claim if we say that this writer was ‘Shakespeare’. 2) Contrary to your exposition on Shakspere’s behalf, it was customary in other Stratford wills by far less wealthy individuals, as well as by similar burghers elsewhere in England, to support the local grammar school as a means of family and spiritual advancement.  It wasn’t a matter of a mad alumnus.  That he didn’t support his children’s or grand-child’s education OR the school builds up a surprising personal profile. We are not speaking about a cultivated person and can only nervously make up excuses to bind this person to the Shakespeare canon.  We know from the works that the writer of the Shakespeare canon was a highly cultivated person, familiar with classical literature and the highest circles of power. 3) the treatment toward Mrs. Shakspere was perhaps the most wretched evidence in the Stratford will. She was left with no means of support, none, no housing, not even a testimonial as (loving?) wife and mother, a feature of wills at that time. the very least we would expect from a sensitive and civilized attestor who featured educated heroines and mentioned letters two hundred times in the works.  None of this is in evidence for Shakspere. 4) Regarding his daughter Susana, a minister named Cooke visited her household, examining her deceased husband’s Latin diaries.  He asked her if her father had left any writing.  She reacted as though insulted at the embarrassment that he would think her father wrote anything.  Like her father, she was not a cultivated person and evidently had no idea that her father was touted as the ‘Soule of the Age’.  In this she was correct; someone else was praised that way, with ambiguous reference to her father. Educated people then and now share their values regarding learning by example to the family, by educational literature, and supporting the benefits of learning, and raising the level of conversation, and pursuing an interest in knowledge, and so on.  As an overall comment, these considerations were completely absent in either her or her father’s experience. Also missing were any tangibles of education– papers, ink and quill, books, manuscripts, tables and shelves for them, desks, bookcases, or any other object associated with writing. The current dodge is that all that would be in the inventory, a ridiculous excuse.  Books and manuscripts are not listed in the half-million extant inventories from that era.  As for de Vere and his support of his family, I have discussed that elsewhere with William Sutton.  There was no equivalence in the households or the values they followed. This is not to excuse the tempestuous life Oxford led. See that discussion. 5) Your remarks about an early Hamlet being by somebody else is complete conjecture, the Ur-Hamlet theory to somehow explain how the play existed before Shakspere’s supposed literary career.  Of course there were antecedents to the play Hamlet, but we are talking about a given Elizabethan play by a specific author with identifiable language, recognizable today as the writer Shakespeare’s.  The language was honored and parodied by other writers of the time, much earlier than Shakspere could have written it–if he could write, and if it mattered to him to write anything . Your derogatory remarks are probably out of frustration with this very strong contemporary evidence. I am quite familiar with Hamlet’s literary sources, Beowulf among them, and there was only one known original copy of that work, in Burghley’s library–to which Oxford had access and the training in Old English to read it. You have the capability to realize there is something wrong with the conventional explanation and the Stratfordian rationalizations regarding it.  For more detail, read “Twelve too early allusions to Shakespeare’s Hamlet” in Katherine Chiljan, pp. 50-58.  Her book, ‘Shakespeare Suppressed’, is an admirable summary of the facts and literature.  You can cut through the fabrications that make up decades of Shakespearean scholarship in the space of four hundred pages.

  • William Ray

    Uh. Punk behavior.  My admonition applies to the entire issue, not to your empty ploy on this website. Evidently you have lost sight of the purpose of investigation into the identity of ‘Shakespeare’.  Instead you spit another accusation and betray another failure to explain factual grounds I pointed out as establishing why Shakspere could not the author ‘Shakespeare’. If you had the right man, you could clear up the anomalies and wouldn’t have to be calling on me to ‘respond’.  You notice no one else gives your challenge or websites any credence.

    By ‘respond to the evidence’ I assume the evidence you mean is 1)the Shakspere signatures, vaguely resembling the Shakespeare name, 2)the First Folio, mistakenly thought to constitute definitive proof that Shakspere was the author ‘Shakespeare’, and 3)the Stratford Monument, mistakenly thought to constitute proof that Shakspere was the author ‘Shakespeare’.  These assumptions form the entire basis for your belief.  None stands as evidence and can be exposed as working against your position (the signatures) or contrivances that you persistently accept as fact (The First Folio and Stratford Monument). That authority  got this wrong for two hundred years–in effect endorsing a ruse become legend then ‘fact’–and that you rely entirely on that authority together guarantee continued error.  In other words, you–with the rest of us–bought the original ruse and some still play along with the perpetuated myth. 

    There is no conspiracy about the authorship now.  It is open doubt and investigation.  There was a bamboozlement at first, a transfer of authorship from a pseudonym to an allonymic other name.  It was accepted on authority in an authoritarian era.  That lie endures, with episodic objections, including the present mainly ill-informed controversy.  You ask that I respond to a series of misconceptions that you think of as proof.  It is unfortunate that emotions have persisted historically into an assemblage of beliefs that tries to make sense of this episode in the past. But the assemblage you cleave to does not make sense. And the historical episode should be cleared up, concentrating as it does around a major representative of Western art and thought.

  • Tom Reedy

    > Remember, the goal is to explain how an individual achieved
    languages, history, philosophy, high rhetorical skills, together with
    the lyric grace and receptivity of a born poet, who gained an increasing
    mastery of his craft over the course of a lifetime full of grief and

    Uh . . . no. Read up to the beginning. The goal is to respond to the evidence documenting Shakespeare as the author of his works, not to post your obsessive fantasies. Oxfordians’ only response is to dismiss it all as part of a conspiracy. You’re an Oxfordian; that’s what you do; and that’s what you’ve done: not responded.

  • William Ray

    In response to William Sutton: Good point.  Oxford was estranged from his wife for a number of years.  He did not support her during that time. He bankrupted himself writing plays and running companies, living a life to match. Their last years were happier, except when their son of a few days died.  Burghley did support Anne Cecil Vere and her daughters when Oxford was in a state of poverty.  When she died he mourned her in poem and play (Measure for Measure). He signed over his ancestral estate Hedingham his daughters as maintenance support. They were close to him and faithfully carried on his legacy, seeing his works into print. His books were found in a sale of the effects of Elizabeth Vere Stanley’s grand-daughter, Henrietta Maria Stanley. It wasn’t a good marriage for any number of circumstances, but it was a marriage, and his re-marriage to Elizabeth Trenton was felicitous. She asked  one thing at the end of her will, “to be buried as near as possible to my dear and noble lord and husband.”  He continued to support the Earl’s Colne school all his life. A long way from finagling the law to avoid leaving anything to one’s wife and wretchedly neglecting the education of his children and grand-child.  Oxford’s failings were great but ones of passion, not calculation and penury.  Calculation and penury are far from the hallmark of Shakespeare or any favored character in the works.  You have the wrong man and every detail of either life re-inforces that. 

    You have not answered the questions, initially posed to Reedy, which if Shakspere were ‘Shakespeare’ would be no problem to answer.  Their display of contradiction stands to prove a faulty identification. We must use deductive reasoning such as this example does, since primary evidence is limited.  The single most significant primary evidence against Shakspere as a writer is his own signature.  Writers can write in a regular fashion.  There is no pattern to Shakspere’s letter formation. Handicapped with this and so many other contradictions, he would never be  pursued as a/the missing person in question.  He has been merely asserted as that person, due to a similarity in name and proximity to Oxford.

  • Humphrey

    1. Shakespeare had terrible handwriting as this is no less than the very hallmark of a fevered, inspired mind: Just type in ‘bad hand writing good’ into google and you will find page after page confirming this.

    Deny the obvious? And what is that? That de Vere… er, wrote a million exemplary spelled words written in er, ~deliberately~ poor style?? Right? Because that
    is obviously a part of the conspiracy theory which is necessitated by it, right? So I take it this is the ‘obvious’ truth one might be attempted to deny? Like yourself, for instance. Just seems like a funny thing to point out when you are trying to make a case for him, not against him.

    2. Why did Shakespeare not bequeath anything to his old grammar school? Who the hell knows why?! Maybe he was an extremely naughty boy and he wasn’t welcome there. Maybe he just plain hated the place, for being a cold, brutal,
    military version of the cosy P.C. bubbles we have nowadays. Maybe he did give them something and we just don’t have a record of it. Maybe he just plain never thought of it. But whatever the reason, it’s definitely not worthy of being the second point you make in a series that is supposed to ‘prove’ his whole life was a farce. Come now, you gotta do better than that!

    3. The only meaning we must ‘avoid’ is the inference that this could somehow be connected to Shakespeare’s identity. It sounds harsh not to give his wife
    everything… until you realise it all went to his daughters. 4 out of 5 of the first entries are generous amounts given to the women in his life… hardly the will of misogynist.

    Maybe as parents together they wrote the will and agreed mutually that the daughters should be the principle benefactors… maybe it was even the wish of
    his wife, who may not have wanted to ‘chronicle small beers’ (manage household expenditure) in her old age, after her husband had left her. Perhaps she was perfectly happy for her daughters to look after her… There is nothing about this which secures it’s implications in favour of yours.

    4. As to his daughter’s lack of education… I agree, it’s not what you might expect from The Bard but perhaps it makes a bit more sense when viewed in the light that written and spoken word did not share the same affinity that they do now. Or perhaps he was of the contemporary opinion, as Iago puts it, that ‘Women rise to play and go to bed to work.’ However, what is what you would expect from the
    daughter of The Bard is the epitaph on her grave: “Witty beyond her sex, but that’s not all, Wise to salvation was good Mistress Hall.” -Susanna Hall’s Epitaph. So it’s not all bad. All the same, this is definitely the only point of the 6 you’ve made which has any intrigue at all. But what is astounding is why on earth you should say this when… NIETHER DID DE VERE! So far, every point is hollow…

    5. Like most of his stories (including Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, Othello etc. etc.),
    Shakespeare did not create the narrative of Hamlet. I would expect most serious fans of Shakespeare would know that, especially those who are as obnoxious as to declare they know enough to prove his identity was fraudulent. In fact, that was a big mistake for you to try and contrive as evidence… it’s shameful that you don’t know about that. They post blogs on this website every month called ‘Shakespeare’s Sources’. But I take it you’re not interested in reading about Shakespeare, unless it’s about proving he was a fraud and Oxford University deserves the credit.

    6. …because that is the true identity of the writer of those plays, whatever your opinion of his moral virtue might be (from 400 years into the future). I would have thought that was obvious too? But what is so astounding about this last point of your is… well… do you know anything about Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford? Do you really know anything at all about him? Have you ever read any literature on his life [that isn’t a commentary on Shakespeare’s]? Because if you had, then
    you should know this last point is the silliest of all: if anyone was a coarse, ignorant man based on Elizabethan records, it was most certainly De Vere.

    ‘Cumulative Evidence’ is the right term; ‘Circumstantial’ would fit too. But I think ‘Doctored’ is perhaps the most fitting word of all.

  • Humphrey

    “Why do you Stratford defenders in this thread insult your opponents?

    …or are you just ignorant people…

    …I am looking for substance or knowledge in your posts. So far in vain I’m afraid”

  • william sutton

    Sweet witty soul of ovid but then you know your Meres. The comparison to VIrgil on the tombstone. And you know of the shakspere allusion book, you just fail to mention it. As for Peacham I assume (I know)  he included Drayton Barnabe Barnes and Sh etc, in the sundry others. Glad to see he appreciated Oxford’s poetry though no one else has since. The stratfordians in those days were in the same place as the Oxfordians and Marlovians. Nowhere. Shakespeare was the one who had the best selling poetry on the bookshelves of St Paul’s. Why did Oxford ever let those 2 poems be published and why doesn’t Peacham refer to those commodities as his?

  • Annie Martirosyan

    Quoting a hardcore Ox:

    “I have family members who
    have the most strange imaginations I’ve ever come across. Paranoid and
    laced with conspiracy theories of the most outlandish sort, I’ve learned
    this lifetime that reality just isn’t enough for some people.”

    “…when I started digging
    into the resources I found on line, on this topic I was at first taken
    aback by something called the Authorship Issue. Hmmmmm…. My life is
    nothing but learning to deal with feuds as is evidenced in this blog, so
    of course I was hooked immediately!”

    Then shamelessly, most shamefully this:

    “He [my Dad] only had a 3rd grade education, but he had the intelligence of a college grad.” 

    That Dad above who had a 3rd
    grade education but had the intelligence of a college grad is Hank
    Garland who played with Elvis Presley! How on earth can a woman who
    had a “famous father with little education” spend her time proving
    Shakespeare could not write his works!

    From another anti-Shakespearean:

    “As I stated elsewhere, I
    started a skeptic when I read a book on the subject years ago. All I
    know is that the author took each issue and carefully built a case
    against the actor Shakespeare being the one who penned the words
    credited to him. So strong was the case he made, that I was convinced
    that the person who wrote the poems, plays and sonnets was someone with
    more education and political clout than the man who lived in Stratford
    Von Avon….”

    Just 1 single book! Very
    impressive! “The author took each issue and carefully built a case
    against…” *Carefully built*! Exactly, you, anti’s, BUILD, CARVE your
    case, out of empty air and your heads!

    “Ultimately, I dont care. I
    just think it is fun to think about who the real Shakespeare might have
    been. It has been suggested that perhaps it was A WOMAN!”

    “It is fun”! Oi, mistress minion you, oi!

    And Roger the Ego-Singing-Bible-Man enlists “trouble maker”
    in his “activities” on his FB profile. I could not come up with a better
    description for Roger, except that I suspect Roger wrote the canon!

    You know who these people are, don’t you? Empty adventurers!

    tended to assume anti-Shakespeareanism was an intellectual failure –
    yet it appears to be more personal, subjective stubbornness. Like a
    flock, they keep close together and cherish in their imaginary beliefs
    and worship their Lord “Devere” (a very literate Ox spelled it thus
    once) and delete posts that toss the truth at them and ‘like’ their own

    I wonder how Oxford would have reacted to your Ox Cult – would he LMAO at you or aristocratically blow his nose that he is wrongly credited for the canon produced by a simple man of lively wit?

    Naff off and find some other occupation – for you shall never go far with your handicapped ideas and your headstrong silly humour shall
    be curbed!

  • Kjellgren

    “their very argument is an insult and ad hominem attack on the man I believe wrote the works”

    The man in question was never during his lifetime recorded writing anything of literary value (or anything at all actually). Neither did his contemporaries at his death or earlier give him this honor. How can it be an ad hominem attack to mention this simple state of fact? And after his death? Why didn’t his family react on the ad hominem attack in the First Folio, since it could not identify the author; no biography and no relevant portrait is given, only a caricature by Droeshout, a  vague mentioning of “Swan of Avon” (there were dozens of Avon rivers in England) and in another poem “thy Stratford Moniment” (there were dozens of Stratfords as well). And what about the ad hominem attack from Henry Peacham in 1622, summing up the great literary elizabethan era in these words in The Complete Gentleman:

    “In the time of our late Queene Elizabeth, which was truly a golden Age (for such a world of refined wits, and excellent spirits it produced, whose like are hardly to be hoped for, in any succeeding Age) above all others, who honoured Poesie with their pennes and practise (to omit her Majestie, who had a singular gift herein) were Edward Earle of Oxford, the Lord Buckhurst, Henry Lord Paget; our Phoenix, the noble Sir Philip Sidney, M. Edward Dyer, M. Edmund Spencer, M. Samuel Daniel, with sundry others; whom (together with those admirable wits, yet living, and so well knowne) not out of Envie, but to avoide tediousnesse I overpasse. Thus much of Poetrie.”

    That’s what I call ad hominem. Your guy is not even mentioned here. The soul of the age? Where were all Stratfordians those days? 

  • william sutton

    How can I get it through to you William that I am not a blind believer. Like you I believe a poet has to work his entire life at what he does. I don’t see why your questions need to be answered as none of them are relevant to proving that Sh wrote sh or that Oxford did. Did Oxford provide for his widow and children? No. Did he provide for the education of his daughters or grandchildren? Again no. And completely irrelevant. Again each of these arguments is not proof but an ad hominem attack on the man who wrote shakespeare as the historical evidence tells us. As for Hamlet, let be. The play’s the thing. So he re-wrote a play that was around in the late 1580’s. Unless you’re saying that play was Hamlet as we know it from the quartos and folio?

    And if you examine life as it is lived. You don’t find contradictions? It is in the fabric of man to be contradictory.

  • william sutton

    Why do Oxfordian antagonists cringe at ad hominem slurs when their very argument is an insult and ad hominem attack on the man I believe wrote the works?

    There is substance and knowledge in the posts stop focusing on ad hominems as a way out. The burden of proof is in your court. All the Oxfordian voices in this thread complain that no one is taking them seriously. Well bring on the serious evidence then.

    Until then if you feel an ad hominem comment applies to you then see if you can alter the way in which you approach the subject. That’s what I mean by purposeful.

  • william sutton

    First you have to make an intelligent remark to respond to sock boy. Show me the man! Is that it? Your mind is made up. You don’t think it’s Shakespeare. You’re defending what exactly? The burden of proof is in your court. We have the evidence. You ignore it in favour of slandering my candidate and then claim all we do is slander you. Slander against slander. Simple equation.

    You brought up your heritage to show you’re not a snob. I demonstrated how irrelevant that is as anybody can be a snob. Now what? Just a sec I’ll go through the rest of your comments to see what I missed. Nothing really. You challenge Tom Reedy to hold your feet to the fire. And then chicken out of any kind of engagement when it gets too hot.

    Read the rest of the responses I made. I answered you about reading Roger’s blog. Here’s a link to the ostensibly oxfordian article, though it just deals with whether sh was Catholic or Protestant:

    I posted on the supreme court judges who do or don’t care about who wrtoe the works. The trouble with Oxfordians is they grasp at straws within a story and never deal with the whole story. You can’t have it both ways. It’s one or the other and so far you don’t have much other.

    And I posted how it’s Oxfordians that make me dislike Oxford as a candidate, though Oxford’s recorded life (ie not the made up one you like to think happened) is enough to make you hate the man.

  • William Ray

    I question the motives and work of both.  No reputable scholar on this subject quotes Kathman or Reedy. Wikipedia has become a propaganda tool since Reedy and his friends became editors in December 2009.  Alan Nelson’s ‘Monstrous Adversary’ was reviewed as “a life of de Vere that is one of the most bilious biographies ever written.” (William S. Niederkorn, Brooklyn Rail, April 2010)  It is professionally compromised because funded by the  Folger Shakespeare Library, which for years hid the Oxford Geneva Bible.  The only scholars who are kind to Nelson are Oxfordians. No one quotes his book.

    Your ad hominem attacks reflect badly and gain nothing. Emotion won’t help your case. Born poets work for a lifetime at their work, to be worthy of the gift.

    Answer those contradictions of fact with which I challenged Reedy, and you will no longer remain as is he a blind believer in the “Stratford Shakespeare” fable. There are a thousand other contradictions, but these suffice. To repeat:

    Was ‘Shakespeare’ the manifestly illiterate Shakspere? Did ‘Shakespeare’ as did
    Shakspere refuse to support his sole source of formal learning? Did ‘Shakespeare’ as did Shakspere not provide for his widow?  Did ‘Shakespeare’ as did Shakspere not educate his daughters nor provide to educate his grand-son? Did Shakspere become ‘Shakespeare’ in 1587-8 before he arrived in London and author Hamlet, whose lines were quoted by other writers then and for more than a decade prior to Hamlet’s ‘first performance’ of 1600?

     William Ray

  • Sock Boy

    “Obviously we can never know who the person is who is writing.” 


    Still waiting for an intelligent response which is on point, and has nothing to do with my heritage. 

  • Kjellgren

    Why do you Stratford defenders in this thread insult your opponents all the time? Why are, according to william sutton “All ad hominems purposeful”? Have I missed something important here, or are you just ignorant people short of argument? Why not just have a decent exchange of thoughts and ideas?

    I am looking for substance or knowledge in your posts. So far in vain I’m afraid. 

  • william sutton

    I bothered and I read them. Got a nice link to a catholic paper out of them too. Don’t know how that affects the Oxfordian cause. I link all sides of this argument on my fb page. I still have no sympathy for your cause. And put a sock in it about ad hominem attacks. It’s all the Oxfordians do about Shakespeare of Stratford and anyone who disagrees with them.

  • william sutton

    Upon reading again I realise it was Tom Reedy’s scholarship you questioned and not Dave Kathman’s. The point still stands.

  • william sutton

    Obviously we can never know who the person is who is writing. But the intellectual tone is that of a snob. I too am working class and I know plenty of working class snobs. You grew up in North Dakota where the class system doesn’t exist. Not like it still does in England and Europe. You write your parents were lower-middle class, and yet describe your maw n paw with some happy adjectives. Yet if we do the same for Shakespeare you react as if bitten by a rattler. Snobs come from all classes.  Tell me about the lambs Clarice!

  • william sutton

    Quote: Remember, the goal is to explain how an individual achieved
    languages, history, philosophy, high rhetorical skills, together with
    the lyric grace and receptivity of a born poet, who gained an increasing
    mastery of his craft over the course of a lifetime full of grief and
    suffering.  It is known that one individual did possess such scope,
    skills, talents, learning, and devotion. Unquote.

    And his name was Gulielmus Shakspere not Edward Earl of Oxenforde. Wonder where he got that taste for Latin? Try his birth record. What a numbnuts our man would have been if he had never noticed everyone called him WIlliam and his record of birth was written Gulielmus. Billiam please! C’ est presque Guillaume aussi non?

    Typical Billy Ray response. You see the tautology in the ‘receptivity of a born poet’. If one is a born poet why does one need to work at it? That’s what we and his contemporaries thought he was. Witness the accounts we have of him pre-conspiracy bollocks.

    Billy you claim all the good parts of Shakespeare’s creativity and throw them onto Oxford whilst denying our man could ever have achieved this state. Then you list all our man’s bad qualities as if Oxenforde’s hmmph don’t stink.

    The common thread running through all conspiracies is the need to denigrate the Stratford man. As if Stratford is a cultural black hole where no thinking or even common sense ever happened. Mention Stratford to an Oxfordian and their nose automatically turns up. Mention Oxford to a Shakespearean and I for one feel like screaming. You see why Bill? It’s not fear it’s irritation. Your dumbass replies to a request to offer evidence of any kind always return to shittin on my candidate when you should be proving how your candidate did what he did.

    Research your guy and present the evidence from his historical record. Mere assertion will not do. Even if you take Alan Nelson’s book on Oxford in a good light, there is enough there to warrant him not being Shakespeare. Unless you can prove some of your claims with prima facie evidence. Which of course in the interest of conspiracy just isn’t there.

    You call Dave Kathman a hack and yet you probably have never engaged with an Early Modern text in your life. Some people do research. You squawk like a parrot how Billy was a dickhead. And apply post modern analysis to a historical entity. You’re an intellectual fraud and love the sound of your own prose supposedly sticking it to the Stratfordians whilst you and your cohorts chuckle at how wrong we are.

    Put up or shut up!

  • William Ray

    Dear me, such adjectives in place of proof. Denial is indeed a formidable defense, in psychology a pre-rational means of avoidance.  It appears in scholarly debate as described by Herbert Spencer:

    “There is a principle which is a bar to all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance; this principle is contempt prior to investigation.”

    Negativity won’t get you through.  Remember, the goal is to explain how an individual achieved languages, history, philosophy, high rhetorical skills, together with the lyric grace and receptivity of a born poet, who gained an increasing mastery of his craft over the course of a lifetime full of grief and suffering.  It is known that one individual did possess such scope, skills, talents, learning, and devotion.  But he was not the man who had to post bond in 1596, with fellow usuror Langley, because of threats upon the persons and lives of his debtors.

    That man, Gulielmus Shakspere, you assert was the mind behind the name ‘Shakespeare’. He might have been a great Poet too, but he chose to live the life of a knave.

  • Tom Reedy

    However, I am not an obvious victim of senile decay, and I understand the definition of “response”. It is not a collection of rancid, irrational, semi-lucid and groundless defamations.

  • William Ray

    Which is why you are a mouth-piece for a police department instead of an inquirer after fact.

  • william sutton

    in your dreams Blair. This argument will die a tiny death like the movie Anonymous, which has lost more money than Oxford did. It will remain a fringe discussion and smart cookies like yourself will dominate comment threads and dinner party discussions, as people stare blankly back at you. Or in their ignorance agree and say that sounds plausible. And I ask questions constantly about the plays and poems. Biography will always be a secondary argument to the true point of Shakespeare, which is reading and acting him. And on that very few Oxfordians have held up a light of enlightenment.Though that said I adore the Shakespearean acting of both Jacobi and Rylance. Not a big fan of Michael York’s plumminess and Jeremy Irons is competent.

    You see your case is a minority case and doesn’t really matter to the appreciation and enjoyment of Shakespeare no matter how loud you shout that it does. On that basis most people turn off. Even the then 9 Supreme Court judges couldn’t all agree one way or another. Roberts, Souter, Thomas, Ginsburg and Alito say no comment, no idea, and no informed views. Oxfordians would have us believe everyone switched to the Oxfordian side after the 2 moot court decisions, both of which, at that time, were decided in favour of the man from Stratford. You lose again despite Ginsburg’s apparent conversion. Still need to find out what Sotomayor and Kagan think? So if a majority of these Supreme Court justices can’t accept or won’t even look at your evidence. Where does that leave the authority of your defenders in that illustrious line-up? One supreme court judge’s opinion is equal to another no? The truth is some people don’t care. And even more so, in the real world where Shakespeare is concerned the majority don’t care. You lose again.

    source for the judges:

    I’ll remain in my blinkered cocoon worshipping the Stratford burgher, while you change the world with Eddie the flatulent. Good luck with that.

  • william sutton

    Oxfordians make me dislike Oxenforde. When I first read Ogburn’s book some 15 years ago I started to examine the evidence because as Charlton phrased it it seemed plausible. And after many hours of research I found how they altered the evidence to suit their argument.

    I have never had an insight into Shakespeare that came from an authorship argument. They are too busy proving their superiority and suggesting everyone else should catch up on their debate. Each year another few books add to the titles that have come into existence since Looney and suddenly their scholars are better than ours, as John Shahan put it recently. I’m still giggling at that one.

    Of course 40 cents short of fitty, aka the bible basher who cites his own site continuously, backed up here by abe and sock boy, calls some version of liar quite often in discussions because he can’t prove his case to anyone but his own and his acolytes satisfaction.

    I’ve read your site Roger and can’t believe this is about Oxford. It’s about you and how clever you are and how everyone else is an idiot for not seeing your pov. This same smugness goes for most Oxfordian responses. Get some humility like Howard S.

    I don’t want any part of a Shakespeare who killed a servant at age 17 and hid behind the law (se defendo suicide), wouldn’t accept his first daughter, squandered his children’s patrimony, refused to serve his country at the Armada (likely Cecil altered the record for that one), published crap poetry and reserved his brilliance for anonymity, and never left any kind of last will and testament or even a grave. Oxford couldn’t have organised a piss up in a brewery let alone this conspiracy. And that’s leaving out the Prince Tudor 1+ 2 theories.

    If Oxford chose to be Anonymous and put our Will on his throne. Respect his wish!

    All ad hominems purposeful.

  • Tom Reedy

    Still no response.

  • William Ray

    In response to Mr. Pettit’s remarks, it is difficult to believe that this is a serious person.  First, who was the Oxfordian who got cold feet when faced with the prospect of Mr. Pettit and ‘lots of press’? His name? Are there ‘lots of press’ interested in attending Mr. Pettit’s 30-50-citizen talks at libraries?  I am inclined to believe that he has created a straw man for ad hominem purposes, without the courage to be specific. His article is all rhetoric and no data. Some would put it all hat and no cattle. He verbalized fifty words that were either labels or derisive.  We usually refer to that manner of expression as a tantrum, understandable in the context of infantile anger, but not in an adult. The repeated use of ‘conspiracy’ and ‘Shakesconspiracists’, besides its childishness, begs the question, what conspiracy? So far as I know, there is no conspiracy to challenge the Stratford Shakespeare narrative of authorship.  It is open and public questioning.  It may be disturbing, but revelations of fact and proofs of falsity usually do blind-side the ill-informed.  Shakespeare has been presented to the schools and to the public as a pulled-himself-up-by-the-bootstraps youth who wrote plays on cue to fill theaters and then decided to go home, sell hops, and sue the apothecary.  The narrative is at times laughably self-contradictory.  Some people want the truth and they will get it.  Because the Shakespeare establishment has endorsed what amounts to a politically instructional fable, it is in an indefensible position contesting the facts and relationships presently bearing on the issue.  Hence the mainly polemical and clearly defective responses by such as Mr. Pettit.  He should be able, if correct, to defend his claim with no trouble. But he has not and can not.  If and when I travel to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, I shall expect to debate Mr. Pettit and humiliate him, assuming he can be found and convinced to stand by his word.  He was unable to summon a single fact about who wrote the Shakespeare canon in his statement.  I feel reasonably certain he has none.

  • William Ray

    My response is that your hack writings on Kathman’s site and in Wikipedia avoid truth and protect fiction. Here are a few questions you or he have not answered. One, why are each of Shakspere’s signatures, all attempted in sound mind and health, manifestly those of an illiterate? Two, why did he not bequeath anything to the King Edward VI grammar school, since putatively that was the entire source of his formal education? Three, if the works of Shakespeare, replete with heroines, were indeed his writing, why did he niggardly bequeath a single item of furniture to his wife, in order to avoid her receiving the one-third widow’s share of his property? Four, if he were the world’s most outstanding lexicographer, maker of 1,800 new words, many still in use, why did he never see to the education of his children, nor provide for the education of his grand-son? Five, why are there references and allusions to Hamlet from 1588 on, by Kyd, Lyly, Nashe, Marlowe, Drayton, Henslowe, Chapman, and Lodge, if Shakspere as ‘Shakespeare’ issued the play in 1600? Finally, what is your motivation for propagandizing an illiterate, miserly, wife-hating, coarse, ignorant, and mendacious burgher into the author of the Shakespeare canon?  Do you have any respect for the author or cognizance of the meaning of his words, that “truth is truth though never so old and time cannot make that false which was once true”?

  • Sock Boy

    Well, my smart, witty, hard-working, talented, determined, resourceful, lower-middle class, blue-collar parents back in Bismarck, North Dakota will be surprised to learn that their 7th child is a disgusting, snobbish subject of the United Kingdom. 

    You don’t know me any better than the Stratford man but that doesn’t stop you from writing, with full certainly, my elitist biography.  Sorry, but you seem to have missed the man yet again.

    Take care, Humphrey.  Honestly, I understand now.  Who needs facts when you have certainty.

  • Humphrey

    As I said, genius is not reserved for the rich or powerful and the desperate people in this world often prove the most successful. This particular post is everything wrong with the idea (and I see Abe has liked it, so he is just as bad), everything disgusting and snobbish about it. You should be ashamed of yourselves. You have clearly never been outside of the UK; go to the Makapoko slums in Lagos, go to the hardest corners in Soweto, go to the devastated streets of Cite Soliel and you will find some of the smartest, wisest, most expressive, most determined, most hardworking and -it’s funny you used this word – resourceful people in the world. You know nothing about life, no matter how detailed your knowledge of Shakespeare’s conspiracy theories might be, which is a shame in itself.

    And for the record, De Vere was just as ‘sqaulid’ if not more according to record (as Steevens was so pleased with himself to point out might be the trait of a writer, you might recall) so that is counter productive to your own vanity. Nice quote though

  • Humphrey

    @edboswell:disqus  @5d6295b3116e8f92af78d52e905aadfb:disqus  @yahoo-2SDM5LPPOY4HPJEPS4JOZY3BPY:disqus @twitter-144260459:disqus… 

    Okay, I can see you’re not going to let me off lightly. So I will tell you what I do know…

    You are all the kind of victims we are trying to protect others from becoming. You are so well read and well versed in these arguments that the more and more you recite facts, figures and circumstancial evidence (of which, I quite agree, you have cooked up an astonishing amount) can only ever be expression of the ways in which you do not enjoy Shakespeare. You have been swallowed up by this obsession and as a
    consequence you are missing out on all the fun; Shakespeare was just a cool dude, a small town boy with big city dreams! What could possibly be cooler than that?! Don’t you know that genius is not reserved for the rich or powerful? Don’t you know that desperate people often prove the most successful? Take a deep breath, step back and ask yourself: why couldn’t Shakespeare have written the plays? Because ‘we don’t have any record of him going to school’? Because ‘his legal will was boring’? Because his ‘signature was so sloppy he must be illiterate’? Because he ‘couldn’t have travelled enough’? Because Shakespeare was not recorded sufficiently as the star behind those plays, in terms of mainting a celebrity status over decades? None of these are evidence of anything. Every one of these ideas works on the basis of our modern day
    assumptions about daily life. And there are bigger holes in the argument too: the more you disprove William Shakespeare the man from Stratford, the more unlikely a candidate he becomes for the ‘front man’.

    Are you also suggesting that the complete works of Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford were deliberately poor? Because you must concede that that is a neccessity of your argument. 

    Let us somehow imagine that another person did indeed write all 37 of those classics and more besides; doesn’t it seem a little hard to swallow – preposterous in fact – that the true author wouldn’t at least declare his authorship in death?? A will or last testament would have easily sufficed as a major step forward for the case of fraud; yet, alas, not even the candidates proposed themselves dare to say they wrote Shakespeare’s works and if you consider the time and energy spent on all those plays, doesn’t you think he would be well within his rights to declare it openly, even if in death? Let’s not talk about ‘secret codes’ because so far I have been extremely unimpressed with the accounts of those, such as Gertrude’s in As You Like It. If you think of the clear vanity that all these ulterior candidates possessed (ESPECIALLY de Vere!), then how on earth did the author fail to publicise thier true identity? Oh, wait! THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT THE CONSPIRACY THEORISTS SAY! So now they are in a bit of a muddle: doesn’t it sound a bit stupid to say that A: Shakespeare not mentioning his works in his last will and testament is of major
    importance yet B: De Vere not mentioning his works in his last will and testament is of no consequence whatsoever?

    But all that is secondary to the main root and cause: the entire conspiracy stems (as any conspirator will happily agree) from the idea that Shakespeare was of inadequate rhetoric to write the plays himself
    (based on his extremely poor hand-writing and ‘lack of records’ regarding his attendance at school). But one can hardly imagine the true puppet-master would have chosen someone who was so blatantly an
    unworthy choice for the ‘front-man’; in this way, the conspiracy theory degrades the more it is sustained, as the extreme shortcomings the conspirators solicit can only condemn the entire hoax as more and
    more far-fetched. Furthermore, as far as later life goes, he could hardly be ‘insufficiently recorded’ as the playwright, to the point where fraud is a possibility AND the imposter posing publicly as the writer of
    those plays, successfully. The point is, if the hoax worked, it worked. The ‘lack’ (there is no lack but let us agree with the conspirators for one moment that there is) of contemporary evidence, records and
    documentation is neither here nor there as it is impossible to deny that William Shakespeare was the one publicly acknowledged as the writer (we can all agree on that much at least, right?). If someone else did
    write those plays they would then have had to create a fake, inferior style to write in their own pen. So does this mean that all of de Vere’s works were ~deliberately~ poor? And don’t you dare say he needed to write about things he couldn’t write about in his own name: anyone who knows anything about Edward de Vere’s works and life style knows he was not shy of pen nor tongue and the very involvement with theatre at all was highly disreputable, let alone brawling in the open street, so let’s talk about ‘his reputation’, that bubble (as you claim he compared it to in Othello, himself… er, whilst trying to protect it by denying himself the glory of recognition… nuff said).

    These are all good, fun, honest reasons why there is no credence to the ridiculous –
    and quite frankly, vain, offensive and snobbish – theory that Shakespeare was a fraud; but if you want factual evidence, if you want step-by-step elimination of the contrived articles presented by the antagonists, look no further than the excellent essay link in Dr. Edmondson’s article ( There is some very specific counter-intelligence, which is extremely up-to-date. Mind you, it is hard to stay up-to-date when you keep changing what you’re saying, but hey-ho. I feel like we’re getting somewhere now; we must unite and use this insurgence as an opportunity to vanquish the notion once and for all. Just imagine the good you might do with your incredible, detailed knowledge of this; there could be no greater warriors for the good fight than you guys. Please reconsider your stance properly one more time because something tells me that you have been saying this stuff for years, even though the theory has changed so dramatically and it will well past time you re-evaluated you stance.

  • Humphrey

    “,,,the person he was making things up about.”

    Doesn’t it seem a little silly to deny you accused him of being a liar? Telling me that ‘liar’ was the inappropriate word is just silly.

  • Humphrey

    That is absolutely correct – not those same justices, just one of them, the same one I was referring to in the other comment I posted this link, Steevens. Steevens is clearly hell-bent on saying the conspiracy is correct… but he is forced to agree that it’s bull because the trial was so well presented and he could do nothing else in the face of such adversity… later on, behind closed doors, yes he did change his mind as your comrades are so merry to state. As for Blackmun changing his mind I have never heard that before and as you reccommended our good friend Google does NOT present any easily apparent findings. Can you account for it specifically, when & where? Then we can talk about Blackmun… As for Steevens, his silly jokes and ‘playing to the crowd’ (which you can’t possibly deny he does) is distracting and quite frankly, unprofessional in that hearing.

  • Humphrey

    I do beg your pardon, I did not mean in the sense that no arguments have ever been put forward at all, I simply meant that in this article specifically the story goes that no Oxfordians were willing to speak with Pettit… once again suggesting you did not even properly read the article you are so hasty to criticise.

  • Abe

    Humphrey, you are showing your “inaptidude” here. And you are shouting. For my part I can only continue to be enskoggled by you pinskinaneous ridgidnikivity.

    Humphrey, you also said: “…he could not possibly be intelligent enough to have written the plays… duh?” Thanks for that.

  • Tom Reedy
  • Abe

    Humphrey said: “expose their own inaptidude”.

    What does grain have to do with Oxfordians? — “barley comprehendable” 

  • Abe

    Oh dear! Richard-Nathan!! Have you been telling tales?!! The truth shall set you free!  

    Richard, I imagine that there are a lot of things that don’t make sense for you. Admitting this is a start. 

  • Abe

    What Sock Boy said.

  • Abe

    Tom Reedy – you seem like a fun person.

  • Abe

    Richard-Nathan: “I’ve seen the questions Oxfordian ask, and not one of them makes a bit of sense.” Richard, I am proud to see you admitting this.  

  • mytencentsworth

    Um, excuse me sir, but “liar” is your word.

    I’d like Richard Nathan to provide some corroboration. 

    I just tried myself to corroborate his story myself and did come up with the link above. 

    That seems to be the only mention of “Michael Sadler” and “Oxfordian” that I can come up with on the internet. That doesn’t make Richard Nathan a liar (although, based on numerous other statements of his, I’m not sure how he could reasonably evade the label), but it does raise the question of the representative nature of his case. Every Oxfordian that I know of — including those like Justice Stevens of whom you’ve already displayed your own breathtaking ignorance — whose opinion is worth more than a groatsworth of Richard Nathan’s wit — can be found *somewhere* on the internet. I wonder why Sadler, who after twenty years of being an Oxfordian I’ve never heard of, is so elusive. Maybe Mr. Nathan will tell us.

    Surely you’re aware of the idea that its easy enough to make your opponent look ridiculous if you search high and low enough for someone who happens to share his views on a particular topic and is also an idiot. If you do understand this, then you must know that offering your support to someone who makes a habit of this kind of argumentation is the surest way to make yourself look like someone incapable of offering a substantive defense of his own opinion against persons who actually do have at least some idea of what they’re talking about.  I have personally no idea of whether Mr. Nathan made up this story or not. Maybe he didn’t.  But I am quite certain that such a question is irrelevant in view of his prolific track record of making breathtakingly brilliant arguments against scarecrows of all sorts of various descriptions. You ought to wise up to it.

  • mytencentsworth

    Never heard of him.  His name is, however, mentioned in this discussion:

    Your tail is wagging your dog, Richard.

  • mytencentsworth

    Yes Blair, and I’ve just posted the links to document your statement. Ironic, isn’t it….sigh…

  • mytencentsworth

    Reposting to correct a bad link:

    Here is a supreme court justice, writing several years after the even in the link which you provide.

    difference between him and you is that he spent some time researching and thinking before he published. You might want to try that  yourself. Just saying….You’ll have more credibility if you know the chapter after the one you’ve memorized and keep repeating over and over again.On Shakespeare and the law more generally try this.

  • mytencentsworth

    Here is a supreme court justice, writing several years after the even in the link which you provide: difference between him and you is that he spent some time researching and thinking before he published. You might want to try that  yourself. Just saying….You’ll have more credibility if you know the chapter after the one you’ve memorized and keep repeating over and over again.On Shakespeare and the law more generally try this:

  • mytencents

    Humphrey, I’m trying to understand just what you are outraged about. But I can certainly tell you with no fear of rational contradiction that when you write “Oxfordians are the ones reluctant to step forward and make their case” you are displaying an ignorance that does little to promote your case on the merits. Google is your friend. Please read and respond to, for example, Ogburn, Fowler, or Anderson. These are all book-length treatments of the Oxfordian case, none of which has been given a satisfactory answer by those promoting your traditionalist views.

    Your posted  link to the cspan video makes the case rather well of how woefully misinformed you have been for any number of years now. It is quite true that at the American University Moot Court, organized by Oxfordian philanthropist David Lloyd Kreeger (and most certainly not, as you blithely allege, “the most comprehensive case ever made for Edward De Vere for the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays”) the justices held in favor of the traditional view. 

    Do you know what happened “next”?  

    Are you the last person in the world to know that Justice Stevens, along with justices Scalia, Blackmun, and Ginsburg, have all publicly challenged your pious faith in the received tradition. At least one of these, Stevens, is an articulate Oxfordian who has declared on at least one occasion that the case against the traditional view has already been proved “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    Given such  circumstances, and your by now rather obvious incapacity to know where it is you even “stand” with respect to the facts of the argument as it presently exists, I would suggest that your outrage is indeed mostly likely a mask for something else.

    You write:

    It is always ironic when people start repeatedly demanding something when they cannot see it is they themselves who are in need of that advice: stop dismissing the evidence, examine it and if you are a logical person whose only loyalty is to the truth you will then see this whole thing is one big ‘LOL’

    You’re right. You’re position is laughably uninformed. You make a fetish of “logic” but cannot even get straight the position of those you’re arguing against, as it has been repeatedly articulated at great length in various books and articles of which you are ignorant.  Your position was perhaps most eloquently summarized in a brief commentary by Hank Sanders that you can read, here:

    Don’t forget to spend some poking around on that site. You have much to learn, and you could start there.

  • mytencentsworth

    Ed, I really like your “argument” here, which is why I clicked the “like” button for you.  Did you ever hear the “sticks and stones may break my bones” jingle?  Calling people “conspiracists” is simply a new and improved form of the ancient logical fallacy called *ad hominem*. And you teach in a college? Read what Sock Boy has said below and try responding on point. You’re making your own side look bad with your recalcitrant illustration of how “Those who are convinced want to be convinced.”  We don’t need any vast forces” when we have on display the kind of absurdist rhetoric on display in your “argument.” And I haven’t even mention the liberties you’ve taken with the truth in your original posting.

  • Blair Gubernath

    those same justices have since changed their opinions AFTER reading the evidence.  so i wouldn’t go lauding that particle decision as anything to be proud of.  Still there is only refusal and fear.  No answers just refusal and fear.  Heavy sigh…say what you will at this point.  I have no more use for this discussion as my point has been proved.  Stratfordians are afraid of questions.  There is little hope for the Stratfordians here but there are others who have not heard the debate but they will and there will be more than just me asking questions there will be thousands.  You’ll have to do better than “because I said so”.

  • Humphrey

    @edboswell:disqus This kind of ill-structured rambling and spiel of ‘facts’ which imply other things is your typical case for De Vere. It deserves it’s likes from Oxfordians but little do they realise they only expose their own inaptidude by stating that they endorse this barley comprehendable reel of trivial pointers.

  • Anonymous

    @58ae41daa99e4b8d4dad275f4b872fb3:disqus hahaha look how @twitter-144260459:disqus accuses Dr. E and Stratfordians of dismissing evidence and then @5d6295b3116e8f92af78d52e905aadfb:disqus has to resort to calling you a liar and telling you made the whole story up… it is funny, come on?

  • Anonymous

    Here is a Supreme Court ruling which systematically proves the case for Edward de Vere is as shallow as a garden pond… and I didn’t have to steal that pretentious joke and recyle it, I just made it up to show you how easy it is. I put it to you that it is the Oxfordians who are telling everyone to ignore that man behind the curtain and not Stratfordians.

  • Sock Boy

    “I don’t need to make enormous leaps of faith to connect disparate facts…”

    One could say that the Stratford claim of ‘genius’ is one of several ‘enormous leaps of faith to connect disparate facts’.  Couldn’t one? This is exactly why this issue hasn’t gone away for all these generations.   Whether your bent is Oxford, Bacon or Marlowe, what unites the credulous against this Stratford man is this force-fed, party-line, bardoholic tripe about genius.  The writer of Shakespeare was not a god fully formed out of the forehead of Zeus.

    Show me the man!

    I do not accept Ignatius Donnelly’s candidate (Bacon) as the true ‘Shake-speare’ but what he says about ‘genius’ in this context cannot be dismissed:  

    “Genius is a powerful predisposition, so strong that
    it overrules a man’s whole life, from boyhood to the grave. The
    greatness of a mind is in proportion to its receptivity, its capacity to
    assimilate a vast mass of food; it is an intellectual stomach that
    eliminates not muscle but thought. Its power holds a due relation to its
    greed — it is an eternal and insatiable hunger. In itself it is but an
    instrument. It can work only upon external material. The writer of the plays recognizes this truth.”

    But, alas, where is the time, the opportunity, the resources of this man from Stratford to demonstrate even a mote of such ‘genius’ predisposition, receptivity, capacity or insatiability?  I can’t see it in the paltry facts of his life, in his squalid business dealings, nor his soul-less (and book-less) will.

  • Anonymous

    “Fear…the stench of it is ripe in the Stratfordian responses in this forum…”

    YOU ARE MISTAKEN: IT IS OUTRAGE! Apparently you have not read the article you are responding to: firstly, it was not written by Paul Edmondson (even though he may have shared it with us) but is in fact written by an expert on the authenticity of Historical Sources. Secondly, as the article clearly states, Oxfordians are the ones reluctant to step forward and make their case. Furthermore, is knee deep in rebuttals to every single one of the Oxfordian’s propositions… Did you read the article or just skim through it?? For instance, here are two links to talks where Dr. Edmondson and Professor Wells SYSTEMATICALLY go through every point and explain their shortcomings: AND which focuses on the film’s absurd proposals.

    It is always ironic when people start repeatedly demanding something when they cannot see it is they themselves who are in need of that advice: stop dismissing the evidence, examine it and if you are a logical person whose only loyalty is to the truth you will then see this whole thing is one big ‘LOL’ (…I would advise against the use of that in academic circles: the mere use of such a vulgar expression is unmistakable ignorance of the English language and it’s magic qaulities). Has it never occured to you that the very fact these theories keep on getting stamped out (an admission in your rebuttal which -bizzarely- you think supports your argument) is because thus far they have nothing ironclad to sustain them? Every post I read from the Oxfordians is a mish-mash of different trivia-related cirumstantial pieces of evidence… none of you are cohesive and that is because the theories you broadcast are all founded in fiction, which draws on and clings to shreds from reality to support them. Here is the most comprehensive case ever made for Edward De Vere for the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays:

    Suffice to say, I would hardly post it if it didn’t end with the only reasonable judgement that can be made in the light of a true examination, despite at least one of the judges even being bias for Oxford initially!

    Naturally, it is quite offensive to many people, the suggestion that because he was not rich or educated at University, he could not possibly be intelligent enough to have written the plays… duh? If you cannot appreciate that (as you repeatedly state you don’t) then you are truly dull. And do me a favour; check all three of those links properly (dont’ just ‘dismiss’ the evidence as I suspect you are already clucking to do) and then tell me truly that you believe the conspiracy has credence…

  • Edward Pettit

    And this post is exactly the kind of thing I use to show people how crazy the Oxford argument is: the selective choosing of “suggestive” facts that support an already foregone conclusion (that Oxford wrote the works). Using this kind of reasoning, you can effectively choose ANY of the Shakesconspiracists’ candidates for authorship and prove yourself correct. I’ve read Marlovian accounts that do exactly what you’re doing and Baconian accounts and Elizabethan accounts that all do this: first, assume that fill-in-the-blank wrote the plays; second, find evidence that may suggest this; third, ignore all contrary evidence that would have prevented a search to begin with.

    How can it not dawn on a conspiracist that if you can prove that Marlowe AND Bacon AND Oxford all wrote the plays, then they all must be wrong? That the most likely answer is the person whom everyone originally claimed as the author.

    And might I also add that it’s not so much that I find conspiracists arguments so unconvincing (and boy are they), it’s that I find the evidence for Shakespeare so compelling that I don’t see the need to FIND other answers. I don’t need to make enormous leaps of faith to connect disparate facts to unprove something that has already been proved.

  • Sock Boy

    William, Roger’s links to his blog, if you bothered to open them, are either guest blogs by others, or extensively quote others.   The ad hominem is the only thing getting terribly boring.

  • Sock Boy

    Mr. Reedy, let’s assume for the moment that your intellectually dishonest statement is correct and that Oxfordians “never have responded to the evidence, except to dismiss it as a conspiracy”.  Well here’s your chance.  Hold their feet to the fire. 

  • Blair Gubernath

    Fear…the stench of it is ripe in the Stratfordian responses in this forum.  For, what other reason other than fear, would there be to not answer a few questions. Your confidence in your man should be your shield.  Not this suppression of facts tactics that Stratfordians engage in so boldly elsewhere on the internet. 

    If it is as you say, no evidence to suggest anything other than the grain hoarder from Stratford as the man who had the poetic ability, linguistic mastery, and ultra indepth knowledge to write the canon then there shouldn’t be a problem with answering a few questions from the opposition now should there? 

    Again, dismissing the question is NOT answering the question.  It is burying your head in the sand.  That is an exercise done by those who lack courage.  We have answered your questions are you too scared to answer ours?  That does have the scent of fear all over it.

    @Richard…I’m sure it didn’t make sense to a Stratfordian extremist who does not possess a clinical mind of inquiry like yourself.  I say it only bolsters your argument to answer questions.  But Stratfordians, at least those responding to this blog, seem to think suppressing questions is better.  LOL…yea that really helps.  When you try to hide things from people it only makes them more curious or have you not read enough Shake-speare to understand human nature?  The conflagration will only grow larger and more widespread.  You do not have enough feet to stamp it out.  I say answer the questions it may help your cause.  That is if it can be helped.

  • william sutton

    @roger 10 cents the whole idea behind believable scholarship is that other people quote you, not that you quote yourself. And do you actually have any time to teach with the amount of hours you spend on the internet commenting? Then on his own blog he derides a commenter cyncyn for posting too much. Whilst giggling at a commenter who agrees with him that the page goes on forever. You’re funny ten cents! And ubiquitous. And wrong. And a self promoter. And verbose. And terribly boring.

  • Anonymous

       We know that Oxford’s son-in-law and brother (who was engaged to another de Vere daughter) received the dedication to the FIrst Folio. We also know that the Sonnets were suppressed after being published in 1609, w/o a dedication by the author, who was described by the publisher as “the ever-living poet”, when de Vere was dead and the Stratford man was alive. We also know Oxford’s father in law was parodied in Hamlet as Polonius. I don’t think the Cecils, who ran the govt. were too keen on having Oxford’s name attached to the play, and I can understand why. Also, pamphleteers were saying there was a fake author, claiming the plays to be his, and there was another man who was a great writer, who remained anonymous. We have that as fact, as the material exists. We also have no early work of Shaksper, who arrives on the scene with a polished epic poem based upon the original latin text, and translated text (by Oxford’s uncle) of Ovid. We also know that Oxford’s other uncle, the Earl of Surrey, introduced blank verse into English, along with William Wyatt. Oxford went to law school, and traveled to all of the cities where WS’s Italian plays were set. All of the hard to answer questions are solved when de Vere is the author, and if it’s the blowhard from Stratford, beautified with the feathers of others, we must rely on “inconceivable genius”. I’ll take Oxford, I’m sorry.

  • Richard-Nathan

    My wife has a better memory than I do.  The man who made the presentation is named Michael Sadler.

  • Richard-Nathan

    It was two years ago.  I don’t remember the name of the idiot who made these arguments.  What difference does that make?  If you have some better arguments, I would be interested in hearing them, as I’ve never heard an Oxfordian make a single argument for Oxford that made any sense at all.

  • Richard-Nathan

    I’m sorry you are upset that someone told you your question has no merit, but the truth is, your question has no merit.  Oh wait, I’m not sorry.

    The truth is, there is not a shred of evidence anyone but Shakespeare wrote the works attributed to him. 

    I’ve seen the questions Oxfordian ask, and not one of them makes a bit of sense.

  • Tom Reedy

    > If Oxfordians can respond to the questions presented by Stratfordians. . .

    That’s the trouble: they never have responded to the evidence, except to dismiss it all as a conspiracy.

  • Blair Gubernath

    Dr. Edmondson, I am a bit confused.  I thought you were a man who believed in science and had a clinical appreciation for finding the truth.  Dismissing the argument is not answering the question.  Answering the question is answering the question.  Pretending the question has no merit does not give any weight to your argument.  In fact it gives the appearance of feeling threatened.

    Here’s my challenge to you, as you can see the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition has given 60 rebuttals to the 60 questions that were asked by the Birthplace Trust to Stratfordian scholars, I would ask that you consider answering 60 questions by Oxfordians.  If Oxfordians can respond to the questions presented by Stratfordians then surely it can work the other way around.

    I believe you to be faithful to the supposition that William of Stratford wrote the plays so it would only strengthen your argument to have Stratfordians answer 60 questions by Oxfordians.  Nay…shall we even cut it in half if its too much.  It would go a long way to proving your point that William of Stratford was indeed the author would it not?  There is no reason to be the least bit insecure on this issue?

  • mytencentsworth

    I went to hear Richard Nathan make up something on the internet. His memory was so good that he couldn’t remember the name of the person he was making things up about. 

  • mytencentsworth

    What I find most interesting about this is the transparently delusional argument that “that there is no controversy, no doubt about Shakespeare’s authorship of his works.”  Talk about denial not just being a river in Egypt. This is a bit like the line in the wizard of Oz after Toto pulls back the curtain on the wizard and he announces in the microphone: “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. The great and powerful wizard of Oz has spoken.”

    Of course, now that Michael York has, appropriately, blasted Mr. Edmondson for his desperate rhetoric, it’s always handy to have a second string quarterback handy:

  • Richard-Nathan

    I went to an Oxfordian lecture at a library.  He claimed that he couldn’t understand why Hamlet was so depressed, since Claudius had named him as his heir, and he decided that the real reason Hamlet was depressed was that he was really Oxford, and he was depressed because Queen Elizabeth wouldn’t let him take credit for the plays.  He also claimed that “A little more than kin, and less than kind” didn’t make any sense, and that it must be code for “ink is King,” which is somehow code telling us Oxford wrote the works.  When I spoke up after the lecture and told him everything he said was nonsense, he googled me, found out I had had a script performed by a group called “Shakespeare At Play,” and he claimed I only supported the Stratfordian theory because I had a financial interest in in.

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