Shakespeare by Another Name: The Life of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, the Man Who Was Shakespeare
Though Crinkley rejected Ogburn's thesis, calling it "less satisfactory than the unsatisfactory orthodoxy it challenges", he believed that one merit of the book lay in how it forces orthodox scholars to reexamine their concept of Shakespeare as author. The Oxfordian theory returned to public attention in anticipation of the late October release of Roland Emmerich 's drama film Anonymous. Its distributor, Sony Pictures , advertised that the film "presents a compelling portrait of Edward de Vere as the true author of Shakespeare's plays", and commissioned high school and college-level lesson plans to promote the authorship question to history and literature teachers across the United States.
Although most Oxfordians agree on the main arguments for Oxford, the theory has spawned schismatic variants that have not met with wide acceptance by all Oxfordians, although they have gained much attention. In a letter written by Looney in , he mentions that Allen and Ward were "advancing certain views respecting Oxford and Queen Eliz.
He argued that the child was given the name William Hughes , who became an actor under the stage-name "William Shakespeare". He adopted the name because his father, Oxford, was already using it as a pen-name for his plays. Oxford had borrowed the name from a third Shakespeare, the man of that name from Stratford-upon-Avon , who was a law student at the time, but who was never an actor or a writer.
This secret drama, which has become known as the Prince Tudor theory , was covertly represented in Oxford's plays and poems and remained hidden until Allen and Ward's discoveries. The narrative poems and sonnets had been written by Oxford for his son. This Star of England by Charlton and Dorothy Ogburn included arguments in support of this version of the theory. Their son, Charlton Ogburn , Jr, agreed with Looney that the theory was an impediment to the Oxfordian movement and omitted all discussion about it in his own Oxfordian works.
However, the theory was revived and expanded by Elisabeth Sears in Shakespeare and the Tudor Rose , and Hank Whittemore in The Monument , an analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnets which interprets the poems as a poetic history of Queen Elizabeth, Oxford, and Southampton. Oxford was thus the half-brother of his own son by the queen.
Streitz also believes that the queen had children by the Earl of Leicester. As with other candidates for authorship of Shakespeare's works, Oxford's advocates have attributed numerous non-Shakespearian works to him. Looney began the process in his edition of de Vere's poetry. He suggested that de Vere was also responsible for some of the literary works credited to Arthur Golding , Anthony Munday and John Lyly. Group theories in which Oxford played the principal role as writer, but collaborated with others to create the Shakespeare canon, were adopted by a number of early Oxfordians.
Looney himself was willing to concede that Oxford may have been assisted by his son-in-law William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby ,  who perhaps wrote The Tempest. Ward also suggested that Oxford and Derby worked together. Specialists in Elizabethan literary history [ who? In lieu of any evidence of the type commonly used for authorship attribution, Oxfordians discard the methods used by historians and employ other types of arguments to make their case, the most common being supposed parallels between Oxford's life and Shakespeare's works.
Another is finding cryptic allusions to Oxford's supposed play writing in other literary works of the era that to them suggest that his authorship was obvious to those "in the know". David Kathman writes that their methods are subjective and devoid of any evidential value, because they use a "double standard". Their arguments are "not taken seriously by Shakespeare scholars because they consistently distort and misrepresent the historical record", "neglect to provide necessary context" and calling some of their arguments "outright fabrication". In The Shakespeare Claimants , a examination of the authorship question, H.
Gibson concluded that " Mainstream academics have often argued that the Oxford theory is based on snobbery: that anti-Stratfordians reject the idea that the son of a mere tradesman could write the plays and poems of Shakespeare. Mainstream critics further say that if William Shakespeare were a fraud instead of the true author, the number of people involved in suppressing this information would have made it highly unlikely to succeed. Shapiro says any theory claiming that "there must have been a conspiracy to suppress the truth of de Vere's authorship" based on the idea that "the very absence of surviving evidence proves the case" is a logically fatal tautology.
While no documentary evidence connects Oxford or any authorial candidate to the plays of Shakespeare,  Oxfordian writers, including Mark Anderson and Charlton Ogburn , say that connection is made by considerable circumstantial evidence inferred from Oxford's connections to the Elizabethan theatre and poetry scene; the participation of his family in the printing and publication of the First Folio; his relationship with the Earl of Southampton believed by most Shakespeare scholars to have been Shakespeare's patron ; as well as a number of specific incidents and circumstances of Oxford's life that Oxfordians say are depicted in the plays themselves.
Oxford was noted for his literary and theatrical patronage, garnering dedications from a wide range of authors. Oxford was related to several literary figures. The three dedicatees of Shakespeare's works the earls of Southampton , Montgomery and Pembroke were each proposed as husbands for the three daughters of Edward de Vere. In the late s, Roger A.
Stritmatter conducted a study of the marked passages found in Edward de Vere's Geneva Bible , which is now owned by the Folger Shakespeare Library. The Bible contains 1, instances of underlined words or passages and a few hand-written annotations, most of which consist of a single word or fragment. Stritmatter believes about a quarter of the marked passages appear in Shakespeare's works as either a theme, allusion, or quotation. Arguing that the themes fitted de Vere's known interests, he proceeded to link specific themes to passages in Shakespeare. Shakespeare's native Avon and Stratford are referred to in two prefatory poems in the First Folio , one of which refers to Shakespeare as "Swan of Avon" and another to the author's "Stratford monument".
Oxfordians also believe that Rev. Almost half of Shakespeare's plays are set in Italy , many of them containing details of Italian laws, customs, and culture which Oxfordians believe could only have been obtained by personal experiences in Italy, and especially in Venice. This argument had earlier been used by supporters of the Earl of Rutland and the Earl of Derby as authorship candidates, both of whom had also travelled on the continent of Europe.
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Oxfordian William Farina refers to Shakespeare's apparent knowledge of the Jewish ghetto, Venetian architecture and laws in The Merchant of Venice , especially the city's "notorious Alien Statute". However, some Shakespeare scholars say that Shakespeare gets many details of Italian life wrong, including the laws and urban geography of Venice.
Kenneth Gross writes that "the play itself knows nothing about the Venetian ghetto; we get no sense of a legally separate region of Venice where Shylock must dwell. Shakespeare derived much of this material from John Florio , an Italian scholar living in England who was later thanked by Ben Jonson for helping him get Italian details right for his play Volpone.
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Shakespeare also uses the legal term, "quietus" final settlement , in Sonnet , the last Fair Youth sonnet. Regarding Oxford's knowledge of court life, which Oxfordians believe is reflected throughout the plays, mainstream scholars say that any special knowledge of the aristocracy appearing in the plays can be more easily explained by Shakespeare's life-time of performances before nobility and royalty,   and possibly, as Gibson theorises, "by visits to his patron's house, as Marlowe visited Walsingham. Some of Oxford's lyric works have survived.
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Steven W. May , an authority on Oxford's poetry, attributes sixteen poems definitely, and four possibly, to Oxford noting that these are probably "only a good sampling" as "both Webbe and Puttenham rank him first among the courtier poets, an eminence he probably would not have been granted, despite his reputation as a patron, by virtue of a mere handful of lyrics".
May describes Oxford as a "competent, fairly experimental poet working in the established modes of mid-century lyric verse" and his poetry as "examples of the standard varieties of mid-Elizabethan amorous lyric". Lewis wrote that de Vere's poetry shows "a faint talent", but is "for the most part undistinguished and verbose. In the opinion of J. Thomas Looney, as "far as forms of versification are concerned De Vere presents just that rich variety which is so noticeable in Shakespeare; and almost all the forms he employs we find reproduced in the Shakespeare work.
May notes that Looney compared various motifs, rhetorical devices and phrases with certain Shakespeare works to find similarities he said were "the most crucial in the piecing together of the case", but that Looney used six poems mistakenly attributed to Oxford that were actually written by Greene, Campion, and Greville for some of those "crucial" examples. According to a computerised textual comparison developed by the Claremont Shakespeare Clinic, the styles of Shakespeare and Oxford were found to be "light years apart",  and the odds of Oxford having written Shakespeare were reported as "lower than the odds of getting hit by lightning".
Joseph Sobran's book, Alias Shakespeare , includes Oxford's known poetry in an appendix with what he considers extensive verbal parallels with the work of Shakespeare, and he argues that Oxford's poetry is comparable in quality to some of Shakespeare's early work, such as Titus Andronicus. Four contemporary critics praise Oxford as a poet and a playwright, three of them within his lifetime:. Mainstream scholarship characterises the extravagant praise for de Vere's poetry more as a convention of flattery than honest appreciation of literary merit.
Before the advent of copyright , anonymous and pseudonymous publication was a common practice in the sixteenth century publishing world, and a passage in the Arte of English Poesie , an anonymously published work itself, mentions in passing that literary figures in the court who wrote "commendably well" circulated their poetry only among their friends, "as if it were a discredit for a gentleman to seem learned" Book 1, Chapter 8.
In another passage 23 chapters later, the author probably George Puttenham speaks of aristocratic writers who, if their writings were made public, would appear to be excellent. It is in this passage that Oxford appears on a list of poets. According to Daniel Wright, these combined passages confirm that Oxford was one of the concealed writers in the Elizabethan court.
The Case for Oxford - The Atlantic
Oxfordians argue that at the time of the passage's composition pre , the writers referenced were not in print, and interpret Puttenham's passage that the noblemen preferred to 'suppress' their work to avoid the discredit of appearing learned to mean that they were 'concealed'.
They cite Sir Philip Sidney , none of whose poetry was published until after his premature death, as an example. Similarly, by nothing by Greville was in print, and only one of Walter Raleigh's works had been published. Critics point out that six of the nine poets listed had appeared in print under their own names long before , including a number of Oxford's poems in printed miscellanies ,  and the first poem published under Oxford's name was printed in , 17 years before Puttenham's book was published.
Oxfordians also believe other texts refer to the Edward de Vere as a concealed writer. They argue that satirist John Marston 's Scourge of Villanie contains further cryptic allusions to Oxford, named as "Mutius". He adds that he "spoke and writ sweetly" of both learned subjects and matters of state " public weal ". For mainstream Shakespearian scholars, the most compelling evidence against Oxford besides the historical evidence for William Shakespeare is his death in , since the generally accepted chronology of Shakespeare's plays places the composition of approximately twelve of the plays after that date.
The exact dates of the composition of most of Shakespeare's plays are uncertain, although David Bevington says it is a 'virtually unanimous' opinion among teachers and scholars of Shakespeare that the canon of late plays depicts an artistic journey that extends well beyond Oxfordians say that the conventional composition dates for the plays were developed by mainstream scholars to fit within Shakespeare's lifetime  and that no evidence exists that any plays were written after After the publication of the Q1 and Q2 Hamlet in , no new plays were published until Anderson observes that, "After , the 'newly correct[ing]' and 'augment[ing]' stops.
Once again, the Shake-speare [ sic ] enterprise appears to have shut down". Because Shakespeare lived until , Oxfordians question why, if he were the author, did he not eulogise Queen Elizabeth at her death in or Henry, Prince of Wales , at his in They believe Oxford's death provides the explanation. Professor Jonathan Bate writes that Oxfordians cannot "provide any explanation for Unlike the Globe, the Blackfriars was an indoor playhouse" and so required plays with frequent breaks in order to replace the candles it used for lighting.
If new Shakespearian plays were being written especially for presentation at the Blackfriars' theatre after , they could not have been written by Edward de Vere. Oxfordians argue that Oxford was well acquainted with the Blackfriars Theatre, having been a leaseholder of the venue, and note that the "assumption" that Shakespeare wrote plays for the Blackfriars is not universally accepted, citing Shakespearian scholars such as A.
Nicoll who said that "all available evidence is either completely negative or else runs directly counter to such a supposition" and Harley Granville-Barker, who stated "Shakespeare did not write except for Henry V five-act plays at any stage of his career. The five-act structure was formalized in the First Folio, and is inauthentic".
Some Oxfordians have identified titles or descriptions of lost works from Oxford's lifetime that suggest a thematic similarity to a particular Shakespearian play and asserted that they were earlier versions. For example, in , the antiquarian Francis Peck published in Desiderata Curiosa a list of documents in his possession that he intended to print someday.
They included "a pleasant conceit of Vere, earl of Oxford, discontented at the rising of a mean gentleman in the English court, circa To Anderson, Peck's description suggests that this conceit is "arguably an early draft of Twelfth Night. Oxfordian writers say some literary allusions imply that the playwright and poet died prior to , when Shake-Speares Sonnets appeared with the epithet "our ever-living poet" in its dedication.
They claim that the phrase "ever-living" rarely, if ever, referred to a living person, but instead was used to refer to the eternal soul of the deceased. However, Don Foster , in his study of Early Modern uses of the phrase "ever-living", argues that the phrase most frequently refers to God or other supernatural beings, suggesting that the dedication calls upon God to bless the living begetter writer of the sonnets. He states that the initials "W. Joseph Sobran , in Alias Shakespeare, argued that in William Barksted , a minor poet and playwright, implies in his poem "Mirrha the Mother of Adonis" that Shakespeare was already deceased.
Against the Oxford theory are several references to Shakespeare, later than , which imply that the author was then still alive. Scholars point to a poem written circa by a student at Oxford, William Basse , that mentioned the author Shakespeare died in , which is the year Shakespeare deceased and not Edward de Vere.
nedusgandpust.tk Tom Veal has noted that the early play The Two Gentlemen of Verona reveals no familiarity on the playwright's part with Italy other than "a few place names and the scarcely recondite fact that the inhabitants were Roman Catholics. Therefore, if the play was written by Oxford, it must have been before he visited Italy in However, the play's principal source, the Spanish Diana Enamorada , would not be translated into French or English until , meaning that someone basing a play on it that early could only have read it in the original Spanish, and there is no evidence that Oxford spoke this language.
Furthermore, Veal argues, the only explanation for the verbal parallels with the English translation of would be that the translator saw the play performed and echoed it in his translation, which he describes as "not an impossible theory but far from a plausible one. The composition date of Hamlet has been frequently disputed. Several surviving references indicate that a Hamlet-like play was well-known throughout the s, well before the traditional period of composition — Most scholars refer to this lost early play as the Ur-Hamlet ; the earliest reference is in Oxfordian researchers believe that the play is an early version of Shakespeare's own play, and point to the fact that Shakespeare's version survives in three quite different early texts, Q1 , Q2 and F , suggesting the possibility that it was revised by the author over a period of many years.
Scholars contend that the composition date of Macbeth is one of the most overwhelming pieces of evidence against the Oxfordian position; the vast majority of critics believe the play was written in the aftermath of the Gunpowder Plot. In particular, scholars identify the porter's lines about "equivocation" and treason as an allusion to the trial of Henry Garnet in Shakespearian scholar David Haley asserts that if Edward de Vere had written Coriolanus , he "must have foreseen the Midland Revolt grain riots [of ] reported in Coriolanus", possible topical allusions in the play that most Shakespearians accept.
The play that can be dated within a fourteen-month period is The Tempest. This play has long been believed to have been inspired by the wreck at Bermuda ,   then feared by mariners as the Isle of the Devils , of the flagship of the Virginia Company , the Sea Venture , while leading the Third Supply to relieve Jamestown in the Colony of Virginia. The survivors spent nine months in Bermuda before most completed the journey to Jamestown on 23 May aboard two new ships built from scratch.
One of the survivors was the newly-appointed Governor, Sir Thomas Gates. Jamestown, then little more than a rudimentary fort, was found in such a poor condition, with the majority of the previous settlers dead or dying, that Gates and Somers decided to abandon the settlement and the continent, returning everyone to England. However, with the company believing all aboard the Sea Venture dead, a new governor, Baron De La Warr , had been sent with the Fourth Supply fleet, which arrived on 10 June as Jamestown was being abandoned. The news of the survival of the Sea Venture's passengers and crew caused a great sensation in England.
The True Reportory of the Wrack, and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates Knight , an account by William Strachey dated 15 July , returned to England with Gates in the form of a letter which was circulated privately until its eventual publication in Shakespeare had multiple contacts to the circle of people amongst whom the letter circulated, including to Strachey. The Tempest shows clear evidence that he had read and relied on Jordain and especially Strachey.
The play shares premise, basic plot, and many details of the Sea Venture's wrecking and the adventures of the survivors, as well as specific details and linguistics. A detailed comparative analysis shows the Declaration to have been the primary source from which the play was drawn. Oxfordians have dealt with this problem in several ways. Looney expelled the play from the canon, arguing that its style and the "dreary negativism" it promoted were inconsistent with Shakespeare's "essentially positivist" soul, and so could not have been written by Oxford.
Later Oxfordians have generally abandoned this argument; this has made severing the connection of the play with the wreck of the Sea Venture a priority amongst Oxfordians.
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These include attempting to cast doubt on whether the Declaration travelled back to England with Gates, whether Gates travelled back to England early enough, whether the lowly Shakespeare would have had access to the lofty circles in which the Declaration was circulated, to understating the points of similarity between the Sea Venture wreck and the accounts of it, on the one hand, and the play on the other.
Although searching Shakespeare's works for encrypted clues supposedly left by the true author is associated mainly with the Baconian theory , such arguments are often made by Oxfordians as well. Early Oxfordians found many references to Oxford's family name "Vere" in the plays and poems, in supposed puns on words such as "ever" E. He also writes that the alleged encryptions settle the question of the identity of "the Fair Youth" as Henry Wriothesley and contain striking references to the sonnets themselves and de Vere's relationship to Sir Philip Sidney and Ben Jonson.
Similarly, a article in the Oxfordian journal Brief Chronicles noted that Francis Meres, in Palladis Tamia compares 17 named English poets to 16 named classical poets. Writing that Meres was obsessed with numerology , the authors propose that the numbers should be symmetrical, and that careful readers are meant to infer that Meres knew two of the English poets viz.
Literary scholars say that the idea that an author's work must reflect his or her life is a Modernist assumption not held by Elizabethan writers,  and that biographical interpretations of literature are unreliable in attributing authorship. Further, such lists of similarities between incidents in the plays and the life of an aristocrat are flawed arguments because similar lists have been drawn up for many competing candidates, such as Francis Bacon and William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby. Despite this, Oxfordians list numerous incidents in Oxford's life that they say parallel those in many of the Shakespeare plays.
Most notable among these, they say, are certain similar incidents found in Oxford's biography and Hamlet , and Henry IV, Part 1 , which includes a well-known robbery scene with uncanny parallels to a real-life incident involving Oxford. Most Oxfordians consider Hamlet the play most easily seen as portraying Oxford's life story, though mainstream scholars say that incidents from the lives of other contemporary figures such as King James or the Earl of Essex , fit the play just as closely, if not more so.
Hamlet's father was murdered and his mother made an "o'er-hasty marriage" less than two months later. Only now can the works that Shakespeare did not write, be removed from the canon. What do I have to argue against it? At the age of seventeen he murdered a household servant in a fury but escaped punishment after a pliant jury was persuaded to rule that the servant had run onto his sword.
Nothing in his behaviour, at any point in his life indicated the least gift for compassion, empathy or generosity of spirit — nor indeed the commitment to hard work that would have allowed him to write more than three dozen plays anonymously, in addition to the work under his own name, while remaining actively engaged at court. The Earl was one of the most generous Maecenases of his time. His extant letters show him to have been sympathetic and very well able of compassion.
That the seventeen years old youth lethally hit Thomas Brincknell by accident, posterity cannot judge objectively. And to which arduous labour Oxford was able is shown through the publication of the dramatic novel The Adventures of Master F. Why would he be happy to give the world some unremembered plays and middling poems under his own name, but then retreat into anonymity as he developed, in middle age, a fantastic genius?
Still less the courtly aristocratic behavioural codex did allow the Lord Great Chamberlain to publish his dramatical work. There is the matter of the dedications to his two narrative poems. At the time of Venus and Adonis , Oxford was forty-four years old and a senior Earl to Southampton, who was till a downy youth. Bill Bryson proves himself ignorant of the courtly phraseology of the sixteenth century. Rather he should tend to disclaim them modestly Evidently, Ben Jonson, Chapman and other non-aristocratic authors living of their pen never used it.
The Tempest , notably, was inspired by an account of a shipwreck on Bermuda written by one William Strachey in Macbeth likewise was clearly cognizant of the Gunpowder Plot , an event Oxford did not live to see. The description of the St. And another thing: There is no connection between Macbeth and the Gunpowder Plot Faith, here's an equivocator that could swear in both the scales against either scale, who committed treason enough for God's sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven.
O, come in, equivocator. But A Treatise of Equivocation was written during Robert Southwell's lifetime, between and It is clear that Garnet made some corrections in the time of Queen Elizabeth. Southwell's death . See Sir E. Chambers, William Shakespeare, vol. If after a murder more than fifty persons are suspected, it does not follow, that none of the suspects is guilty and that no murder has occurred. And the poor chap of Stratford has been waiting too long for his well-deserved acquittal.
Ever since the author Mark Twain pointed out that Will Shaksper never claimed to have written anything and that he didn't even own anything that indicated the writing profession, there have been some fanciful conspiracy theories that draw their motivation from the desire to harm the British establishment, or merely to demonstrate their intellectual powers. The common denominator of the conspiracy theories is that the propagators all had some sort of agenda other than a love of the works and a love of the author.
It is ironic that the conspiracy theory that combined the terrorist elements with the crackpots namely the stupid Tudor theory should be the one to be filmed by top director, Roland Emmerich, with all the bells and whistles. The Stratfordians haven't really been much help in explaining the authorship question either. We can't really blame them for this tactic. More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Gotham. Never used!. Seller Inventory P Seller Inventory M Brand New!.
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