The Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship has named British author and critic Alexander Waugh the Oxfordian of the Year for 2015 at its conference in Ashland, Oregon. In recent years, Mr. Waugh has garnered considerable publicity for his articulate skepticism of the Stratfordian theory of authorship and his advocacy of Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, as the true creator of the works of “Shakespeare.” In 2013, he co-edited, with John Shahan, Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? Exposing an Industry in Denial, in which he authored a chapter on Shakespeare’s knowledge of Italy. There, Waugh refuted Stratfordian critic John Doherty’s assertion that there had never been a St. Peter’s Church in Verona by citing Richard Paul Roe’s research showing that there were four churches of that name in Verona and identifying the only one of the four that Shakespeare could have had in mind when writing Romeo and Juliet. Waugh also spoke on Shakespeare and Italy at the 2013 Shakespearean Authorship Trust Conference.
In 2014, he debated on behalf of the Oxfordian theory in the Fleet Street debate, Does the Authorship Question Matter?. He also introduced a new theory about the phrase “Sweet Swan of Avon” in the First Folio. Mr. Waugh demonstrated that “Avon” was the ancient name of Hampton Court, where Shakespeare’s plays were performed for Queen Elizabeth and King James I. He has recently presented a “holistic” interpretation of the Stratford monument, in which he argues that the references to Nestor, Socrates, and Virgil on the monument are allusions to three great English poets, Beaumont, Chaucer, and Spenser, all of whom were buried in the Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey. Waugh argues that the monument is telling us that “Shakespeare” (i.e., Oxford) is also buried there, which explains the meaning of a manuscript by Oxford’s cousin, Percival Golding, stating that Oxford was buried in Westminster Abbey.
In his 2014 “Kindle Short,” Shakespeare in Court, Mr. Waugh exposed the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust as a prime source of misinformation and subversion concerning the life and times of the World’s greatest playwright. The book also hilariously satirized the Stratfordian theory in a courtroom cross-examination of “a typical orthodox Shakespeare pundit.” Mr. Waugh gave a presentation entitled “‘Vulgar Scandal’ Mentioned in Shakespeare’s Sonnets” at the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship’s 2015 Ashland conference and spoke on the authorship question, along with several other anti-Stratfordian scholars from England, at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute the day before the conference began.
Mr. Waugh is the author of several books, including Classical Music (1995), Opera (1996), Time (1999) and God (2002). Waugh inherits a distinguished literary tradition, including his grandfather Evelyn and his father Auberon. His biography Fathers and Sons (2004) is a portrait of the male relations across five generations in his own family. It was made into a 90-minute BBC documentary film in 2005. A second family memoir, The House of Wittgenstein, the story of the Austrian family of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, was published in 2008. The General Editor of the scholarly 42-volume Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh for Oxford University Press, Waugh is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of Leicester, Honorary President of the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition and life-member of the De Vere Society.
The Oxfordian of the Year award was first given in 2005. Previous winners are:
2014 Alex McNeil
2013 Roger Stritmatter
2012 John Shahan
2011 Kevin Gilvary
2010 Richard Roe
2009 John Paul Stevens
2008 Daniel Wright
2007 Richard Whalen
2006 Lynne Kositsky
2005 Mark Anderson