In an extensive report on BBC today, Shakespeare Oxford Society Oxfordian Editor Michael Egan defends the Oxfordian thesis of Shakespearean authorship.
“Edward de Vere: the Bard or not the Bard? Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was one of the leading patrons of the Elizabethan age, but was he also William Shakespeare?” by Dave Gilyeat was featured this morning on BBC Oxford.
The report led with the announcement of the publication of Kurt Kreiler’s book Der Mann der Shakespeare Erfand (The Man Who Invented Shakespeare) and offered a lengthy exposition of the Oxfordian thesis with long and multiple quotes from Egan.
“Nature and intellectual life abhor a vacuum,” added Dr Egan.
“We don’t know enough about Shakespeare’s biography.
“There are huge gaps and because we know so little about him – despite his being one of the most researched lives in literary history – the situation calls for alternative explanations.
“The real key to the authorship debate is the mismatch between what we know of Shakespeare of Stratford and what we can infer about the author of the plays when we read them.
“When you look at the plays without preconceptions of the author we’d have to say this is a highly educated person, well travelled, with intricate knowledge of the courts and aristocratic life.
“So the question is where did an obscure provincial boy gain all this information and knowledge?”
Shakespeare by Another Name author Mark Anderson was also quoted extensively. Anderson was able to elucidate his insight that Oxford’s 1604 death is a positive point for Oxfordian authorship.
“The chronology is ironically a solid piece of evidence for de Vere,” insisted Mark Anderson.
“In fact the proponents of the evidence actually suggest that the Shakespeare factory shut down in 1604.
“There are no new Shakespeare plays that appear in print after 1604 with two exceptions.
“There’s a brief period in 1608 and ’09 when de Vere’s widow sold the house where they lived and I think it stands to reason there was some house cleaning going on.
“An orthodox scholar would say there was a shipwreck in 1609 that The Tempest refers to.
“In fact there’s some really good scholarship published that suggests that it was a different shipwreck that was referenced in a couple of 16th century books that were in de Vere’s father-in-law’s library.”
The Stratfordian viewpoint was defended in Gilyeat’s article by Alan Nelson and Emma Smith.