Fall 1997/Winter 1998
The Personal Shakespeare: The most frequently asked question in the authorship debate is generally, “Does it matter?” followed closely by “I don’t care who wrote the works, because after all we do have the works.”
Throughout the 20th Century history of the debate Oxfordians have researched and written not only about “the evidence,” but also about the works, and especially about the works as seen through the prism of understanding who the true author is. In this issue of The Ever Reader we present some of the essays written (recently and not so recently) by Oxfordians whose primary concern is understanding the works with Oxford as the author, not trying to “prove” the case per se. These articles are drawn from the Shakespeare Oxford Society’s newsletters and the Society’s predecessor, The Shakespeare Fellowship Trust.
Mark Anderson considers the intriguing parallels between art and science in understanding how the true solution to a problem can be “beautiful.”
Hank Whittemore explores the core of Shakespeare / Oxford’s being and growth as an artist by looking at his life-long relationship with Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
In a 1941 article Charles Wisner Barrell considered how the author’s personal acquaintance with 16th century Irish culture, legends and music is reflected in the Shakespeare works.
Donald LaGreca looks at Kent’s character as something that was perhaps carefully crafted by the author to be a righteous model of his brother-in-law, Peregrine Bertie, Lord Willoughby.
Hiding behind a mask was more of a commonplace in Elizabethan England than many of us in the 20th century might suspect. Stephanie Hughes presents a brief overview of how the history of public rituals and celebrations played into the development of masques, and eventually, the theater of the times.
In 1941 noted Oxfordian researcher Eva Turner Clark examined an oft-ignored aspect of Elizabethan theatre –scenery– and discovered that the records for the Court Revels indicate a clear record of elaborate, expensive stage and costume design. Clark concludes by wondering whether a certain, theatre-addicted, spendthrift earl might have been the artistic and financial force behind the scenery.