Shakespeare Fellowship President Earl Showerman issued the following statement regarding Roland Emmerich’s film, Anonymous, on behalf of the SF board of trustees:
The Shakespeare Fellowship commends Roland Emmerich for directing the film, Anonymous, but stresses that this production’s Tudor succession narrative is not essential to the theory that the Earl of Oxford was the writer Shakespeare.
The Shakespeare Fellowship resoundingly supports the proposition that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, was the true genius behind the works of William Shakespeare, and congratulates Roland Emmerich on his movie, Anonymous, the first major feature film to deal with this fascinating subject. We hope the film will encourage people to explore the authorship question and decide for themselves whether William Shakspere of Stratford-upon-Avon was the true author of the great plays and poems traditionally attributed to him.
The Shakespeare Fellowship notes that Mr. Emmerich characterizes his film as a work of fiction. He makes no claim that all of the events depicted in the film are true. He is fully aware that elements of his story, that Oxford may have been the son of Queen Elizabeth, or that Oxford and Elizabeth had a child who was raised as the 3rd Earl of Southampton, are not endorsed by many of those who hold that the Earl of Oxford was Shakespeare. Most Oxfordians do not believe that these hypotheses are necessary to the proposition that Oxford wrote Shakespeare’s works or to gain an understanding of the author’s need for anonymity.
Such succession narratives have existed for decades and scholarly inquiry is still proceeding. With this in mind, we do not prematurely endorse nor condemn conclusions merely because of their potentially controversial nature. Rather, we trust in the spirit of open inquiry and rigorous scholarship to eventually shed greater light. The Shakespeare Fellowship sponsors conferences and publications that will continue to be open forums for advocates for the Earl of Oxford on either side of this issue.
The fundamental case for the 17th Earl of Oxford as the true author of the Shakespeare canon is rapidly gaining support. To learn more about the authorship question and the case for Oxford, visit the Shakespeare Fellowship and Brief Chronicles websites.
Board of Trustees
The Shakespeare Fellowship