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2014 SOF conference abstracts

2014 Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship  Authorship Conference, Madison, Wisconsin: Speakers, Titles, Abstracts and Brief Bios including hot links to resources and contact information where available. The full 2014 Conference schedule can be found here.


Untangling Elizabethan Roots – A Genealogical Approach to the Authorship Question
Following centuries of pro-Stratfordian bias in the culling of historical records, the disadvantage Oxfordians face in championing the authorship cause is the daunting amount of catch-up work necessary for digging through the tailings; discovering and then analyzing the overlooked factual elements before cementing them in the evidentiary pathway that leads to de Vere’s identity as Shakespeare. The arsenal of potential proof isn’t always neatly catalogued or housed in a famous collection but is widely dispersed, sometimes in the jetsam of English history where it can be scavenged from places that those adhering to an academic research protocol alone could miss . . . such as hiding in the family history haunts of genealogy hobbyists. To help broaden the quest for fact-based discovery, this presentation will cover the use of a targeted genealogical approach as a research adjunct requiring only a basic understanding of the modern genealogist’s tools, including what is required to interpret test results and how to prove ancestral relationships with the aid of commercially available DNA testing.

Julie Sandys Bianchi, BA magna cum laude, MA Drama, is a graduate of San Francisco State University where in 1974 she was the first woman to direct technically a campus Main Stage production. She has worked behind and in front of the scenes for educational and professional repertory companies up and down California and in Central Colorado. As an independent contractor in St. Louis County schools, she has provided scenic design, stage direction and production oversight as well as guest-lecturing on a wide variety of theater topics. Her civic involvement has included serving as a public school board member in California and most recently as a Commissioner for Arts and Letters in her current hometown of University City, Missouri. Until joining the SOF three years ago, her abiding distraction (some would say addiction) has been family history research that has drawn her to genealogical repositories throughout the US and England.

Resources: Ask for copy by email with subject: DeVere DNA

Contact: <mailto:createwks@gmail.com>


Evermore in Subjection – Wardship in Early Modern England and Its Impact on Edward de Vere
The wardship system that existed in Tudor England has been described as a “squalid system of cold-blooded profiteering off the misfortunes of others.” It is well known among Oxfordians that Edward de Vere became a ward of William Cecil at the death of his father in 1562. Did de Vere’s nine years as Cecil’s ward impact his life favorably or unfavorably? What can be learned from the circumstances of de Vere’s early years as a ward that enabled and/or motivated him to write?

Bonner Miller Cutting is a past trustee of the Shakespeare Fellowship who has presented papers at numerous Shakespeare authorship conferences. She is currently working to expand her paper “Shakespeare’s Will Considered Too Curiously” into a book. Bonner has recently organized an Oxfordian study group in Houston, TX, called the Lone Star Shakespeare Roundtable and regularly gives her presentation “Shakespeare’s Cross-Examination” to schools, libraries, book clubs and civic groups. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Tulane University in New Orleans where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Bonner also holds a Masters of Music degree in piano performance from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA. She continues to concertize occasionally and judges piano auditions for the National Guild of Piano Teachers, the National Federation of Music Teachers and other music organizations


Oxford’s Early Errors
Universally considered a very early Shakespeare play, The Comedy of Errors seems so derivative that one is apt, as I was, to dismiss the work as having very little “Shakespeare” in it. Oxfordians have found relatively little to do with this play other than to date it to the late 1570s when we hear of a court entertainment named The Historie of Error. Looney noted several thematic and stylistic connections to a few of the E.O. poems, and others such as the Ogburns, Eva Turner Clark, Percy Allen, and Bill Farina have tentatively brought forth a handful of incidental and fleeting topical allusions: to a French political strife, maybe to Queen Elizabeth, maybe to Christopher Hatton. Mark Anderson offers the most substantial but speculative perspective, proposing that Oxford is processing his ambivalence about marriage to Anne Cecil. But did Anne ever matter that much to Oxford or his art until his later guilt factored in?
My recent involvement with the California Shakespeare Theater in San Francisco afforded me the opportunity to see at various stages the evolution of their production of The Comedy of Errors. I am convinced that a more thorough Oxfordian reading of this play can illuminate why de Vere even this early was thinking in terms of his own identity split, represented especially in the twin Antipholuses and with the emphasis on the story of Antipholus of Syracuse who finds himself in alien territory: Ephesus (Oxford’s change from his source, and a city associated with the virgin goddess Diana). This outsider Antipholus is fascinated by his twin’s wife’s sister who acts actually as a kind of lady-in-waiting. Oxford may be thinking in other additional terms, but the main twins’ perspective is that of one who is split at court, as Oxford was in the late 1570s between the Queen and his new captivating mistress.

Michael Delahoyde was promoted in 2014 to full (clinical, or non-tenured) professor in the Department of English at Washington State University where he has been teaching Shakespeare and interdisciplinary humanities courses for 22 years. Initially, he graduated from Vassar College with degrees in English, music, and education. After briefly teaching middle school, he earned his graduate degrees at the University of Michigan, focusing on Chaucer in his dissertation. Delahoyde has published articles on Shakespeare, Chaucer, dinosaur films, children’s toys, and meat ads. He currently is managing editor for Brief Chronicles and frequently serves as a consultant on children’s books concerning monsters. Delahoyde enjoys his half-pug Magpie and playing 1930s pop songs on piano at local cafes and nursing homes. His Oxfordian Shakespeare obsession has ruined his life, which is fine because he didn’t like that life anyway, and now he’s exhilarated all the time. Recently, with the help of a summer mini-grant from WSU, Michael has been giving authorship lectures in San Francisco through the California Shakespeare Theater’s outreach program and at other theater-related events.

Resources: To be submitted for publication in Brief Chronicles 6 (2015)

Contact: delahoyd@wsu.edu

 ROBERT DETOBEL (presented by Hanno Wember)

“Idle Hours” in Historical Context

Abstract: How can we develop an understanding of historical events that date back 400 years or more? How can we be sure to get their meaning right? Judging by today’s standards, which are valid for the comprehension of contemporary social life, implicates the risk of misinterpretation.
The change of the feudal system of the Middle Ages into the courtly system of the 16th century left many rules as constants for the aristocracy and remained unchanged. A look back – 400 years before the time of Shakespeare – can therefore provide information about how the behavior of an aristocrat in c.1600 has to be interpreted. It may help to avoid errors in the view back.
Baldassare Castiglione’s concept of “sprezzatura” describes key aspects of the code of conduct, valid for aristocrats. “Nobility” in the sociocultural sense, refers to a certain lifestyle, not only to the formal social hierarchy. Above all, writing activities were only allowed in “idle hours”. As “Shakespeare” tells that this rule is respected by him, he reveals himself as a member of the aristocracy. But this has far-reaching consequences for the understanding of anonymity and pseudonymity, which are examined.
Robert Detobel lives in Frankfurt, Germany and is a translator and publicist, and co-founder of the Neue Shake-speare Journal which started in 1997 as the first Oxfordian publication in continental Europe. He has also contributed articles to The Elizabethan Review, The Oxfordian, Brief Chronicles, and many other Oxfordian publications. He is co-chair of the German Neue Shake-speare Gesellschaft and editor of Spektrum Shake-speare. He was honored at Concordia University with the Vero Nihil Verius award in 2001for his research. His paper will be read by Hanno Wember who has taught math and physics as a secondary school teacher for 30 years in Hamburg, Germany. He is co-chair of the Neue Shakespeare Gesellschaft and editor of the German Oxfordian website, www.shakespeare-today.de.


Screening of Nothing Is Truer Than Truth
Nothing Is Truer Than Truth is a feature length, broadcast quality documentary about Edward de Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford, A-list party boy on the continental circuit, who
spent a year and a half in Venice and traveling in Europe, learning about commedia dell’arte and collecting the experiences that would become the plays.
Shot on location in Venice, Verona, Mantua, Padua, and Brenta, the film ventures to actual sites De Vere visited in1576-77, including the settings for The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and Romeo and Juliet. The film features many renowned Shakespeare scholars, actors, and directors, including Sir Derek Jacobi, Mark Rylance, Tina Packer, and Diane Paulus, and tours of Castle Hedingham, the ancestral home of the de Vere family since the days of William the Conqueror, and Burghley House, home of William Cecil, advisor to Queen Elizabeth and the real-life model for Hamlet’s Polonius.
Nothing Is Truer Than Truth looks at the process of writing, where life experience, imitation of the masters, and relentless revision come together to create works of genius, as the key to discovering Edward de Vere as the true author of the works attributed to William Shakespeare. It also explores the premise that Edward de Vere’s bisexuality was a major reason for the pseudonym Shake-speare at the time that the plays were first performed and after his death, and continues to be the reason that academia will not acknowledge him as the author, even today.
Nothing Is Truer Than Truth will introduce today’s students, tomorrow’s writers, to Edward de Vere, a man whose life story is the greatest story ever written. I invite you to join me on this literary and cinematic adventure, bringing Shakespeare back to Venice, revealing the source of his inspiration, and creating a new model for understanding the canon that will engage students for generations to come.

Cheryl Eagan-Donovan studied Shakespeare and wrote poetry at Goddard College, has a BS in Finance & Business Administration from Boston University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. Her debut documentary, All Kindsa Girls, was short-listed for the PBS series POV. She served as Board President of Women in Film & Video/New England for several years, served on the Board of Directors of The Next Door Theater, and has curated film series at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Brattle Theatre. She has written narrative screenplays, stage plays, and published articles on Shakespeare, screenwriting, and film.
She teaches screenwriting, cinema, filmmaking, and drama at Lesley University and Northeastern University, and has spoken at several authorship conferences. Her new film,
Nothing is Truer than Truth, received grants from the Shakespeare Fellowship Foundation and the De Vere Society.
Resources: View the trailer for the film at controversyfilms.com
Join the crew at http://fiscal.ifp.org/project.cfm/169/Nothing-is-Truer-than-Truth
Like us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nothing-is-Truer-than-Truth/115485081820505
Follow us at @ControversyFilm
Contact the director at <mailto: eagandonovan@verizon.net>


Title: Writing The Shakespeare Mask – The Novelist’s Choices
My novel, The Shakespeare Mask, is an attempt to broaden and deepen the understanding of the authorship question and why the Earl of Oxford is the leading contender for creating the works of Shakespeare. In my previous historical novel, 1492: The World of Christopher Columbus, after centuries of myth-making about Columbus’ identity I tried to do something similar with that subject. That novel was published in America by St Martin’s Press, and also in paperback, as well as translated into Spanish and Dutch for editions in those languages. I think it contributed not only to a better understanding of Columbus’ identity but also to why his voyage was financed, and by whom.
It is to be hoped that this historical novel will also help to eliminate the myths relating to Shakespeare’s authorship and, by telling the personal story of the Earl of Oxford in vivid and imaginative detail, to flesh out the bare bones of historical facts, and create a more engaging Oxford than has hitherto been portrayed.
By elaborating on what was meant by Oxford being a “favorite” of the queen, by exploring the significance of the relationship with his Venetian courtesan Virginia Padoanna to the creation of one-third of the Shakespeare plays set in Italy, by dramatizing the importance of Oxford’s ownership of a company of players to tour England at a crucial moment in its survival, and by analyzing Oxford’s relationship with Emilia Bassano, acknowledged even by Stratfordians as the “Dark Lady” of the sonnets, I hope The Shakespeare Mask will reach as wide an audience as 1492.

Newton Frohlich graduated with a B.A. from Columbia as a Ford Foundation Scholar. He also received an LL.B. from Columbia. He returned to his home town of Washington D.C., founded a law firm with two others, practiced law for 13 years, wrote 1492: The World of Christopher Columbus published by St. Martin’s Press and Making the Best of It: A Common Sense Guide to Negotiating a Divorce, published by Harper & Row, was an adjunct lecturer at Catholic University Law School, then retired to live abroad with his wife and children to write. He traveled often, to Spain, France, Italy, England and Israel. Now, his wife and he live on Cape Cod.

Sources: “The Shakespeare Mask,” July 2014 by Blue Bird Press (July 2014)   

Contact: http://NewtonFrohlich.com , <mailto: newtonfrohlich@gmail.com> or <mailto:nmfrohxomcast.net>, 105 King Philip Road, Wellfleet, MA 02667, 508-349-3393.


“What’s Hecuba to Him?” Connecting Life and Drama in Hamlet
Hamlet’s question, “What’s Hecuba to him that he should weep for her?” has led to discussion of how characters in drama impact their audiences. However, Hamlet chooses the speech the First Player recites about the slaying of the King of Troy by the son of Achilles and then asks that the actor “Come to Hecuba.” Hamlet then tells the audience in the soliloquy how much he, himself, identifies with Hecuba’s grief. The paper will examine the role of the story of Hecuba’s loss and her grief in the making and meaning of Hamlet’s story. The author’s uses of the story of the Fall of Troy, of the revenge by Pyrrhus of his father Achilles’ death, and Hecuba’s grief after the slaughter of King Priam, provide clues to the identity of the author of the play Hamlet.
The paper will review work done on sources used for the Pyrrhus-King Priam-Hecuba story such as Ovid, Virgil and Euripides’ “Hekabe.” At least one orthodox scholar has argued that the author of Hamlet must have read Euripides’ play in Greek. Another orthodox scholar has suggested that an Italian painting, probably in Florence, provided the background for the parallel use of the story of the Fall of Troy (especially Hecuba’s woe) in The Rape of Lucrece. Finally, the seemingly off-hand reference to Polonius as “Jephthah” just before the Player’s speech is seen to provide further context to Hamlet’s question when the story from the Geneva Bible is compared to Euripides’ play.

Ron Halstead has an MA in English from Wayne State University where he later taught Humanities. His Master’s Thesis was on the tragic drama of Eugene O’Neill. He has read papers at many Oxfordian conferences including those in Houston (2009), Washington DC (2011), and Toronto (2013).


Did Oxford Use A “Secretary” Hand As Well As His “Italic” Hand?
In the Spring of 2013, certain orthodox scholars received wide press coverage for claiming that Shakespeare (by which they meant Mr. Shakspere of Stratford) wrote The Spanish Tragedy (publ. 1592) based on their comparison of the “Secretary” (or “Secretarial”) hand used in a manuscript (MS) of that play with Mr. Shakspere’s 6 known signatures and with the last 3 pages of the manuscript play Sir Thomas More (usually dated to circa 1598), or what is known as “Hand D.”

This revived a topic that Alan Tarica and Ron Hess had privately written about in an intended “Appendix R” to Hess’ long overdue Vol. III to his The Dark Side of Shakespeare trilogy. Briefly, Tarica had run across a citation which stated that “practically everybody” literate wrote with a Secretary hand, whereas relatively fewer Elizabethans used the newer innovation of an “Italic” (or “Italianate”) hand, principally as a supplement to their Secretary. But we’ve discovered that there were apparently two glaring exceptions: William Cecil, Lord Burghley, and his son-in-law the seventeenth earl of Oxford, for each of whom only Italic hands are known. Yet, there are many instances of documents signed by Burghley that are written in Secretary, presumably by various amanuenses (clerks), whose hands are hard to distinguish from one another. And there are documents dealing with Oxford’s financial affairs that bear Secretary hand in them, and even cases of Oxford’s Italic interspersed with snippets of Secretary hand in them.

So, beginning with the hypothesis that the seventeenth earl of Oxford was not limited to just his Italic hand, Tarica searched for occasional use of Secretary-form individual characters inside of words used in Oxford’s Italic writings. Then he sought instances of what logically would have been Oxford’s Secretary hand used in papers associated with Oxford’s financial and estate concerns. And later he sought instances of a comparable hand found in a range of documents, including some relevant to the Shakespeare authorship question. He brought his case to Hess, convinced him of the plausibility of his hypothesis, and the two did additional research for Hess to write this article. Their conclusion is only hypothetical, but the potential is astounding — they may have found vestiges of a Secretarial hand attributable to Oxford, which also resembles amanuensis hands in key documents related to Shakespeare and Mr. Shakspere!

If the hypothesis could be verified, Oxford personally perpetrated a documentary hoax related to Mr. Shakspere that can be demonstrated. Hopefully this can be reviewed by objective handwriting experts of the Elizabethan era. Along the way, Hess and Tarica discovered a mysterious “WSS” symbol affixed to Oxford’s letters sent home from the continent, and learned other matters of interest to those devoted to Elizabethan history and calligraphy.

W. Ron Hess is a retired graduate school professor in IT Security and ex-civil servant who for two decades has published books and articles on Elizabethan History and the Oxford role in the authorship of Shakespeare’s works. He has studied at research libraries including The Folger, Library of Congress, and Emory University, and published the first two volumes in a trilogy, The Dark Side of Shakespeare. He maintains an authorship-oriented webpage with articles at http://home.earthlink.net/~beornshall/index.html/, and also moderates an e-mail list open to all Oxfordians  at BeornsHall@earthlink.net. Currently he is developing a project to organize a directory of resources available on Shakespeare, his past, his time, and the process leading toward the accepted canon of his works,
fondly calling it “the Chronology of Everything.” He is also searching through period book images on Early English Books Online (EEBO), looking for annotation examples which may prove to have been by Oxford and logically in Oxford’s personal library. He was 1984-85 Vice President of the Maryland JAYCEES, several times President in the Assoc. of IT Professionals in the Washington, DC area, and founder and President of the Mars Society local chapter, advocating manned space exploration and settlement, and lobbying on Capitol Hill.

Resources: http://home.earthlink.net/~beornshall/index.html/, and also moderates an e-mail list open to all Oxfordians <mailto:BeornsHall@earthlink.net>


Sabbioneta, Italy – An Intersection of Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Edward de Vere?
So many subjects and personalities to pursue on the topic of Shakespeare and Italy! Off on the madrigal (a connection with Sabbioneta), off on the city itself, off on commedia dell’arte (so many topics there), off on idiot scholars who, when faced with facts that Shakespeare knew a great deal about Italy, opine that these facts are too strained to believe– and proceed to indulge in wild and totally unsupportable fantasies of their own.

1. If the popular opinion in the time of Elizabeth was, as many scholars would have it, that Italy was a dangerous, immoral place, populated by lecherous, dangerous people and tinged with Machiavelli and Catholicism, why was a money-grubbing “playwright” and a sharer in the Globe Theatre writing plays that featured many strong, brave, witty, loyal, ethical, and very intelligent Italians in an Italian setting? Would that not be counter-intuitive to a person wanting to make money– and a person who could do so by taking an easy shot at a people already feared and hated?

2. I wonder why the majority of Italian scholars, whatever their authorship leanings are, adamantly insist that Shakespeare visited Italy. It is possible, of course, that these scholars — as do so many scholars — look at Shakespeare and see — themselves — but I think there is some substance to the assertion that someone who is very familiar with the country will recognize someone else familiar with the country.

Walter (Wally) Hurst studied English, Economics and Political Science at Duke University and has a degree in Law from University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, where he served as Assistant Managing Editor of the Law Journal and authored several law review articles, including a major article on legislative intent. He earned an MA in Shakespeare Authorship Studies from Brunel University (2013) where his dissertation title was ‘What’s your authority for that statement?’ The Need for Standardized Criteria in Determining the Veracity and Validity of External Evidence in the Designation of Early Modern Authorship”.

Hurst currently serves as Director of Drama and Theatre Studies at Louisburg College in North Carolina as well as Director of the Norris Theatre which produces course-oriented shows, professional shows, and community theatre productions. His teaching experience includes courses in public speaking, acting, introduction to drama, writing, and political science. From 1997-2012 he served as Managing Director of the Lakeland Theatre Company which produced 12-14 shows per year. He has directed and acted in a number of Shakespeare productions, including Twelfth Night, Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


Six Characters in Search of an Author
Six distinctively Shakespearean characters, three major and three minor, have something unusual and surprising in common. What they share tells us something important about the author of the Shakespeare canon.

Ramon Jiménez explored the origins of six distinctively Shakespearean characters, three major and three minor, who appeared in seven different canonical plays–1 & 2 Henry IV, Henry V, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Taming of the Shrew and King John. Each of them— Sir John Falstaff, Edward Poins, Mistress Quickly, Petruchio, Christopher Sly and the Bastard Philip Faulconbridge—had a literary ancestor in one of three anonymous plays performed and published in the 1590s.

The fat knight character, Sir John Falstaff, who appears in 1 & 2 Henry IV and Henry V, is an amalgam of two comics, Sir John Oldcastle and Derick, in The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth. Edward Poins, a companion of Falstaff in the same plays, is identical to the Ned Poins in Famous Victories. Mistress Quickly, who exchanges insults with Falstaff, had her origins in Mistress Cobbler, who played the same role in Famous Victories.

Christopher Sly and Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew first appeared in the anonymous The Taming of a Shrew, the former with the same name, and the latter as Ferando, the shrew-tamer. The Bastard Philip Faulconbridge, a major character in King John, is identical to the Bastard Philip Faulconbridge, a major character in the anonymous The Troublesome Reign of John, King of England, first published in 1591. The 2nd and 3rd quartos of Troublesome Reign bore the name or initials of William Shakespeare on their title pages.

Jiménez pointed out that he had previously published convincing evidence that the three anonymous plays were all early versions of canonical plays that Edward, de Vere, the seventeenth earl of Oxford later re-wrote, while retaining nearly identical plots and nearly all the same characters.

Oxford’s authorship of the two Shrew plays, the first set in Athens and featuring Greek characters, and the second set in Padua, featuring Italian characters and numerous Italian allusions, suggests that he wrote the former before traveling to Italy, and the latter within a year or two of visiting Padua in November 1575. Further evidence is Richard Roe’s discovery of the location of the opening scene in The Taming of the Shrew at a specific spot on the bank of Padua’s inner canal. In addition, the “three wanton pictures” described in The Shrew (Ind. ii. 49-60) have been identified with a high degree of certainty. During the 1570s they could be seen at three places that Oxford visited— Florence, Mantua and Fontainebleau.

Oxford’s first Shrew play, Taming of a Shrew, can be dated to early 1567, just after Supposes, the source play for the subplot, was first performed at Gray’s Inn. Oxford lived less than a mile from Gray’s Inn, and began his studies there in February 1567.

The origins of six distinctively Shakespearean characters in these anonymous plays is further evidence that the author of the Shakespeare canon, the seventeenth earl of Oxford, wrote these three plays as well.

Ramon Jimenez has been an Oxfordian since reading This Star of England in high school. During the last decade he has published more than a dozen articles and book reviews in the Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter and The Oxfordian. His particular interest has been to demonstrate that several anonymous plays, pre-dating the first Shakespeare quartos, were actually Oxford’s earliest versions of canonical plays. 

Contact: <mailto:ramjim99@gmail.com>


Grafting Texts to Create New Strains – Intertextual Connections between Jonson’s Encomium to the First Folio and Shakespeare’s Richard III as Rhetorical Keys to Concealed Authorship
This study will argue how two intertextual allusions to Shakespeare, one newly discovered to Richard III and the other to a sonnet, figure in Jonson’s rhetoric of prefatory tribute in the First Folio encomium. Informing this enquiry are an examination of similar imagery in the prefatory tradition through examples in Shakespeare’s and others’ diverse dedicatory work, as well as of Jonson’s other dedicatory and tribute texts. Also important is to analyze of how line from Richard III elucidates Jonson’s enigmatic stance in presenting the Folio texts and their authorship. Because Jonson’s genre in his Folio paratexts seems intentionally ambiguous, it is important to show that he would have been practicing within a rhetorical techné recognizable to his particularly knowledgeable audience.
This requires re-contextualizing the term “intertextuality,” because although it did not exist for early moderns as an abstract noun, synonymous concepts were part of their commonplace rhetoric with deep classical roots. This analysis examines Jonson’s First Folio allusions in the light of several aspects of Jonson’s rhetorical situation, including the unique historical context of the Folio’s publication, the classical and renaissance rhetorical traditions Jonson clearly works within as well as contemporary prefatory genre trends largely driven by issues of authorship.

Shelly Maycock has been teaching Composition and Professional Writing as an Instructor at Virginia Tech for the past seven years. She has two MAs in English literature and creative writing from Virginia Tech and Hollins University. In the interim, she enjoyed a first career in bookselling and travelled widely as an independent trade book sales rep. She developed authorship skepticism as an English major and grad student fascinated with Elizabethans but disenchanted with the traditional view of Shakespeare, and developed a strong interest in the Oxfordian position after teaching Hamlet, taking up early modern research and encountering Anderson’s Shakespeare by Another Name.


Shakespeare’s Numbers – English Metrical Verse and How It Is Spoken Onstage

Abstract: Like two ships passing silently in the night for four hundred years, actors have been speaking Shakespeare’s verse on stage in iambic pentameter and scholars have been trying unsuccessfully to explain an odd group of writings from the approximate years 1570-1602 that describe a mysterious verse called English metrical verse. The most common term associated with this verse is “failed experiment.” However, detailed examination of these writings, whose core group is comprised of Ascham’s The Scholemaster (1570), Webbe’s A Discourse of English Poetrie (1586), the anonymous The Arte of English Poesie (1589), and Campion’s Observations in the Art of English Poesie (1602), reveal the Earl of Oxford as the central figure behind this metrical verse, and that the verse itself is no failed experiment but a description of Shakespeare’s blank verse. Speaking in iambic pentameter is a poetical affectation that strangely seems to have only been used by Shakespeare (and perhaps, by association, other Elizabethan dramatists.) It’s net effect, however, is to render the delivery less dramatic, and to make the speech difficult to understand by creating a “white noise” of artificial stresses. This conundrum is explained by examining in precision what Oxford says about his verse, to arrive at the realization that it is spoken on stage metrically, naturally, dramatically, and not accentually and poetically, which is to say, unnaturally. The presentation will also consider Samuel Daniel’s role in identifying Oxford as the true author of Observation in the Art of English Poesie, and as the owner of the term “numbers,” which we can also find used by Shakespeare to describe his own verse.

James McGrath received a BA in Film and Theatre from Hunter College, City University of New York. He has been working for a number of years on rectifying the way Shakespeare’s verse is spoken onstage. He is also working on a screenplay, What You Will, about Edward de Vere, and a book of sonnets, Mortal Sonnets. He currently works for the USPS and lives in Indiana with his wife Heather and their three children, Joseph, Lauren, and Samuel.


Mark Twain and ‘Shake-Speare’ – Soul Mates

Abstract: Imagine the release of a 2,000-page autobiography of a world famous author! That is precisely what is occurring with the carefully edited “Autobiographical Dictations” of Mark Twain, which are being released in installments by the University of California Press. In 2010 and 2013, respectively, two of the three annotated volumes of Twain’s autobiography have been published as part of the Bancroft Library’s “Mark Twain Project.” This new material provides an expansive window into the creative process of Twain as a writer. It is instructive to assess these new authorial perspectives for an understanding of why Twain felt a spiritual bond with the author “Shake-Speare.” This conference presentation seeks to unfold the fascinating story of (a) how the new revelations of Twain’s autobiography shed light on the act of literary creativity; (b) how the same academic authorities who dictate the orthodox views of Shakespearean biography have suppressed the masterpieces of Mark Twain; (c) how Twain’s aesthetic of satire and his use of a pseudonym were analogous to those of Shakespeare; (d) how Twain came to view himself as the incarnation of Shakespeare in the modern age; and (e) how Twain came to write his final book, Is Shakespeare Dead? A study of the soul of Mark Twain may bring us closer to the identity of the true author of Shakespeare’s works—whoever the author may be.

James Norwood earned B.A. degrees in Drama and French from the University of California at Irvine, as well as M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Dramatic Art from the University of California at Berkeley. For twenty-six years, he taught humanities and the performing arts at the University of Minnesota. For a decade, he taught a semester course on the Shakespeare authorship question. He wrote the foreword to the paperback edition of Charles Beauclerk’s Shakespeare’s Lost Kingdom and served as a consultant for the documentary film Last Will. & Testament.


Hamlet and the Law of Homicide – The Life of the Mind in Law and Art

Abstract: The author of Hamlet was aware of changes that were occurring in the law in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, particularly the evolution away from the medieval view of law, which focused entirely on a person’s actions, to the modern view, which also takes into account a person’s state of mind. This development paralleled what was happening in Shakespeare’s art: a greater emphasis on the inner life of the character than was seen in earlier literature. This presentation examines the law of homicide and the closely related law of suicide in terms of fact patterns in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: Hamlet’s feigned madness, the killing of Polonius, the duel between Hamlet and Laertes, the use of poison as a tool for murder, Hamlet’s ultimate killing of Claudius (murder or manslaughter?), the death of Ophelia (accident, suicide, or insanity?), and references by the gravediggers to the famous law case Hales v. Pettit. This talk was first presented at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. to the Shakespeare Group and the Legal Affairs Group on June 27, 2014.

Tom Regnier is an attorney based in Miami, Florida and a Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship trustee. He holds law degrees from Columbia Law School in New York (LL.M.) and the University of Miami School of Law (J.D.), both with honors. He has taught at the University of Miami School of Law (including a course on Shakespeare and the Law) and The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. His scholarly articles on the law have appeared in many journals, and he has clerked in the U.S. District Court in Chicago and in Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal. He currently works in the Appellate Division of Conroy Simberg, a private law firm, and has worked in the Miami Public Defender’s Office. His article on the law in Hamlet appeared in Brief Chronicles in 2011. His podcast on the Law in Hamlet can be heard on Jennifer Newton’s “The Shakespeare Underground” website at http://www.theshakespeareunderground.com/2011/12/the-law-in-hamlet/

Sources: Edward Coke, Third Institute (1641); R.S. Guernsey, Ecclesiastical Law in Hamlet: the Burial of Ophelia (1885); William Lambard, Eirenarcha (1581); Thomas Glyn Watkin, “Hamlet and the Law of Homicide,” Law Quarterly Review (1984)


Sisyphus and the Globe – Turning (on) the Media
Why is the media so invested in protecting the Shakespeare industry? How can the media be “turned” and even “turned on” by the authorship issue? This paper explores the rocky road facing anyone expecting positive media interest in these issues based on the recent experiences of the speaker (a well-established theatre critic himself) trying to bring the media in.
The attempt to gain positive reportage failed by most normal measures though it did generate extraordinary coverage. It also led to major public attacks by the youthful theatre critic of one of Canada’s leading newspapers — the Globe and Mail — on both Prof. Rubin and two major Canadian universities for allowing students to study the issue as well as to attend the 2013 joint congress in Toronto.

Don Rubin is a Professor and former Chair of the Department of Theatre at Toronto’s York University. Founding director of York’s MA and PhD programs in Theatre and Performance Studies, he is the General Editor of Routledge’s critically acclaimed six-volume World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre as well as the standard text Canadian Theatre History: Selected Readings.
President of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association, he is Book Review Editor of the web journal “Critical Stages.” Prof. Rubin has taught courses on the authorship question at York. He is a former trustee of the Shakespeare Fellowship and coordinated the 2013 Shakespeare Authorship Conference in Toronto which saw the SOS and the SF into a new single organization. He has been a visiting professor at numerous universities across Europe, Asia and Africa.


Shakespeare Authorship Coalition — Progress Report and Next Steps
John Shahan is chairman of the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition, and principal author of the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare. He is an independent scholar with a background in the behavioral sciences and health services research. His main areas of interest in the authorship debate are planning and advocacy, how paradigm shifts take place, and the nature of creativity and genius. He is a former VP of the Shakespeare Oxford Society, and was on the editorial board of The Oxfordian. He was co-editor (with Alexander Waugh) of the book Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? – Exposing an Industry in Denial – a response to the similarly-titled book by the Birthplace Trust. He conceived and implemented the strategy of challenging the SBT to a mock trial and offering ₤40,000 if they prove beyond doubt that the Stratford man was Shakespeare.

Resources: http://doubtaboutwill.com/


Much Ado about Hercules’ Labors of Love

Abstract: Earl Showerman, M. D., former President of the Shakespeare Fellowship in his talk, “Much Ado about Hercules’ Labors of Love” explored the influence of the Greek mythological hero in the Shakespeare canon. According to Showerman, Shakespeare’s forty-plus allusions to Hercules represent a wide reading of Greek sources. Classical Sources on Hercules that must have been available to Shakespeare (including untranslated passages) were: Homer, Sophocles, Euripides, Lucian, Plutarch, Virgil, Diodorus, Apollodorus, Ovid and Seneca.

Showerman began with a review of Hercules’ qualities and characteristics. Classical literature represented Hercules in heroic, epic, and tragic narratives as well as comic and satiric literature. His heroic qualities included strength, courage, intelligence, eloquence, and rage. According to Plutarch, both Alexander the Great and Mark Antony claimed to be descendants of Hercules and were known to model themselves after Hercules. Later, the French court was closely identified with Hercules in emblems, paintings, tapestries and literature.

According to author Eugene Waith (1962), “Though his savage anger is at times almost brutal, he is capable of great devotion, is dedicated to a heroic ideal, and is regarded is a benefactor of humanity.” However, Hercules was also the most popular character in the satires of the tragedy festival stage and appeared as a character in several of Aristophanes comedies. Showerman lists Hercules’ “satiric” qualities as an excessive appetite for food, drink, and sex (and cross-dressing) “everything too much.” Besides Shakespeare, Herculean-type heroes also appear in the works of Marlowe, Chapman, and Dryden.

Herculean allusions abound in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labors Lost, Hamlet, Much Ado about Nothing (where Benedick is an archetypal comedic Herculean hero), Antony and Cleopatra and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Hercules’ allusions in Much Ado about Nothing are the key to understanding how this comedy may have been the play Love’s Labors Wonne listed by Francis Meres in his Palladis Tamia (1598). Hercules is referred to six times in Love’s Labour’s Lost, where he is even represented as a baby by the page Mote in the Pageant of the Nine Worthies.

Allusions to Hercules in Much Ado clearly link the comedy to Euripides’ tragicomedy, Alcestis, where the hero frees the Queen from Death and returns her to her bereaved husband reflecting a dramaturgy very much like the final scene of Much Ado and The Winter’s Tale.  While the Earl of Oxford was not directly compared to Hercules, he was compared to Hercules’ descendant Alexander the Great in no less than six literary dedications, including from Arthur Golding, John Lyly, Robert Greene, Thomas Watson, and Angel Day.

Earl Showerman has written for numerous Oxfordian publications on the influence of Greek literature on Shakespeare. His article on Shakespeare’s medical knowledge was included in Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? Exposing an Industry in Denial. Educated at Harvard and the University of Michigan medical school, he has researched the authorship question over the past decade since his retirement from a career in emergency medicine. He is a former President of the Shakespeare Fellowship and an honorary trustee of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust.

Sources: “Shakespeare’s Many Much Ado’s: Alcestis, Hercules and Love‘s Labour’s Wonne”, Brief Chronicles 1 (2009); Eugene M. Waith, The Herculean Hero in Marlowe, Chapman, Shakespeare and Dryden. (1962); Jeff Shulman, “At the Crossroads of Myth: The Hermeneutics of Hercules from Ovid to Shakespeare,” E.L.H. 50 (1983); Frank Brommer. Heracles: The Twelve Labors of the Hero in Ancient Art and Literature (1986).

Contact: <mailto:earlees@charter.net>


By the Numbers – Palladis Tamia and the Shakespearean Question

Abstract: Whether as examined in the Shakespearean texts themselves or in other Elizabethan (1558-1603) or Jacobean (1603-1625) era documents, the Shakespearean authorship question has long been plagued by pseudo-scientific attempts to discover cryptological proof supporting one or another alternative attribution of the plays. Most commonly such attempts have involved the case for the inductive philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626), but pseudo-cryptological methods have been also been employed by supporters of the generally more persuasive argument that the plays were written by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (1550-1604). Such efforts were soundly critiqued by William and Elizebeth S. Friedman in The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined: an Analysis of Cryptographic Systems Used as Evidence That Some Author Other Than William Shakespeare Wrote (1957) Francis Meres’s “Comparative Discourse of our English Poets, with the Greeke, Latine, and Italian Poets,” a chapter in his Palladis Tamia: Wits treasury being the second part of Wits common wealth (1598), has long been among the chief documents on which the orthodox view of the Bard depends. In the most famous passage of his “Comparative Discourse,” Meres provides uniquely critical testimony to Shakespeare’s authorship of at least a dozen plays, confirming – so it might seem – that he was widely recognized as a dramatic playwright and poet by the late 1590s. This presentation, developing work first published by Robert Detobel and K.C. Ligon, will explore Meres’ clever use of cryptographic/numerological method to convey a concealed message identifying “Shakespeare” as Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.

Roger Stritmatter is an associate professor of Humanities and Literary Studies at Coppin State University. Professor Stritmatter holds a Master’s Degree in Anthropology from the New School for Social Research and a PhD in Comparative Literature with a concentration in early modern studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His 2001 dissertation, The Marginal Annotations of Edward de Vere’s Geneva Bible, was nominated for the Bernheimer Award for the best dissertation in comparative literature. Stritmatter has published in a wide range of academic and popular contexts, including the Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature, Notes and Queries, University of Tennessee Law Review and (with Lynne Kositsky) Review of English Studies, The Shakespeare Yearbook and On the Date, Sources and Design of Shakespeare’s The Tempest (2013). He is founding trustee of the Shakespeare Fellowship and former editor of Shakespeare Matters. Currently he serves as general editor of Brief Chronicles: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Authorship Studies

Sources: William and Elizebeth S. Friedman, The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined: An Analysis of Cryptographic Systems Used as Evidence That Some Author Other Than William Shakespeare Wrote (Cambridge: The University Press, 1957). Palladis Tamia. VVits treasury being the second part of Wits common wealth. By Francis Meres Maister of Artes of both Vniuersities. At London: printed by P. Short, for Cuthbert Burbie, and are to be solde at his shop at the Royall Exchange, 1598. ESTC citation S110013. . Further editions were: Wits common vvealth. The second part. A treasurie of diuine, morall, and phylosophicall similies, and sentences, generally vsefull. But more particularly published, for the vse of schooles. By F.M. Master of Arts of both Vniuersities. London: Printed by William Stansby, and are to be sold by Richard Royston, at his shop in Iuie Lane, 1634. ESTC citation S121517; Witts academy a treasurie of goulden sentences similies and examples. Set forth cheefely for the benefitt of young schollers. by Fr: M. Mr. of Arts of both Vniuersities. Printed at London: [By William Stansby] for Richard Royston, 1636. ESTC citation S123173. Meres book was the second in a series that also included Wits’ commonwealth (1597), Wits theater of the little world, by Robert Allott (1598), and Palladis palatium, wisedoms’ palace (1604). The “Comparative Discourse” comprises signatures Mm2-Nn3 (pgs. 279-287) of the original 1598 edition. A useful online transcript of the document is available at Elizabethanauthors.org. Robert Detobel and K.C. Ligon, “Francis Meres and the Earl of Oxford,” Brief Chronicles I (2009), 97-108.

Resources: http://shake-speares-bible.com/


Thomas Looney’s “Shakespeare Identified” Centennial Brainstorm

Abstract: The one-hundredth anniversary of the publication of J. Thomas Looney’s Shakespeare Identified is approaching, and the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship board of trustees has appointed a committee to plan a celebration for the centennial year 2020. Because Looney is the founder of Oxfordianism and the progenitor of the modern post-Stratfordian movement, SOF wishes to highlight Looney’s achievement in a year-long celebration of Shakespeare Identified in Edward de Vere Seventeenth Earl of Oxford published in 1920 by the Frederick A. Stokes Company.
We hope you will contribute your time and talent toward this goal, and that you will begin by sharing your ideas, hopes, wishes and dreams for an outstanding centennial celebration such as e-publishing a Looney biography and hosting a Looney one-hundredth birthday party at the 2020 SOF conference. The committee plans to create a central listing of all Shakespeare Identified Centennial related events.

Resources: Send your comments, and sign up for news of the Shakespeare Identified Centennial at 2020.looney@gmail.com. Follow the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship on Facebook, and on Twitter under the @ShakeOxFellows handle where news of SI100 will be highlighted as #2020looney. J. Thomas Looney’s Shakespeare Identified is available as a free ebook on Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/shakespeareident00looniala and in a two-volume edition by Ruth Lloyd Miller available in hardcopy on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Shakespeare-Identified-Edward-Seventeenth-Oxford/dp/0804618771

“Every power that moves” – Using Mobile Tech to Advance SOF Goals

To use the resources of the Internet effectively, it is no longer sufficient to provide information and wait for the public to take advantage of the resources available on our website. Since more than half of current users gain access to the Internet through mobile devices such as smart phones and electronic tablets, we must deliver topical and useful content that is adapted to mobile media, and we must use social networks to distribute that content. Those who wish to learn more about mobile media and who wish to improve their Internet skills for the purpose of improving personal and/or organizational communications will benefit by attending this program. We will explore a mobile media toolkit that can be used to advance the vital organizational goals of developing an SOF brand and increasing public engagement by participating in social networking tools such as: · News blogging on the SOF website at https://shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org (mobile enabled) · Email communications using mailing software like Mail Monkey · Facebook · Twitter · Instagram · Google+ · LinkedIN · Pinterest · YouTube By taking advantage of these resources, we hope to raise awareness of our organizational resources, and raise funds through membership growth and donations that will support SOF research, projects, and programs. After the presentation, we plan to hold a group discussion hosted by SOF trustee and communications committee chair Tom Regnier, conference organizer Eddy Nix, SOF webmaster Jennifer Newton and myself to answer questions and to share tips and suggestions on the topic of using mobile media to advance SOF goals.

Linda Theil is a retired journalist for the Detroit News and Ann Arbor News, magazine articles in Threads and Fiberarts, newsletter editor for Shakespeare Oxford Society and others. Shakespeare authorship sceptic since 1965, active in online Shakespeare authorship communities since early 1990s, member Oberon Shakespeare Study group since 2002, created Oberon Shakespeare Study Group weblog 2007, edited Shakespeare Oxford Society news and created SOS News Online 2009, joined SOF communications committee 2013.

Sources:  Heather Mansfield’s “Nonprofit Tech for Good” blog post titled “How to Report Live from Nonprofit Events and Conferences” at http://www.nptechforgood.com/2014/05/04/how-to-report-live-from-nonprofit-events-and-conferences.  Nonprofit Tech for Good website Mobile for Good textbook by Heather Mansfield “15 Useful Social Media tips and tricks for non-profits” webinar by Heather Mansfield “12 steps to launching a Social Media Strategy” webinar by Heather Mansfield.

Resources: http://oberonshakespearestudygroup.blogspot.com

Contact: <mailto:linda.theil@gmail.com>, @ linda.theil on Twitter, Linda Theil on Facebook


The Use of State Power in the Effort to Hide Edward de Vere’s Authorship of the Works Attributed to “William Shake-speare”
This paper addresses the question of why no direct evidence exists today in support of Edward de Vere (or any other specific individual) as the author of the works attributed to ‘William Shake-speare.’ The author concludes that the effort to hide de Vere’s authorship was so extensive, so systematic, so comprehensive and so successful that it could have been conducted only through the use of state power at the highest levels during and shortly after de Vere’s lifetime. He then draws on historical information to show that those who controlled state power used it to separate de Vere from the plays in order to separate the plays from the court – something that became necessary, in their eyes, once the plays began appearing on the public stage. Hiding the fact that the plays were written by a courtier would made it less likely, they believed, that public audiences would realize that contemporary events, issues and individuals from the court and government were portrayed in them – including the ultra-sensitive issue of succession, a subject addressed in many of the later plays even though public discussion of it was banned.
But those who controlled state power used it not only to destroy evidence of de Vere’s literary activities, but also to airbrush him from much of the historical record. The only explanation weighty enough to account for the use of state power for that extraordinary purpose was de Vere’s bodily involvement in the succession issue in some way – as described in the so-called
Prince Tudor or Tudor Heir theories – an involvement that could have affected Queen Elizabeth’s reputation and provided a possible challenge to the legitimacy of King James’s reign. Focusing on the authorship question from the point of view of the use of state power enables us to place the effort to hide Oxford’s authorship of Shake-speare’s works in the proper context, as just one part of the larger effort to remove him from the historical record, and thus provides the full compelling seamless narrative that explains how and why Edward de Vere became Shake-speare that former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens called for.

James A. Warren was a Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Department of State for more than 20 years, during which he served in public diplomacy positions at U.S. embassies and consulates in eight countries, mostly in Asia. He is currently living in Bangkok, where he recently served for two years as the Regional Director for Southeast Asia for the Institute of International Education (IIE). He is now devoting himself full time to literary and musical pursuits. James received the Vero Nihil Verius award at the SARC conference in 2013 for his accomplishment as the editor of An Index to Oxfordian Publications.


Three Words to Think About
Abstract: ‘Shakespeare’ ‘Birthplace’ and ‘Trust’ are three words that we should think about as we consider the activities of the English charity that runs various Shakespeare related museums in and around Stratford-upon-Avon. This paper examines the basis of evidence for the historical claims that the Trust makes about its properties and explores the relevance of these claims to the Trust’s ‘expert authority’ on the Shakespeare authorship question.

Resources: for full text, read Part One of Shakespeare on Trial by Alexander Waugh.

Sweet Swan
Abstract: Ben Jonson left many clues in the prefatory pages of the First Folio to suggest that his description of ‘my beloved the AUTHOR, Mr William Shakespeare’ was ambiguous and should be interprested with care by his readers. If the descriptive phrase ‘Sweet Swan of Avon’ was not intended to point unambiguously to William Shakspere of Stratford-upon-Avon, what then was Jonson’s double-meaning? This paper reviews some of the traditional anti-Stratfordian solutions and posits a new, attractively simple alternative that suggests Jonson was well aware that the true author of the 1623 Folio was not ‘the man from Stratford’.

Alexander Waugh is author of Classical Music (1995), Opera (1996), Time (1999) and God (2002), as well as a family biography Fathers and Sons (2004), made into 90-minute BBC documentary , and the House of Wittgenstein (2008), the story of the Austrian family of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is General Editor of the scholarly 42-Volume Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh for Oxford University Press, Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of Leicester and Honorary President of the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition. He Co-edited (with John Shahan), Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? (2013) and has two further books on Shakespeare authorship in the pipeline scheduled for 2014 and 2015.

Resources: “Waugh on Jonson’s ‘Sweet Swan of Avon'” Oxfordian 16, 2014 at


Title: 100 Reasons for Oxford’s Authorship of the Shakespeare Works
Whittemore describes the journey that began on February 23, 2011 with the first of his hundred reasons to conclude that Oxford was the true author, until the project was completed in August 2014. He covers how the blog posts started quite by chance and how his very modest goals grew into a major undertaking of research and writing – in effect, a new investigation into the case for Oxford that involved approaching many familiar topics all over again, while also gaining new insights and simultaneously trying to communicate to the widest possible audience. He discusses various strengths and weaknesses of his “reasons” compiled for Edward de Vere’s authorship, citing his debt to an enormous amount of work by past and current Oxfordians while offering his conclusions about the most important kinds of evidence. Hank will distribute the full list, with two or three lines of description for each reason, and he will open his talk for questions from conference attendees.

Hank Whittemore became a Shakespeare lover while acting in Othello and Hamlet at Notre Dame, where he graduated with a BA in Communication Arts and Great Books. While acting on the stage and on TV as a professional actor, he continued to write – eventually working on newspapers and in radio before completing the first of his ten published books on a variety of topics. (One was The Super Cops, a bestseller and an MGM movie.) He wrote dozens of TV documentaries and about a hundred stories for PARADE magazine; and in 1987, while writing a one-act play and trying to learn about Shakespeare’s creative process, he heard about a real-life Hamlet figure at the Elizabethan court – and the focus of his life underwent a sea change.
Since then he has written for many Oxfordian newsletter issues and delivered a number of conference papers, while self-publishing books such as Twelve Years in the Life of Shakespeare, a collection of his “Year in the Life” columns for Shakespeare Matters. His major work is The Monument (2005), an Oxfordian edition of the Sonnets. He and director Ted Story co-wrote Shakespeare’s Treason, a one-man show based on The Monument, which Hank has acted many times; and a recent live performance has been recorded as a DVD. He has now completed a three-and-a-half-year blog project, compiling “100 Reasons” to conclude that Oxford was “Shakespeare,” and is shaping it into book form.

Resources: http://hankwhittemore.wordpress.com/category/hanks-100-reasons-why-oxford-was-shakespeare-the-list-to-date/



‘If this be Error and upon Me Proved….’ – ‘Deceptive Displacements’ and the Shakespeare Authorship Question
The Shakespeare Authorship Question relates to the cultural amnesia and concealment associated with other historical periods, including the 17th century (Whig/{Protestant led) ‘Dissociation of Sensibility’ (TS Eliot) in Britain (with the Civil War as a major factor). This iconic development is profoundly connected with the subsequent development of the British National Self-Concept and the evolution of a moderate Whig monarchist concept.

Another case of the amnesia for and suppression of the historical evidence for the character and acts of Joan of Arc, (Pasquier and Belleforest, key figures in accessing her historically) the concealment of which from the 17th-19th centuries is connected with the 17th century Dissociation of Sensibility in France (Catholic/Monarchist/Absolutist led, and with the 30 Years War as a major factor). This iconic development is profoundly connected with the subsequent development of the French National Self-Concept, with its eventual flip from Catholic to Republican.

Finally, the suppression of, and amnesia for, the role of James the Brother of Jesus as the leader of Jewish Christianity after the death of Jesus, and his displacement, in a major ‘deceptive displacement’, by Paul of Tarsus, who sets the template, for the most part, for subsequent Christianity, – for 2000 years! – Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox. I shall be drawing on Robert Eisenman’s work here on ‘James the Brother of Jesus’. This deceptive displacement and amnesia is connected substantially with the crushing of the Jews by the Romans in the two Jewish-Roman Wars, of 66CE, and 132CE, which led to the victory by default of the Pauline vision, cemented in place by Augustine.

The importance of these analogies for the Authorship Question is that Massive Historic Deceptive Displacements parallel and provide analogy and precedent for the Shakespeare Authorship Deceptive Displacement, so that it ceases to appear as a historical aberration.

Heward Wilkinson is a psychotherapist and literature scholar based in London, England. A student of the literary critic Dr FR Leavis at Cambridge, and a regular speaker for the Leavis Society http://www.leavissociety.com/, he was Senior Editor of the International Journal of Psychotherapy (the Journal of the European Association for Psychotherapy) from 1994-2004, and has published a variety of papers there and in other psychotherapy journals.

He is has been for more than one term Chair of the Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy College of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. Bringing psychotherapeutic insight to bear on the authorship issue, his Doctoral submission (Middlesex University) referenced his book The Muse as Therapist: A New Poetic Paradigm for Psychotherapy (2009).

The fourth chapter of the book was an Oxfordian treatment of the Authorship Question, illustrating the interface between psychotherapeutic and literary understanding. It is one of the earliest avowedly Oxfordian Doctorates to follow Roger Stritmatter’s. See Brief Chronicles 2
He has published in Brief Chronicles, and has given talks to the Shakespeare Authorship Conferences in Washington DC and Toronto as well as to the De Vere Society UK.

About Linda Theil

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