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2015 Conference abstracts

2015 SOF Conference Abstracts

2015 Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship  Authorship Conference, Ashland, OR: Speakers, Titles, Abstracts and Brief Bios including hot links to resources and contact information where available. The full 2015 Conference schedule can be found here. https://shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/2015-ashland-conference-agenda/

The Value of Uncertainty
Abstract: Stratfordians are certain that William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the works attributed to him. Most non-Stratfordians are equally certain that he didn’t. This paper will explore the benefits of uncertainty. Uncertainty not only allows us to be collegial, reducing the likelihood of stressful and energy-sapping personal battles, but by opening our minds to evidence and counter-arguments which undermine our position it allows us to discard weak arguments and concentrate on those which extend and deepen the challenge to orthodox thinking. Perhaps counter-intuitively, uncertainty also offers non-Stratfordians the possibility of gaining academic legitimacy for the Shakespeare authorship question.  Using concrete examples of arguments and counter-arguments derived from researching and writing Shakespeare: The Evidence, this paper will demonstrate why the apparently ‘weak’ position of uncertainty is actually the strongest, most beneficial position a non-Stratfordian can adopt.

Ros Barber, PhD is a Lecturer in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, and author of the award-winning verse novel, The Marlowe Papers (2012), Shakespeare: The Evidence (2013), and Devotion (2015).  She is the editor and co-author of 30-Second Shakespeare (2015). Her most recent publications include two articles in Notes & Queries* and she has a forthcoming article in a special ‘Shakespeare’ edition of the Journal of Early Modern Studies.  She is director of research of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust (London).

*”Shakespeare’s ‘Honey-stalks’ “N&Q 2015 62/1 92-93
“Bardolph and Poins” N&Q 2015 62/1 104-107

Resources: SAT http://www.shakespeareanauthorshiptrust.org.uk/, website http://rosbarber.com/
Contact: ros.c.barber@gmail.com

Origins of the Pen Name, “William Shakespeare”
The great author told us that “William Shakespeare” was a pseudonym in Venus and Adonis and in his sonnets. Several of his contemporaries believed this, too, as related in printed references, and by including a hyphen in the surname. With an Oxfordian perspective, this paper will try to answer why the great author chose “William Shakespeare” as a pen name, and present evidence of its existence before its 1593 print debut. 

Katherine Chiljan has studied the Shakespeare authorship question for over 30 years. In 2011, she wrote Shakespeare Suppressed: the Uncensored Truth about Shakespeare and his Works which earned her an award for distinguished scholarship at Concordia University (2012). A former editor of the Shakespeare-Oxford Newsletter, Chiljan has published two Oxfordian anthologies, Dedication Letters to the Earl of Oxford (1994) and Letters and Poems of Edward, Earl of Oxford (1998). Chiljan (B.A. History, U.C.L.A.) has debated professors on the authorship question at the Smithsonian Institution, The Mechanics’ Institute Library, and U.C. Berkeley.

Shakespeare and the Visual Arts: The Case of the Bassano Fresco
Abstract: This paper is dedicated to the memory of Professor Roger Prior, Senior Lecturer in English, Queen’s University Belfast, who died in 2009. A year before his death, he published an article provocatively entitled: “Shakespeare’s visit to Italy” in which he presented his discovery of a remarkable series of cross-references between three prominent families in the town of Bassano del Grappa and Shakespeare’s two Venetian plays. His most striking finding was the degree to which the details of an elaborate fresco, painted by Jacopo Bassano on the façade of the Casa dal Corno, illuminates a score of otherwise obscure tropes in both these plays and, in particular, an enigmatic concatenation of imagery in Act III of Othello.

 This research will be considered in the context of an ongoing scholarly debate regarding Shakespeare’s relation to the visual arts in which, once again, we find the assumptions imposed by the Stratford biography exerting a distorting effect on scholarship.


Antony and Cleopatra as Chymical Theatre
 Antony and Cleopatra is Shakespeare’s most alchemical play, as is appropriate to its setting in ancient Alexandria, the birthplace of Hermetic philosophy. Cleopatra herself was subsequently included among the pantheon of legendary alchemists. The dizzying dialectic of its 42 short scenes, alternating between Egypt and Rome, in which characters endlessly bond and separate, mimics the recurring alchemical pattern of solve et coagula, dissolving and fixing. The play’s imagery is redolent with processes of burning, drowning, melting, congealing and putrefying. Above all, its two leading protagonists go on a progress involving the four elements and the seven planetary metals which climaxes in a ‘chymical wedding’ and runs counter to the overtly tragic trajectory of the play. 

Julia Cleave, MA Oxon., is a Trustee of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust, the Francis Bacon Research Trust, and a member of the academic board of the Temenos Academy. As a teacher trainer she taught Shakespeare on courses for foreign teachers and lecturers sponsored by the British Council. For the past three years she has organized conferences for the SAT on Shakespeare and the Mysteries, Much Ado About Italy, and Shakespeare – The French Connection.

Resources: Shakespeare and the Visual Arts: The Case of the Bassano Fresco by Julia Cleave, MA Oxon. Trustee of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust, publication due in 2016, and http://www.shakespeareanauthorshiptrust.org.uk/
Contact: cleavejulia@gmail.com

Oxford’s Anthony and Cleopatra Beyond Denial
Abstract: Anthony and Cleopatra is Oxford’s most direct, full-on tribute to the relationship between himself and Queen Elizabeth. In North’s Plutarch, which Oxford purchased along with the Geneva Bible and his Chaucer in 1570, he was able to see himself in the descriptions of Mark Antony. Cleopatra is fashioned after Queen Elizabeth, even sometimes at her behaviorally worst. And the Alexandrian royal palace is cast as the Elizabethan court, peopled not with obsequious Egyptian slaves but with haughty ladies-in-waiting. Performing themselves, in a sense, Anthony (the spelling Shakespeare clearly wanted throughout this play) and Cleopatra are aware of their own larger-than-life celebrity status, and in this play Oxford promises Elizabeth that she will be immortalized through his art.

Michael Delahoyde, PhD, is a Professor of English at Washington State University where he has been teaching for 23 years, mostly Shakespeare and interdisciplinary humanities courses. 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 Ph.D. dissertation. Delahoyde has published articles on Chaucer, dinosaur films, children’s toys, meat ads, and, mostly, Oxford as Shakespeare. 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. This year, thanks to a research grant from the SOF, he and his colleague, Coleen Moriarty, made an Oxfordian discovery in the archives of northern Italy — to be revealed at this conference. While in Mantua he was able to teach several sessions on the Shakespeare authorship question to Italian high-school students. He is now an Aperol spritz addict.

Resources: Much of this paper appears in the Introduction to Delahoyde’s new Oxfordian edition of Anthony and Cleopatra, available at Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Anthony-Cleopatra-Oxfordian-Shakespeares-Antony/dp/1517046300
Contact: http://public.wsu.edu/~delahoyd/shakespeare/index.html.

Structure and Music in Shakespeare’s The Tempest
Abstract: This paper traces the nine-scene structure of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest and reveals a symmetry that parallels musical composition.   The play’s strong elements of fantasy are emphasized in the music and magical sounds of The Tempest:  I shall discuss individual songs, instrumental pieces, the sumptuous Act IV masque, and a range of dramatic “noises.”   The Tempest is a romance whose continued popularity is proven by its many productions and adaptations over the years.

Ren Draya is a native of New York City and a graduate of P.S. 11 Queens, where she starred in “Chicken Little.”  At Levittown Memorial High School, she took electric shop and acted in “Henry Aldrich.”  At Tufts University, she sang second alto in “The Devil and Daniel Webster.”  At the University of Colorado, she enjoyed being assistant director for Cymbeline and being in charge of fireworks for Mary Magdalen.  She received her doctorate in dramatic literature in 1977, with a dissertation on Tennessee Williams.  In 1980, she acted in an off-off-off Broadway play.  She is the author of several plays, dozens of articles and reviews, and a small book of poetry.  Her play, The Mothers, won a New York State Creative Arts award and ran for three years at the 13th Street Theater; it has also received staging in London (a fringe venue), Missouri, and, most recently, in Croatia.  With Sylvan Barnet, Ren co-edited Types of Drama, 7th edition, for Addison Wesley.  She has served on the editorial board of The Oxfordian and has co-edited Othello for the Horatio editions (Oxfordian Shakespeare series).  Now starting her 27th year at Blackburn College, Ren teaches Shakespeare, British literature, and creative writing. 

Sources: Shakespeare and Music by E.W. Naylor (Dent & Co., 1896) Free Kindle edition at http://www.amazon.com/Shakespeare-Music-Illustrations-16th-centuries-ebook/dp/B0082ZGWMA
Resources: Contact Ren Draya for a copy of her paper.
Contact: Ren.Draya@blackburn.edu

Nothing is Truer than Truth film
Abstract: Nothing is Truer than Truth  is a feature-length 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 Italy, learning about commedia dell’arte and collecting the experiences that would become known as the works of Shakespeare. Filmed in Venice, Verona, Mantua, Padua, and Brenta, the film ventures to actual sites De Vere visited in 1575-76, including the settings for The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, and Two Gentlemen of Verona. The film features many Shakespeare scholars, as well as actors and directors, including Sir Derek Jacobi, Mark Rylance, Paul Nicholson, Tina Packer, and Diane Paulus.

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 explores the premise that Edward de Vere’s bisexuality was a major reason for the pseudonym Shakespeare at the time that the plays were first performed and after his death, and uses clips from film versions of the plays to create a narrative journey through the author’s life and work.  

Cheryl Eagan-Donovan is a documentary filmmaker whose debut feature, All Kindsa Girls, screened at film festivals and art house theaters in London, Toronto and throughout the U.S., is featured in Paul Sherman’s book Big Screen Boston, and was short-listed for the PBS series POV. Eagan-Donovan served on the Board of Directors of the nonprofits Women in Film & Video New England and The Next Door Theater in Winchester, MA, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of The Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship. She studied Shakespeare and wrote poetry as a literature major at Goddard College, has a BS in Finance & Business Administration from Boston University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University.

She has published articles about Shakespeare, screenwriting and film in literary journals and magazines, and has received grants from the Shakespeare Fellowship Foundation and the De Vere Society to support the production of her new feature length film, Nothing is Truer than Truth, based on the book Shakespeare By Another Name. She teaches English, literature, film, and screenwriting at Lesley University, Northeastern University, Lasell College, and Grub Street Center for Creative Writing.

Resources: Controversy Films at www.controversyfilms.com

Who Wrote Shakespeare’s First Biography?
The question ‘Who wrote the first Biography of Shakespeare?’ might not to matter to Oxfordians but it is very important to Stratfordians. The aim of this talk is to show the great importance attached by recent biographers to the Account by Nicholas Rowe in 1709. However, a brief review of Rowe’s essay shows it to be an introduction to Shakespeare and a straightforward attempt to persuade casual readers to buy his edition. The few claims about the life of Shakespeare were shown to be wrong by Malone later in the century. The earliest attempts at a (highly fictionalized) account of Shakespeare’s life did not emerge until the Victorian period.

Kevin Gilvary obtained MA’s in Classics and Applied Linguistics from the University of Southampton, and was recently awarded his doctorate at Brunel University, London, England with a thesis on “Shakespearean Biografiction”, detailing how biographers rely on context, conjecture and inference to construct a life of the Bard. Kevin was named Oxfordian of the Year in 2011 and is the principal contributor and editor of Dating Shakespeare’s Plays (2010).  He is a trustee of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust and currently serves as Chair of the De Vere Society.

Resources: http://www.deveresociety.co.uk/
Contact: chairman@deveresociety.co.uk

Pericles, Prince of Tyre: Its Authorship, the Question of Collaboration, and its Place in the Shakespearean Canon
Pericles and the history of scholarship regarding its possible authors are a peculiar blend of historical fact and occasionally vigorous academic argument. Left out of Shakespeare’s First Folio, inserted by the editors of the Third Folio in 1664 along with six other plays now regarded as non-Shakespearean, Pericles was conjectured to be a collaboration as early as the beginning of the eighteenth century.

Why was it excluded from the canon for so long? Was it not “Shakespearean” enough? Was it because it was nothing like “Shakespeare” had ever written before – or since? Shakespeare writing Pericles was, after all, a bit like Bill Murray doing “serious drama” or Meryl Streep doing a musical. How dare Shakespeare try to write a heroic travelogue? And pander to the masses like that? Harrumph!

A very popular play in its day, Pericles has generated spirited discussion and debate since its first quarto publication in 1609. This presentation will examine the origin and publication of the play, its history of exclusion and inclusion in the Shakespearean canon, and the scholarship regarding its authorial attribution(s). Buckle up – it’s bumpy ride!

Wally Hurst, BA, MA, JD 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”.

He currently serves as the Director of the Norris Theatre at Louisburg College in North Carolina, 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.

Contact: whurst@louisburg.edu

Juliet and the Grafter
Abstract: ‘Juliet and the Grafter’ reports on part of an investigation into the relationship of the first two quartos of Romeo and Juliet, dated 1597 and 1599 respectively. The popularity of the play hasn’t resulted in as much research upon it as, say, Hamlet, but the two plays have much in common. Tycho Mommsen paired them together in 1857, and since then many scholars have seen the first quarto of each as ‘bad’ or ‘piratical’, and the result of (communal) memorial reconstruction (by actors). The latter is a hypothesis which has gained a significant number of adherents among the major Shakespearean scholars of the last 150 years. It leads to the belief that Shakespeare’s ‘genuine’ and ‘authentic’ text is the second quarto of Romeo and Juliet and that the first quarto is a ‘bad’ quarto, a ‘spurious’ reconstruction from memory, possibly by the actors who played Romeo and Paris. The idea that the first quarto might be a first draft is rejected firmly by one scholar, who declares that ‘all those theories which … have contributed to the conception of Shakespeare as an artist much given to the revision of his own past work are quite without evidence or plausibility’.

A three way comparison between the underlying French source of Hamlet and the first two quartos of that play provided an external reference point for indications of which quarto came first. This text-based evidence indicates clearly that the first quarto of Hamlet is closer to the source than the second quarto is. It also shows that the first quarto has almost double the echoes of the source that the second quarto has. The comparison supports the view held particularly by early reviewers that the first quarto was a ‘first sketch’. In contrast, the second quarto draws away from the source, and from the first quarto. It appears that the second quarto is substantially revised, and that the playwright was not afraid of a bit of hard graft to ensure his play achieved the effect he wanted on stage.

What would another three way comparison show, this time between the first two quartos of Romeo and Juliet, and their source, Arthur Brooke’s Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet? Might there be any justification for the note on the title page of the second quarto, ‘Newly corrected, augmented, and amended’? ‘Juliet and the Grafter’ delves into Brooke’s presentation of Juliet and her transformation in the plays, with a sideways glance at the most memorable images of the play. It also notes that the second quarto isn’t exactly error-free. The paper concludes with considering what these findings suggest about the playwright, his writing habits, and the relationship of the two quartos; could we see the first quarto as an example of ‘juvenilia’? And what does this new three way comparison suggest about the hypothesis of memorial reconstruction?

Margrethe Jolly, PhD — a lecturer in English literature and language turned independent researcher — took her first degree at Southampton University and her second at Brunel. She has been exploring issues relating to the Shakespeare canon where there has been scholarly debate, such as the value of Francis Meres’ testimony in Palladis Tamis. Her principal focus has been on Hamlet: ‘Hamlet and the French Connection’ (Parergon, 2012), and The First Two Quartos of Hamlet: A New View of the Origins and Relationship of the Texts (2014) resulted from her doctoral thesis (http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/10543). These texts argue that the original responses to Hamlet, that the first quarto was the anterior text, are right, and that the date of the play needs reconsideration. Her current research is on the hypothesis of memorial reconstruction and the alleged ‘bad’ quartos.

Resources: Doctoral thesis at http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/10543
Contact: emjolly@btinternet.com

Why Did Robert Greene Repent His Former Works?
Various theories propose that Robert Greene, Henry Chettle and/or Thomas Nashe wrote Greenes Groats-worth of Witte (1592). Biographers have proposed that either Robert Greene or the ghost-writer of his book suffered a crisis of conscience that prompted the puritanical religious conversion and the apology for former works declared in the book. In every century since the 1700s, scholars have stated there is “no doubt” that the pamphlet’s complaint about an “upstart Crow…a Shake-scene” refers to William Shakespeare. Evidence contradicts all these ideas.

Two Oxfordians have proposed the name of the true author, and Robert Greene’s dedications confirm his identity. Linguistic markers link the book to Shakespeare’s plays and poems, making Shakespeare the writer, not the subject. Greene’s prefacing material openly declares that the book’s purpose is not self-expression but a literary exercise. A Jacobean writer in 1617 marveled at its artistry.

Robert Prechter is Executive Director of the Socionomics Institute, an organization dedicated to understanding the causality of social action. He has co-authored papers for academic journals on financial theory, forecasting election outcomes, and financial-market herding. In 2014, he was a main-session speaker at the annual conference of the Academy of Behavioral Finance and Economics in Los Angeles and the closing speaker at the annual conference of the International Federation of Technical Analysts in London. Prechter has written/edited fifteen books on finance and social-causality theory. His title Conquer the Crash was a New York Times bestseller. His newest book—The Socionomic Theory of Finance—is due for publication in late 2015. Since 1979, Prechter has been president of Elliott Wave International, a financial publishing and forecasting firm. For nine years he served on the board of the national Market Technicians Association and in 1990-1 served as its president. He has written a number of articles and papers for Oxfordian journals and newsletters. Since 1998 he has been doing research for a book in this field. Prechter is a graduate of Yale University.

Resources: Additional articles available at http://www.robertprechter.com/prechters-shakespeare-publications/
Contact: bobprechter@hotmail.com

The Droeshout Etching as a Revolutionary Renaissance Work of Art
Since its 1623 appearance as the frontispiece of the First Folio of Shakespeare plays, the Droeshout etching has been an embarrassing enigma. It looks so repulsive, disappointing, and idiotic that no scholar can explain why it prefaced an august, magisterial work of art.

But the Droeshout is a masterpiece of Renaissance artfulness––whose purpose was not portraiture but protecting a politically sensitive truth about the author of the works: his famous surname, literary magnitude, and heroic lineage. 

The geometers who designed and instructed the artistic execution of the Droeshout employed specific inch-dimensions, angles, geometric shapes, and linguistic and numerical puns to construct a late medieval Talisman.  The secrecy involved was characteristic of the Hermetic tradition. Accordingly it was never intended for widespread understanding. Today it serves as probative evidence. The geometrical structures, puns, and optical illusions collectively establish the identity of the First Folio author and disprove any insinuation of, or pretense to, a Stratfordian authorship.

William J. Ray, BA attended the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated “with great distinction” in the Political Science Department in 1968. He continued his intellectual and artistic interests while working and homesteading East of Willits, California, publishing articles and poetry regionally in books, journals, newspapers, and via electronic media. In recent years he has lectured, critiqued books, and written essays on the Shakespeare identification issue. This led to producing youtube.com files, DVD’s, and the website, wjray.net.  His research is quoted in Ver begin, Hidden in Plain Sight, and The Shakespeare Puzzles. He is a former Shakespeare Fellowship Trustee.

Resources: Related text at http://issuu.com/williamray32/docs/droeshout_geometry_colorand wjray.net website at http://www.wjray.net/shakespeare_papers/droeshout_etching_geometry.htm.
Related video: https://vimeo.com/107784949
Other major resources: Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, A Facsimile Edition, Kokeritz & Prouty, Yale University Press, 1955.
William Shakespeare, A Documentary Life, S. Schoenbaum, Oxford University Press, 1975.
Contact: wjray@sonic.net.

The Law of Evidence and the Shakespeare Authorship Question
Over the centuries, Anglo-American law has developed rules of evidence that are useful in evaluating and weighing evidence for legal purposes. While the Shakespeare Authorship Question (SAQ) is more a literary-historical question than a forensic one, the legal rules of evidence are instructive in examining the evidence in the SAQ.

This presentation will explore such legal concepts and their relevance to the SAQ as: “evidence” vs. “proof,” relevant evidence, direct vs. circumstantial evidence, presumptions, contemporary vs. posthumous evidence, motive to fabricate, hearsay, and expert witnesses. This presentation will also touch on the debate concerning circumstantial evidence that occurred in the “Comments” section of the December 29, 2014 Newsweek article on the SAQ. (http://www.newsweek.com/2014/12/26/campaign-prove-shakespeare-didnt-exist-293243.html).

Tom Regnier, JD, LLM, President of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, is an appellate attorney working in South Florida. He received his J.D., summa cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law, and his LL.M. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan F. Stone Scholar. He has taught at the University of Miami School of Law (including a course on Shakespeare and the Law) and at Chicago’s John Marshall Law School. Tom has frequently spoken at authorship conferences on aspects of law in Shakespeare’s works, and he wrote the chapter on Shakespeare’s legal knowledge in Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? (2013). He has performed in seven Shakespeare plays. In 2014, Tom spoke at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. on “Hamlet and the Law of Homicide: the Life of the Mind in Law and Art.”

Resources: http://www.newsweek.com/2014/12/26/campaign-prove-shakespeare-didnt-exist-293243.html

Methinks the Man: Peter Brook and the Authorship Question
In British director Peter Brook’s most recent books, he has taken up the authorship question most vigorously. Unfortunately, there is clear evidence that the writings of Wells and Edmondson have been his major influence.  Yet the mere fact that Brook is interested enough to bring these concerns up at this late point in his distinguished career suggests that somewhere deep inside he is actually bothered about such issues. That is, methinks the man doth actually protest a bit too much in this area. What is he really asking and what is he really saying? In this paper, Brook’s key statements and questions on the authorship issue will be identified and examined. The hope is that if some of his concerns can be answered effectively and in theatrical terms, similar concerns from directors and actors — our natural allies in this struggle for Truth — can also be answered.

Don Rubin, PhD, 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.

Oxford Capture by Pirates, April 1576
Abstract: ‘Oxford Captured by Pirates’ tells the story of Edward De Vere’s return from his Grand Tour on the 10th of April 1576 when he embarked in Calais. His ship was captured by Dutch pirates who had letters of Marque from William of Orange, who led the Dutch revolt against the Spanish, the 80-year war. The pirates, called ‘Watergeuzen’, originated from the town of Flushing which was well known at the time for its successfully raiding ships, most of them Spanish, but also English ones.

There are a number of letters and reports about this incident from Daniel Rogers, English envoy to Orange and from Robert Beale, a diplomat who was sent to Flushing to recover Oxford’s goods and see that justice was done. The affair became somewhat of a political scandal between England and the Dutch, involving William of Orange and his admiral Louis Boisot. One of Oxford’s entourage, Nathaniel Baxter, refers to the incident in a 1606 poem, while in Hamlet a letter is read in which he tells us that he has been captured.    

Jan Scheffer was trained as a psychiatrist and neurologist at the University of Utrecht and subsequently as a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst. He worked for twenty years in forensic psychiatry, held various functions in the psychoanalytical community and was co-founder of the Dutch Psychoanalytical Journal. Having been introduced to Ogburn’s Mysterious William Shakespeare in 1994, he joined the De Vere Society and in 2004-2007 organized four authorship conferences in the Netherlands. Since 2010 he is a board member of the New German Shakespeare Society, and he was instrumental in publishing Robert Detobel’s The Concealed Poet. He lives in Utrecht with his family, where he has a psychoanalytical practice.

Such large discourse, looking before and after

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 “Oxfordian of the Year” in 2012 and 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: Shakespeare Authorship Coalition http://doubtaboutwill.org/

Pericles, Prince of Tyre: An Early, Hermetic, Historicized, Miracle Play
Abstract: Concerns over textual corruption and the theory of co-authorship has dominated the recent critical discourse on Pericles. What makes this play unique in the canon is its archaic style, its chivalric spectacle, and its cast of quaint moralizing characters enacting a parable of human sufferance and recovery. The eight separate appearances of Gower, as both narrator and poetic source, provides the antiquated frame for the extreme oscillations of fortune endured by Pericles, Thaisa, and Marina in the fashion of an early Shakespearean ‘Miracle Play’.

The convention of the poet as Chorus originates in medieval drama, specifically in the saint’s play.  Arden editor David Hoeniger likens Pericles to the vernacular religious drama, especially the Saint’s play, and Pericles reflects these structural features beyond the “device of the choric presenter in the person of a poet, the building up of the action out of a large number of loosely related episodes, the treatment of the play as a ‘pageant’ rather than a work of highly concentrated action around a central conflict, the tragi-comic development of the action, the large part taken in by supernatural powers, and the construction of the whole so as to serve an explicit didactic end.”  The scene when Thaisa’s coffin is washed ashore and Cerimon restores the queen, has its medieval precedent as analogous to the raising of the Queen of Marcylle, apparently dead after childbirth, and of Lazarus in the Digby Mary Magdalene (published 1520).

The reference to the “roguing thieves” who kidnap Marina and who serve the “great pirate Valdes” (4.1.96) is very likely to be a topical allusion to Pedro de Valdez, admiral and paymaster for the Spanish armada, whose disabled ship was captured by Sir Francis Drake in July, 1588. This topical allusion draws attention to the history of scholarship that noted numerous parallels between Pericles and the Arcadia of Phillip Sidney, edited by Fulke Greville and published in 1590. Oxfordians should consider the possibility that Pericles represents an early drama, c. 1590, a literary response to the Arcadia, an expression of grief over the death of Ann Cecil, and of gratitude to Queen Elizabeth (as Diana) for his annuity. 

Earl Showerman, MD, graduated from Harvard College and the University of Michigan Medical School, and practiced emergency medicine in Oregon for over 30 years. A longtime patron of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, after retiring from medicine in 2003, he enrolled at Southern Oregon University to study Shakespeare and begin his research on the authorship question. Over the past decade Earl has presented a series of papers at conferences and published on the topic of Shakespeare’s “Greater Greek”.  He is the executive producer of Mignarda’s recording, “My Lord of Oxenford’s Maske”, and contributed the chapter on Shakespeare’s medical knowledge in Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? – Exposing an Industry in Denial.  He is an honorary trustee of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust and past president of the Shakespeare Fellowship.

The Theology of Pericles
Abstract: This paper will examine the theological dimensions of this early enigmatic play in light of the authorship question and the de Vere Geneva Bible. 

Roger Stritmatter PhD, is a 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.

Resources: Shakespeare’s Bible http://shake-speares-bible.com/

‘Vulgar Scandal’ Mentioned in Shakespeare’s Sonnets
In his sonnets Shake-speare reveals that he is embroiled in a ‘vulgar scandal’ that has made him ‘a motley to the view’ and a ‘disgrace in men’s eyes.’ This paper asks in whose eyes was he disgraced and what was the nature of his offence? It shows how evidence of this long-buried affair is still recoverable from existing sources and presents a fraction of it by way of introduction to an intriguing and under-researched aspect of Shakespearean biography.

Alexander Waugh is the author of Classical Music (1995), Opera (1996), Time (1999), and God (2002), as well as a family biography Fathers and Sons (2004), and the House of Wittgenstein (2008). 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 co-edited Shakespeare Beyond Doubt?  Exposing an Industry in Denial (2013). He is Honorary President of the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition. http://www.doubtaboutwill.org/

Resources: SAC http://www.doubtaboutwill.org/

Oxfordian Theory and Academia – Past, Future and Present
Abstract: Oxfordians will be most effective in convincing academia that the Shakespeare authorship question is a legitimate one for academic study if they understand the reasons why scholars rejected the idea of Oxford’s authorship of Shakespeare’s works when it was first introduced. Comparing Oxfordian theory with another theory proposed around the same time, continental drift, reveals two reasons why academia rejected it: Looney’s original theory was incomplete, and the methodology prevalent in the field of literary studies evolved in ways unfavorable to consideration of the authorship question in the decades since then. This presentation incorporates an understanding of those reasons into a game plan for engagement with academia. One key part of the plan involves convincing the sizeable minority of scholars who already recognize the validity of the authorship question to act on the basis of that recognition in the face of institutional pressures against doing so.

James 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.

Resources: NESOL http://shakespeareoxfordlibrary.org/, Index . . . http://shakespeareoxfordlibrary.org/NESOL_Bookstore.html and http://www.amazon.com/Index-Oxfordian-Publications-non-Oxfordian-publications/dp/0983502765

The Queen’s ‘Worm’ in Antony and Cleopatra

Abstract: In the last scene of Antony and Cleopatra, the dramatist has a Clown (of all people) smuggle a poisonous snake past Roman guards into Cleopatra’s mausoleum, where she plans to kill herself by snakebite. In the short passage, she and the Clown always refer to the snake (nine times) as a “worm,” which in French is “ver,” the Earl of Oxford’s family name, de Vere. The incongruous, even humorous, banter between the Clown and Queen Cleopatra, court jester and monarch, as they contemplate her suicide can be read not only as his promise that the snakebite will make Cleopatra (shadowing Queen Elizabeth in the play) immortal with its bite, but also that the bite of the “worm” (the plays of de Vere’s) will make Queen Elizabeth immortal. A court audience for whom Oxford wrote Antony and Cleopatra would readily appreciate the extended wordplay, which has completely eluded commentators who mistakenly believe Shakspere of Stratford was the author.  

Richard Whalen is co-editor with Ren Draya of Blackburn College of the Oxfordian edition of Othello, and the editor of Macbeth in the series.  Whalen is also the author of Shakespeare, Who Was He? The Oxford Challenge to the Bard of Avon. (Greenwood-Praeger 1994 and still in print.) It’s billed as the only concise, balanced introduction to the authorship controversy. His articles and book reviews have appeared in many publications, including Harper’s Magazine, The Tennessee Law Review, The Oxfordian, and Oxfordian newsletters. He is a past president of the Shakespeare Oxford Society.

Resources: Shakespeare: Who was He? http://www.amazon.com/Shakespeare-Who-Was-He-Oxford-Challenge-ebook/dp/B001E96D7U (Kindle edition), Othello http://www.amazon.com/Othello-Moor-Venice-William-Shakespeare/dp/1605944394, MacBeth http://www.amazon.com/Macbeth-2nd-William-Shakespeare/dp/1605949922

Did We Mislay Hamlet’s ‘as ’twere’ on the Way to the Authorship Amphitheatre? (‘to hold, as ’twere, the mirror up to nature’)
The problem of a too literal understanding of mimesis in Authorship Studies, and how it may be remedied in Authorship Informed Shakespeare Criticism –

The Greek word Mimesis, which we translate by ‘representation’ or ‘truth to life’ or ‘realism’ etc., remains the term for the largest perennial problem in literary criticism, the relationship of art and life. It remains, inarticulately, the center of the war between Stratford and Oxford about the Authorship of Shakespeare. Stratford’s watchword might be:

‘Is it not monstrous that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit……
and all for nothing!
For Hecuba!
What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? What would he do,
Had he the motive and the cue for passion
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears….’

Hamlet assumes that, if ‘a fiction, a dream of passion’ was to impact the world, it must replicate the overwhelming force of actual, inner reality: then, ‘He would drown the stage in tears.’ A.D. Nuttall, in A New Mimesis, takes mimesis literally and concretely in this sense. Stratford’s answer, in effect, is ‘What’s Hecuba to him or he to Hecuba that he should weep for her?’ Hecuba stands as a mere fiction, which does not relate to life except in the most generic sense. This is the position of James Shapiro and many others. We are faced with the serious possibility that this position may prevail. 

But Hamlet’s own ‘as ’twere’ gives us the third position, which reconciles the Stratfordian and the Oxfordian extremes. It is also there in the Choruses of Henry V, which are directed at the extreme literalism of Sir Philip Sidney. For both positions are extremes. The three greatest pieces of twentieth Stratfordian literary criticism, by Wilson Knight, Rene Girard, and Ted Hughes, all come from Hamlet’s, and the Henry Chorus, third position. All three grasp that mimesis is enactment, and that enactment, in human history, goes through the three stages of:

enactment as pure action, pure conflict, in the pre-organized, war of all against all, stage of mentality;

enactment as the dramatic ‘as if’ of ritual become drama which culminates in the great epochs of tragic art in Greece, in Elizabethan times, and in the nineteenth century (in music drama and the novel), realizing in living form the absolute fault lines of a culture, that is, ‘the very age and body of the time his form and pressure’;

and, finally, when enactment has been reduced to mere representation, in the eighteenth century, the literalistic and falsely polarized stage we have now, once more, reached, which is the one which produces the extremes of this mimetic war we are all engaged in.

(Notice that these are also the three views of the Eucharist over which the Reformation epoch went to religious war.) How can Oxfordianism escape this dilemma? Literary archeology, of many kinds, is necessary, indeed, but it is no longer sufficient. Taken as sufficient, as the one thing needful, it becomes as reductive as we accuse our opponents of being.  We need to become literary critics all over again, to really go back to the roots of tragic art, and so transcend both our own and Stratford’s literalism.

Heward Wilkinson D Psych, MSc Psych, MA, BA, lives in London, UK, and is an Integrative Psychotherapist, and a literary scholar and philosopher. He was senior editor of International Journal of Psychotherapy, the Journal of the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP), from 1994­-2004. He pursues in depth studies, teaching, and presentations in relation to literature, philosophy, and psychotherapy, with a special interest in the Shakespeare authorship question, and speaks at Shakespeare authorship conferences in UK and America. He is a committee member of the De Vere Society (UK), also the Leavis Society, and speaks at Leavis Society conferences. He has had papers and reviews published in Brief Chronicles. He is a lover of music, nature especially butterflies, and football/soccer and cricket. He is author of The Muse as Therapist: A New Poetic Paradigm for Psychotherapy (Karnac/UKCP 2009), which contains a major chapter on the Shakespeare authorship question, which was drawn from in his Brief Chronicles paper on King Lear.  https://www.shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/wp-content/uploads/Wilkinson.Cordelia.pdf. His current focus, overlapping all his spheres of interest, is historical consciousness, the historicity of consciousness. http://hewardwilkinson.co.uk/psychotherapy-writings

Resources: http://hewardwilkinson.co.uk/psychotherapy-writings

Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship Shakespeare Identified Centennial Committee:
Jennifer Newton, Tom Regnier, Kathryn Sharpe, Linda Theil, James Warren, and Bryan Wildenthal

Purpose of the SI-100 Committee:
The role of SOF’s Shakespeare Identified 100 Year Anniversary (SI-100) Committee is to encourage, communicate, and help to coordinate events that celebrate the groundbreaking accomplishment of John Thomas Looney, the man who discovered that Edward de Vere was the true author of the works traditionally attributed to William Shakespeare. The publication of Looney’s book, Shakespeare Identified, is one of the most important events in the history of the post-Stratfordian movement, which was built on long-standing, reasonable doubts about the authenticity and likelihood of the traditional Shakespeare biography.

The SI-100 committee will use the opportunity afforded by centennial year 2020 to learn more about the founder of Oxfordianism, celebrate his impact on Shakespeare studies, and use the Web and social media to increase awareness about events being planned by the SOF and other groups and individuals.

The committee will act as a clearinghouse–gathering, coordinating, and disseminating information about centennial activities and other key events leading up to 2020. We do not see the committee as having any decision making role as to what celebrations will or should occur, nor will the committee itself take on the task of actually *doing* the celebrations (although some members might volunteer to do various things).

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

Selected Oxfordian Readings of Oregon Shakespeare Festival Plays

Much Ado about Nothing

Clark, Eva Turner (1931) Hidden Allusions in Shakespeare’s Plays, pp. 372-387. New York: William Farquhar Payson.

Farina, William (2006) De Vere as Shakespeare: an Oxfordian reading of the canon, pp. 44-48. Jefferson, North Carolina, and London: McFarland & Company, Inc. 

Fiore, Nora (2009) “Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing: the keys to Shakespeare,” Shakespeare Matters, Vol. 8/3, pp. 21-24.

Holland, Hubert H. (Admiral) (1947) “Much Ado About Nothing and The Shepherd’s Calendar,” in Shakespeare Fellowship Newsletter (English), pp. 6-8.

Johnson, Philip (2001) “John Lyly’s Endimion and William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing,” in The De Vere Society Newsletter, pp. 12-16. (reprint in Great Oxford, pp. 151-158. ed. Richard C. W. Malim (2010)

Much Ado About Nothing,” in Dating Shakespeare’s Plays: a critical review of the evidence, pp. 91-100. ed. Kevin Gilvary. Turnbridge Wells, Kent: Parapress. 

Showerman, Earl (2009) “Shakespeare’s Many Much Ado’s: Alcestis, Hercules, and Love’s Labour’s Wonne” in Brief Chronicles, pp. 109-140.   

Antony and Cleopatra

Delahoyde, Michael (2015) Oxfordian Anthony and Cleopatra, CreateSpace and “Edward de Vere’s Anthony and Cleopatra,” in Discovering Shakespeare: a Festschrift in Honour of Isabel Holden, (2009)  pp. 13-22. Edited by Daniel Wright.  Portland: The Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre at Concordia University. 

Brand, Alice Blarden (1976) “Antony and Cleopatra and the Nature of Their Sexuality,” in The Bard, Vol. 1/3, pp. 98-107.

Clark, Eva Turner (1931) Hidden Allusions in Shakespeare’s Plays, pp. 202-213. New York: William Farquhar Payson.

Draya, Ren (2006) “Antony and Cleopatra: the women’s voices,” in The Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter, Vol. 42, No. 2, pp. 22-25. (reprint in Discovering Shakespeare: a Festschrift in Honour of Isabel Holden, pp. 23-28.   Edited by Daniel Wright.  Portland: The Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre at Concordia University.)

Farina, William (2006) De Vere as Shakespeare: an Oxfordian reading of the canon, pp. 213- 218. Jefferson, North Carolina, and London: McFarland & Company, Inc.

Ogburn, Dorothy and Charlton (1952) This Star of England, pp. 285-265 and 1166-1173. New York: Coward-McCann, Inc.

Rollett, John (2010) “Antony and Cleopatra,” in Dating Shakespeare’s Plays: a critical review of the evidence, pp. 415-422. ed. Kevin Gilvary. Turnbridge Wells, Kent: Parapress.

Whalen, Richard F. (1998) “The Queen’s Worm, in Antony and Cleopatra,” in The Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter, Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 12-13.

Pericles: Prince of Tyre

Allen, Percy (1944, May) “The Symbolism of Pericles and The Winter’s Tale,” in The Shakespeare Fellowship Newsletter (English branch), p. 4-5.

Boyle, Charles (2000) “Why Pericles Was Not Included in the First Folio,” in The Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter, Vol. 35/4, p. 6-8. (reprinted in Building the Case, Vol. 9, p. 250-258. Ed. Paul Altrocchi.)

Clark, Eva Turner (1931) Hidden Allusions in Shakespeare’s Plays, p. 56-74. New York: William Farquhar Payson.

Dwyer, J. J. (1943, Feb.) “A Note on Pericles,” in The Shakespeare Fellowship Newsletter (American branch), Vol. 4/2, p. 23-24.

Farina, William (2006) De Vere as Shakespeare: an Oxfordian reading of the canon, Jefferson, North Carolina, and London: McFarland & Company, Inc.  pp 98-101.

Gilvary, Kevin (2010) “Pericles,” in Dating Shakespeare’s Plays: a critical review of the evidence, p. 435-444.  Turnbridge Wells, Kent: Parapress.

Hazelton, Sally (2005, May) “Collaboration: Pericles and The Two Noble Kinsmen,” in The De Vere Society Newsletter, p. 19-21.

Marder, Lewis (1976, Dec.) “Stylometric Analysis and the Pericles Problem,” in The Shakespeare Newsletter, Vol. 26, No. 6, pp. 46.

Ogburn, Dorothy and Charlton (1952) This Star of England, pp. 127-135. New York: Coward- McCann, Inc.

Showerman, Earl (2009) “Mythopoesis of Resurrection: Hesiod to Shakespeare: The Winter’s Tale and Pericles,” in Discovering Shakespeare: a Festschrift in Honour of Isabel Holden, pp. 87-112.  Edited by Daniel Wright. Portland: Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre at Concordia University. 

Smith, M. W. A. (1982) “The Authorship of Pericles: an initial investigation,” in The Bard, Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 143-176.  And (1983) “The Authorship of Pericles: collocations investigated again,” in The Bard, Vol. Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 15-21.

Syllabus cover and poster image from “Shakespeare” By Another Name – The Life of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, The Man Who Was Shakespeare courtesy of Mark Anderson. Design by Bonner Cutting.

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