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How I Became An Oxfordian

“How I Became an Oxfordian” is a periodic series of essays from members about the origins of their interest in the Shakespeare Authorship question. Every Oxfordian has his or her own story about the events that led to that moment of recognition when it became clear that Oxford had to be the real Shakespeare. Every Oxfordian’s story is unique and an inspiration to other Oxfordians and to people new to the authorship question. Bob Meyers, President Emeritus of the National Press Foundation, is editor of this series and wants to hear from you about how you became an Oxfordian. SOF members, send your essay (500 words or less in an editable form such as a Word document), along with a digital photo of yourself to info@shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org.

John Milnes Baker: How I Became an Oxfordian

My older brother Alan was an English major at Columbia. He graduated in 1947 and earned a M.A. in English Literature two years later. In 1952 he married Columbia Professor Alfred Bennett Harbage’s daughter Diana. (Dr. Harbage later became Cabot ...

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George Anderson: How I Became an Oxfordian

Shakespeare mocks Appearance to the glory of Truth, except in fact Being the author’s imprinted Name.  Shakespeare’s soaring text I came to deeply admire the works of Shakespeare during my college years (1950’s).  For his economy of words expressing eloquent thought, for the range of his ...

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Rhoda Messner: How I Became an Oxfordian

With this reprint from our archives, the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship begins the occasional publication of classic “How I Became an Oxfordian” articles. Same title, different decades. This first one comes from the SOF files and was published in our newsletter ...

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Randall Sherman: How I Became an Oxfordian

I first became aware of the authorship question back in 1974, when my father, who was an attorney, sent me a copy of the Harvard Review, which contained an article written by Charlton Ogburn. At the time, I was taking ...

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Pamela Butler: How I Became an Oxfordian

I first learned about Edward de Vere when I encountered a man in an Elizabethan costume at an Oxford conference in San Francisco. I was having dinner at the same hotel, and asked him what was going on. He asked ...

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Michael Delahoyde: How I Became an Oxfordian

I never liked liking what others like, so I avoided Shakespeare as a student. As a literature teacher in colleges, though, I had to include a few plays in survey courses. The first time I taught an entire semester of ...

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Stuart Marlow: How I Became an Oxfordian

At school and college in Leeds and Reading in the England of 1960s and 70s, all my tutors tended to concentrate on Shakespeare’s work, not his  identity. Without exception they claimed there was too much uncertainty to get bogged down ...

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Amanda Hinds: How I Became an Oxfordian

My acceptance of the circumstantial evidence that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, was the ‘towering figure’ 1 behind the works of William Shakespeare started with reading Contested Will .2 To quote Mark Anderson, ‘Shapiro has in a sense ...

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Jonathan Dixon: How I Became an Oxfordian

In school we were introduced to Shakespeare’s sonnets with the usual explanation:  Shakespeare wrote them as “poetic exercises on stock themes” to show off to his friends.  My response?  “If he didn’t really care about them, why should I?” Several ...

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Heward Wilkinson: How I Became an Oxfordian

I was born at the end of the European War in 1945, into an English literary family with connections to the Bloomsbury Set. I studied English at school, early aware of Shakespeare; I reached him by way of Middleton Murry’s ...

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