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Detobel reports on Die Weltwoche review of Der Mann, der Shakespeare erfand

Robert Detobel reports from Germany:
Here an extract of the one-page review of Kurt Kreiler’s book, Der Mann, der Shakespeare erfand: Edward de Vere Earl of Oxford (1550-1604) in “Die Weltwoche” (The Week in the World) a well-known Zurich-based Swiss weekly. Translated are the four first and the final paragraphs.

WELTWOCHE, October 10, 2009

Pseudonym Shakespeare
Research proves: The author William Shakespeare was no real person. The name was the pseudonym of the 17th Earl of Oxford.”
By Daniele Muscionico.

Scientists have run out of their wits over authorship studies. Historians muted into intriguers, biographers into denunciators – for nearly 150 years the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays is a play of Shakespeare: a comedy of errors.

Shakespeare, this world-famous literary figure, was a man of whom nothing was known. A bust in Stratford – stone has no tongue. Six signatures in his own handwriting – but how cramped and clumsy! There is not very much more to prove his existence. From whence did he take his knowledge of the Italian language and landscape? A common player would at best have traveled as far as beyond the city walls of London. Could he write at all? When he arrived in the capital, ten of Shakespeare’s plays already belonged to the repertory of the playing company of which he became a member.

Suspicions have long been uttered: The glover’s son and part-time player Shakspere of Stratford, who created his works out of the blue and the genius Shakespeare embody two incommensurable types of human existence.

A journey to the otherworld sheds light on the enigma: Shakespeare was the pseudonym of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, a favorite at the court of Qeen Elizabeth I. Such is the thesis the Shakespeare expert Kurt Kreiler unfolds in his recent book. In a fascinating circumstantial novel he ennobles the most tenacious criminal case of literary history into a pleading for a Forgotten: Edward de Vere (1550-1604).

. . .

But in Stratford the efforts to fixate the name are going on, an open secret. What to tell the many millions of visitors on pilgrimage to their Saint? How to explain the uniqueness of the genius if suddenly it leaked out that not a burgher of the town but an aristocrat was the One? All’s well that ends well? The wish is father to the thought.

About Matthew Cossolotto


  1. You’ve misspelled Kreiler’s book (twice). The verb is “erfand” not “erfund”. I recommend correcting this so anyone searching for the book will be able to find it.

  2. Thanks very much for this important correction.

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