Authorship in the Classroom
As more and more people become aware of the authorship debate, it has become an issue of some interest to teachers of Shakespeare, both at the secondary and college levels. Many classroom English and Shakespeare teachers bring the issue up to demonstrate methods of debate and logical thinking, as well as to introduce students to the enriched understanding they can have of the Bard once they know who he really was.
Last year (in the Winter 1999 Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter) Roger Stritmatter wrote about one such teacher — Robert Barrett, a secondary school English teacher in the state of Washington — and told our newsletter readers about his personal story of the joys and rewards — and risks — of bringing the Oxfordian view of Shakespeare into the classroom.
The man taking the heat in the Northwest for bringing authorship into the classroom is interviewed by Roger Stritmatter.
This interview was published along with the article “Teaching the next generation Oxford was Shakespeare”.
Andrew Werth, a recent graduate of Concordia University (in Portland, Oregon, home of the Edward de Vere Studies Conference), writes about his perspectives on studying literature in conjunction with an author’s biography, and how such study stands in stark contrast to the conventional views of and conventional teaching of Shakespeare. (This essay was published in Volume II (1999) of the Society’s annual journal, The Oxfordian.)
In a 1989 Shakespeare Oxford Society Newsletter article, Oxfordian Tom Goff wrote about the intersection of affairs of state and the historical dramas of the 1580s (such as Henry IV and Henry V), making an interesting Oxfordian case for how the early Oxford/Shakespeare was most likely writing historical dramas in the service of the state at a time of impending war.
Questions have been raised from time to time as to why Oxfordians claim that Vladimir Nabokov doubted the Stratford story… after all, the argument goes, there is no clear indication in his works, nor in his biography. As it turns out, we were privileged ten years ago (1990) to publish in the Shakespeare Oxford Society Newsletter an obscure 1924 Nabokov poem — translated by his son in 1988 — that should, once and for all, settle any doubts about Nabokov’s Stratford doubts.
Oxfordian researcher Peter Moore wrote in a 1993 Shakespeare Oxford Society Newsletter article about the “other” famous sonnet cycle from Elizabethan times (Sidney’s Astrophel and Stella), and makes a persuasive case that the on-going centuries-long dispute about who Stella actually was is a perfect answer for Stratfordians who claim that no conspiracy or coverup would have been possible in the matter of the Shakespeare authorship dispute.