The introduction to Marie Merkel’s as yet unpublished book, The First Mousetrap is online at http://www.thefirstmousetrap.org
Hank Whittemore, author of The Monument: Shakespeare’s Sonnets by Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, said today on Nina Green’s Phaeton email list:
I believe her insights into Titus as related to the Howards are persuasive as well as boldly new — a real discovery for us, it would seem.
The full title of Merkel’s book is —
The First Mousetrap: Titus Andronicus & the Tudor Massacre of the Howards
With the wrongful deaths of:
Anne Boleyn, Queen of England (beheaded 1526
Catherine Howard, Queen of England (beheaded 1542)
Henry Howard, poet earl of Surrey (beheaded 1547)
Thomas Howard, 4th duke of Norfolk (beheaded 1572)
& several other unfortunate Howards, never before deciphered.
Merkel said: That knavish piece of work, Titus Andronicus, is actually an ingenious device, designed by its author (most likely, the same that gave us King Lear) to catch the conscience of the queen, a guilty creature with the blood of her own kin on her hands.
According to her website, a condensed version of chapter 1, entitled “Tyrant’s Crests and Tombs of Brass” will appear in the 2009 issue of The Oxfordian.
Merkel will speak on the topic of Ben Jonson’s pervasive influence on The Tempest at the Symposium: Shakespeare from an Oxfordian Perspective in Watertown, Massachusettes on May 30th, 2009.