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 who I believed Shakespeare really was and I told him, “The man from Stratford.” He proposed the Earl of Oxford. I considered him an elitist to propose an Earl as a nominee for Shakespeare. I was in my twenties and certain in my belief in authority. My total absence of uncertainty about my ignorance astounds me now, but Fast Forward thirty years or so, and I was no longer so naive. So when I encountered Mark Anderson’s book, Shakespeare by Another Name, I was open to look at the evidence. What I found bowled me over. I went on to read everything I could find. I particularly loved Dorothy and Charlton Ogburn’s 800-page book, This Star of England. Then I discovered Hank Whittemore’s The Monument. For the first time, the sonnets were understandable, not just beautiful. The book, Hidden in Plain Sight, by Peter Rush, with its line-by-line exegesis, cemented my conviction that the Prince Tudor hypothesis (that Southampton was the son of Queen Elizabeth and Oxford), first presented by the Ogburns, was correct.
I view the Shakespeare/Oxfordian controversy as a prototype for many other events. Where the assault on truth has taken place, there occurs the same unwillingness to look at evidence and the usual “ad hominem” attacks. Interestingly as a clinical psychologist, I constantly work with people who are reluctant to change their views about themselves learned from childhood. Moreover, they frequently castigate themselves mercilessly, instead of accepting the current evidence of who they really are. Lord Oxford, as wounded and blemished as he is, has become my hero and role model.
As you can see from my photo, I now love Elizabethan costumes. But now I’ve read many thick and erudite books to back up my claims. That chance meeting 30 years ago was just one of those small encounters that somehow don’t get forgotten.
— Pamela Butler, Ph.D.
Hank Whittemore’s The Monument is available on Amazon.
“How I Became an Oxfordian” is edited by Bob Meyers. You may submit your essay on this topic (500 words or less in an editable format such as MS Word), along with a digital photo of yourself, to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also include a sentence about yourself (e.g., “John J. Smith is a businessman in San Francisco.”).
Next week’s essay is by Randall Sherman.
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