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Thomas Drelon: How I Became an Oxfordian

I heard of the Authorship Question in 1999-2000 reading a small brochure bought at the Globe, with the seductive portrait of Edward de Vere painted in Paris in 1575. The same day, I remember having seen Mark Rylance himself, rehearsing in Henry V battle dress with Fleur de Lys et Léopards d’Angleterre, the Plantagenet coat of arms.

Thomas Drelon is a writer in Versailles, France, and director of client services for STIPA, a digital publishing platform.

Thomas Drelon is a writer in Versailles, France, and director of client services for STIPA, a digital publishing platform.

I realized: this Shake-Speare is a King, not only an aristocrat, the True Duke of Milan, The Absolute Expression of English Glory. You do not write this way without a good reason.

In 2013 I read Mark Anderson’s Shakespeare by Another Name and everything made sense. I felt I knew Hamlet now, and Timon, and Orsino, and Antonio, and Jacques, and the True sense of the Sonnets, and who Christopher Sly is really and the great Stratfordian imposture! These characters were facets of Oxford.

Now I know about his Grand tour in Italy and France where he met Henri III, the last Valois, and very likely Titian himself.

When I first started to read Shakespeare, I was 17. Discovered in French, in bilingual editions. The first monologue of Hamlet tore me apart. With the grand finale of A Midsummer Night’s Dream I was in Heaven, Heaven and my heart can hardly speak now. Break my heart for I must hold my tongue! (Hamlet). Within these magnificent, violent pieces I could smell hell, fires, fierce pride. Shame shame shame nothing but shame, let life be short else shame will be too long (Henry V). The French in me was fighting my British side.

For me Shake-Speare always must have been conceived into the bowels not only of a great aristocrat, but of a true King. A dispossessed King. The rightful King. The King Over the Waters. A (Tudor? Stuart?) King in Exile. The last absolutist King of Divine Right. The only legitimate King, the true Duke of Milan, REX AUT NIHIL, the everlasting Prince of Poets. The Outcast King.

So I have decided to write a book, in French, about Oxford. I will try to present the Oxfordian revelation. How its work and scientific study delivers the portrait of Edward de Vere – slowly but surely – behind the face of a masque called Will. Shakspere. The “upstart crow”.

There has been a great French passion for Shakespeare from Voltaire to Hugo. But it seems that from the last 200 years, this passion is dead. The Thomas Looney work is huge enough to make the passion alive again!

My book will be called “Notre Shakespeare.” Here is my outline:

  • First part: William Shakspere 1564-1616: what we know.
  • Second part: Edward de Vere, XVII Earl of Oxford 1550-1604. What we know.
  • Third part: 1001 “coincidences” between Edward de Vere’s Life and the canon.
  • Fourth part: From Tudor to Stuart. English absolutist dusk – dawn of British Protestant Supremacy. About the highly political dimension of the Work.
  • Fifth part: About the incestuous relationship (real or not) between Edward de Vere and Queen Elizabeth. And one of the major reasons why the Virgin Queen’s réputation had to remain intact. And why Oxford must have kept his tongue teared like Lavinia after being raped.

“Break my heart for I must hold my tongue!” 

– Thomas Drelon

“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: info@shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org . Also include a sentence about yourself (e.g., “John J. Smith is a businessman in San Francisco.”)

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