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The Shakespeare Authorship Controversy

WAB

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Hola Swammi,

If you mean me, I was banned from the ShakesVere group. I made all of three posts there, the last one quite critical of Oxford's acknowledged poems. I have tried to get to the group, but it's as if it disappeared. I will not pursue trying to get back in, but I am nonetheless still compelled to follow the bread crumbs you and T.G.G.M. have dropped.

I find it all quite fascinating, and believe me, if and when I am ever fairly certain of the Duke's authorship (I do believe that it is certainly possible that Oxford wrote Shakespeare; and I agree, and have agreed all throughout, that there is significant reason, if not through actual, concrete, forensic evidence, then in tons of speculative and circumstantial evidence, to doubt the authorship of TSM.

Just today, as I was looking to see if I could locate a William Peter Blatty book - since I have read the Exorcist trilogy (Exorcist, Legend, and Dimiter) with extreme pleasure, and since The Exorcist is my favorite film, which I have watched probably 50 times, I decided to see if I could now afford one of his other novels.

I see at Wikipedia that Blatty wrote a comic novel called I, Billy Shakespeare, and that he was engaged as a comic writer at the beginning of his career! Of all the ironic things, but not exactly a surprise, since his books contain a certain degree of comedy - especially in his Lt Detective Kinderman character, as played in the first film by the incredibly talented and almost forgotten Lee J. Cobb.

I am going to buy the book, if it is available somewhere as a downloadable file, and I will offer my review of it when I'm finished.The narrative treats of the authorship question, according to the page, which is here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I,_Billy_Shakespeare
 

Swammerdami

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I'm sure it's frustrating to get barred from a discussion like ShakesVere. but you can't really blame them for being unwelcoming.

For example, in this thread a link was posted to a YouTube with a Shakespearean "scholar" who, when asked about anti-Stratfordians, replied with an insult like "scraping it off his shoes" and presented as example a woman who'd written him claiming Queen Elizabeth was a transsexual. If the group were fully open it would be filled with such ignorant rants. BUT they may have erred on the side of excess caution.

I've seen discussions of this topic degenerate into ignorant and useless rants elsewhere. I have been very impressed with TFT where the discussion has been entirely intelligent and without gratuitous insults.

I've ventured 1 or 2 brief questions at the ShakesVere group, including one about the mysterious "pasted-in 'candles'" (mentioned upthread in #413) in De Vere's Bible. Since Strittmatter himself is in the group I hoped for an answer, but none was offered.
 
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WAB

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I'm sure it's frustrating to get barred from a discussion like ShakesVere. but you can't really blame them for being unwelcoming.

For example, in this thread a link was posted to a YouTube with a Shakespearean "scholar" who, when asked about anti-Stratfordians, replied with an insult like "scraping it off his shoes" and presented as example a woman who'd written him claiming Queen Elizabeth was a transsexual. If the group were fully open it would be filled with such ignorant rants. BUT they may have erred on the side of excess caution.

I've seen discussions of this topic degenerate into ignorant and useless rants elsewhere. I have been very impressed with TFT where the discussion has been entirely intelligent and without gratuitous insults.

I've ventured 1 or 2 brief questions at the ShakesVere group, including one about the mysterious "pasted-in 'candles'" (mentioned upthread in #413) in De Vere's Bible. Since Strittmatter himself is in the group I hoped for an answer, but none was offered.

Indeed, Swammi, I don't blame them for giving me the boot. That will make three times I was banished for my silliness.

Yes, this has been a pretty tame thread, all things considered.

***

About the Blatty book, I was expecting something a lot funnier than what I've read so far, though I am only at pg 18. It's a very small book, mostly taken up with comical drawings. I will probably finish it quickly.

I like Blatty's prose writing very much, though he's not a Henry James or Edith Wharton.
 

WAB

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...if it is available somewhere as a downloadable file, ...I will offer my review of it when I'm finished. - me myself and I & all of us.

I, Billy Shakespeare, was silly, but not terribly funny. I bailed less than a third of the way through.
 
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Swammerdami

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Without comment by me, a post in ShakesVere yesterday:
Roger Stritmatter said:
Here's an illustration of the difference between real and fake use of linguistic data to help establish authorship:
Claim for North:
“Well, then I shall see thee again.”
“It is a wonderful thing to see.”
[Sources not identified]
Claim that "Shakespeare" wrote the first twenty poems of the 1599 Poetry book, Passionate Pilgrim:
But not so fair as fickle Pass. Pilg. VII.1
But not so short as sweet Rich. II 5.3.117
Anon he comes, and throws his mantle by Pass. Pilg. VI.9
But now he throws that shallow habit by Lucrece 1814
And as he fell to her, she fell to him. Pass. Pilg. XI.4
So soon was she along as he was down Venus 43
Now was she just before him as he sat Venus 349
When Cytherea (all in love forlorne) Pass. Pilg. VI .3
Poor queen of love, in thine own law forlorn Venus 251
Not daring trust the office of mine eies Pass. Pilg. XIII.16
Is there no exorcist
Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes? All’s Well 5.3.304-305.
These examples are analyzed in detail in the forthcoming volume II (now in proofreading stages) of the de Vere poems series. They represent evidence powerful enough to substantiate a claim of common authorship. The examples cited by the North advocates rarely rise to the level of substantiating a claim of influence, and usually when they do, its no news to anyone familiar with the long-established influence of North's translations on Shakespeare.
 

WAB

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Without comment by me, a post in ShakesVere yesterday:
Roger Stritmatter said:
Here's an illustration of the difference between real and fake use of linguistic data to help establish authorship:
Claim for North:
“Well, then I shall see thee again.”
“It is a wonderful thing to see.”
[Sources not identified]
Claim that "Shakespeare" wrote the first twenty poems of the 1599 Poetry book, Passionate Pilgrim:
But not so fair as fickle Pass. Pilg. VII.1
But not so short as sweet Rich. II 5.3.117
Anon he comes, and throws his mantle by Pass. Pilg. VI.9
But now he throws that shallow habit by Lucrece 1814
And as he fell to her, she fell to him. Pass. Pilg. XI.4
So soon was she along as he was down Venus 43
Now was she just before him as he sat Venus 349
When Cytherea (all in love forlorne) Pass. Pilg. VI .3
Poor queen of love, in thine own law forlorn Venus 251
Not daring trust the office of mine eies Pass. Pilg. XIII.16
Is there no exorcist
Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes? All’s Well 5.3.304-305.
These examples are analyzed in detail in the forthcoming volume II (now in proofreading stages) of the de Vere poems series. They represent evidence powerful enough to substantiate a claim of common authorship. The examples cited by the North advocates rarely rise to the level of substantiating a claim of influence, and usually when they do, its no news to anyone familiar with the long-established influence of North's translations on Shakespeare.

I didn't want to dredge up the main points of MY particular, personal (read: subjective) opinion regarding the SAQ, TSM, or the Oxfordian Authorship Theory, BUT

There's always a :moonie:

With respect to the quote above, and with regard to PP (Passionate Pilgrim): (deep breath, ahhhh....Hey, easy William; just hold those reins tight and keep 'er steady. And Bill, please try to maintain a decently unnoticeable heartbeat for GOD's sake! And stop with the headaches! And quit making me, I mean us...reach for the damn coffee, or a goddamn cigarette!! for the love of! Watch what you're doing! My god can't you keep us on a diet! Look at those fat fingers!!!! How do you expect to...ah hell just type!!!)

First, PP was a mixture of various authors, some known attributions, some not so known. There was (purportedly, (and I am NOT AN EXPERT! ) uh...Kit Marlowe, with his shepherd to the girl poem...Well, leastways I rekkin it might have been a girl? Who knows? Oh yeah, well I don't know, but I suppose Marlow could have been gay, or bi, or what have you (etc, etc, etc&). Who knows? Well of course there are rumors and hearsay! This was more than four and a half centuries ago, and he was a poet, for heaven's sake, and wore puffy shirts to boot! Things get said. And we all know the poofters couldn't exactly hold hands and smooch in public! Not that there's anything wrong with that! Ah hell...let me continue...

Second, it is fairly established that TSM was not up to his full game yet, though he certainly had game right from the get-go, iffen he ever wrote anything except his signature (and there is MUCH to say about the variations in the signatures that has not been addressed yet save by Bomb#20, and nobody paid much attention to that - but there is more...

[Make it fast, Willy, I need a shpritz of Pepto already - GOD. ]

:

...there is the "Hand 'D' " manuscript, which can be viewed online, from the play Thomas More, which was apparently cobbled together by a slew of established playwrights of 'Shakespeare's' day.

That hand is in secretary script, a hand many authors were known to have used in those days; and not only that, but the lines written in "Hand 'D' " sound remarkably like William Shakespeare, the Author of the Shakespearean Canon (who may or not have been the same Billy Shakespere {usual spelling of the day, along with others, including Shakspere...etc. } as a paid and acknowledged actor and part owner of the Globe theatre, which means that, as Bomb and others have pointed out already upthread, that it is difficult to imagine Will Shake-a-speare, that cocky upstart crow mentioned by somebody whose name I can't recall and don't feel like looking for, and also supposedly referenced by Ben Jonson...etc... ---- could have been illiterate, being that, as an actor, he would have had to memorize lines, and had some appreciation of iambic pentameter, as well as the "nuances" of Shakespearean monologue and dialogue, meaning he would HAVE to have been quite well-trained as an actor (and fairly literate if he were to have been a business man!) - what with the stage players gestures, pompous elocution, contemporary manners of exaggerated oration and eccentric regional and/or cultural, and/or (deep breath)

SPACE TO BREATHE

economic and or outmoded and classist and thoroughly silly and rightfully antique and forgotten levels of aristocracy and nobility, wherein many a pompous ass and a dandified but well-read, well-ejumacated, and well-intended arse of an Earl or a Duke or a Count or a Countess or a viscount or a my account [bank, website, BB, Paypal, etc...] discount, hell, or a no-account over-paid flattering fatuous word-salad spieling dandy, could elbow around with other dandies and dandettes and flatter the king or queen or whomever or who the hell ever's royal overfed, pale, possibly in-bred and stupefyingly dumb but well-spoken and duly DANGEROUS and HEAD-ROLLING dictator dowager tyrant autarch emperor numbskull of a silly accidentally born-into-nothing but silver spoons and breastfeedings and all-you-can-eat buffets silly persons'

(or otherwise) individuals' soft and possibly very wide BOTTOMs happened to be occupying the most-high most royal and most likely unattractive big-nosed pimply faced but smooth-talking and well-behaved and well-raised but pallid or pheasant-leg gnawing cliched Charleton-Heston-type gluttonous bearded overstuffed overrated pile of pretentious authoritative hollow-headed, vacuous, flabby-thighed, saggy-breasted (male or female) potentate or imperial leader and trumpety-trumper-clownstick orange haired nitwit of a silly over-paid gambler and pussy-grabbing moron seat or throne in the WORLD (or nation, country, capitol, state, county, town house cleaning blue-collared wage-slave of a janitor or a burger-flipping schmo or schmo-ess or white collared follower of silly dogmatic mandates and edicts and declarations and newspeak and nuance and wtf have you, etc, etc, etc&).

There is no third part.

(finis)

Exuent, fanfare, trumpets, tears, knives, poison, roll credits...


[curtain...]
 

Swammerdami

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I've avoided bumping this thread, but there is one weird hypothesis that's barely been mentioned. I speak of the idea that Henry Wriothesley was the love-child of Queen Elizabeth by the young Edward de Vere. I'm in the Facebook group ShakesVere, whose members include Strittmatter, Whittemore and other prominent Oxfordians, Recently the love-child theory has come under discussion. I was surprised to learn that a large portion of Oxfordians take it seriously.

I've always thought of this wild idea as giving Oxfordians a bad name: it just sounds absurd, like crackpottery. But with the top Oxfordians taking it seriously, I listened to the podcast Begin at the Beguine. (You can find this and other Oxfordian podcasts at the "Don't Quill the Messenger" site.

I hate podcasts, and wish there were a transcript. Perhaps there's a webpage covering the same material; please post here if you find a printed discussion. But Dorothea Dickerman is fun to listen to. Steven the narrator interrupts a little, but you can start this (very long) podcast at the 3:00 mark and save a few minutes.

As with so much of the Authorship controversy, the love-child hypothesis is a huge rabbit-hole suitable for killing many hours! But the podcast does clarify some questions I had:

(1) How could people not notice that the Queen was pregnant? Supposedly the Queen spent many months in hiding, refusing visitors or insisting they sit far away; her dresses concealed her figure; she used her Ladies as stand-ins. (Recall that Katherine Carey, Chief Lady of the Bedchamber, was both half-sister and 1st cousin of the Queen and was said to look just like her.)

(2) Why would Elizabeth de Vere's father and grandfather promote her marriage to Wriothesley if Elizabeth were Wriothesley's own half-sister? Both men allegedly supposed that de Vere was not Elizabeth's father: Anne de Vere (nee Cecil) was raped (supposedly) shortly before de Vere left for Paris, France. (The Queen took much interest in Anne, inquiring about her menstrual cycles!)

(3) How could Wriothesley (allegedly a bastard) be entitled to the throne of England (as proposed by adherents to the love-child theory) even if he were the Queen's son? Laws are very different about inheritance from extra-marital mother vs inheritance from extra-marital father. What was the law about inheritance by the child of an unmarried Queen? According to Dorothea, a 1571 law meant the son of an unmarried Queen WOULD inherit.

Note that Henry Wriothesley's putative father, the same-named 2nd Earl of Southampton, was imprisoned in the Tower of London for 18 months, including the entire time that his wife Mary might have become impregnated with Henry for his October 1573 birth! Supposedly he had no visits from Mary at all, let alone conjugal visits. Instead Mary was chosen to be the love-child's pretend-mother.

The hypothesis helps explain the fawning devotion toward Wriothesley by the Bard. This devotion — often interpreted as homosexual love, rather odd if the goal were a marriage to the Bard's daughter — suddenly makes much better sense as paternal love: the Bard was Wriothesley's father!

Recall that Venus and Adonis and Rape of Lucrece were the ONLY works ever published BY Shakespeare, with dedications BY Shakespeare, who was unknown before their publication. The dedication to the latter ("THE love I dedicate to your lordship is without end; whereof this pamphlet, without beginning, is but a superfluous moiety") is rather cryptic, with the part I've emphasized implying a key connection with the Venus poem. Yet the poems are vastly different in theme and tone. What is the connection? It was the rape of Elizabeth de Vere's mother that made the proposed Wriothesley-de Vere marriage (touted in Venus and Adonis) non-incestuous. The Rape of Lucrece deviates hugely from the classic tale, following instead the story of the real-life Anne de Vere (nee Cecil). (Who raped Anne de Vere ("Lucrece")? Perhaps Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and powerful enemy of de Vere. This is suggested by the word 'eyeball' — related to the Queen's nickname for Dudley — which occurs in the poem, perhaps its first occurrence in English.)

Whether you find the theory far-fetched or not, it's fun to listen to Dorothea. Venus and Adonis describes the seduction of de Vere by the Queen. A lot of passages in that poem, and much more, fall into place with this love-child hypothesis. (By the way, note that as an orphaned Earl, de Vere was legally the step-son of the Queen, his lover.)

I've mixed feelings about the whole matter, and it all seems quite flimsy. We certainly do NOT need this theory to be true to believe in an Oxford authorship. But, since top Oxfordians take it seriously, I feel obligated to share here.

IIUC, the theory has Wriothesley born in June 1574, instead of October 1573. Is it really true that there is zero mention of this "Baron of Titchfield" during the eight intervening months? ??? :confused:
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Swammerdami said:
I've mixed feelings about the whole matter, and it all seems quite flimsy. We certainly do NOT need this theory to be true to believe in an Oxford authorship. But, since top Oxfordians take it seriously, I feel obligated to share here.

Swammi,

If you are interested in pursuing the idea along with other Oxfordian information there is a new video out where Delahoyde talks about the very idea. It is not so far fetched although it would be scoffed at by Stratfordians.

Michael Delahoyde talks to Bob Meyers about Twelfth Night

Definitely worth the listen.
 
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