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The Shakespeare Authorship Controversy

Swammerdami

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Did WAB ever give his interpretation of "Will. Monox with his great dagger"? Or "Thy will shakes spears"?

London's playwrights wrote about each other in letters. Clearly "Monox with his great dagger" is a cryptic reference. Almost surely it refers to Edward de Vere. Anyone who doubts this much is simply under-informed. Cryptic references to a person were sometimes used in insults, but here no insult appears; instead it was common courtesy to keep the name of a playwright hidden if he was also a Peer of the Realm. Again, anyone who doubts that would be common courtesy is simply ignorant.

So far so good. But why is Edward de Vere apparently given the nickname "Will" ?


In 1580 or thereabouts Oxford wanted to hire a literary assistant (amanuensis etc.) and Gabriel Harvey wanted the job. He wrote a very flattering letter to Oxford (and probably read it aloud during Her Majesty's Progress); the letter included the sentence "Thy will shakes spear(s)"*. That this was Stratford's very name might be a pointless coincidence, but it might not.

* = The letter was actually in Latin. It might be probable that the particular "Will Shake-spear" translation was never in print prior to the 20th century — I don't know. The standard Anti-Oxfordian response is to tout alternate translations of the Latin, but "Will Shake-spear" is the translation found with wiktionary.org . (great site)
 

WAB

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What tactic???

Damon and Pithias was decent dramatically but the writing was below average. Unmetered rhymed couplets. Thank God iambic pentameter took hold!

You don't want De Vere associated with that play! De Vere was a much better poet than Richard Edwards! Compare Oxford's poems with Damon and Pithias. You can read it here. Links on the page for what format you want:

http://elizabethandrama.org/the-pla...cal-importance/damon-pithias-richard-edwards/

That wasn't written by Oxford, as surely as Oxford didn't write Shakespeare.

So what tactic am I using? When I type "Shakespeare" I refer to the author of that canon - whomever they were. I won't type "Shaxper" - for good reasons.

What tactic am I using?

Or have I asked that already?

Oh, I see: a classic example of Oxfordians snatching at anything to link De Vere to Shakespeare. I was not aware of using a tactic, nor do I use "tactics" when discussing things. Oxfordians have often reached beyond the pale when considering what De Vere may have written: the Bible, Spenser, even ALL the major poetry coming out of England at that time. It is not a tactic to point to how silly that is; nor is it a tactic to say plainly and simply that David Gontar was reaching far beyond anything reasonable by suggesting that De Vere not only penned Damon and Pithias, but that this was somehow more proof that De Vere wrote Shakespeare!

Example from the play:

SCENE I.

In Town.

Here entereth Aristippus.



Arist. Too strange (perhaps) it seems to some

That I, Aristippus, a courtier am become:

A philosopher of late, not of the meanest name,

But now to the courtly behaviour my life I frame.

Muse he that lust; to you of good skill,

I say that I am a philosopher still.

Lovers of wisdom are termed philosophy.

Then who is a philosopher so rightly as I?

For in loving of wisdom proof doth this try,

That frustra sapit, qui non sapit sibi.

I am wise for myself: then tell me of troth,

Is not that great wisdom, as the world go'th?

Some philosophers in the street go ragged and torn,

And feeds on vile roots, whom boys laugh to scorn:

But I in fine silks haunt Dionysius' palace

Wherein with dainty fare myself I do solace

Ack! Even if it were De Vere's juvenilia it is execrable. Wordworth, Shelley, and Byron were writing good verse in their early teens.

"Recovery", he says. Well hardie-har. Again, you act as if it were a criminal act, or of someone in the grip of an addiction, or some sickness, to even consider that the Shakespearean canon may have been written by...of all people...the person it is credited to. Oh the horror!

:joy:

ETA: Just saw Swammi's post.

Swammi: I might be tickled astray by the "His will shakes speares" pun, were it not for the fact that "Shakespeare" was and is a surname in not common but not terribly irregular usage.

How do you suppose these people got their surname? Should we call them all "Shaxper"?

Abraham Shakespeare (c. 1966–2009), American lottery winner and murder victim
Clive Shakespeare (1949–2012), English-born Australian pop guitarist, songwriter and producer
Craig Shakespeare (born 1963), former association football player and manager
Frank Shakespeare (born 1925), American diplomat and media executive
Sir Geoffrey Shakespeare, 1st Baronet (1893–1980), British Liberal politician
James Shakespeare (c. 1840–1912), South Australian organist
Joseph A. Shakspeare (1837–1896), mayor of New Orleans
Nicholas Shakespeare (born 1957), British novelist and biographer
Noah Shakespeare (1839–1921), Canadian politician noted for his involvement in the anti-Chinese movement
Olivia Shakespear (1863–1938), British novelist and playwright
Percy Shakespeare (1906–1943), British painter
Robbie Shakespeare (born 1953), Jamaican musician and producer, part of Sly and Robbie
Stanley Shakespeare (1963–2005), American football player
Stephan Shakespeare (born 1957), founder of market research company YouGov and of 18 Doughty Street
Tom Shakespeare, 3rd Baronet (born 1966), geneticist and sociologist
William Shakespeare (American football) (1912–1975), American football player
William Shakespeare (singer) (1948-2010), stage name of Australian singer John Cave (also known as John Cabe or Billy Shake)
William Shakespeare (tenor) (1849–1931), English tenor, pedagogue, and composer
William Geoffrey Shakespeare (1927–1996), 2nd Baronet Shakespeare of Lakenham, general practitioner in Aylesbury
William Harold Nelson Shakespeare (1883–1976), cricketer for Worcestershire in the interwar period

Note: These are only well-known and accomplished persons named Shakespeare. - WAB

Do you image that De Vere chose the name William Shakespeare and that there were no other "Shakespeares?" And do you imagine that he just happened to pick a pen-name which was virtually the same as an actor in the very theatrical environment he worked in???
 

Swammerdami

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Did WAB ever give his interpretation of "Will. Monox with his great dagger"? Or "Thy will shakes spears"?

London's playwrights wrote about each other in letters. Clearly "Monox with his great dagger" is a cryptic reference. Almost surely it refers to Edward de Vere. Anyone who doubts this much is simply under-informed. Cryptic references to a person were sometimes used in insults, but here no insult appears; instead it was common courtesy to keep the name of a playwright hidden if he was also a Peer of the Realm. Again, anyone who doubts that would be common courtesy is simply ignorant.

So far so good. But why is Edward de Vere apparently given the nickname "Will" ?


In 1580 or thereabouts Oxford wanted to hire a literary assistant (amanuensis etc.) and Gabriel Harvey wanted the job. He wrote a very flattering letter to Oxford (and probably read it aloud during Her Majesty's Progress); the letter included the sentence "Thy will shakes spear(s)"*. That this was Stratford's very name might be a pointless coincidence, but it might not be.

* = The letter was actually in Latin. It might be probable that the particular "Will Shake-spear" translation was never in print prior to the 20th century — I don't know. The standard Anti-Oxfordian response is to tout alternate translations of the Latin, but "Will Shake-spear" is the translation found at wiktionary.org . (great site)

appears
 
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WAB

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"Will. Monox with his great dagger"? -Swammi.

What pray tell is this? There is precious little on the Internet to inform me.

I have come across this:

In his youth, the Earl of Oxford was a renown jouster. He participated in many of Queen Elizabeth's Accession Day tilts. The name Launce may be an allusion to this, as may the names Launcelot and Shakespeare. Thomas Nashe, in his various allusions to Oxford, refers to him as Pierce Penniless, and Will Monox with "his great dagger".

I can't seem to copy from the page (have tried many times), but go to the bottom of here:

https://www.shakespearetarot.com/thef00l

What do I need to know to think that Monox with his great dagger in any way relates to De Vere?

There is also this:

http://www.anonymous-shakespeare.com/cms/index.233.0.1.html

I have seen references to De Vere aplenty, but have yet to see anything that suggests he could have written Shakespeare.


​Alas!

I see this, after searching around:

But Tom Nashe admitted he too was present at the banquet, and when he later wrote to Gabriel Harvey, he made a coded reference to the third man as “Will Monox” (an anagram of Will Oxon.—Oxon. being the conventional Latin abbreviation for Oxford, hence the need for not naming him in a letter).

from: https://www.scientificexploration.org/docs/26/jse_26_3_ReviewRoper.pdf

Mnn...m'kay. But how exactly is Will Monox an anagram of Will Oxon? What happened to the "M".?

Not that it matters.

This is clutching at straws.

More Thomas Nashe, referring to Will Monox:

I and one of my fellows, Will. Monox (Hast thou never heard of him and his great dagger?) were in company with him a month before he died[75], at that fatal banquet of Rhenish wine and pickled herring (if thou wilt needs have it so), and then the inventory of his apparel came to more than three shillings (though thou sayest the contrary). I know a broker in a spruce leather jerkin with a great number of gold rings on his fingers and a bunch of keys at his girdle shall give you thirty shillings for the doublet alone, if you can help him to it. Hark in your ear, he had a very fair cloak with sleeves, of a grave goose-turd green; it would serve you as fine as may be…

One thing to be taken from this excursion: Listen to Tommy Nashe! Excellent writer...
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Great exchange.

Can someone speculate why there are plays in the name of William Shake-speare that by all accounts are not part of the Shakespeare canon?

Why is Edward DeVere's bible part of the Shakespeare Folger Library?
 

WAB

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Great exchange.

Can someone speculate why there are plays in the name of William Shake-speare that by all accounts are not part of the Shakespeare canon?

Why is Edward DeVere's bible part of the Shakespeare Folger Library?

Good questions both.

I personally feel there are some plays, or at least one, which had scarce if anything to do with Shakespeare: Henry the VIII. In my reading, I feel it basically sucks, and cannot have been the same hand that penned Macbeth, Lear, Tempest, Othello, etcetera. There are others, such as Pericles, or maybe even Timon of Athens - and some do not believe Shakespeare wrote Titus Andronicus (actually, it smells like Marlowe...)

Why have such plays been entered into the canon? I have one answer:

There have been multitudes of Shakespeare scholars through out the last four centuries. These people know far more about Shakespeare (and/or the accepted canon of Shakespearean work) than I do. I take it as a given that my opinions and feelings mean little compared to literal lifetimes of studying and examining everything surrounding the Bard of Avon.

If scholars come to an agreement that such and such a work might not have been Shakespeare, then I nod and deal with it (though I may privately disagree or come to my own opinion - knowing that my opinion means all of - Jack Squat - in the long run.)

As for De Vere's Bible being included in the SFL - I do not know! I do know that at Oxfraud there is much material into that subject:

https://oxfraud.com/index.php/bible-home
 

Swammerdami

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My last post may have been over-wrought. Let's take it slowly.

Did WAB ever give his interpretation of "Will. Monox with his great dagger"? Or "Thy will shakes spears"?

1. London's playwrights wrote about each other in letters and pamphlets.
2. Clearly "Monox with his great dagger" is a cryptic reference.
3. Almost surely it refers to Edward de Vere. Anyone who doubts this much is simply under-informed.
4. Cryptic references to a person were sometimes used in insults,
5. but here no insult appears;
6. instead it was common courtesy to keep the name of a playwright hidden if he was also a Peer of the Realm. Again, anyone who doubts that would be common courtesy is simply ignorant.
7.So far so good. But why is Edward de Vere apparently given the nickname "Will" ?

I've labeled the seven sentences of the syllogism. Do you agree with #1? #2? Tell us when you're ready to move on to #3.
 

WAB

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My last post may have been over-wrought. Let's take it slowly.

Did WAB ever give his interpretation of "Will. Monox with his great dagger"? Or "Thy will shakes spears"?

1. London's playwrights wrote about each other in letters and pamphlets.
2. Clearly "Monox with his great dagger" is a cryptic reference.
3. Almost surely it refers to Edward de Vere. Anyone who doubts this much is simply under-informed.
4. Cryptic references to a person were sometimes used in insults,
5. but here no insult appears;
6. instead it was common courtesy to keep the name of a playwright hidden if he was also a Peer of the Realm. Again, anyone who doubts that would be common courtesy is simply ignorant.
7.So far so good. But why is Edward de Vere apparently given the nickname "Will" ?

I've labeled the seven sentences of the syllogism. Do you agree with #1? #2? Tell us when you're ready to move on to #3.

What's with the large font in your prior post? You realize that is the same as dumb Americans speaking to people who don't speak English, and raising their voices in the idea that speaking loudly will help others who speak different languages to understand them? It is insulting, which was your intention; but that's okay, I notice you do it to other people in other threads. I notice that lots of all o' y'all put things in large font to insult your interlocutors. Some of you lament that you can't write your posts in crayon. You and the others ought to stop that. You should take it as given that anyone who participates at this site can bloody read. Not only that, it makes you look angry and overly challenged.

You're not going to teach me how to Google? Yet another insult. Gee, thanks!

"Let's take it slowly..." ??? Another insult!

You wrote: Just for starters,
Swammi: the M in "Will Monox" seems unnecessary — but may I assume you know a LITTLE bit of French? — and — behold — a separate occurrence of "Will Oxon" without the M improves the hypothesis. And who said it HAD to be an anagram?

I was responding to this, which I posted above, a quote from a page I linked to (Post #405):

But Tom Nashe admitted he too was present at the banquet, and when he later wrote to Gabriel Harvey, he made a coded reference to the third man as “Will Monox” (an anagram of Will Oxon.—Oxon. being the conventional Latin abbreviation for Oxford, hence the need for not naming him in a letter).
- In the words of Steve Martin: Well Excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse Meeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Calm yourself down or don't expect any further conversation about Oxford coming from me; and once I'm gone, I am sure you've noticed that no-one else on this discussion board is even remotely interested in this overblown infatuation with De Vere (probably caused in great part by the film Anonymous. Film is especially persuasive when done well, and even more so when you have an actor [who played De Vere] who is magnetically handsome, gracious, and charming). Not that you and Moogly have been persuaded by it (I don't even know if either of you saw it), but apparently many have, as evidenced in the Facebook group about Oxford, Shakesvere.

You will notice that I have been patient with you and Moogly, and have entertained your belief in De Vere to the best of my ability. Some would say I have been "humoring" you both - which would not be that far from the truth.

It is possible that Oxford wrote Shakespeare. Possible, but far from certain.

ETA: "Tell us when you're ready to move on to #3..." - So fucking condescending! Oh alright, alright! I have been condescending at times as well, so I forgive you, because I love you. Where's the hug smilie?

I am not interested in the Monox w/ his great dagger conversation. So it is cryptic? Everything is cryptic and secretive (and conspiratorial) for Oxfordians. Or so it seems.

I think I said this before but it bears repeating: My patience and good will with this silliness is getting all three of us absolutely nowhere. The best responses to the OP came from DBT and Bronzeage at the beginning of the thread. And Bomb#20 had some excellent commentary and questions that were not given a fair...ahem...

shake.
 

Swammerdami

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I apologize. You're right; I got angry, mostly due to personal stresses and lack of sleep, and started pounding on the keyboard. And I do have a brattish habit of responding to any perceived insult with 1000-fold escalation. One of my friends says, with good reason, that I remind him of Donald Trump!

Sincere apologies again. Whether there was first condescension in your own posts is irrelevant: I shouldn't have reciprocated at all, let alone a thousand-fold.

I should resist any urge to keep bumping this thread. I wrote the first posts, many months ago, because it gives me a certain pleasure to set my own thoughts into clear writing; I thought I did so. There's no reason I should worry about how others respond.

To me, the "Will Monox" mention is interesting because it strongly implies that Nashe was, for whatever reason, associating the name "Will" with Edward de Vere. It doesn't prove that de Vere wrote Hamlet. It doesn't tell us whether de Vere's poetry was good or bad. Why Nashe wanted to connect de Vere to "Will" may remain forever a mystery.

That Nashe sentence demonstrates that fellow playwrights — for there is no doubt that de Vere was a playwright, whether mediocre or not — tip-toed around identifying him explicitly. It SEEMS to imply that "Will" was — for whatever reason — a nickname or joke name that could be associated with de Vere. I hoped for something like "Interesting. Yes, it seems to imply such a connection, but ..." However, as far as I can tell you've not acknowledged that the quote even refers to Edward de Vere.

Whatever faults Oxfordians have, anti-Oxfordians are often too dismissive of such clues, in my opinion.

And once more, sincere apologies for my bizarre and inexcusable temper.
 
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T.G.G. Moogly

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I apologize. You're right; I got angry, mostly due to personal stresses and lack of sleep, and started pounding on the keyboard. And I do have a brattish habit of responding to any perceived insult with 1000-fold escalation. One of my friends says, with good reason, that I remind him of Donald Trump!

Sincere apologies again. Whether there was first condescension in your own posts is irrelevant: I shouldn't have reciprocated at all, let alone a thousand-fold.

I should resist any urge to keep bumping this thread. I wrote the first posts, many months ago, because it gives me a certain pleasure to set my own thoughts into clear writing; I thought I did so. There's no reason I should worry about how others respond.

To me, the "Will Monox" mention is interesting because it strongly implies that Nashe was, for whatever reason, associating the name "Will" with Edward de Vere. It doesn't prove that de Vere wrote Hamlet. It doesn't tell us whether de Vere's poetry was good or bad. Why Nashe wanted to connect de Vere to "Will" may remain forever a mystery.

That Nashe sentence demonstrates that fellow playwrights — for there is no doubt that de Vere was a playwright, whether mediocre or not — tip-toed around identifying him explicitly. It SEEMS to imply that "Will" was — for whatever reason — a nickname or joke name that could be associated with de Vere. I hoped for something like "Interesting. Yes, it seems to imply such a connection, but ..." However, as far as I can tell you've not acknowledged that the quote even refers to Edward de Vere.

Whatever faults Oxfordians have, anti-Oxfordians are often too dismissive of such clues, in my opinion.

Elizabethan public theater wasn't like theater today. It was held in low regard, similar to how we today think about strip clubs, romance novels and pornography. DeVere was an Earl of Oxford, which would be similar to being a senator or supreme court justice or other person in high, respectable public office. This is why there are all these cryptic references to him and his writing. Even if publicly associated with these plays he could claim they were not his.

But he wouldn't even have to do that because Elizabethan England was a police state of the first order. Even insinuating that an Earl of Oxford and close associate of the Queen was writing porn would get you imprisoned and maybe have your hand cut off or your tongue removed. So lets not get all anachronistic about the times thinking things were like today. Not even close.

I submitted the question about DeVere's bible. What do I get? Go check it all out at Oxfraud. :) Seriously? That's it?

Swammi, feel free to bump the thread whenever. There is always more information to share on the subject.

And thanks, WAB, for the participation!
 

WAB

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I apologize. You're right; I got angry, mostly due to personal stresses and lack of sleep, and started pounding on the keyboard. And I do have a brattish habit of responding to any perceived insult with 1000-fold escalation. One of my friends says, with good reason, that I remind him of Donald Trump!

Sincere apologies again. Whether there was first condescension in your own posts is irrelevant: I shouldn't have reciprocated at all, let alone a thousand-fold.

I should resist any urge to keep bumping this thread. I wrote the first posts, many months ago, because it gives me a certain pleasure to set my own thoughts into clear writing; I thought I did so. There's no reason I should worry about how others respond.

To me, the "Will Monox" mention is interesting because it strongly implies that Nashe was, for whatever reason, associating the name "Will" with Edward de Vere. It doesn't prove that de Vere wrote Hamlet. It doesn't tell us whether de Vere's poetry was good or bad. Why Nashe wanted to connect de Vere to "Will" may remain forever a mystery.

That Nashe sentence demonstrates that fellow playwrights — for there is no doubt that de Vere was a playwright, whether mediocre or not — tip-toed around identifying him explicitly. It SEEMS to imply that "Will" was — for whatever reason — a nickname or joke name that could be associated with de Vere. I hoped for something like "Interesting. Yes, it seems to imply such a connection, but ..." However, as far as I can tell you've not acknowledged that the quote even refers to Edward de Vere.

Whatever faults Oxfordians have, anti-Oxfordians are often too dismissive of such clues, in my opinion.

Yes, Swammi, it is interesting. The Oxfordian position is very compelling. I also apologize for my dismissive comments, which are entirely unqualified, since I have not sufficiently researched all the information.

Moogly - I wish I could say more about De Vere's bible, but I don't know enough about it.
 

Swammerdami

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Unless there's good reason to think otherwise, I'd dismiss the fact that de Vere's Bible ended up at Folger as an irrelevant coincidence. (Does Folger have lots of miscellaneous documents from that era?)

The significance of Oxford's Bible is that his underlinings show NEW (previously unnoted: cf. Scientific Method) connections between the Bible and the Plays, e.g.
https://shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/shakespeares-bible/ said:
One of the marked passages (Philippians 2:15) includes not only the words “naughtie” and “worlde”, but also, in a footnote (pasted in on the right), the word “candle”, thus providing three key words in Portia’s Merchant of Venice speech, “How far this little candle throws his beam! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.” (V, ii, 61-2)
(I think I noted this connection to Portia's speech earlier in this thread, but it was easier to Google "De Vere's Bible candle" than to use TFT search! Stritmatter claims at least 100 other connections.)


At the risk of beating a dead horse, the "Will Monox ... and his great dagger" quote now strikes me!

When I first encountered that quote I was already aware of many dozens of "coincidences" connecting Oxford to the Works, and this was just another one. Ho-hum; It didn't seem so special.

But looking at it in isolation, it now strikes me as special! It seems almost unquestionable that Thomas Nashe is referring to Edward de Vere and, for whatever reason, connecting him with the name "Will." Do anti-Oxfordians offer any explanation for this?
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Unless there's good reason to think otherwise, I'd dismiss the fact that de Vere's Bible ended up at Folger as an irrelevant coincidence. (Does Folger have lots of miscellaneous documents from that era?)

The significance of Oxford's Bible is that his underlinings show NEW (previously unnoted: cf. Scientific Method) connections between the Bible and the Plays, e.g.
https://shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/shakespeares-bible/ said:
One of the marked passages (Philippians 2:15) includes not only the words “naughtie” and “worlde”, but also, in a footnote (pasted in on the right), the word “candle”, thus providing three key words in Portia’s Merchant of Venice speech, “How far this little candle throws his beam! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.” (V, ii, 61-2)
(I think I noted this connection to Portia's speech earlier in this thread, but it was easier to Google "De Vere's Bible candle" than to use TFT search! Stritmatter claims at least 100 other connections.)


At the risk of beating a dead horse, the "Will Monox ... and his great dagger" quote now strikes me!

When I first encountered that quote I was already aware of many dozens of "coincidences" connecting Oxford to the Works, and this was just another one. Ho-hum; It didn't seem so special.

But looking at it in isolation, it now strikes me as special! It seems almost unquestionable that Thomas Nashe is referring to Edward de Vere and, for whatever reason, connecting him with the name "Will." Do anti-Oxfordians offer any explanation for this?

Obviously the reason DeVere's bible is there is because it's Elizabethan, along with many other such things. I do think it is a great irony. Now if it disappears, being the tremendous piece of circumstantial evidence that it is, I'll get suspicious. It would have been nice had DeVere written a marginal note, "perfect for Lear." But even such a note would be dismissed by the SBC as happening after the fact.

The circumstantial case is simply overwhelming. We all owe a tremendous debt to Looney for his detective work and dedication and love of the subject.

If you pick up Stratfordian literature you constantly hear the refrain that there was no doubt about the author being TSM for 200 years. Of course that's bull, as anyone who has investigated the subject knows. There were questions for thirty years before TSM died in 1616, as you indicate, all credible and factual. Stratfordians don't attempt to answer these questions and instances. They continue to peddle propaganda because it suits their economic interests.
 

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Well, I was booted out of ShakesVere on Facebook.

Hey Swammi and Moogly, I found a published poet who is an Oxfordian. His name is Gilbert Wesley Purdy. I don't know anything about his poetry, except that he's published at some pretigious venues (such as Jacket) but one of his books intrigues me to no end:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X4JUJAU/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0

One (or is it three??) sonnets theorized as Shakespeare's.

Anyone know if these sonnets are on the Internet anywhere? This book was published in 2015. One would think such a monumental discovery would be all over the place? I'm not being sarcastic or facetious. I honestly want to read these sonnets and see if they stack up to the Bard (whomever they were).

I see another page about the book, but no taste of the sonnet(s):

https://bookshop.org/books/discovered-a-new-shakespeare-sonnet-or-three-actually/9781514750407

Little else that I can see. Dang it!
 

Swammerdami

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I also hit a brick wall with Googling: no excerpt from any alleged sonnet, nothing about the alleged book with the sonnets. Purdy has a 2017 book about which Google Books says "Preview unavailable, Searching inside unavailable." Purdy seems more focused on getting $4.95 for his Kindle-book than with anything else.

I don't think ordinary Google Search searches Usenet, so I did a search for "Purdy" at a Usenet Shakespeare group. I got one hit, and that "Purdy" is a misspelling for "pretty" or such in some rant about Marlowe. (The Google Groups interface to Usenet is so sabotaged now the URL Google gave me may not even take you to the post with "purdy.")

Life is too short to worry about "scholars" like this. I maintain a Wish-List at an on-line book-store, but I'm passing on Mr. Purdy! :)
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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There's a market for such trinkets. Maybe Purdy is such a vendor. I do not know but remain curious. The manufacture of biblical artifacts and their sale among collectors and believers occurs similarly. The church of my youth allegedly had the relics of Saint Mathias entombed within the altar. Really? But believers believe so the market thrives.

On a completely different note I made a realization today, no doubt expressed elsewhere, perhaps by many persons. It is that Oxford accomplished precisely that which he continues to be known for and doubted of, namely that he is the author. He continues to have plausible deniability and continues to have accreditation. It's mind blowing, really. It was so during his life and continues to be so.

In a way I was also booted out of the Facebook site in that I was never granted entry. It was the only reason i signed up for Facebook.

What the world needs is a book with the complete writings of Oxford. I mean everything, his letters, his early poetry, everything he transcribed that is at Hatfield, the whole works.
And of course the Shakespeare canon.

If TSM was the writer why did he hyphenate his name?
 

WAB

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There's a market for such trinkets. Maybe Purdy is such a vendor. I do not know but remain curious. The manufacture of biblical artifacts and their sale among collectors and believers occurs similarly. The church of my youth allegedly had the relics of Saint Mathias entombed within the altar. Really? But believers believe so the market thrives.

On a completely different note I made a realization today, no doubt expressed elsewhere, perhaps by many persons. It is that Oxford accomplished precisely that which he continues to be known for and doubted of, namely that he is the author. He continues to have plausible deniability and continues to have accreditation. It's mind blowing, really. It was so during his life and continues to be so.

In a way I was also booted out of the Facebook site in that I was never granted entry. It was the only reason i signed up for Facebook.

What the world needs is a book with the complete writings of Oxford. I mean everything, his letters, his early poetry, everything he transcribed that is at Hatfield, the whole works.
And of course the Shakespeare canon.

If TSM was the writer why did he hyphenate his name?

That's a good question, Moogly. Maybe TSM was not the writer?? And maybe Oxford was?
 

Swammerdami

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Purdy's book is the least of my worries w/r researching claims on the topic. Consider this claim from Anderson's book. He suggests that the Author attended the single performance of a Dido which was performed only once (when TSM was 19 years old), but with a play-script surviving today. (But can anyone find that script on-line?) Guest of honor for the presentation was Albert Laski, a Polish General. This episode supposedly motivated a speech in Hamlet.

Hamlet said:
I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was never acted; or if it was, not above once; for the play, I remember, pleas'd not the million, 'twas caviary to the general; but it was (as I receiv'd it, and others, whose judgments in such matters cried in the top of mine) an excellent play, well digested in the scenes,...

One speech in't I chiefly lov'd. 'Twas AEneas' tale to Dido, and thereabout of it especially where he speaks of Priam's slaughter. If it live in your memory, begin at this line- let me see, let me see:
'The rugged Pyrrhus, like th' Hyrcanian beast-'​
'Tis not so; it begins with Pyrrhus:
'The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose sable arms,...​
But then I try to check into this, I hit pay-walls. (And how might the play be "never acted" if it was "caviar to the general"? Adding confusion is that Marlowe wrote another Dido a few years later.)

A lot of other claims are hard to pursue. Shame on whoever started this thread, rekindling my interest in this down-the-rabbit-hole topic! :)

ETA: Irrelevant perhaps, but I was intrigued that Giordano Bruno, the famous "heretic," also allegedly attended the 1583 performance of Dido.

EETA: Apparently TWO Didos were performed at that special 1583 presentation, Gager's (in Latin?) and Marlowe's. And I found a documentary video:
http://edox.org.uk/projects/performing-dido/performing-dido-film/
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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There's a market for such trinkets. Maybe Purdy is such a vendor. I do not know but remain curious. The manufacture of biblical artifacts and their sale among collectors and believers occurs similarly. The church of my youth allegedly had the relics of Saint Mathias entombed within the altar. Really? But believers believe so the market thrives.

On a completely different note I made a realization today, no doubt expressed elsewhere, perhaps by many persons. It is that Oxford accomplished precisely that which he continues to be known for and doubted of, namely that he is the author. He continues to have plausible deniability and continues to have accreditation. It's mind blowing, really. It was so during his life and continues to be so.

In a way I was also booted out of the Facebook site in that I was never granted entry. It was the only reason i signed up for Facebook.

What the world needs is a book with the complete writings of Oxford. I mean everything, his letters, his early poetry, everything he transcribed that is at Hatfield, the whole works.
And of course the Shakespeare canon.

If TSM was the writer why did he hyphenate his name?

That's a good question, Moogly. Maybe TSM was not the writer?? And maybe Oxford was?

WAB, you're the writer, I'm the detective. I would be curious to know how much of your verse is based upon personal creation, having been physically "in the kitchen," and how much of it is based upon things you have only heard about and read about. The paltry bit of writing I have done was entirely from personal experience and observation. The last bit of writing were two intros to trail guides for a local conservancy. As someone who is constantly tramping through the wilds the only research I did was to acquaint myself with the range of plant life native to those ecosystems. All else was from my own senses having been on those trails.

Of course, were I writing a history of America's Civil War like Shelby Foote I could hardly do the same and must rely on research.

The detective in me is always about sharing information. Ramon Jimenez has written about ten eyewitnesses to Shakespeare and their silence on TSM. I'm not beating a dead horse here because I know you are a Marlowe man, but it's just a bit more evidence that the orthodoxy surrounding authorship is full of holes. The first entry is by Camden and worth the read, even if one stops there.

Ten Eyewitnesses Who Saw Nothing: Shakespeare in Stratford and London
 

Swammerdami

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I just noticed this.
Swammi: I might be tickled astray by the "His will shakes speares" pun, were it not for the fact that "Shakespeare" was and is a surname in not common but not terribly irregular usage.

Do you image that De Vere chose the name William Shakespeare and that there were no other "Shakespeares?" And do you imagine that he just happened to pick a pen-name which was virtually the same as an actor in the very theatrical environment he worked in???

:confused: A pen-name chosen for the long term would have to "look real." Edward de Vere had previously written under pen-names which looked fake, but for the long haul — if the intent were to disseminate a large body of work anonymously — a real name would be required. (Publishing as 'Anonymous' would just lead to questions, and those questions would soon lead to answers, given that de Vere was the courtier poet held in highest regard.)

Perhaps the only viable option was what was achieved: a 'front man' pretending to be an author, just as stated in the "Upstart Crow" message.

Was {G. Harvey's "Will Shakes Spears"} == {Wm Shakspere of Stratford} just a coincidence? I don't know, but some claim that Minerva shaking a spear is associated with authoring in general, and de Vere in particular.

One solution I've proposed, though I've not seen it elsewhere, is a serendipity. De Vere knew he needed a front man/pen-name, stumbled on a man named Will Shakespeare, and had a brainstorm! With or without Harvey's letter, 'Will Shake-speare' would have struck de Vere as a particularly beautiful and meaningful pen-name. Imagine Samuel Clemens looking for a front-man and stumbling on a man whose birth-name was Mark Twain. ("My good Mr. Shakespere, let me buy you a pint of the finest beer and discuss how I can help enrich you!")

Call me a crackpot? Whatever! But those familiar with Bayes Theorem will understand that the name-choosing scenario just outlined is further circumstantial support for the Shakespeare==front_man hypothesis.
 

Swammerdami

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The detective in me is always about sharing information. Ramon Jimenez has written about ten eyewitnesses to Shakespeare and their silence on TSM. I'm not beating a dead horse here because I know you are a Marlowe man, but it's just a bit more evidence that the orthodoxy surrounding authorship is full of holes. The first entry is by Camden and worth the read, even if one stops there.

Ten Eyewitnesses Who Saw Nothing: Shakespeare in Stratford and London

I clicked and read. VERY compelling.
 

WAB

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There's a market for such trinkets. Maybe Purdy is such a vendor. I do not know but remain curious. The manufacture of biblical artifacts and their sale among collectors and believers occurs similarly. The church of my youth allegedly had the relics of Saint Mathias entombed within the altar. Really? But believers believe so the market thrives.

On a completely different note I made a realization today, no doubt expressed elsewhere, perhaps by many persons. It is that Oxford accomplished precisely that which he continues to be known for and doubted of, namely that he is the author. He continues to have plausible deniability and continues to have accreditation. It's mind blowing, really. It was so during his life and continues to be so.

In a way I was also booted out of the Facebook site in that I was never granted entry. It was the only reason i signed up for Facebook.

What the world needs is a book with the complete writings of Oxford. I mean everything, his letters, his early poetry, everything he transcribed that is at Hatfield, the whole works.
And of course the Shakespeare canon.

If TSM was the writer why did he hyphenate his name?

That's a good question, Moogly. Maybe TSM was not the writer?? And maybe Oxford was?

WAB, you're the writer, I'm the detective. I would be curious to know how much of your verse is based upon personal creation, having been physically "in the kitchen," and how much of it is based upon things you have only heard about and read about. The paltry bit of writing I have done was entirely from personal experience and observation. The last bit of writing were two intros to trail guides for a local conservancy. As someone who is constantly tramping through the wilds the only research I did was to acquaint myself with the range of plant life native to those ecosystems. All else was from my own senses having been on those trails.

Of course, were I writing a history of America's Civil War like Shelby Foote I could hardly do the same and must rely on research.

The detective in me is always about sharing information. Ramon Jimenez has written about ten eyewitnesses to Shakespeare and their silence on TSM. I'm not beating a dead horse here because I know you are a Marlowe man, but it's just a bit more evidence that the orthodoxy surrounding authorship is full of holes. The first entry is by Camden and worth the read, even if one stops there.

Ten Eyewitnesses Who Saw Nothing: Shakespeare in Stratford and London

I appreciate your post, Moogly. But remember I am strictly an amateur. Calling me a "writer" would be accurate technically but not at all true practically, since I've never earned a cent for my scribbling. A few small publications of poetry, that's all.

However, there is a broad range of discussion and argument among authors about the "write from experience" advice, or more commonly, "Write what you know" (Since that was [essentially] Hemingway's dictum)

Here is a good article featuring discussion about it, albeit it is obviously slanted away from the "write what you know" philosophy:

https://lithub.com/should-you-write-what-you-know-31-authors-weigh-in/

My fave quote from that article:

Kazuo Ishiguro: Don’t Write What You Know

“”Write about what you know” is the most stupid thing I’ve heard. It encourages people to write a dull autobiography. It’s the reverse of firing the imagination and potential of writers.”

From somewhere else, I also love this quote:

“I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you'd get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.”
- Nikki Giovanni

I especially agree with that last bit about empathy. If I were to choose what I think are my best poems, I can safely say that empathy is their impetus, and at the heart of their meaning. At the risk of vanity, I will copy three. All three have been posted in the new poetry thread or the old one in the archives. At Wounded Knee was actually solicited by an editor in the UK for a magazine publication in 2006, Candelabrum (again, minor):

At Wounded Knee (revised version)

Three days, and no-one comes to close my eyes.
I am as cold and quiet as a stone
on the white ground. I wait and cannot rise.

Death steals less swiftly than a bullet flies:
the ache has time to settle in the bone.
Three days, and no-one comes to close my eyes.

Snow falls and whips; the wind still rips, and cries.
Here I remain like something broken, thrown
to the white ground. I wait, and cannot rise,

nor yet lie easy, as a dead man lies,
though surely death has claimed me for his own.
Three days, and no-one comes to close my eyes.

My spirit beats its awkward wings and tries
to take the air, but, like the snow, is blown
to the white ground. I wait and cannot rise

to charge like lightning through these winter skies
with ghosts of kin who see how still I've grown
in three days. No-one comes to close my eyes.
On the white ground I wait and cannot rise.

I've never been on the frozen ground in a field near death; I am not Native American; I was not at Woulded Knee; I do not believe in an afterlife. I was able to write this poem due to one significant aspect of my personality: Empathy. When I first saw the famous photo of Chief Bigfoot lying dead in the snow, and yet looking like he was ready to fight still, so passionate was his defense of his people, I knew that a poem was in order.

My second example poem:

Helga's Tear (1 May 1945)

The children down below, quietly sleeping,
forgot the din and panic, the toil and trouble.
They had our fragile honor in their keeping.

Winter had flown, and spring came softly creeping:
so daintily, she tiptoed through the rubble.
The children down below, quietly sleeping,

deaf to the bombs and shells, and deaf to weeping,
dreamed up green meadows out of beaten stubble,
and had our fragile honor in their keeping.

Then out of Hell they counted brown sheep leaping,
and devils, black and red, crying double, double!
The children down below, quietly sleeping,

when boughs were breaking in the whirlwind's sweeping,
when all the cradles tipped in the world's wobble,
still held our fragile honor in their keeping.

While most went gently, there was one eye peeping.
Blue dazzled where a tear had begun to bubble.
O children down below, quietly sleeping,
I have your fragile honor in my keeping.

I was of course not present during this senseless massacre of children; I have no connection to the Goebbels, except that I'm half-German; I have not lost any loved one to murder; I was not there in WWII; I have no acquaintance with the Goebbels family, or with any family which has suffered the death of SIX children, all at once, at the merciless hands of their own mother, Magda Goebbels. All I have is my humanity, my empathy. I envision the elder daughter as heroic in this poem. She apparently woke up and fought her sinister mother as the latter tried to make the former bite down on a cyanide tablet (which she eventually was forced to do). Helga Goebbels is a hero.

My third example poem: the hardest poem I have ever had to write:

Lethal Injection

One pinch, and winter drifts toward your heart.
Your eyes are dazzled by the thought and keep
a point transfixed in space - cold and apart,
two fathers watch them shudder into sleep.
Now I will speak, though I cannot forgive:
lifting the iron from my tongue I swear
three syllables that are too vain to live,
that fall out stillborn, withered in mid-air.

You cannot hear me now. You lie so still
my voice returns to me, its breath turned sour.
They lift the sheet and hide your face from view.
Most will forget your name. Two never will,
who'll waken nightly in this terrible hour
joined in the ritual of remembering you.

This poem is about two fathers (Line 4) who are witnessing the execution by lethal injection of a young man. One father is the father of the person being executed; the other father is the father of the victim: ie: the person the condemned one murdered.

Mind you, there is no question of the dying man's guilt. Perhaps he confessed. And we are to assume it was unjustified and horrendous.

Nonetheless, the poem is mainly about the LOVE the father of the condemned man feels for his son. Though he will not and cannot forgive his son for the senseless, brutal crime: Now I will speak, though I cannot forgive...

This poem came out of the thought that I had about: IF my own son committed a horrible, unforgivably brutal crime. How would I feel? How would I feel as I watched him die, wanting to comfort him but finding that completely impossible:

lifting the iron from my tongue I swear
three syllables that are too vain to live,
that fall out stillborn, withered in mid-air.

You cannot hear me now. You lie so still
my voice returns to me, its breath turned sour.


I sincerely hope y'all know what those "three syllables" are.

In case not:


I love you



BUT, Moogly, I do not miss your point, or seek to belittle it! Any author will write from experience, and any author will write what they know, what they have seen and felt; but that is only part of the journey. Imagination and empathy fill in the rest.

...

Patrick O’Brian is pertinent. - "I don’t think he ever sailed in a three-master.” -
- Ursula K. Le Guin

About O'Brian (From Wikipedia):

in 1995, venture capitalist Thomas Perkins offered O'Brian a two-week cruise aboard his then sailing yacht, a 154 ft (47 m) ketch. In an article about the experience written after O'Brian's death, Perkins commented that "... his knowledge of the practical aspects of sailing seemed, amazingly, almost nil" and "... he seemed to have no feeling for the wind and the course, and frequently I had to intervene to prevent a full standing gybe. I began to suspect that his autobiographical references to his months at sea as a youth were fanciful.

More from Le Guin:

I got whatever knowledge I have of the hearts and minds of human beings, through imagination working on observation....

That is the truth of it.

Oxfordians seem (SEEM! - I am only suggesting what I see as a common thread) to have no regard for imagination, thinking instead that writing must come from experience.
 

Swammerdami

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Beautiful poetry, WAB!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I know very little about Kit Marlowe or the Marlovian authorship theory. But I see that Marlowe
  • was awarded Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Cambridge University;
  • translated Latin texts;
  • tutored Arabella Stuart Lady of Somerset, who was widely proposed as Heiress to the Throne of England;
  • received favors from Lord Burghley and the Queen's Privy Council;
  • may have provided special services for her Majesty or Her secret service.
(Were the "special services" similar to those Oxford allegedly provided? Some say they did collaborate on some of the history plays.)

So Marlowe was well-educated and had much contact with the Kingdom's elite. Is it "elitist" to propose Marlowe as the Author of Hamlet?

Oxfordians seem (SEEM! - I am only suggesting what I see as a common thread) to have no regard for imagination, thinking instead that writing must come from experience.

Please get your information about what Oxfordians believe by reading Oxfordians, and NOT by reading anti-Oxfordian screeds.

In one play, Oxford(!) describes an obscure painting he viewed in a private home. Is it reasonable to say an "imaginative" playwright would have known that painting? And would an "empathetic" playwright writing about lawyers have known the jargon and details of past cases?

I think the "Ten Eyewitnesses" paper helps show the unlikelihood of a Stratford authorship. As for the Oxfordian theory, the overwhelming number of coincidences (and not any issues with empathy or imagination) is telling. @ WAB — have you reached any verdict on "Will Monox and his great dagger"?
 

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Beautiful poetry, WAB!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I know very little about Kit Marlowe or the Marlovian authorship theory. But I see that Marlowe
  • was awarded Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Cambridge University;
  • translated Latin texts;
  • tutored Arabella Stuart Lady of Somerset, who was widely proposed as Heiress to the Throne of England;
  • received favors from Lord Burghley and the Queen's Privy Council;
  • may have provided special services for her Majesty or Her secret service.
(Were the "special services" similar to those Oxford allegedly provided? Some say they did collaborate on some of the history plays.)

So Marlowe was well-educated and had much contact with the Kingdom's elite. Is it "elitist" to propose Marlowe as the Author of Hamlet?

Oxfordians seem (SEEM! - I am only suggesting what I see as a common thread) to have no regard for imagination, thinking instead that writing must come from experience.

Please get your information about what Oxfordians believe by reading Oxfordians, and NOT by reading anti-Oxfordian screeds.

In one play, Oxford(!) describes an obscure painting he viewed in a private home. Is it reasonable to say an "imaginative" playwright would have known that painting? And would an "empathetic" playwright writing about lawyers have known the jargon and details of past cases?

I think the "Ten Eyewitnesses" paper helps show the unlikelihood of a Stratford authorship. As for the Oxfordian theory, the overwhelming number of coincidences (and not any issues with empathy or imagination) is telling. @ WAB — have you reached any verdict on "Will Monox and his great dagger"?

First, thanks for the compliment!

Oh, I thought I gave you my verdict on that "Will Monox and his great dagger". I have no idea what it refers to. It could very well refer to De Vere. Or it might not?? I do not know.

I don't have anything else to say about it, honest.

No, it is not elitest at all to propose that Marlowe composed Shakespeare; but I was reading about it and it seems there was plenty of witness at Marlowe's death, plenty of documentation, so it's unlikely in any case that Kit Marlowe wrote Shakespeare. The thing about Marlowe is - he was a superb poet, and was known to use unrhymed iambic pentameter (blank verse) in his extant plays (the ones we KNOW were Marlowe's) Not only that, he did it BEFORE Shakespeare, and the Bard is said to have been influenced by Marlowe.

There is no documentation of De Vere using blank verse. Or is there? Can I read some? There are some poems by De Vere in the galloping "fourteener" which was popular in his time; but there is no "Shakespeare" in that duly forgotten, plodding meter.

I don't think I specifically said it was "elitest" to propose De Vere as the possible author (if I did, forgive me, I was wrong); what's elitest is the presumption that a man lacking formal education could not be a great author. There are different kinds of "education". There is formal education, high school, college, university, degrees, etc; there is also practical education: ie, there is a way to learn things outside of academia and formally structured modes of teaching.

Some geniuses are self-taught. You have heard of autodidacts?

I think of myself as an autodidact. I never had a formal lesson in the writing of poetry. I never sat at anyone's knee as a "student"; I never had a mentor. I learned about poetry by combing through books since I was about fourteen. I learned how to write formal verse by reading how it was done, and teaching myself step by step.

But that doesn't matter, because I'm a nobody, a nothing in the world of poetry.
 

Swammerdami

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Thank you again, WAB, for participating in this thread. It's motivated much re-reading and reflection on my part. You've made good points, and it's good to have my opinions challenged. Bottom line however: Although I've always acknowledged a big gap between the skills and styles of Shake-speare and Oxford, I now find the circumstantial evidence pointing away from Stratford and toward Oxford to be stronger than ever.

Whatever the real solution might be, people who don't acknowledge that the Authorship is a mystery are uninformed.

Oh, I thought I gave you my verdict on that "Will Monox and his great dagger". I have no idea what it refers to. It could very well refer to De Vere. Or it might not?? I do not know.

I don't have anything else to say about it, honest.

No, it is not elitest at all to propose that Marlowe composed Shakespeare; but I was reading about it and it seems there was plenty of witness at Marlowe's death, plenty of documentation, so it's unlikely in any case that Kit Marlowe wrote Shakespeare....

... There is no documentation of De Vere using blank verse....

I never suggested that it was elitest to propose De Vere as the possible author; what's elitest is the presumption that a man lacking formal education could not be a great author. There are different kinds of "education". There is formal education, high school, college, university, degrees, etc; there is also practical education: ie, there is a way to learn things outside of academia and formally structured modes of teaching.

Some geniuses are self-taught. You have heard of autodidacts?

The "Will Monox" quote is just one of many things that point strongly to Oxford for which Stratfordians have no answer. Of course nobody can be 100% certain of its meaning, but I posted a strong syllogism pointing at its meaning. Anti-Oxfordians are left repeating "Another inside joke nobody today will ever decipher."

I called attention to Marlowe because you (a) say you are doubtful about a Stratford authorship, (b) proposed Marlowe as author, (c) accused Oxfordians of deprecating the uneducated Stratford's imagination. Your same argument might apply against Marlovism or anti-Stratfordianism more generally.

(And you respond with ... questions about blank verse? The path to fruitful debate is to keep our eyes on one ball at a time! :) ... BUT ... am I wrong that Shakespeare et al used blank verse mainly in plays? Their stand-alone poems did rhyme. Blank verse attributed to Oxford doesn't survive because plays attributed to him don't.)

For those (not you) who turn anti-Stratfordianism into deprecation of the uneducated, let me mention Mark Twain again: the charge is refuted in his case: He was strongly anti-Stratfordian, and yet glorified the ignorant peasant girl Joan of Arc. (He wrote a book about each.)

As for autodidacts ... I'm rather one myself! (I won't call myself a genius, but my test scores and resume would surprise many.)
 

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Swammi,

You are absolutely correct on calling me on the blank verse thing. That was silly of me, since blank verse was only used for plays at the time (as far as I know - at least until John Milton wrote Paradise Lost). To repeat: that was tremendously silly of me.

Albeit, I do regret that none of De Vere's writing for performance has endured. I am left wondering why. He was of the nobility, and not minor, but quite prestigious. The Earldom of Oxford was and is a big deal.

I realize it was acceptable for nobility to pen plays and masques for royalty, but that it was considered beneath them to do the same for the common rabble. I get it; but I am left wondering why the "acceptable" work is not extant. Why doesn't De Vere's work for the royal court survive, at least? What was to be gained by its destruction, or whatever happened to it?

Perhaps I have it wrong, and the fact is any literature, or dramatic work for performance, was considered beneath nobility? But then what about the poems that bear De Vere's name? It was okay to publish poems as an Earl but NOT plays or dramatic pieces? I don't get it.

As for "Will Monox and his great dagger". Sure, it could be a reference to De Vere. But is it certain?

Also, if major dramatists like Ben Jonson and Thomas Nashe (and Greene, for that matter), knew that Will Shakespeare of Stratford was only a front-man, then we come back to the original objection made by [MENTION=20]Bronzeage[/MENTION]; ** early (early!) in the thread: that it would have required literally hundreds of people - actors, playwrights, various business people, theatre staff, etc - to keep this secret. You may have heard a popular song lyric about keeping secrets:

"Two can keep a secret, if one of them is dead."

But my conjectures and doubts mean NOTHING! There are qualified scholars arguing this very issue all over the world. We are just the peanut gallery.

It is nice that we can remain friendly! I refuse to get too worked up about this, as I did earlier in the thread...

I do not know enough to have an opinion that matters, save to me.

I still say Bronzeage had the best answer:

** - Bronzeage, from an early post in this thread:

I've been reading about the Shakespeare Authorship controversy since I was in 7th grade. In all that time, no one has ever presented evidence or made a compelling enough argument to change the minds of most English speaking people.

Also, in all that time, I've had the opportunity to know a few playwrights. I can't imagine any of them allowing someone else to take credit for their words, or present someone else's as their own.

The Shamspeare conspiracy breaks down on one simple point, which is the same point that kill World Trade Center truthers and moon landing hoaxes, mainly that too many people would have to be in on the secret. More than a hundred people were needed to put on a play at the Globe theater. All it would take is one disgruntled stage hand, or jealous actor, to reveal it, if not for money, certainly for spite.

I think the above is worth thinking about.
 

Swammerdami

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... Albeit, I do regret that none of De Vere's writing for performance has endured. I am left wondering why. He was of the nobility, and not minor, but quite prestigious. The Earldom of Oxford was and is a big deal.

I realize it was acceptable for nobility to pen plays and masques for royalty, but that it was considered beneath them to do the same for the common rabble. I get it; but I am left wondering why the "acceptable" work is not extant. Why doesn't De Vere's work for the royal court survive, at least? What was to be gained by its destruction, or whatever happened to it?

Perhaps I have it wrong, and the fact is any literature, or dramatic work for performance, was considered beneath nobility? But then what about the poems that bear De Vere's name? It was okay to publish poems as an Earl but NOT plays or dramatic pieces? I don't get it.

I don't think we can be certain about the exact nature of the "taboo" against publishing. Oxford was not the only courtier playwright; IIUC none of them are associated with specific play titles or manuscripts. And, as discussed earlier, he'd "painted himself into a corner", e.g. by accepting the 1000-pound salary for writing propaganda plays and keeping his authorship secret.

Moogly or I linked to a long paper titled "Twenty Poems of Edward de Vere ..." Here's a URL, though NOT the same URL as given up-thread.

The author describes the care he took to settle on 20 poems almost universally regarded as Oxford's; he rejected many, e.g. poems published by George Gascoigne, allegedly an Oxford pen-name. Most of the poems were attributed to Oxford by Professor Steven May — a Stratfordian — and the others were agreed by him as possible or probable.

Eight of the 20 poems (#2-#9) were published without Oxford's consent in The Paradise of Dainty Devices (1576) — they were shown as by "E.O." IIRC, Oxford insisted that the poems be removed in subsequent editions. #1 was published under Oxford's by-line in the preface to Cardanus Comforte (1573); apparently as Bedingfield's patron this was OK. The other eleven seem to lack a contemporary by-line, but have been credibly attributed to Oxford. (Some of them, I think, were songs from Lyly's plays.)

TL;DR: With the exception of #1, Oxford did NOT publish poems under his own name.

The "Twenty Poems" paper answers some of your other questions, and mentions a pre-Looney "pro-Oxfordian" poet, Walt Whitman.

As discussed by Cheryl Eagan-Donovan (2017), scholars studying many great poets—Walt Whitman, Arthur Rimbaud, and Sylvia Plath, to name just a few diverse examples—have noted how dramatically they may change and develop their voices over time. Not just the extent but the pace and timing of development may vary greatly. Some poets blossom from immaturity to mastery while still precociously young (Rimbaud is a famous example), and some (like Whitman) much later, in middle age.The first edition of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (1855), a radical break with anything he (or anyone) had written before, appeared when he was 36. ... A leading expert on Whitman (Schmidgall 4) notes that the great American poet’s “iographers and critics have unanimously accounted his early poetry [published into his early 30s] ... very bland stuff, indistinguishable from the countless chunks of poetasting produced to satisfy ... [newspaper] weeklies and dailies. ... These [early] poems never rise above the arch or maudlin ....”

In sum, the allegedly mysterious “gulf” between these early de Vere poems and the Shakespeare canon is much ado about nothing. De Vere had more than sufficient time to grow and develop as a writer—in effect, to become Shakespeare—between his mid-20s and his mid-40s (see, e.g., Ogburn 390-97). Sobran, for example, noted that “whoever wrote The Tempest was at one time capable of writing Titus Andronicus, a play so inferior to Shakespeare’s mature work that its authorship was formerly in doubt” (231). The posited evolution of de Vere into Shakespeare is certainly far less mysterious than the many puzzling incongruities of the Stratfordian authorship theory. To quote a staunchly orthodox Stratfordian, if only we had evidence even remotely comparable to this massive array of poetic parallels to “bridg[e] the vertiginous expanse between the sublimity of [‘Shakespeare’ the author] and the mundane inconsequence of the documentary record” concerning Shakspere of Stratford-upon-Avon (Schoenbaum 568).

Whitman, it should be noted, was himself a Shakespeare authorship doubter.Indeed, he anticipated the Oxfordian theory as early as 1888, observing that “only one of the ‘wolfish earls’ so plenteous in the plays themselves, or some born descendant and knower, might seem to be the true author of those amazing works” (52, referring specifically to the English history plays).
 

Swammerdami

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Estimating probabilities is an interesting art. I felt confident that O.J. Simpson was guilty based on lots of circumstantial evidence and the lack of any alternative hypothesis.

A famous controversy in Contract Bridge arose in 1965. Terence Reese (one of the greatest players ever) and Boris Shapiro were accused of using illegal hand signals in the World Championship. Many bridge fans did not believe the allegations (and the pair were acquitted in an informal British trial with a "reasonable doubt" criterion or some such). But it was very clear to me that the allegations had to be true. So clear that the deniers baffled me. Why? Careful perusal of the evidence and estimating the likelihood of any alternative explanation. (Decades later, after Reese passed away, Shapiro confessed that "that wicked man" had forced him to cheat.)

Similarly it was obvious that Anita Hill's accusation were true in the famous confirmation hearings (with Senator Biden presiding!) decades ago. Why? Simply consider the evidence and estimate the a priori probabilities of hypotheses.

As for "Will Monox and his great dagger". Sure, it could be a reference to De Vere. But is it certain?

I just wrote that it is NOT 100% certain! Is it more than 90% probable? I certainly think so, and personally would estimate the chance as much higher than 90%.

Nashe was probably speaking of a playwright or theater patron; the person's status as a nobleman would have been a likely reason to keep his identity cryptic. As operator of Fisher's Folly, Oxford was known to meet frequently with playwrights like Nashe and Greene. The connection from "Monox great dagger" to "Oxford and the ceremonial SWORD of state he bore as GREAT Chamberlain" is pretty direct. Do you have any alternate hypothesis? Without the "Will", this connection might not be controversial at all. But the suggestion that "Monox" was named "Will" certainly should raise an eyebrow!

By itself, I might find "Will Monox" laughable. When combined with dozens of similar coincidences, application of Bayes' Theorem becomes lop-sided.
 

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Also, if major dramatists like Ben Jonson and Thomas Nashe (and Greene, for that matter), knew that Will Shakespeare of Stratford was only a front-man, then we come back to the original objection made by Bronzeage early (early!) in the thread: that it would have required literally hundreds of people - actors, playwrights, various business people, theatre staff, etc - to keep this secret. You may have heard a popular song lyric about keeping secrets:

"Two can keep a secret, if one of them is dead."

I'd agree with "probably at least a hundred" but draw the line before "literally hundreds of people." (I disagree about "various business people, theatre staff, etc." though it's hard to be certain without knowing exactly how the hoax played out — we don't.)

But most of those in on the secret would have had incentive to keep mum: Oxford's relatives, and the Queen's spies and agents, of course; but also those who were aware that the hoax was authorized by the Queen herself, and that revealing it would incur her wrath. There would have been no incentive to divulge. Ben Jonson and the publisher of Greene's book are two examples where a 180-degree shift can be seen to occur when they were presumably informed of the hoax.

Could a few hundred people keep a secret? I like to bring up the example of Britain's Ultra secret during World War II. Hundreds of people were in on that secret, yet it didn't become public until the mid 1970's, some 35 years after the secrecy began!

And — don't forget — there WERE many cryptic references to the hoax. One poem mentions that Shake-speare used "a borrowed name"; and so on.
 

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I still say Bronzeage had the best answer:

** - Bronzeage, from an early post in this thread:

I've been reading about the Shakespeare Authorship controversy since I was in 7th grade. In all that time, no one has ever presented evidence or made a compelling enough argument to change the minds of most English speaking people.

Also, in all that time, I've had the opportunity to know a few playwrights. I can't imagine any of them allowing someone else to take credit for their words, or present someone else's as their own.

The Shamspeare conspiracy breaks down on one simple point, which is the same point that kill World Trade Center truthers and moon landing hoaxes, mainly that too many people would have to be in on the secret. More than a hundred people were needed to put on a play at the Globe theater. All it would take is one disgruntled stage hand, or jealous actor, to reveal it, if not for money, certainly for spite.

I think the above is worth thinking about.
What's with the word Shamspeare? Do we as adults really need to engage our fourth grade emotional intellects? That's what Stratfordians are fond of doing with the name Looney. Can't we be adults? Can't we discuss the evidence on its merits?

As to the claim that "all it would take is a disgruntled stage hand" assumes that stage hands knew the sources of all the plays. Why would I make such an assumption? How do I know how many people knew that Oxford was the source of the play? The word "Shakes-speare" appears on many works that are clearly from another author, there is virtually 100% agreement on that by both Oxfordians and Stratfordians. Should we assume that all the stage hands who propped all those plays also knew who the real authors were? Doesn't this seem like a silly argument?

And associating it with moon landing hoaxers is just another breach of intellectual integrity. Lets please deal with the evidence and leave the emotional insults outside.

Worth noting is that it is common to discuss Elizabethan England anachronistically, transporting today's norms back into the times. We should not do that. As WAB attests, the Earl of Oxford could not place his name on plays that clearly spoke of royal intrigue. That point should be quite clear to anyone who has seriously looked at the times and why this was necessary. If I have not then my opinion is based on applying present cultural norms to those times. Why would I do that? The old adage applies, "Garbage in, garbage out," as any problem solver knows. If your data is flawed you will emerge with flawed conclusions.

WAB asks why there are no plays in Oxford's name. The contention is that the Shakespeare Canon is the work of Oxford (or Oxford and associates) and not TSM. So there are most definitely works by Oxford.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Also, if major dramatists like Ben Jonson and Thomas Nashe (and Greene, for that matter), knew that Will Shakespeare of Stratford was only a front-man, then we come back to the original objection made by Bronzeage early (early!) in the thread: that it would have required literally hundreds of people - actors, playwrights, various business people, theatre staff, etc - to keep this secret. You may have heard a popular song lyric about keeping secrets:

"Two can keep a secret, if one of them is dead."

I'd agree with "probably at least a hundred" but draw the line before "literally hundreds of people." (I disagree about "various business people, theatre staff, etc." though it's hard to be certain without knowing exactly how the hoax played out — we don't.)

But most of those in on the secret would have had incentive to keep mum: Oxford's relatives, and the Queen's spies and agents, of course; but also those who were aware that the hoax was authorized by the Queen herself, and that revealing it would incur her wrath. There would have been no incentive to divulge. Ben Jonson and the publisher of Greene's book are two examples where a 180-degree shift can be seen to occur when they were presumably informed of the hoax.

Could a few hundred people keep a secret? I like to bring up the example of Britain's Ultra secret during World War II. Hundreds of people were in on that secret, yet it didn't become public until the mid 1970's, some 35 years after the secrecy began!

And — don't forget — there WERE many cryptic references to the hoax. One poem mentions that Shake-speare used "a borrowed name"; and so on.

But which is the actual conspiracy, to think that Oxford was the author, a man for which we have much historical information, or that TSM was the author, a man for which we have no evidence that he was even literate let alone interested in writing anything?

It is important to remember that there are zero references to TSM as a writer of any kind during his lifetime and for seven years after he died in 1616. When persons today happen upon the Authorship question they do not know this. They assume TSM is the writer and assume that all those "biographies" of TSM's life are not inventions. They are not aware of evidence to the contrary and so assume that TSM was the author and known as such during his lifetime when nothing could be further from the truth, further assuming that there are crackpots trying to smear his good name. It's a great bit of propaganda and is the single most important dynamic of the authorship question.

Absolutely no one today would connect TSM and the Shakespeare Canon were it not for the publication of the First Folio in 1623. This is where the first dots get connected. This is a pretty fantastic bit of historical evidence which when taken with all the other circumstantial evidence overwhelmingly argues against TSM.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Estimating probabilities is an interesting art. I felt confident that O.J. Simpson was guilty based on lots of circumstantial evidence and the lack of any alternative hypothesis.

A famous controversy in Contract Bridge arose in 1965. Terence Reese (one of the greatest players ever) and Boris Shapiro were accused of using illegal hand signals in the World Championship. Many bridge fans did not believe the allegations (and the pair were acquitted in an informal British trial with a "reasonable doubt" criterion or some such). But it was very clear to me that the allegations had to be true. So clear that the deniers baffled me. Why? Careful perusal of the evidence and estimating the likelihood of any alternative explanation. (Decades later, after Reese passed away, Shapiro confessed that "that wicked man" had forced him to cheat.)

Similarly it was obvious that Anita Hill's accusation were true in the famous confirmation hearings (with Senator Biden presiding!) decades ago. Why? Simply consider the evidence and estimate the a priori probabilities of hypotheses.

As for "Will Monox and his great dagger". Sure, it could be a reference to De Vere. But is it certain?

I just wrote that it is NOT 100% certain! Is it more than 90% probable? I certainly think so, and personally would estimate the chance as much higher than 90%.

Nashe was probably speaking of a playwright or theater patron; the person's status as a nobleman would have been a likely reason to keep his identity cryptic. As operator of Fisher's Folly, Oxford was known to meet frequently with playwrights like Nashe and Greene. The connection from "Monox great dagger" to "Oxford and the ceremonial SWORD of state he bore as GREAT Chamberlain" is pretty direct. Do you have any alternate hypothesis? Without the "Will", this connection might not be controversial at all. But the suggestion that "Monox" was named "Will" certainly should raise an eyebrow!

By itself, I might find "Will Monox" laughable. When combined with dozens of similar coincidences, application of Bayes' Theorem becomes lop-sided.
I've only ever been a juror one time but it was a fascinating experience. Eye witnesses take the stand and their testimonies directly contradict each other's. I'm not talking about expert or character witnesses either, I'm talking about witnesses to the same event. So as a juror you are forced to come to a decision about what actually happened and who's testimony is likely to be the truth based on everything else that occurred.

In this particular case the main evidence was a video of the event taken from the pressbox overlooking a football game. A brawl ensued after the game involving the police after which an individual was charged on six felony counts ranging from inciting a riot to assaulting police officers. Some of the charges occurred out of camera range but a large portion of the charges emanated from activities that were recorded by the camera.

Also of note was the fact that superintendents and athletic directors from different school districts also testified and were also involved in the melee. On one occasion a superintendent was pointing out to the jury what was happening while the video was being played. The problem was that not a single juror could agree with his description. It was as if he thought we would simply believe him based on his authority. Who knows? In any case, the evidence argued against conviction, the primary evidence being the actual video recording.

In the end we as a jury agreed that what had ensued was essentially a police riot, ignited by one officer violently attacking and throwing a person to the ground for no reason. When we saw it happen on the video you could hear a collective groan from the jury box. The police charges were a smokescreen to cover their mistake and that's all it was. A judge should have looked at the evidence and dismissed the charges long before the trial ever occurred. It was that obvious.

Sorry for being longwinded.
 

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There are two hypotheses about William Shakespeare the playwright.

(A) He was one specific man who wrote plays and contributed them to a specific theatrical company in which he had a strong financial interest. (That essential company underwent several name changes: Lord Chamberlain's Men, Lord Hunsden's Men, King's Men, and earlier perhaps Sussex's Men.)

(B) He was a non-writing opportunist who represented himself, with or without permission, as the author of several plays, possibly written by two or more different playwrights (at least some of whom sought anonymity).

Let's look at some facts and see which hypothesis fits.

The word "Shakes-speare" appears on many works that are clearly from another author, there is virtually 100% agreement on that by both Oxfordians and Stratfordians. Should we assume that all the stage hands who propped all those plays also knew who the real authors were? Doesn't this seem like a silly argument?

Yes, the byline "Shakespeare" was appended to several plays that ALL scholars agree were simply NOT written by the man who wrote King Lear. Does this seem odd? The traditional explanation is that the Quarto printers were not worried about any copyright laws and felt that the name would increase sales*. But is this really plausible? The playwrights Marlowe and Jonson were also quite admired; were their names made to suffer the same indignity? Even if there were no legal risks in stealing a name in this fashion, might not the quarto printers, or those who fed them scripts, been worried about repercussions from this chicanery?
. . . (* - This is one of many examples were Stratfordians need to do backflips. In 1596 Stratford was so famous that book-printers were purloining his name, yet in 1616 he was so obscure that his death passed unnoticed! :) )

Hypothesis (A) - Zero ; Hypothesis (B) - One.


The relationship between playwright and plays can be approached from the opposite direction. Shakespeare was, allegedly, an apprentice or journeyman player trying to build a relationship by supplying new plays to Lord Chamberlain's Men and its predecessors, and was financially rewarded for his loyalty. But look at what I wrote in this thread back in November:
"Had Shakespeare been a real playwright affiliated with a theater company, his plays would presumably have been written for that company. Yet Henry VI part 3 was performed by three different companies before its early first printing, and the early Titus and Adronicus is known to have been performed by yet a fourth company."​
My note-keeping is so bad that I'm not sure now what all of these four other companies were, but two of them were Pembroke's Men and Queen's Men.

Hypothesis (A) - Zero ; Hypothesis (B) - Two.
 

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WAB asks why there are no plays in Oxford's name. The contention is that the Shakespeare Canon is the work of Oxford (or Oxford and associates) and not TSM. So there are most definitely works by Oxford. - Moogly.

****
WAB asks why there are no plays in Bacon's name. The contention is that the Shakespeare Canon is the work of Bacon (or Bacon and associates) and not TSM. So there are most definitely works by Bacon.
 

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WAB asks why there are no plays in Oxford's name. The contention is that the Shakespeare Canon is the work of Oxford (or Oxford and associates) and not TSM. So there are most definitely works by Oxford. - Moogly.

****
WAB asks why there are no plays in Bacon's name. The contention is that the Shakespeare Canon is the work of Bacon (or Bacon and associates) and not TSM. So there are most definitely works by Bacon.

WAB, I like it! :) I like it because we're doing a great job of debunking orthodoxy on the authorship question.

Much has been said about DeVere's life as it relates to the Canon. But I honestly admit I have a blank when it comes to Bacon. Could you provide or link the strongest morsels?
 

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WAB asks why there are no plays in Oxford's name. The contention is that the Shakespeare Canon is the work of Oxford (or Oxford and associates) and not TSM. So there are most definitely works by Oxford. - Moogly.

****
WAB asks why there are no plays in Bacon's name. The contention is that the Shakespeare Canon is the work of Bacon (or Bacon and associates) and not TSM. So there are most definitely works by Bacon.

WAB, I like it! :) I like it because we're doing a great job of debunking orthodoxy on the authorship question.

Much has been said about DeVere's life as it relates to the Canon. But I honestly admit I have a blank when it comes to Bacon. Could you provide or link the strongest morsels?

Not at all! Bacon most certainly didn't write Shakespeare.

As far as "debunking orthodoxy" - I have been very clear - more than clear, I have insisted, that I am not a Stratfordian, let alone someone who defends Stratfordian Orthodoxy.

Review the thread. Can you quote me, or lead me to, by way of post number, a post where I stated an orthodox opinion? Please, do this.

I HAVE suggested that TSM could be the Author, but I have not spent any amount of time arguing for it.

I have spent my time putting forward a position that is Contra-Oxford. I base my opinion on...well, you know already.

***

I do have a theory, however:

Perhaps the poems that Oxford took credit for are not in fact written by him? He took credit for a handful of mediorcre poems so that no-one would be able to successfully tie those bland works with the works of "Shakespeare". After all, it was the Earl's wish that no-one would ever unravel his secret, no?

What better way to ensure no-one would connect Oxford with Shakespeare than to make sure the poems attributed to Oxford were markedly inferior to the work attributed to Shakespeare? No-one would think to associate them???

It's a perfect plan. In this way, no-one with any literary acumen would associate De Vere with "Shakespeare". Hence, Oxford's anonymity would be assured forever!

In summary: The Earl of Oxford did not write the mediocre poems to which his name is attached. They were the scribblings of a nobody. All to ensure no-one ever made the connection between Oxford and "Shakespeare."
 

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I do have a theory, however:

Perhaps the poems that Oxford took credit for are not in fact written by him? He took credit for a handful of mediorcre poems so that no-one would be able to successfully tie those bland works with the works of "Shakespeare". After all, it was the Earl's wish that no-one would ever unravel his secret, no?...

In summary: The Earl of Oxford did not write the mediocre poems to which his name is attached. They were the scribblings of a nobody. All to ensure no-one ever made the connection between Oxford and "Shakespeare."

I assume you're being sarcastic. Is that correct?

And did you miss the recent post where I patiently explained that Oxford "took credit" for just One (1) of the twenty poems most strongly attributed to him?
 

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I do have a theory, however:

Perhaps the poems that Oxford took credit for are not in fact written by him? He took credit for a handful of mediorcre poems so that no-one would be able to successfully tie those bland works with the works of "Shakespeare". After all, it was the Earl's wish that no-one would ever unravel his secret, no?...

In summary: The Earl of Oxford did not write the mediocre poems to which his name is attached. They were the scribblings of a nobody. All to ensure no-one ever made the connection between Oxford and "Shakespeare."

I assume you're being sarcastic. Is that correct?

And did you miss the recent post where I patiently explained that Oxford "took credit" for just One (1) of the twenty poems most strongly attributed to him?

No!

I was not being sarcastic, sorry.

Yes, I did miss what you said about him taking credit for one poem.

I will look for that post. I am wondering which poem it was Oxford took credit for. Also wondering, if he could take credit for one poem, why not Venus and Adonis? A poem's a poem. Why not Lucrece?

Why not the sonnets?

Oxford's name is attached to several poems (not plays written for the common rabble, which of course would be dishonorable). If he could take credit for writing poems, he could have taken credit for Venus and Lucrece, and the sonnets.

Why was it okay for Oxford to be credited with several poems, but he could not take credit for two of the greatest narrative poems ever written in English (Venus and Lucrece)? Where is the logic or reason in that?

Answer: He didn't write those poems. If he did, he would have taken credit for them. There was no shame in nobility writing poems!
 

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There are serious flaws in the Oxfordian theory, most notably differences in the quality and style of the poems attributed to Oxford with those attributed to Shakespeare. Thank you, WAB for exposing these flaws! I still think Oxfordian authorship is the LEAST unlikely solution. I have an answer to the objections but I'm tired of re-re-repeating it.

But with some of your objections, I feel like we keep going back to Square One. Your latest objections have been explained away several times in the thread already. :(

I do have a theory, however:

Perhaps the poems that Oxford took credit for are not in fact written by him? He took credit for a handful of mediorcre poems so that no-one would be able to successfully tie those bland works with the works of "Shakespeare". After all, it was the Earl's wish that no-one would ever unravel his secret, no?...

In summary: The Earl of Oxford did not write the mediocre poems to which his name is attached. They were the scribblings of a nobody. All to ensure no-one ever made the connection between Oxford and "Shakespeare."

I assume you're being sarcastic. Is that correct?

And did you miss the recent post where I patiently explained that Oxford "took credit" for just One (1) of the twenty poems most strongly attributed to him?

No!

I was not being sarcastic, sorry.

Yes, I did miss what you said about him taking credit for one poem.

I will look for that post. I am wondering which poem it was Oxford took credit for. Also wondering, if he could take credit for one poem, why not Venus and Adonis? A poem's a poem. Why not Lucrece?

Why not the sonnets?

Oxford's name is attached to several poems (not plays written for the common rabble, which of course would be dishonorable). If he could take credit for writing poems, he could have taken credit for Venus and Lucrece, and the sonnets.

Why was it okay for Oxford to be credited with several poems, but he could not take credit for two of the greatest narrative poems ever written in English (Venus and Lucrece)? Where is the logic or reason in that?

Answer: He didn't write those poems. If he did, he would have taken credit for them. There was no shame in nobility writing poems!

Again, for the umpteenth time, the taboo DID exist. Moreover, because of the court-cognizance in some plays (and the alleged propagandizing at the Queen's request), his authorship had to be kept secret even without the taboo. Venus and Adonis was a master-work (this may not be your opinion, but it is that of many, and certainly that of those who read it in the 1590's) and to reveal its true authorship would have unraveled the whole Shake-speare hoax.

(Does the dedication of Venus and Adonis seem odd to you? It describes the poem as "the first heir of my invention", but if you think that was the first poem written by a poet, let me sell you a bridge! :) )

Writing poems anonymously was OK, but publishing poems (which wasn't done "for the common rabble" — they couldn't afford books) WAS taboo for an Earl. The poem that de Vere DID put his name on was in a preface to a philosophy-book translation he had sponsored. Apparently, a preface to another's work seemed acceptable. When I mentioned that a few posts ago, I gave a link and mentioned it was poem #1 in that article: it's on page 29. It might be the very worst of the twenty poems in that article, but feel free to read it and deprecate his youthful lack of poetic skill some more.

Here are some comments from the article on that poem and a related letter.

This poem [“The Labouring Man That Tills the Fertile Soil”], introduced by the notation, “The Earle of Oxenforde to the Reader,” was published in 1573, when de Vere was only 23, as part of the preface to Thomas Bedingfield’s translation of Cardanus Comforte (1573, rev. 1576), which was dedicated to de Vere.... Cardanus is a philosophical work by the Italian mathematician Girolamo Cardano (1501–76), originally published in Venice as De Consolatione (1542). Its influence on the philosophical dimensions of Hamlet has been widely acknowledged. ... orthodox scholars including Hardin Craig have long documented an intimate connection between Cardanus and Hamlet. In a 1934 article (which avoided even mentioning de Vere), Craig termed it “Hamlet’s Book,” believing it to be the one from which the prince reads in act 2, scene 2. De Vere’s separate prose letter to Bedingfield, introducing Cardanus, was reprinted and praised by Grosart as “extremely interesting and characteristic, graceful and gracious” (423-24). Oxfordian scholars have documented the letter’s literary, philosophical, and linguistic connections to Shakespeare at least since Barrell’s two 1946 articles, the first of which noted that even then, Cardanus had “long been recognized ... as the source from which the author of Hamlet drew inspiration for memorable scenes and striking passages” (35). See also Fowler (118-62). As Sobran noted, de Vere’s prefatory letter“unmistakably prefigures the Southampton poems of Shakespeare: the Sonnets, Venus and Adonis, and The Rape of Lucrece” (279). Sobran observed that“the letter anticipates those poems in spirit, theme, image, and other details ... borrow[ing], for figurative use, the languages of law, commerce, horticulture, and medicine,” and that it “speaks of publication as a duty and of literary works as tombs and monuments to their authors” (279). Sobran also noted that the letter has echoes in the Shakespeare plays, including striking parallels to Coriolanus (279-82). As detailed below, the prefatory poem also has significant parallels to the plays, ...

It is IRRELEVANT to our debate but still interesting to me that de Vere had associations with some of the greatest geniuses of his time. I've mentioned Giordano Bruno up-thread. Girolamo Cardano was much more famous than Bruno. (Had you heard of him?) Cardano was first to publish several math principles, including solutions to the cubic and quartic equations. Several of his inventions are still in use, e.g. the "U-Joint" used on vehicle axles. He may have been first to notice that mountains contained relics of their long-ago existence under oceans. Et cetera, et cetera.
 
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T.G.G. Moogly

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There are serious flaws in the Oxfordian theory, most notably differences in the quality and style of the poems attributed to Oxford with those attributed to Shakespeare. Thank you, WAB for exposing these flaws! I still think Oxfordian authorship is the LEAST unlikely solution. I have an answer to the objections but I'm tired of re-re-repeating it.

But with some of your objections, I feel like we keep going back to Square One. Your latest objections have been explained away several times in the thread already. :(

No!

I was not being sarcastic, sorry.

Yes, I did miss what you said about him taking credit for one poem.

I will look for that post. I am wondering which poem it was Oxford took credit for. Also wondering, if he could take credit for one poem, why not Venus and Adonis? A poem's a poem. Why not Lucrece?

Why not the sonnets?

Oxford's name is attached to several poems (not plays written for the common rabble, which of course would be dishonorable). If he could take credit for writing poems, he could have taken credit for Venus and Lucrece, and the sonnets.

Why was it okay for Oxford to be credited with several poems, but he could not take credit for two of the greatest narrative poems ever written in English (Venus and Lucrece)? Where is the logic or reason in that?

Answer: He didn't write those poems. If he did, he would have taken credit for them. There was no shame in nobility writing poems!

Again, for the umpteenth time, the taboo DID exist. Moreover, because of the court-cognizance in some plays (and the alleged propagandizing at the Queen's request), his authorship had to be kept secret even without the taboo. Venus and Adonis was a master-work (this may not be your opinion, but it is that of many, and certainly that of those who read it in the 1590's) and to reveal its true authorship would have unraveled the whole Shake-speare hoax.

(Does the dedication of Venus and Adonis seem odd to you? It describes the poem as "the first heir of my invention", but if you think that was the first poem written by a poet, let me sell you a bridge! :) )

Writing poems anonymously was OK, but publishing poems (which wasn't done "for the common rabble" — they couldn't afford books) WAS taboo for an Earl. The poem that de Vere DID put his name on was in a preface to a philosophy-book translation he had sponsored. Apparently, a preface to another's work seemed acceptable. When I mentioned that a few posts ago, I gave a link and mentioned it was poem #1 in that article: it's on page 29. It might be the very worst of the twenty poems in that article, but feel free to read it and deprecate his youthful lack of poetic skill some more.

Here are some comments from the article on that poem and a related letter.

This poem [“The Labouring Man That Tills the Fertile Soil”], introduced by the notation, “The Earle of Oxenforde to the Reader,” was published in 1573, when de Vere was only 23, as part of the preface to Thomas Bedingfield’s translation of Cardanus Comforte (1573, rev. 1576), which was dedicated to de Vere.... Cardanus is a philosophical work by the Italian mathematician Girolamo Cardano (1501–76), originally published in Venice as De Consolatione (1542). Its influence on the philosophical dimensions of Hamlet has been widely acknowledged. ... orthodox scholars including Hardin Craig have long documented an intimate connection between Cardanus and Hamlet. In a 1934 article (which avoided even mentioning de Vere), Craig termed it “Hamlet’s Book,” believing it to be the one from which the prince reads in act 2, scene 2. De Vere’s separate prose letter to Bedingfield, introducing Cardanus, was reprinted and praised by Grosart as “extremely interesting and characteristic, graceful and gracious” (423-24). Oxfordian scholars have documented the letter’s literary, philosophical, and linguistic connections to Shakespeare at least since Barrell’s two 1946 articles, the first of which noted that even then, Cardanus had “long been recognized ... as the source from which the author of Hamlet drew inspiration for memorable scenes and striking passages” (35). See also Fowler (118-62). As Sobran noted, de Vere’s prefatory letter“unmistakably prefigures the Southampton poems of Shakespeare: the Sonnets, Venus and Adonis, and The Rape of Lucrece” (279). Sobran observed that“the letter anticipates those poems in spirit, theme, image, and other details ... borrow[ing], for figurative use, the languages of law, commerce, horticulture, and medicine,” and that it “speaks of publication as a duty and of literary works as tombs and monuments to their authors” (279). Sobran also noted that the letter has echoes in the Shakespeare plays, including striking parallels to Coriolanus (279-82). As detailed below, the prefatory poem also has significant parallels to the plays, ...

It is IRRELEVANT to our debate but still interesting to me that de Vere had associations with some of the greatest geniuses of his time. I've mentioned Giordano Bruno up-thread. Girolamo Cardano was much more famous than Bruno. (Had you heard of him?) Cardano was first to publish several math principles, including solutions to the cubic and quartic equations. Several of his inventions are still in use, e.g. the "U-Joint" used on vehicle axles. He may have been first to notice that mountains contained relics of their long-ago existence under oceans. Et cetera, et cetera.

My amateurish sensibilities sense, among many other things, that for seventeen sonnets someone is being beseeched to bring forth an heir, and then in sonnet eighteen this seems to have happened. This points to Oxford again.

Swammi, you are a patient soul!
 

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Well thank you gents for this exciting enterprise!

But it bothers me a bit, Moogly, that you say Swammi is so patient.

Look at this discussion board. Of all the active posters, only two have come down on the side of Oxford. TWO. Many posters have contributed, but then lost interest. Why? Why did they lose interest? Because there is nothing substantial in the Oxfordian position, no concrete evidence, no nothing.

Why, if it is so obvious that De Vere wrote Shakespeare, have you not gained the interest of a single soul here at TFT? It seems to me that your arguments should have peaked the interest of someone here who was originally undecided?

But alas, not a single soul here at TFT has been remotely convinced that Oxford wrote Shakespeare. If you go to Eratosphere, where actual published poets hang out, you will find a thread about the SAQ wherein no-one was even remotely convinced. Poets know that there is no possible link between the extant works of Oxford and the works of "Shakespeare".

He could not have written Shakespeare.

I really, really fucking wish that I wasn't the ONLY person here at TFT who is humoring you two (Moogly and Swammi).

But, you know what?

I give up.

OKAY! The 17th Earl of Oxford is/was the author of the works attributed to William Shakespeare!

All hail the Earl of Oxford! All hail the author of Shakespeare!

YAY!!!
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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But alas, not a single soul here at TFT has been remotely convinced that Oxford wrote Shakespeare. If you go to Eratosphere, where actual published poets hang out, you will find a thread about the SAQ wherein no-one was even remotely convinced. Poets know that there is no possible link between the extant works of Oxford and the works of "Shakespeare".
That is not surprising. Remember, it's the difference between being a poet/writer and being a detective. It's a forensic question, not a literary question, so such a dynamic is to be expected and welcomed as further proof that Oxford was the author.

You asked earlier why Oxford was not willing to claim authorship. I was rereading my old college text by Bevington and Craig, 1973, The Complete works of Shakespeare. The book is very well done and has no mention of the authorship question. The intro to the sonnets contains the following:

Shakespeare wrote sonnets during this heyday of the genre, for in 1598 Francis Meres praised Shakespeare's "sugred sonnets among his priuate friends." Even though they were not printed at the time, we know from Meres' remark that they were circulated in manuscript among the cognoscenti and commanded great respect. Shakespeare may have actually preferred to delay publication of his sonnets, not through indifference to their literary worth but through a desire to not seem too professional.
How interesting is that?! More invention. Orthodox mythology and invention just never ends. It continues:

The "courtly makers" of the English Renaissance, those gentlemen who's chivalric accomplishments were supposed to include versifying, looked upon the writing of poetry as a dilletantish avocation designed to amuse one's peers or court a lady. Publication was not quite genteel, and many such authors affected dismay when their verses were pirated into print.
This proves yet again why an Earl of Oxford with a claim to the throne would be the last person wishing to have his poetry made public.
 

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That is not surprising. Remember, it's the difference between being a poet/writer and being a detective. It's a forensic question, not a literary question, so such a dynamic is to be expected and welcomed as further proof that Oxford was the author.

You asked earlier why Oxford was not willing to claim authorship. I was rereading my old college text by Bevington and Craig, 1973, The Complete works of Shakespeare. The book is very well done and has no mention of the authorship question. The intro to the sonnets contains the following:


How interesting is that?! More invention. Orthodox mythology and invention just never ends. It continues:

The "courtly makers" of the English Renaissance, those gentlemen who's chivalric accomplishments were supposed to include versifying, looked upon the writing of poetry as a dilletantish avocation designed to amuse one's peers or court a lady. Publication was not quite genteel, and many such authors affected dismay when their verses were pirated into print.
This proves yet again why an Earl of Oxford with a claim to the throne would be the last person wishing to have his poetry made public.

Like I said in my previous post:

I give up.

OKAY! The 17th Earl of Oxford is/was the author of the works attributed to William Shakespeare!

All hail the Earl of Oxford! All hail the author of Shakespeare!

YAY!!!
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Swammi,

Are you familiar with the details concerning the likely reburial of De Vere in Westminster? I found this article from 2008:

Is a Powerful Authorship Smoking Gun Buried Within Westminster Abbey?

One thing I did not know is that any reburials in Westminster went unrecorded. This was/is simply the law. So there are many unknown reburials in Westminster. The tomb of De Vere and his wife at Hackney had disappeared by the time the original church was raised, but there is much recorded information that a tomb was empty and it's coats of arms removed. Lots of good information.

I was unable to stop reading the article, it was so interesting and informative.
 

Swammerdami

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Thanks for the link, T.G.G. Very interesting!

Here are two other articles related to de Vere's death and burial:
https://politicworm.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/paul-post-mortem.pdf
https://politicworm.com/oxford/oxfo...die-in-1604/is-oxford-buried-in-poets-corner/

The first is a 63-page pdf I've so far found only time to skim. (I may have gotten these links from you! I can hardly keep track of interesting URL's etc., let alone how I came across them.)

I'll probably eventually post a rebuttal in this thread to the dismisssive scorn of unrepentant Stratfordians, but I'll wait until I'm at leisure and feeling in a good mood. (Right now one of my top priorities is synchronizing Thai and English subtitles together for Game of Thrones, which we are now binge-watching at the rate of two seasons per week!)
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Thanks for the link, T.G.G. Very interesting!

Here are two other articles related to de Vere's death and burial:
https://politicworm.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/paul-post-mortem.pdf
https://politicworm.com/oxford/oxfo...die-in-1604/is-oxford-buried-in-poets-corner/

The first is a 63-page pdf I've so far found only time to skim. (I may have gotten these links from you! I can hardly keep track of interesting URL's etc., let alone how I came across them.)

I'll probably eventually post a rebuttal in this thread to the dismisssive scorn of unrepentant Stratfordians, but I'll wait until I'm at leisure and feeling in a good mood. (Right now one of my top priorities is synchronizing Thai and English subtitles together for Game of Thrones, which we are now binge-watching at the rate of two seasons per week!)
That first link was a great great read. Again, I was unaware there are so many questions concerning the death of Oxford. It is interesting that his death date passed without mention by anyone, not even members of his family, leading to speculation that he was "retired," but still alive, as letters would suggest. It's really another room of the whodunnit.

It is interesting that if he were to commit suicide such an act would invalidate any will he would leave, leaving some to use this law to explain the fact that he left no will.

But it is most intriguing the silence surrounding his death.
 

Swammerdami

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I'd intended to post more in this thread, but that will be increasingly difficult for me. Meanwhile, as the TFTer who is in the ShakesVere Facebook group, I have also been remiss on reporting on it.

Here is a link posted at ShakesVere to some podcasts (I think -- I've not listened); followed by two other recent messages at ShakesVere.

https://www.dragonwagonradio.com/dontquillthemessenger

Stewart Wilcox said:
War and Play
Queen Elizabeth I was parsimonious, she had to be. Philip II of Spain drew more revenue from his principality of Milano than Elizabeth ever drew from the whole of her Kingdom. Also, the revenue from Milano was just a drop in the ocean of Philip’s wealth, and an attack by him (or some other Catholic Monarch) was always a threat throughout her long reign. In the Catholic world she had no right to the throne of England as the Pope had excommunicated her and deprived her of her sovereignty in 1570.
She never wanted war, and she hoped she might defer or stop it by the pretense of offering her hand in marriage to a Catholic Prince, but by the early 1580’s with the demise of the Alencon courtship and the end of her childbearing years, this ruse could no longer work.
Elizabeth knew an attack was coming. She desperately needed to use as much of her small annual revenue as possible for Military Defense. So, what did she absolutely need to fund apart from military defense?
Well, she needed to pay for her households. She needed to keep the postal service working (at a cost of 1200 pounds per annum). She also had to keep the Scots quiet by funding King James (to the tune of 4000 pounds per annum), and enable Walsingham to run his spy network (at the cost of 2000 pounds per annum).
That should have been it, surely the rest could go on military defense, but no, there was another very important item that had to be covered. This was cultivating the ongoing support of the English people.
Insurrection by Catholics and the dissatisfaction of Protestants who believed Catholicism still held sway in government were her two other major concerns, either of which could destabilize her rule of England.
Fortunately, then, the latest development in mass communication was at hand; the Play. Starting life in her Court to entertain and delight her, it soon moved out into the country as the nobles who financed the player troupes tried to subsidize their costs when the Court moved out of its winter quarters by putting the troupes on the road to perform in Inns and Halls. and soon specialist theatres like the Curtain and the Theatre were built which could hold thousands of people at each performance.
The public loved these plays and flocked to performances, and as only one in ten people could read, this form of entertainment also became a major source of education, and the population needed to be educated correctly about how great our Royal and Noble history was.
So, what was needed in the 1580’s was a new source of plays that were either entertaining, so as to keep the populace happy, or ‘informative’, so as to keep them on side. (There was no danger of being ‘wrongly’ informative, as all plays had to be vetted and approved by the Queen’s Master of Revels).
It so happened that there was already an organization that could write new plays that were informative, entertaining and always on the Queens side, this was the de Vere Play Factory at Fishers Foley, near Bishopsgate in London. From the perspective of the Government, this was ideal; de Vere was one of the most senior nobles in the country and passionately believed in right of nobility to rule, he was on-side so to speak. He had around him at his retreat in Fisher’s Folly some of the best writers in the English-speaking world who worked with him to produce plays for his own play troupe. Also, as a prior Ward of Burleigh, the Queen’s first councilor, and now related to him through marriage, de Vere was completely trusted. All that needed to be done was for de Vere to ramp up the production of top-quality new plays.
Here is the time line:
1580 de Vere acquires Fisher Folly and many of the greatest names in English writing at the time join him there.
1582 The Queen takes over his players and amalgamates them with two other troupes to form the Queens players which tour the country in two groups presenting the Queen’s comedies and historical plays.
1584 The Queen awards de Vere a life pension of 1000 pounds per annum for unspecified services.

Was Shakespeare’s Will ‘Signed’ By Law Clerks?
From the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship.
An Australian doctoral student researching Elizabethan signatures has suggested that the six signatures on Shakespeare’s will were all signed by law clerks. If proven, it is evidence that the man from Stratford may not have been able to sign his own name no less ‘write’ the dozens of plays and hundreds of poems attributed to him.
In an 80-page essay, entitled “The Slippery Slope of Shakespeare’s Six Signatures,” appearing in the new issue of the peer-reviewed journal, *The Oxfordian,* Matthew Hutchinson, a doctoral candidate in the Humanities from Sydney, Australia, argues that “Shakespeare scholars have failed to place the signatures in their contemporary legal and social environment…. When examined in context, all six signatures show multiple anomalies and must be questioned.”
Hutchison notes that unlike other playwrights of the period who favored Italic signatures, the six ‘Shakespeare’ will signatures are all in what is called Secretary hand, a style akin to contemporary shorthand in which the script is similar from word to word and document to document making it difficult to tell one person’s hand from the next. Yet each of the will signatures are different.
“The six signatures,” says Hutchison, “must be re-evaluated…from first principles. It is time for forensic document examiners to fully assess…and bring the scholarship into line with the modern standard. Among the possible outcomes, we must recognize the sobering possibility exists that we do not possess a single word in Shakespeare’s own hand.”
Hutchison notes that scholars often argue that a possible health condition could have affected the so-called ‘Shakespeare’signatures, despite any evidence. This contradicts, however, the will’s own statement that the testator is in “perfect health.” Nor does it explain why Secretary hand was used for the three “W’s.”
Some have made the argument that Shakespeare may have trained as a scrivener, but if he did, he would have known that legal documents were expected to contain consistent signatures to aid identification and that the Court of Requests expected a full surname signature.
Hutchison’s essay in *The Oxfordian* (issue 23) is now available through Amazon.
The Oxfordian Vol. 23
 
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