Monthly Archives: April 2009

Birthday present from The Evening Standard

The Evening Standard in London celebrated Shakespeare’s birthday with a short story on Sir Derek Jacobi’s faith in Oxford as the author of the works by William Shakespeare — “Shakespeare did not write his own plays, claims Sir Derek Jacobi”.

One commentator suggested a new Stratfordian response to the authorship question:

Most of the plays are just trash that nobody would want to be thought of as writing anyway, U am glad he doesn’t get the blame any more. Keith Price, Luton, England

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May 30 Shakespeare symposium in Watertown, MA

Alex McNeil, Bonner Miller Cutting, Mark Anderson, Marie Merkel and Bill Boyle will speak at a symposium held from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. May 30 at the Watertown Free Public Library, 123 Main St., Watertown Square, MA. A $10 donation is requested to help defray costs including lunch on the day of the event. On the evening before the symposium Hank Whittemore will perform Shake-speare’s Treason at 7 p.m. May 29 at the First Parish of Watertown Unitarian Universalist Church for a suggested donation of $10, students may attend free.

The Saturday event is titled “A Symposium: Shakespeare from the Oxfordian Perspective” and was organized by several of the presenters and others among a group of Oxfordians who live in the Boston area.

Bonner Cutting will speak about Shakespeare’s Will, Mark Anderson will talk about the Cobbe Portrait, Marie Merkel will discuss Ben Jonson & The Tempest, Bill Boyle will talk about the succession crisis in the 1590s, and Alex McNeil will act as master of ceremonies and games-master.

For information, contact the Shakespeare Symposium at info@shakespearesymposium.org or call 617-955-3198.

SOS newsletter guidelines

The newsletter prints content emphasizing the publication of scholarly articles related to the case for Edward deVere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford, as the true author of the Shakespeare canon while also reaching out to authors and scholars who may submit articles about a range of subjects that touch on the Shakespeare authorship question more broadly.

Submit copy to: linda.theil@gmail.com.

Deadlines: Submit articles two months before publication deadlines of June, Sept, Dec, March. Submit news one month before publication date. Submit 500 word blog entries pertaining to your article and news items any time.
Content guidelines: News 500 words – specifics including accurate titles, contacts, links, etc. Features 1-3K words
Photos/graphics: include cutlines saying names of all in photo and circumstance: who, when, what, where?
Ongoing: books, CD and DVD reviews 300 words; travel 500 words

Blog entries: Anyone can submit a blog entry on any topic at any time. Keep to around 500 words and include links and references — who, what, where, when, how, & why. Blog great performances, great books, great websites, great insights, whatever tickles your Oxfordian fancy.

Preparing a manuscript:
· DO NOT justify text
· DO NOT double space between sentences
· DO NOT indent; double space between paragraphs
· DO NOT use quotations around anything that is not a direct quote, except names of poems and stories are set in quotes
· DO NOT use quotations for partial quotes — if it’s not a sentence, paraphrase and attribute.
· If you have a block quote, set it even with the margin in italics – the typesetter will set it as a block quote.
· Names of books and plays are always italicized, do not use single or double quotes around names of books or plays.
· Scholarly articles are referenced using Modern Language Association style.

In general:
· Try to keep sentences no longer than ten words. If you need more words, clarify the thought and make more sentences.
· If you find yourself using semi-colons, consider making two sentences instead.
· If you find yourself with a sentence full of commas, consider alternative phrasing — except in the case of a series, and even then don’t make the series interminable.
· Do not use empty phrases like in fact.
· Italicize foreign words and phrases, and words used in unusual ways – do not italicize anything else (except block quotes).
· Don’t start a sentence with the word, it. Substitute whatever it is that IT is. Look askance at every IT.
· Avoid any form of the verb, to be; find a more precise action whenever possible.
· Study Strunk and White — The Elements of Style – you can’t go wrong.
· Read your copy out loud before submitting it – if you can’t speak it, they can’t read it.
· Pretend you’re trying to explain your topic to a very smart nine-year-old.

Politic Worm

Independent scholar Stephanie Hughes has inaugurated a new blog, Politic Worm. She said:

I’m starting a blog on the Authorship Question, not only “who wrote the Shakespeare canon?” but the broader question of who wrote several of the other important literary canons of the Elizabethan Renaissance, and why so many found it necessary to hide their identities as authors.

So different is our present day culture from that of the English Reformation, and so much information is missing that should be there, whether on purpose or through the natural entropy of time, that, to arrive at a scenario has meant looking beyond literary history into mainstream history, most particularly the history of the Renaissance and Reformation periods, as well as modern clinical psychology, art history, theater history, the literary histories of the other European Renaissance nations, and the most complete biographies possible of everyone concerned.


Oh, my . . .

“Oh my,” said Coppelia Kahn, president of the Shakespeare Association of America and professor of English at Brown University, when informed of Justice Stevens’s cause. “Nobody gives any credence to these arguments.” WSJ April 17, 2009

Yesterday (4/17/09) Wall Street Journal published an article by Jess Bravin titled: (Note: online Friday 4/17/09, in print Saturday 4/18/09)

Justice Steven’s renders and opinion on who wrote Shakespeare’s plays: It Wasn’t the Bard of Avon, He Says, Evidence Is beyond a Reasonable Doubt

In a sidebar, the paper polled sitting and non-sitting justices with the following result:

Roberts: no comment
Stevens: Oxford
Scalia: Oxford
Kennedy: Stratford
Souter: “No idea.”
Thomas: No comment
Ginsburg: “No informed views.”
Breyer: Stratford
Alito: No comment

Retired/deceased justices –
Connor: Not Stratford
Blackmun: Oxford
Brennan: Stratford.

Miami U math professor teaches high school students to analyze Shakespeare

Math Teacher April 2009

Math Teacher April 2009

The current issue of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCMT) Mathematics Teacher, Vol. 102, No. 8 April 2009 cover article by Michael Todd Edwards, is titled: “Who Was the Real William Shakespeare?: Connecting language arts and mathematics, students use data analysis and readability measures to identify the Bard”. (pp 580-585).

Michael Todd Edwards is an assistant professor of mathematics education in the Dept. of Teacher Education at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. His research interests include the use of graphing calculators and dynamic geometry software in the teaching and learning of mathematics.

In the introduction to his article, Edwards says:

This article presents an interdisciplinary project I have used with students to connect reading and mathematics instruction at the secondary school level. Using a data analysis approach, students examine Shakespearean sonnets in a course entitled Functions, Statistics and Trigonometry while simultaneously studying the same works form literary and historical points of view in an English literature course. As they learn the basics of testing statistical hypotheses, the students use statistics to determine the likelihood that William Shakespeare was actually the pen name of Edward de Vere, a long-standing hypothesis popular among linguists and historians and promulgated by recent works such as The Shakespeare Enigma (Dawkins 2004)

He continues:

As ninth and tenth graders study Shakespeare in language arts classes, they are given the article “Hunting for Good Will: Will the Real Shakespeare Please Stand Up?” (Satchell 2000). The author provides evidence supporting the view that William Shakespeare was actually a pseudonym of Edward de Vere (1550-1604) the seventeenth Earl of Oxford, a recognized poet and playwright of the time. Although the debate about Shakespeare’s identity has continued for centuries, until recently statistical analysis – including comparisons of deVere’s poems and those of Shakespeare – war simply beyond the grasp of most scholars. However, with the increased popularity of graphing calculators, statistical investigations of Shakespeare’s writing now lie within the reach of typical high school students.

Technology allows students a chance to engage in authentic research, here comparing literary works of various authors in a manner similar to Johnson (1994) and others. Specifically, students collect and analyze data collaboratively in an attempt to answer contemporary research questions regarding Shakespeare’s identity.

At the end of the article Edwards summarizes:

Although our investigations have not provided my students with evidence sufficient to conclude that William Shakespeare was Edward de Vere, the project has encouraged them to reconsider mathematics as a useful interesting field of study. Although my intention is not to reduce the work of Shakespeare (and others) to average word length and syllable count – the Bard’s skillful use of wit, irony, allusion, and personification as well as his artful elaboration of timeless themes set his work apart – the statistical study of Shakespeare’s writing has proved worthwhile for my students.

As my students analyze word length data with Microsoft Excel or their TI-84+ calculators, they use research methods similar to those university researchers use (Johnson 1994) and are often surprised to discover how accessible such techniques are. Moreover, my students have found the activities motivating because , as they construct histograms and box-and-whisker plots, they attempt to answer a question that has puzzled readers, scholars, and historians for generations: Who was the real William Shakespeare?

Although Edwards says the student’s investigations don’t show conclusively that Edward de Vere was Shakespeare, he does say: “Although the result does not tell us that Shakespeare and DeVere are the same person, it fails to provide us with evidence that would allow us safely to reject the hypothesis.”

Note: The author notes that the definition of chi-square is typeset incorrectly in the publication.

The author acknowledges his colleagues in the Dept. of Teacher Education and the Howe Center for Writing Excellence at Miami University for support and guidance in his interdisciplinary initiatives. He can be reached at: edwardm2@muohio.edu.

His references include:
Reading Counts: Expanding the Role of Reading in Mathematics Classrooms, Borasi and Siegel, 2000
The Shakespeare Enigma, Peter Dawkins, 2004
Comparing Texts and Identifying Authors TEXT Technology 4, no. 1 (Spring 1994): 7-12

Mathematics Teacher is published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Edwards article appears in Mathematics Teacher Vol. 102, No. 8 April 2009.

SOS President Matthew Cossolotto: Toast But Verify!

Many around the world will toast Shakespeare’s 445th birthday on April 23rd 2009, but have we been “Barding” up the wrong tree all these years?

When it comes to the Shakespeare authorship question, we should adapt Ronald Reagan’s “Trust but Verify” dictum. Let’s call it “Toast but Verify” – toast the peerless works but try to verify the author’s true identity.

April 23rd is traditionally accepted as the birthday of William Shakespeare, generally regarded as the greatest poet and playwright in the English language.

As Shakespeare lovers around the world prepare to raise a glass to the Great Bard, let us pause for a moment: To toast or not to toast, that is the question!

I say we should adapt Ronald Reagan’s “Trust but Verify” dictum to this occasion. Let’s call it “Toast but Verify.” Let’s toast the peerless works but also endeavor to verify the author’s true identity.

What if we’ve been “barding” up the wrong tree all these years? What if William of Stratford-upon-Avon has had greatness thrust upon him and, as a consequence, we’ve been honoring the wrong man for writing the immortal poems and plays of Shakespeare?

In the spirit of trying to open minds so we can finally get the Shakespeare authorship right, I’d like to offer a Top Ten list of reasons to doubt the traditional theory that attributes the works of “Shakespeare” to the unlikely William Shakspere (as his name was typically spelled in the official records) from Stratford.

10. There is no reliable, contemporaneous evidence that William Shakspere of Stratford ever wrote anything in his life. Not even so much as a letter exists in his handwriting, let alone any manuscripts of plays and poems. Illiteracy ran in his family – his parents, wife and children all seem to have been illiterate or semi-literate at best.

9. There is no evidence that Shakspere of Stratford ever attended any school. At most, he may have attended a few years of grammar school in Stratford but we simply don’t know for sure. Nor is there any evidence to explain how he could have otherwise acquired the educational, linguistic and cultural background necessary to write the masterpieces of English literature attributed to William Shakespeare.

8. What’s in a name? The few signatures of Shakspere of Stratford that exist – barely legible though they are – show that he did not even spell his name “Shakespeare.” Spelling was notoriously fluid in those days, but the name of the author was almost always rendered “Shakespeare” or “Shake-speare” with a hyphen. Shakspere’s family name was almost never spelled “Shakespeare” in the official records.

7. Shakspere of Stratford took no legal action against the pirating of the “Shakespeare” plays or the apparently unauthorized publication of Shake-speare’s Sonnets in 1609, even though he was known to frequently initiate lawsuits to recover petty sums of money owed to him.

6. Shake-speare’s Sonnets, published 400 years ago in 1609, paint a portrait of the artist as a much older man. The scholarly consensus today holds that most of the Sonnets were written in the 1590s, when Shakspere of Stratford was in his late 20s to late 30s, a relatively youthful age even in Elizabethan times. Yet, the author of the Sonnets at times appears to be much older and anticipating his own imminent death. Inexplicably, the publisher’s dedication in the 1609 volume of Sonnets refers to “Shakespeare” as “our ever-living poet” – a term that implies the poet is already dead, but Shakspere of Stratford was still very much alive until 1616.

5. The Sonnets also suggest strongly that “Shakespeare” was a pen name and that the author’s real identity was destined to remain unknown. In Sonnet 72 “Shakespeare” asks that his “name be buried where my body is.” Sonnet 81: “Though I, once gone, to all the world must die.” If Shakspere of Stratford truly was the famous author of the Sonnets, why would he think his name would be buried with his body? After all, the name “Shake-speare” appeared on the title page of the Sonnets themselves.

4. Unlike many other authors of the period – even those who were far less famous or prolific – not a single manuscript or letter exists in Shakspere’s own handwriting. The Stratford man is unique – nothing survives of a literary nature that connects Shakspere of Stratford (the man) during his lifetime with any of the written works that are supposed to represent his literary output.

3. Although traditional biographers of “Shakespeare” claim that he dashed off a couple of masterpieces a year to earn money, there is no evidence of a single payment to Shakspere of Stratford as an author. Such payments are recorded for many other playwrights and poets. Nor is there any evidence of Shakspere of Stratford seeking out or establishing an ongoing literary patron – as was a common practice for writers of the day. Scholars like to assume the Earl of Southampton was Shakespeare’s patron, but they can produce no evidence to support this claim.

2. Shakspere of Stratford’s minutely detailed 1616 will makes no mention of anything even vaguely literary – no books, unpublished manuscripts, library or diaries. Not even a family bible or copies of his own published works. He doesn’t mention a fellow writer in his will, not even his supposed friend Ben Jonson. Why didn’t this literary giant leave behind a single book or bequeath any literary effects or posthumous literary instructions whatsoever to his widow or children? Why didn’t he bequeath money for the education of his children or grandchildren?

1. Shakspere of Stratford’s death in 1616 was a singular “non-event,” despite the fact that “Shakespeare” the author and poet was widely recognized at the time as one of England’s greatest writers. Why was no notice taken of Shakspere of Stratford’s death if he was such a literary luminary?

The traditional “Stratfordian” theory presents us with a major disconnect between the life of the presumed author and his creative output. It’s almost as if we have a disembodied body of works with little or no relationship to the author.

There is a long and distinguished history of doubting the traditional “Stratfordian” attribution of the “Shakespeare” works. Noted doubters over the years include Mark Twain, Henry James, Orson Welles, Charlie Chaplin, and Sigmund Freud. More recent skeptics include U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and renowned Shakespearean actors Derek Jacobi, Michael York, Jeremy Irons, and Mark Rylance, former artistic director at the Globe Theatre in London.

Needed: A Shakespeare Authorship Commission
In 1996, the great Shakespearean actor Sir John Gielgud, while serving as president of the World Shakespeare Congress, signed the following petition:

“We, the undersigned, petition the Shakespeare Association of America, in light of ongoing research, to engage actively in a comprehensive, objective and sustained investigation of the authorship of the Shakespeare Canon, particularly as it relates to the claim of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.”

In 2007, the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition (SAC) and the Shakespeare Authorship Roundtable (SAR) began collecting signatures on a “Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare.”

To resolve the Shakespeare authorship mystery once and for all, the Shakespeare Oxford Society has called for the creation of an independent, blue ribbon commission composed of distinguished, internationally recognized experts in relevant fields – including historians, biographers, jurists, and other esteemed writers and scholars. All members of the proposed Commission should be unbiased. They should declare going in that they have open minds on this subject and are willing to follow the evidence wherever it leads – using internationally recognized evidentiary standards employed by leading historians and biographers.

I hope Shakespeare enthusiasts in the media, the entertainment industry, and the foundation community will embrace this challenge. All Shakespeare lovers around the world should be able to agree that it’s important to determine the true identity of the author. It’s a matter of basic fairness to give credit where it’s due. In addition, knowing the identity of the author will also help us better understand the works and the author’s motivations. At long last, let’s get the facts and reach a scientific, evidence-based conclusion.

On this April 23rd, my birthday wish for Mr. Shakspere of Stratford is the following: “I wish all Shakespeare lovers around the world will open their minds and support research into more likely authorship candidates so we can finally get to the bottom of this mystery and stop ‘barding’ up the wrong tree.

Let’s “Toast but Verify” – toast the immortal works but verify the author’s true identity.
More About Matthew Cossolotto
Matthew Cossolotto, author of All The World’s A Podium and The Real F Word, is founder and president of Ovations International. Matthew speaks about the Shakespeare authorship issue to interested associations, schools, and community groups. His presentation – entitled “Barding Up the Wrong Tree?” – explores what he calls the “Top 10 Reasons To Doubt The Conventional Theory That William Shakspere of Stratford Wrote the Works of “Shakespeare.” Those interested in booking Mr. Cossolotto as a guest speaker should contact him directly (Tel: 914-245-9721; Email: matthew@ovations.com.) Visit http://www.theempowermentpro.com or http://www.ovations.com for more information.

About The Shakespeare Oxford Society
Founded in 1957, New York-based Shakespeare Oxford Society is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to exploring the Shakespeare authorship question and researching the evidence that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford (1550 – 1604) is the true author of the poems and plays of “William Shakespeare. Visit http://www.shakespeare-oxford.com for more information.

Matthew Cossolotto

President
Shakespeare Oxford Society

News from Shakespeare Authorship Coalition

From Shakespeare Authorship Coalition Chairperson John Shahan:

This Tuesday, April 14, will be the second anniversary of the launch of the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare. On that day in 2007, same-day signing ceremonies were held at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, and at UCLA’s Geffen Playhouse. Each event involved a Declaration signing by ten prominent authorship doubters, the most notable being former LA Times Arts Critic Emeritus Charles Champlin.

Since then, 1,470 people have signed the Declaration, including 263 current or former college and university faculty members. Of the total, 214 have doctorates, and 310 master’s degrees. Overall, 895 are college graduates, the largest number of them in English literature (244), followed by those in the arts (148), theatre arts (106), education (88), history (77), social sciences (76), math/ engineering/ computers (75), natural sciences (67), law (62), and medicine/ health care (61). Among faculty members, the largest category is also English literature (57). Thanks for helping the SAC get off to a good start toward achieving our goal of legitimizing the Shakespeare authorship question in academia by April 23, 2016!

SAC Patrons
We’ve always had the best arguments on our side, and now we have the best actors! Last year Mark Rylance won the Tony Ward for Best Actor in a Broadway Play. This year Sir Derek Jacobi won the Olivier Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Malvolio in Twelfth Night. Congratulations to Mark and Sir Derek for taking top honors on both sides of the Atlantic! We are also pleased to announce that actor Michael York has joined Mark and Sir Derek as a SAC patron. Michael has long advocated for the legitimacy of the authorship issue. He was the featured speaker at a reception at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles when the Shakespeare Association of America and World Shakespeare Congress met there in 1994. It was the first authorship-related event for some of us, and his enthusiasm was inspiring. Please join the Board in welcoming Michael. We hope this will portend good things for his career, too!

Notable Signatories
The SAC Board is also pleased to announce the addition of seven people to the list of “notable” signatories on our website. They join the previous ten, for a total of seventeen. It is always difficult to decide whom to include on this list because we have so many distinguished signatories. We have decided to set the bar high in keeping with the quality of the twenty outstanding past doubters named in the Declaration itself. The notables list now includes just 1.1% of current signatories. Keep in mind that all faculty members appear on the separate list of academic signatories. We trust you will agree that the following are all worthy additions:

Alan K. Austin – Producer of the documentary “The Shakespeare Mystery,” Frontline (PBS). Author of novels “The Adago” and (due in 2010) “A Walking Shadow,” involving Edward DeVere
Barry R. Clarke, M.Sc. – Daily Telegraph puzzlist; author, “Challenging Logic Puzzles Mensa” (Sterling: 2003), and “The Shakespeare Puzzle” (Lulu: 2008), which argues for Francis Bacon
Dr. Keir C. Cutler, Ph.D. – Actor, playwright; Ph.D. in theatre; adapted Mark Twain’s “Is Shakespeare Dead?” Performed it across Canada, and it was televised nationally.
Mr. Gareth L. Howell, J.D. – President World Affairs Council, Greater Cincinnati, formerly Director of Programs, United Nations International Training Center, Torino, Italy
Dr. Mark Andrew Morris, Ph.D. – Visiting Scholar-in-Residence, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta. As Canada’s most-performed librettist, I cannot believe Shakspere was the author.
Michael D. Rubbo, M.A. – Director, “Much Ado About Something,” award-winning documentary on the case for Christopher Marlowe; co-winner, Hoffman prize. Former lecturer on film, Harvard.
Prof. Jack M. Shuttleworth, Ph.D. – Professor of English, Emeritus, US Air Force Academy; long time Oxfordian; currently editing the Oxfordian edition of Hamlet

We should note that Professor Shuttleworth is also a retired Air Force general, and a former Chairman of the English Department at the Air Force Academy.

Signatory recruitment letter
We have asked our patrons and Academic Advisory Board membersto help recruit additional signatories by sending letters to prominent doubters and others they know. We would like to ask each of you to do the same. Please try to recruit at least one new signatory this year. We have created a draft letter you can revise and send. Feel free to change the names at the top to names of other signers who may be known to those to whom you send letters. Please include copies of the Declaration and signing form from our downloads page. You can also copy the text of the letter into an email and send it that way, if you prefer. Thanks for helping to recruit new signatories. We hope to have another high-profile media event this year, possibly on September 8, the second anniversary of the Doubters’ Day signing event in Chichester. We want to maximize the number of new signers we announce this fall.

Donations
Finally, please make a tax-deductible donation to the SAC. We depend on your donations to operate our website, disseminate the Declaration, recruit signatories, organize signing events, and keep our tax-exempt status. Donors of $40.00 or more ($50.00 outside U.S.) are eligible to receive a Declaration poster like those used in signing ceremonies.

Sincerely,
SAC Bard of Directors,
John Shahan, Chairman

Shakespeare Authorship Studies Seminar August 16-21

As authorship devotees pack for the 13th Annual Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference to be held April 16-19 at Concordia University in Portland, Director Dan Wright of the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre reminds us that the center is accepting 20 registrants for the Shakespeare Authorship Studies Seminar at the university August 16-21, 2009.

“This event will be the first to be convened in the new Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre,” Wright said. “And it doubtless will attract the interest of a host of people.”

Registration information is available at the authorship studies website.

The topic under discussion at the summer seminar is “Shakespeare and Religion”. Wright’s recommended reading on the topic:

. . . Joseph Pearce’s The Quest for Shakespeare: The Bard of Avon and the Church of Rome(2008) an argument that Shakespeare, in his writing and his personal convictions, was intensely Roman Catholic; Daniel Wright’s The Anglican Shakespeare: Elizabethan Orthodoxy in the Great Histories (1993) – an argument that Shakespeare, apart from his perhaps-unknowable personal convictions, wrote as a partisan of the Church of England; and Eric Mallin’s Godless Shakespeare (2007) – an argument that Shakespeare was a writer of evolving religious sensibilities who began his career as a religious skeptic but matured as an atheist, liberated by unbelief.

The Mallin book is one of a new series called Shakespeare Now! described as a series of newly minted short books that engage imaginatively and often provocatively with the possibilites of Shakespeare’s plays, edited by Simon Palfrey and Ewan Fernie and published by Continuum.

Michigan-based Linda Theil Appointed Editor of SOS Quarterly Newsletter

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY –  The Shakespeare Oxford Society has announced the appointment of Linda Theil, a Howell, Michigan-based journalist and communications professional, as the new editor of the Society’s quarterly newsletter.

Founded in 1957, the Shakespeare Oxford Society is an educational organization dedicated to researching and honoring the true Bard.

Theil’s extensive career as a journalist includes writing for the The Detroit News, Ann Arbor News, and Hour Detroit.  She is the owner of Theil Communications producing newsletters and publication materials for a wide variety of clients.

For the past several years, Theil has been active in the Oberon Shakespeare Study Group, a Michigan-based Shakespeare authorship organization. Theil provides editorial direction for the very informative Oberon blog.  She is accepting articles, news items and media reviews for the SOS newsletter and can be reached at linda.theil@gmail.com.

One of Theil’s goals as editor of the Society’s newsletter is to make more effective use of electronic media, in an effort to disseminate the Society’s messages much more quickly and widely.  A new Shakespeare Oxford Society blog has already been created.

2009 — The Year of the Sonnets: Another priority for Theil and the Society this year is to highlight the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. The Society’s Board of Trustees adopted the following resolution:  “In recognition of the 400th anniversary of the publication of ‘SHAKE-SPEARS SONNETS,’ the Shakespeare Oxford Society hereby designates 2009 ‘The Year of the Sonnets’ and declares its intention to highlight the proposition that the Sonnets were published posthumously in 1609.”

There is a long and distinguished history of doubting the traditional “Stratfordian” attribution of the Shakespeare works. Noted doubters over the years include Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Henry James, Sigmund Freud, and Charlie Chaplin.  More recent skeptics include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stevens and renowned Shakespearean actors Derek Jacoby, Jeremy Irons, Michael York, and Mark Rylance.

Matthew Cossolotto, President of the Shakespeare Oxford Society, said:  “We’re extremely pleased to have a communications professional of Linda’s caliber and extensive journalistic experience as our newsletter editor.  Her background, creativity and high energy will help us get our pro-Shakespeare message out to a much wider audience.”

Video of Matthew Cossolotto Discussing Shakespeare Authorship Issue

Click on this AOL video link to view a short video of Shakespeare Oxford Society President, Matthew Cossolotto, discussing several reasons to doubt the traditional Stratfordian attribution and to consider the Oxfordian theory.

More About The Shakespeare Oxford Society

Founded in 1957, New York-based Shakespeare Oxford Society is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to exploring the Shakespeare authorship question and researching the evidence that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford (1550 – 1604) is the true author of the poems and plays of “William Shakespeare. Visit www.shakespeare-oxford.com for more information.  Other useful sites include: www.shakespearefellowship.org, www.doubtaboutwill.org, www.shakespearebyanothername.com, www.deveresociety.co.uk, and www.oxford-shakespeare.com.