Focus on Der Mann

Robert Detobel reports that Germany’s Focus magazine has published a notice about Kurt Kreiler’s new Shakespeare biography, Der Mann, der Shakespeare erfund: Edward de Vere Seventeenth Earl of Oxford (The Man who Was Shakespeare: etc.) — original article in German on the web at:

Below Detobel translation from FOCUS Nr. 40 (2009):

By FOCUS editor Rainer Schmitz
Kurt Kreiler

Who was William Shakespeare? Or more exactly: who wrote Shakespeare’s works? The question haunts the world of letters for about 200 years. Until then Shakespeare was Shakespeare, hailed from Stratford on Avon and wrote approx. 40 comedies, tragedies and historical plays which were being staged continuously all over the world. Doubts arose out of the scarcity of biographically usable data. The richness of the language and the immense learning were just considered incompatible with the bumpkin from the province. Such a work could only have been achieved by a learned member of the upper class. But who?

About 50 contemporaries have been suspected, among them Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, Ben Jonson and even Queen Elizabeth I herself. The debate now mainly turns around Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, the chief suspect. In his thoroughly researched biography of the Earl, Kreiler rolls up “the case” again. Though he does not submit an irrefragable proof, he presents not a little circumstancial evidence. The weightier ones have already been made public some years ago (FOCUS 32/2000). They would convince any jury court. “Shakespeare” is a pseudonym, Edward de Vere was a frequent visitor of Elizabeth I’s court; the dramas were not written for the Globe Theatre but for the English court stage.

Note: The Focus edition 32/2000 referred to in the notice above features a photo of Detobel and a discussion of his contribution to Shakespearean authorship research. A selection of Detobel’s research is available online at Robert Brazil’s Elizabethan Authors site:

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  • Aanel  On November 27, 2009 at 12:28 PM

    You’ve misspelled Kreiler’s book in this article as well. The verb is “erfand” not “erfund”. I recommend correcting this so anyone searching for the book will be able to find it.

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