Monthly Archives: November 2009

Oxfordian journal update from M. Egan

The Oxfordian update from Editor Michael Egan

The Oxfordian: Annual Journal of the Shakespeare Oxford Society invites applicants for the following positions:

  • The book-reviews editor keeps an eye on the publishing world (online and off) through 2010, secures Shakespearean and English-Renaisance books to be reviewed, identifies and corresponds with reviewers, and makes sure edited copy comes in on time.
  • The year’s-work-in-attribution-studies editor reviews books and articles of specific interest to Oxfordian readers and writes a column for the next issue of The Oxfordian.
  • Oxford-and-Oxfordians-in-the-news editor keeps a running record throughout the year of news items and developments and writes up a survey for the next issue of The Oxfordian.

Anyone who is interested in these non-paid positions may contact The Oxfordian Editor Michael Egan at drmichaelegan@comcast.net.

Deadline for the next issue of The Oxfordian is June 30, 2010. To submit articles please follow these guidelines:

  • Submit Microsoft Word files.
  • Submit by email to drmichaelegan@comcast.net.
  • Use Modern Language Association reference system and format all additional comments as end-notes.
  • Graphics are welcome.
  • Play references should follow the style: I ii. 3.

Shakespeare Oxford Society members receive a copy of The Oxfordian as a benefit of membership. Join online at: http://www.goestores.com/catalog.aspx?Merchant=shakespeareoxfordsociety&DeptID=27020

Non-members of the Shakespeare Oxford Society may order a copy of the latest issue by sending a request for The Oxfordian/11 (2009) The Annual Journal of the Shakespeare Oxford Society to: Shakespeare Oxford Society, P.O. Box 808, Yorktown Heights, NY, 10598-0808. Enclose a check for a total of $24.95. ($20 plus $4.95 shipping via USPS Priority Mail)

Back issues of SOS publications may be ordered online at: http://www.goestores.com/catalog.aspx?StoreName=shakespeareoxfordsociety&DeptID=49368

The Oxfordian/11 contents

Open Forum:

David Kathman: Shakespeare Wrote Shakespeare

Peter Farey: Why Marlowe Didn’t Die in 1593

Ramon Jimenez: De Vere Revisited

John Hudson: Amelia Lanier Wrote the Plays

John Raithel: The Case for William Stanley

Stephanie Hopkins Hughes: An Oxfordian Response

Plus:

Robin Fox on Elizabethan Grammar Schools

Earl Showerman on Shakespeare and Sophocles

Frank Davis on Greene’s Groatsworth

Michael Egan replies to MacDonald P. Jackson

John Shahan and Richard Whalen answer Elliot and Valenza

Oxford in the mirror

derspeigel114

Der Speigel 47/2009 p. 114

derspeigel
Der Speigel 47/2009 p. 115

Oxfordian Hanno Wember, author of the German-language Shake-speare Today website, reports from Germany:

The leading German political weekly magazine Der Spiegel (The Mirror – circulation more than one-million) has this week a four-page essay by Urs Jenny. (Jenny is editor of the Der Spiegel culture section. He has worked as theatre dramaturge with some of the most famous German stage directors.) “Der Dichter und sein Doppelgänger” (The Poet and his Doppelganger), triggered by Kurt Kreiler’s book, Der Mann der Shakespeare erfand (The Man Who Invented Shakespeare), published recently by Suhrkamp/Insel, a leading German publishing house. The debate, which was suppressed for decades, is now opened and scarcely can be silenced again, as other media have already taken part.

Der Spiegel writes:
“Now a German author argues the case of the ‘other Shakespeare’ and stimulates an old suspicion”.

The effect of Der Spiegel on the German cultural world should not be underestimated: Things will never be as before.

The article is in the print magazine only and is not available online. But we can offer a glimpse on the first German Oxfordian webpage: http://shake-speare-today.de/. Click “Aktuelles” (current events) on the left, you will find the link to Der Spiegel. You can page down to Seite (page) 114, and you can see the article as it appears in the publication.

Justices Stevens and O’Connor sign Declaration of Reasonable Doubt

Shakespeare Authorship Coalition Chairman John Shahan reported from Claremont, California today:

The Shakespeare Authorship Coalition announced today that U.S. Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens and Sandra Day O’Connor (retired) have added their names to a growing list of prominent signatories to the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare .  At least three other U.S. Supreme Court Justices – Harry A. Blackmun, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., and Antonin Scalia – have also expressed doubts about the identity of   the author “Shakespeare,” but Stevens and O’Connor are the first to sign the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt.

The Declaration was first issued on April 14, 2007, in same-day signing ceremonies at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles and at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. Five months later, on September 8, 2007, actors Sir Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance, founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, took the lead in promulgating the Declaration in the U.K. in a signing ceremonyat the Chichester Festival Theatre in Chichester, West Sussex.

Over 1,660 people have now signed the Declaration. Nearly 80% are college graduates, and 595 have advanced degrees – 347 master’s degrees and 248 doctoral degrees. A total of 295 are current or former college or university faculty members . Of these, the largest number were in English literature (62, 21%), followed by those in theatre arts (35), the arts (24), natural sciences (23), math, engineering and computers (20), other humanities (20), medicine and health care (19), education (16), social sciences (17), history (13), management (12), law (11), psychology (9), and library science (6). With the addition of Justices Stevens and O’Connor, nineteen names now appear on the separate list of notable signatories on the SAC website.

The Declaration is neutral about the true identity of the author. Rather than seeking to resolve the long-standing controversy outright, it aims to legitimize the issue by calling attention to the many reasons for doubt about the Stratford man’s authorship.

Not one play, not one poem, not one letter in his own hand has ever been found. This is remarkable for such a prolific writer. His six surviving signatures, each spelled differently, are all poorly-executed, suggesting he had difficulty signing his own name. His detailed will contains no Shakespearean turn of phrase and mentions no books, manuscripts or literary effects of any kind. Nothing about it suggests a man with a cultivated mind — no writing materials or furniture, no art works or musical instruments. Nor did he leave any bequest for education — not to the Stratford grammar school, or even to educate his own grandchildren.

Many people in Stratford and London who knew the Stratford man seem not to have associated him with the poet-playwright; and when he died in 1616, no one seemed to notice. Not until seven years after he died did anyone suggest he was the author. Orthodox scholars tend to assume that all references to “Shakespeare” mean the Stratford man, but this is never made explicit during his lifetime. Contemporary comments are mostly about the works. Nobody seems to have known the author personally. Certainly there is no evidence that the Stratford man ever claimed to have written the works, contrary to what people assume.

“The subject of Shakespeare’s identity is fascinating to students, but the great majority of orthodox Shakespeare scholars deny that it has any legitimacy, and many actively seek to suppress the question in academia,” Shahan said.  “But with increasing numbers of prominent signatories like Justices Stevens and O’Connor, this may become difficult.”

The SAC is a private, non-profit charity founded to advocate for recognition of the legitimacy of the Authorship Controversy. The Declaration of Reasonable Doubt can be read and signed online at the website of the SAC at: www.doubtaboutwill.org

Contact person: SAC Chairman John Shahan at: sac@doubtaboutwill.org

Signatory Recruitment

The addition of two U.S. Supreme Court Justices provides an opportunity to leverage our signatory recruitment going forward. There is safety in numbers, and people like to be in good company. Combined with our other notable signatories, we are now in a position to tell prospective signatories that they will be in very good company indeed. Please take advantage of this opportunity by trying to recruit at least one additional signatory prior to our next update on April 18, 2010. A draft signatory recruitment letter inviting people to join some of our more prominent notables in signing the Declaration is available for use on our Downloads page . The draft letter is in MS Word, so you can modify it however you like. The Declaration’s success depends on networking, i.e, on you. Every signatory counts, and will help us achieve our goal of legitimizing the Authorship Question in academia by April 23, 2016.

Thanks very much for your support.

Deutschlandradio Kultur on Kreiler

Robert Detobel sends this translation of a report on Kurt Kreiler’s new book, broadcast from Deutschlandradio Kultur yesterday (Nov. 11, 2009)

Kurt Kreiler: “The man who invented Shakespeare: Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford” (published by) Insel Verlag

Any educated European knows Shakespeare. Yet it is not certain who he was. The greatest literary genius Europe has ever seen, whose plays and sonnets still today continue shaping our thoughts – and still an enigma. That he was the glover’s son from Stratford upon Avon, this belief has long run out its course.  . . .  Today the majority of trackers opt for Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. Four years ago Mark Anderson submitted his argument in a 600 page book.  In 1994 a Germanophone author, Walter Klier, has already defended the cause of de Vere. This year another Germanophone author, Kurt Kreiler, joins this side. His book, intelligently written and stuffed with a wealth of facts, also makes clear that the search for the mysterious bard is not only thrilling but also important. For if de Vere, this scion of the European peerage, was Shakespeare, then the “godly ” is not the morning star of the Illumination but the sunset of the European aristocratic culture, the last minstrel.

Houston banquet and snaps

Stevens Oxfordian of the Year
The Shakespeare Oxford Society and the Shakespeare Fellowship named US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens Oxfordian of the Year at their annual, joint-conference, awards banquet held November 8, 2009 in Houston, Texas. A delegation from both organizations will present the award to Justice Stevens on November 12 at the US Supreme Court Marshall’s Office. Justice Stevens was recognized for his courage in supporting the candidacy of Edward de Vere as the author of the Shakespeare canon in a April 18, 2009 Wall Street Journal article, “Justice Stevens renders an opinion on who wrote Shakespeare’s Plays”.

Virginia Renner and Bonner Cutting, Houston 2009

Ginger Renner given Oxfordian Recognition
Virginia Renner of Los Angeles, California was presented with a crystal vase as an Oxfordian Recognition Award, at the banquet. Conference chairperson Bonner Miller Cutting said: “Ginger has been for so many years a dear friend to everybody. Because she is a librarian she has helped us get acces at the Huntington Library. She worked with John Shahan to put together the Declaration of Reasonable doubt.”

Thanks to Bonner Miller Cutting
Bonner Miller Cutting also received an award of her own, a miniature crystal book keepsake, in recognition of her work as organizer of the Houston conference.

2010 SF/SOS Conference Sept. 16-19
Incoming Shakespeare Fellowship President Earl Showerman invited guests to attend next year’s SF/SOS Joint Conference on September 16-19, 2010 at the Ashland Springs Hotel in Ashland, Oregon. Attendees with have the opportunity to attend three plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.

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Ebru Gokdag, Houston 2009

Ebru Gokdag traveled from Turkey to present a paper she completed while doing graduate work at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, ” Easing Elizabethans’ Turkophobia through Othello” She currently works on Theater of the Oppressed and has written a play on female circumcison. Contact her at egokdag@anadolu.edu.tr.

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Felicia Londre & Kathryn Sharpe, Houston

Felicia Londre, PhD, is Curators’ Professor of Theatre at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, co-founder of Heart of America Shakespeare Festival and dramaturg for Nebraska Shakespeare Festival. She has presented her Shakespeare authorship lecture in Washington DC, Hawaii, Hungary, Hawaii, Tokyo, and Beijing. During her Oxfordian roundtable presentation this weekend with John Shahan and Robin Fox, she said, “People believe what they want to believe so we have to find ways to change the DESIRE to believe!” contact her at londref@umkc.edu

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Bill Boyle and Hank Whittemore, Houston 2009

Bill Boyle has been working on his New England Shakespeare Oxford Library and a project he created called SOAR:
“. . . SOAR (Shakespeare Online Authorship Resources) is a catalog/database of selected newsletter, journal and book articles and essays relating to the Shakespeare Authorship Question. The catalog also includes Shakespeare authorship-related articles and essays first published on various websites on the Internet, and a number of entries for online versions of original manuscripts, letters and other documents relating to the Shakespeare authorship question in general, Shakespeare texts and studies, and Elizabethan literature, politics and history.

To access SOAR, go to http://opac.libraryworld.com/cgi-bin/opac.pl?command=signin&libraryname=SOAR, click on SOAR and go to an open access, data base of catalogued records that Boyle created and will expand.

Keir Cutler in "Is Shakespeare Dead?", Houston 2009

The year of the one-man show
Hank Whittemore presented his one-man show, “Shakespeare’s Treason” and Keir Cutler presented his one-man show “Is Shakespeare Dead?” at this year’s conference. Contact Whittemore at hankw@optonline.net. Cutler is at Keir2004@yahoo.ca.

SOS and SF name new leaders

 

Linda Theil and new SOS President John Hamill

Hamill to lead SOS
John Hamill was named as the new president of the Shakespeare Oxford Society during a meeting of the board of directors after the society’s annual meeting yesterday in Houston. Hamill will serve a one-year term as president. He has been a member of the SOS board since 2001 and has chaired the publications committee. Hamill replaces outgoing president Matthew Cossolotto.

SOS membership elected Cossolotto, Richard Smiley, and Richard Joyrich to three-year terms on the board of directors and elected Hamill to fill the remaining one-year term of former board member Andrew Frye.

Earl Showerman

New SF president Earl Showerman, Houston 2009

Showerman to lead SF
The Shakespeare Fellowship chose new president Earl Showerman at their annual meeting to replace outgoing president Alex McNeill. Showerman will chair next year’s SF/SOS Joint Conference to be held September 16-19, 2010 at the Ashland Springs Hotel in Ashland, Oregon. Showerman has reserved a block of tickets at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland for conference attendees.

Fellowship members elected Showerman, Patricia Urquart, and Ian Haste to three year terms on the board and elected Ted Story to a two-year term.

Both annual meetings took place at this years Shakespeare Fellowship and Shakespeare Oxford Society joint conference at the Doubletree hotel and conference center in Houston, Texas.

Der Tagesspiegel reviews Kreiler

Robert Detobel reports that yet another major German publication, Berlin’s Der Tagesspiegel (Daily Mirror) with a readership of over 148,000, has reviewed Kurt Kreiler’s biography of Edward De Vere, Der Mann der Shakespeare erfand (The Man who Invented Shakespeare). The review appeared on the Culture page and was tipped on the front page. The following translation by Detobel eliminates 4-5 paragraphs of the original article.

Der Tagesspiegel (The Daily Mirror): “The Secret of the Genius
Shakespeare was not Shakespeare. Kurt Kreiler, researcher (Cologne) set to definitely prove it.”

By Peter von Becker
(original in German, partial English translation by Robert Detobel)

The word goes that since God no one has created more than William Shakespeare. We have 36 dramas, two epic poems and 14 sonnets, printed since 1593 under the author name “Shake-speare” or “Shakespeare”; in most cases the plays were staged in revised versions in London theatres. But who actually wrote them? Along with the Theory of Everything searched for by Einstein and other physicists, the Shakespeare authorship is one of the unsolved great mysteries of human history.

The quest is for the creative mind of those plays and poems with their innumerable references, allusions to and adaptations from ancient and medieval mythology und Bible, from Greek, Latin, French, Italian sources, encompassing a universe extending from king to beggar and from England to Asia Minor, full of philosophical, political, historical, legal, religious and scientifical knowledge. And the whole with a plethora of inventions and an immense vocabulary never matched again in English literature or in any other literature in the world.

William Shakspere (without “e” in the middle and without a second “a”), born 1564 and died 1616 in Stratford-upon-Avon, was the son of an illiterate glover, attend a grammar school at best for a few years, later muddled through as a bit-part actor, came to riches under circumstances never fully clarified and became a playhouse shareholder. Documents at least tells us he was a penny-pinching trader and moneylender. Still on his deathbed the “myriad-minded man ” proved a Mister Scrooge, who bequeathed to his wife his second-best bed and seems to have possessed no books, not even his own works.

Knowledge of foreign languages, of literature and arts were great trumps of standing at the court of Elizabeth I, . . .. At this court Edward de Vere (1550-1604) was one of the most brilliant players. Based on his own translations of de Vere’s poems and an early novel, Kreiler proves the poetic talent of his “Man who Invented Shakespeare” in a manner that must convince even an orthodox defender of the traditional Shakespeare.

Also incontestable is that though at Elizabeth I’s court it was perfectly compatible with the rank of a member of the aristocracy to write poems and dramas, to read and to circulate the former and to stage the latter, but not to put them in print and to take money for them. An author who lived of his pen could only be a commoner like, for instance, Christopher Marlowe, John Webster or, at times, Francis Bacon; each of them, however, must be discarded on different grounds. De Vere, on the contrary, would be compelled to adopt a pseudonym if he chose not to break off his brilliant literary beginnings and to publish them.

The insignificant player Shakspere, perhaps not unknown to the Earl with his keen interest in the theatre, could therefore have been the front the aristocrat needed. However comprehensive Kreiler’s book, it contains no direct evidence for this relationship: no written agreement or a verifiable reverse transaction. The argumentation is carried on by numerous logical, matter-of-fact and philological elimination processes. So the impressively documented travels of de Vere in France and Italy (1575-76) result in new circumstantial evidence, for instance, among others, a statue at the Rialto bridge or a remote anecdote about the Gonzagas, the Dukes of Mantua, information without which certain passages in The Merchant of Venice and Hamlet could impossibly have been written.

As a fairly probable consequence, Mister Shakspere of Stratford, who hardly knew a single Italian or French word and obviously never strayed farther than London or southern England, is put out of the running.

Despite some minor qualifications the hitherto dominating British Shakespeare research, a cultic industry which defends the “Sweet Swan of Avon” as a national sanctuary, will hardly be able in the future to ignore Kreiler’s grand study. For the name “William Shakespeare” obviously also carries the intentional “Will I am” and that spear of the poet-goddess Pallas Athena, which de Vere was to use as the symbolic “shake-speare” of the “spear-shaker”. The ultimate question remains how the mystification of a millenarian genius, already recognized as such in his lifetime, could, in spite of copyists, aids and abettors, confidants could remain such a best kept secret?

Brief Chronicles debuts at SF/SOS convention

Managing Editor Gary Goldstein announced the Shakespeare Fellowship’s publication of a new journal investigating the Shakespeare authorship issue — Brief Chronicles: The Interdisciplinary Journal of the Shakespeare Fellowship. The journal will appear annually each fall as a free online publication at http://www.briefchronicles.com. Their goal is to publish semi-annually in both print and electronic formats.

In a press release, Goldstein reported:

The inaugural issue of Brief Chronicles will be introduced November 6, 2009 at the joint annual conference of the Shakespeare Fellowship and Shakespeare Oxford Society in the Doubletree Hotel at Houston International Airport. The publication is a peer reviewed journal overseen by an editorial board of academics with terminal degrees and distinguished records of scholarship and teaching in theater, English, law and medicine. Contributors to the first issue include academic and independent scholars from the United States, Canada, and Germany.

General editor of Brief Chronicles is Roger Stritmatter, PhD, Associate Professor of Humanities and Comparative Literature at Coppin State University in Maryland. Stritmatter holds an MA in Anthropology from the New School for Social Research and a PhD in Comparative Literature from University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

“Shakespeare was a Renaissance intellect who integrated a wide body of technical knowledge into the canon,” Professor Stritmatter said. “To fully reveal the insights contained in his drama and poetry, and accurately assess the evidence that resolves the authorship of the Shakespeare canon, requires the expertise of an inter-disciplinary editorial board that embraces disciplines such as the law and medicine as well as English and theater. Moreover, plans are to further expand the board’s editorial scope to take account of other relevant fields, such as history and religion.”

Stritmatter pointed to the papers in the inaugural issue as examples of the research being generated by Oxfordian scholars. Two articles are derived from books by American and German researchers—the late Peter Moore (1949-2007) and Robert Detobel of Germany. “Peter’s previously unpublished paper on how Shakespeare employed the role of time and Epicureanism in devising Macbeth’s inner dynamic was the last one composed in a 20-year career of research,” Prof. Stritmatter said. “And it appears in his just released collection of Shakespeare studies, The Lame Storyteller, Poor and Despised. Robert Detobel’s paper is a chapter from his book manuscript, Shakespeare and the Concealed Poet, which demonstrates how Francis Meres revealed Shakespeare to be Edward de Vere in his 1598 book, Palladis Tamia.”

Other papers in the inaugural issue examine:
· the particulars of William Shakespeare’s will,
· the causes for the financial downfall of the Earl of Oxford,
· the influence of Greek drama and literature in Much Ado About Nothing,
· the personal and topical allusions in Titus Andronicus that reflect Oxford’s involvement in the play,
· essays on the psychology of anti-Stratfordian responses to the Oxfordian hypothesis over time,
· a comparison of two film performances of Hamlet (Mel Gibson’s versus Lawrence Olivier’s),
· and reviews of three books on the authorship issue and the Earl of Oxford published in the US, England and Germany, the latter effort by Kurt Kreiler being a major literary biography of the Earl of Oxford.

Gary Goldstein is managing editor. He is former editor of The Elizabethan Review, a peer-reviewed history and literary journal of the English Renaissance that appeared semi-annually from 1993 through 1999.

The journal will focus on the authorship of the Shakespeare canon from the Oxfordian perspective, publishing research-based notes and articles as well as essays and reviews of books, theater productions and movies based on the literature of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods.

“We hereby invite submissions for possible publication in the journal,” Prof. Stritmatter said. “We will employ a double-blind peer review process. All submissions must conform to the Chicago Manual of Style.

“More generally the journal solicits relevant materials that shed critical light on the Shakespeare canon and its authorship, on theories and problems in the study of Early Modern authorship and literary creativity, and on related questions of early modern literary culture, aesthetics, bibliography, psychology, law, biography, and history. Contributions that utilize an interdisciplinary methodology that draws on
the conventions and data of more than one relevant humanities discipline to produce original, carefully reasoned and readable insights, are especially welcome.”

Contact:
Managing Editor Gary Goldstein

The Shakespeare Fellowship
P.O. Box 421
Hudson, MA, 01749
http://www.shakespearefellowship.org
garygoldstein1@bellsouth.net
Cell: 561-504-3220

Brief Chronicles Editorial Board
Richard Waugaman, MD, is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine; Training Analyst Emeritus at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute; and a Reader at the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Tom Regnier, JD, LL M, currently serves as law clerk to Judge Harry Leinenweber in U.S. District Court in Chicago. In 2009, he earned his LL.M. degree from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan F. Stone Scholar. Mr. Regnier formerly taught at the University of Miami School of Law as adjunct professor (including a “Shakespeare and the Law” course), and also won a landmark case in 2008 before the Florida Supreme Court.
Michael Delahoyde, PhD, is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of English, Washington State University. Dr. Delahoyde is editor of the Rocky Mountain Review of Languages and Literature, the quarterly journal of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association.
Warren Hope, PhD, is an award winning poet and scholar, Dr. Hope was an instructor in English at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia for eight years and is currently teaching English at Montgomery County Community College. He is the co-author, with Kim Holston, of The Shakespeare Controversy: An Analysis of the Claimants to Authorship, and Their Champions and Detractors (McFarland, 1992 and 2009).
Sky Gilbert, PhD, is a noted novelist, playwright, poet and filmaker. He received his PhD in Theater Studies from the University of Toronto. Currently, he holds the University Chair in Creative Writing and Theater Studies at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.
Sarah Smith, PhD, has written multiple award-winning novels including Chasing Shakespeares (Atria, 2003). Dr. Smith received her BA and PhD degrees from Harvard University, studied at the University of London as a Fulbright scholar and in London and Paris on a Harvard fellowship, and has also held an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities. She taught at Tufts University for several years and continues to teach fiction writing.

The Shakespeare Fellowship, founded in 2001, is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to promote and endow research and education in the European Renaissance, with particular emphasis on the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth I; to further the debate over the relevance of Shakespeare in the 21st century; to promote and endow research and education in the Shakespearean authorship question, with special emphasis on the theory first proposed by J. Thomas Looney identifying Edward de Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford (1550-1604), as the true author of the Shakespeare canon.