Monthly Archives: September 2013

Quake-speare Shorterly: Fascinating Authorship-Related Blog By “Rambler” Focusing On What Contemporary Writers Wrote About Oxford, Bacon, Shakespeare, Sidney And Many Others

I recently came across this fascinating authorship-related blog by someone (appropriately enough) using a pseudonym.  In this case, Rambler.  I haven’t read all of the posts — which have been posted on a daily basis since April 11, 2013.  I’m pasting below a portion of the first post describing the purpose of the blog.  It’s probably a good idea to read the posts from the beginning in sequence. 

Rambler offers lots of interesting insights into what Nashe, Harvey, Jonson, and others were writing about in various pamphlets and plays.  Rambler sees what he calls “Vere markers” in many places.  If Rambler’s right, it seems contemporary writers were constantly referring to Edward de Vere and Shakespeare (not to mention Sidney, Bacon, Queen Elizabeth, Burghley and others).  Vere seems to have been a subject of considerable interest among these writers — along with Shakespeare. 

Here’s the link to the magazine or collection of Rambler’s posts:

It’s worth bookmarking this magazine page because it lets you scan the titles and a few lines of his posts and click on the ones that are of particular interest. It’s nicely organized and easy to navigate.  Please note the post on June 8th about dating The Tempest and the post on June 13th about Sonnet 125, the so-called Canopy Sonnet.  

Here’s the link and a few lines from his very first post on April 11th:


April 11, 2013

Did their contemporaries believe that Edward de Vere, or Francis Bacon, or someone else, was Shake-speare?

by Rambler

If you believe there’s something suspect about the traditional version of the authorship of Shake-speare’s plays and poems, you’ll typically gravitate to one alternate candidate or another.

The nominees who are, at the very least plausible tend to have the qualifications deemed necessary to have been Shake-speare: the education, access to the books that supplied the plots as well as hundreds of sometimes arcane references spotted by scholars over the years, travel, familiarity with high (and low) politics, foreign languages, and so on. The shaxperians — those who believe that William Shaxper of Stratford-upon-Avon was the true author — assume that this material was obtained by their man somehow or other. This is the opinion of the overwhelming majority of scholars, the somehow-or-other explanation.

However, this whopping intellectual void does not mean that the dissenters have it all their own way. Two questions present themselves. Why did the true author choose to mask himself behind another man, assuming that Shaxper didn’t swipe the credit independently? And how did they pull off the subterfuge? 

The first question is fairly easily answered. If the real Shake-speare was indeed an aristocrat — one with the intellectual and personal resources to achieve ‘Shake-speare’ — then he would have preferred anonymity to the publicity attendant on being a public dramatist in a period when such an occupation was beneath his dignity. Private, small-scale, closet drama was one thing, but being seen to gratify the hoi polloi was quite another. 

The second question is very problematic. Some avoid the issue altogether. Almost every anti-shaxperian has his own explanation, or perhaps series of rationalizations better describes it. What was the relationship between Shake-speare and Shaxper? When did it begin? How did it proceed over the years? If Shake-speare pre-deceased Shaxper, what happened after that? Ditto if Shaxper died first. Nobody knows; it’s all guesswork.

ETC ETC … Rambler’s first post continues.   Here’s the link to the complete April 11th post once again

I like Rambler’s description of the orthodox theory as the “somehow or other” explanation.


PBS Distribution To Release LAST WILL. & TESTAMENT on DVD on October 15, 2013





 Available on DVD from PBS Distribution October 15th

 Arlington, Va. – September XX, 2013 – PBS Distribution today announced it is releasing LAST WILL. & TESTAMENT on DVD. The film explores one of the greatest literary mysteries of all time: who wrote the works of William Shakespeare? Although the official story of a Stratford merchant writing for the London box office has held sway for centuries, questions over the authorship of the plays and poems have persisted. Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles are among the many famous figures who doubt that a grain-dealer from Stratford-Upon-Avon was England’s “Star of Poets.” Experts have debated, books have been written, and scholars have devoted their lives to protecting or debunking theories surrounding the authorship.

Sir Derek Jacobi leads an impressive cast featuring Oscar®-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave and Tony® Award-winning actor Mark Rylance on a quest to uncover the truth behind the elusive author, and discovers a forgotten nobleman whose story could rewrite history. LAST WILL. & TESTAMENT, from Executive Producer Roland Emmerich and debut directors Lisa Wilson and Laura Wilson Matthias, will be available on DVD October 15, 2013. The run time of the program is 85 minutes and the DVD SRP is $24.99.

The first part of this film explores the orthodox story of William Shakespeare of Stratford and the longstanding views held by academia. Stanley Wells, Honorary President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and Prof. Jonathan Bate defend the orthodox position, while anti-Stratfordians Charles Beauclerk, Dr. Roger Stritmatter, Dr. William Leahy, Diana Price and actors Vanessa Redgrave, Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance expose the thin trail of evidence that has fueled doubt for centuries.

The second part is a testament to an alternative Shakespeare – one presented to the world in the literary works themselves and in the testimony of his most insightful doubters. Through a series of interviews with scholars currently working in the field, the film fashions a profile of the elusive poet. During the last century, a field of more than sixty candidates for authorship has narrowed, with Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, and group authorship becoming the most popular alternatives. A portion of LAST WILL. & TESTAMENT explores the life and literary career of this forgotten nobleman. Through on-camera commentary, a very human author emerges: a real-life Hamlet, whose tragic experiences provided the raw material for the canon and gave birth to the anti-Stratfordian and Oxfordian movements.

The final portion of the film weaves together the major historical events of the late Tudor era, including the crisis of succession and the Essex Revolt. The power politics of the Elizabethan Age and the towering figure of the Queen herself are addressed by the film’s commentators, who seek to connect Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets to the turbulent world of the court. By the end of the film, viewers will be challenged to explore the many unresolved historical, political and artistic issues that lie at the heart of the mystery of who wrote Shakespeare’s works.

 About PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution is the leading media distributor for the public television community, both domestically and internationally, extending the reach of these programs beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system and our production partners.

PBS Distribution offers a diverse range of programming to our customers, including Ken Burns’s films, documentaries from award-winning series such as NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE, and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, dramas from MASTERPIECE, as well as films from independent producers and popular children’s programming. As a multi-channel distributor, PBS Distribution pursues wholesale/retail sales, consumer and educational sales through PBS-branded catalogs and online shops, and international broadcast and video sales. PBS Distribution is also a leader in offering programming through digital platforms including internet and mobile devices.



Street Date: October 15, 2013

Genre: Documentary

Run Time: 85 Minutes

SRP: $24.99

Format: DVD

Coming Soon! Be Sure To Register For The Toronto Shakespeare Authorship Conference October 17-20, 2013

Here’s the link for more information about the upcoming Toronto Conference.  See information below about the Conference.

The Shakespeare-Oxford Society and the Shakespeare Fellowship Present



The Toronto Shakespeare Authorship Conference


October 17-20, 2013



The Shakespeare Oxford Society and the Shakespeare Fellowship announce that their 2013 Joint Conference will take place in Toronto, Canada from October 17 to 20, 2013.


The Joint Conference will take as its theme “Shakespeare and the Living Theatre.” It will be presented with support of the Theatre and Drama departments of York University and the University of Guelph, two major Canadian universities.


Conference organizer Professor Don Rubin of Toronto’s York University stated:


The man who wrote under the name of Shakespeare, was clearly a man of the theatre. We know that William of Stratford had connections to the Globe but few people know that the 17th Earl of Oxford, also had significant theatre connections to both adult and children’s companies of the period. We are hoping that the Conference will offer new understandings of these connections as well as insights into theatrical conditions of the time and put to rest the idea that William of Stratford was the only candidate in the authorship debate with strong and profound theatrical involvement.


There will be a variety of presentations on related subjects as well as a trip to Canada’s internationally acclaimed Stratford Festival to see a production of The Merchant of Venice, including a chance to meet and talk with the director of the production (and also the new Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival), Antoni Cimolino.