Sir Derek Jacobi on PBS Program Shakespeare Uncovered: “I Believe Edward de Vere Wrote The Works of Shakespeare, Not The Man From Stratford”

In case you missed the hour-long PBS program on Richard II — part of the six-episode series “Shakespeare Uncovered” — it’s well worth watching.  Click on the link below to watch.

Most of the episode, hosted by Sir Derek Jacobi, offers viewers an insightful discussion about Shakespeare’s play Richard II and the life of the actual historical figure.

But then around the midway point, just before the 30-minute mark,  Sir Derek takes something of a detour into the Shakespeare Authorship mystery and declares he’s an Oxfordian!  He even pays an on-camera visit to Castle Hedingham.

Derek is well aware that he’s stepping into a minefield.  “Castle Hedingham near London,” Jacobi explains, “is the ancestral home of the de Vere family.  In the course of his reign, Richard proved a very contentious King. He set many cats among many pigeons.  And my presence here at Castle Hedingham may, like Richard, set the fur flying.”

Indeed!

Sir Derek then goes on to state, clearly and boldly:  “I believe Edward de Vere and not William Shakespeare [of Stratford] wrote Richard II and, in fact, all the plays attributed to the man from Stratford.”

Here’s the link.  This makes for very interesting viewing.

http://video.pbs.org/video/2331202211.

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Oxfordian Shakespeare Series: Richard Whalen’s Second Edition of “Macbeth” Published

The second edition of “Macbeth” — edited, fully annotated and with a new introduction and much expanded line notes — has been published in the Oxfordian Shakespeare Series by Richard F. Whalen.  Whalen is co-general editor of the series with Dan Wright of Concordia University in Portland, Oregon.

Whalen states that his second edition and all the editions in the series are intended for “the general educated reader who has an interest in Shakespeare plays and who might be curious to know what an Oxfordian edition of a Shakespeare play would look like.”  Of course, he hopes that Oxfordians might also be curious.

“Macbeth” and “Othello” are the first two plays in the Oxfordian series, with eight more — all edited by university professors — in the pipeline.  These are the first editions of Shakespeare plays ever produced by Oxfordian scholars. “Othello” (2010) was co-edited by Richard and Ren Draya of Blackburn College.

Whalen has kindly has granted permission to the Shakespeare Oxford Society’s Online News to publish the opening paragraphs of his new introduction to “Macbeth.”

From the introduction:

“The Tragedy of Macbeth” explores the agonizing predicament and downfall of a courageous warrior who triumphs on the battlefield but fails in the arena of power politics and court intrigue.  He knows he is not cut out by experience or temperament to seize the throne by assassinating the king, but he fails to resist the evil scheming of the courtier-like Thane of Ross whose lying eliminates a potential rival and clears the way to the throne for him.  When the time comes to assassinate King Duncan, Macbeth is conscience-stricken but fails to stand firm against it and yields to the bullying of Lady Macbeth, who covets the throne much more than he does.

His tragic flaw is not overweening ambition, as is usually posited by traditional scholarship.  To the contrary, he exhibits a surprising lack of ambition. When the Weird Sisters (a.k.a. the witches) prophesy that he will be king, he does not exult.  He finds it hard to believe.  He fears what lies ahead for him and tries to screw up his courage, but falters. Before murdering the sleeping king he tells his wife, “We will proceed no farther in this business,” and afterwards, he says, “I am afraid to think what I have done.”  This character trait of fearful, reluctant ambition seems to have eluded commentators on the play.

Macbeth is induced to seize the throne against his better judgment, fearing the moral and political consequences.  Once in power, he finds he must lie and deceive those around him in court.  He fails to use good judgment as a monarch, ordering the murders of Banquo, Fleance and Macduff’s family.  Tormented by self-doubts and in spite of himself, the hero of the battlefield has become a furtive assassin and cruel tyrant.  For the reader and spectator, Macbeth’s struggle with his conscience and his self-inflicted assaults on his sense of honor, loyalty and self-respect evoke fascination with his plight, even a measure of sympathy for him.  Macbeth is essentially an honorable man corrupted by politics.

A close reading of “Macbeth” informed by the view that Edward de Vere, seventeenth Earl of Oxford, was the author reveals a play about court intrigues and power politics and the danger of irresolute ambition by someone ill-suited to kill by assassination and practice Machiavellian duplicity.

As a nobleman in Queen Elizabeth’s court, Oxford had an insider’s knowledge of the maneuvering of ambitious courtiers and pretenders to the Crown.  He could weigh the contending theories of royal succession that are found in the play. And he was in a position to know details of the assassination in 1567 of the consort king of Scotland by a rival — details that are echoed in the play.  The play also evinces knowledge of Scotland, including its law, language, geography, weather and witches; and Oxford served with the English military in northern England and Scotland in 1570, when he was twenty.  Other correspondences between the play and Oxford’s life experience range from witchcraft in sixteenth century Scotland to the influence of Greek tragedy.”

(The second edition of Macbeth has just been issued by Llumina Press and copies are available from them at www.llumina.com/store/macbeth.htm or by Googling  ‘Llumina store’  or at Amazon in the US and UK, generally for $13.95 plus shipping.)

Many thanks to Richard Whalen for providing the above excerpt from the second edition … and congratulations to him on the publication of this important work of Oxfordian scholarship.

To read a bit more from Richard Whalen about the topical allusions and possible dates of composition of “Macbeth” from an Oxfordian perspective, here’s a link to the online version of Whalen’s article from The Oxfordian:

http://www.shakespeare-oxford.com/?p=533

Interested In The Shakespeare Authorship Question? Watch The Trailer! Last Will. and Testament

Learn about the Shakespeare Authorship Question.  Watch the fascinating short trailer for the new documentary:  Last Will. and Testament.  Well worth watching.  Click on this link and learn about the greatest whodunit in history.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/409868

Spring 1988 American University Law Review: Shakespeare Authorship Moot Court Briefs and Essays

A few days ago I posted a link to the 1987 American University Moot Court video (see below).  In case you’d like to read the briefs and related essays, here’s a link to the Spring 1988 issue (Volume 37) of The American University Law Review.  The briefs present the case for and against the orthodox “Stratfordian” authorship theory, and the case for and against the so-called “Oxfordian” theory.  Click on this link www.wcl.american.edu/journal/lawrev/37/37-3.cfm

Once again, here’s the link to the video of the November 25, 1987, moot court held at American University.    Here’s the description on the website:

“Three U.S. Supreme Court Justices heard a moot court debate over the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays. The mock trial was organized to explore the theory that Edward De Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was the actual author of the plays, writing under the pseudonym of Shakespeare.”  Click here for the video:  http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/618-1


Pasadena Shakespeare Authorship Conference, October 18-21 — More Info About Speakers and Activities. Be Sure To Register and Book Your Hotel Room

The eighth annual joint authorship conference of the Shakespeare Fellowship and the Shakespeare Oxford Society will convene in Pasadena, California October 18-21, 2012 at the Courtyard Pasadena Old Town by Marriott. For special conference room rates, call 888-236-2427 or reserve rooms on line at: www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/laxot-courtyard-los-angeles-pasadena-old-town.

More details below about the outstanding lineup of activities, speakers and performers at the Pasadena Shakespeare Authorship Conference, October 18-21.  Be sure to register and book your hotel room soon.  Visit: http://www.shakespeare-oxford.com/?p=138 or our main website: http://www.shakespeare-oxford.com.

Opening the conference on Thursday, 10/18 are Alex McNeill, Jamieanne Reinelt, Linda Taylor, and Professors Helen Gordon and Don Rubin. Tour of the Huntington Library at 1:00 pm.

On Friday, Jennifer Newton, creator of The Shakespeare Underground, will open the conference, followed by Sabrina Feldman, author of The Apocryphal William and then Professor Roger Stritmatter. During our hosted lunch, James Ulmer will present a program on Shakespeare in Hollywood Film.

John Hamill will open the afternoon session, followed by a group exhibit of 16th century Oxfordian titles at the Huntington Library. The afternoon session will conclude with performances by Alan Green, author of The Holy Trinity Solution, as well as Sylvia Holmes and Betzi Roe. Friday evening will be dedicated to a screening of Lisa Wilson and Laura Wilson Mathias’ documentary, Last Will. and Testament.

Saturday morning will begin with a screening of outtakes from Last Will. & Testament, followed by presentations by Bonner Cutting and Professor Jack Shuttleworth, who has recently completed editing of the Oxfordian Hamlet edition.

After a hosted Lunch, the conference keynote address will be delivered by Professor Tony Pointon, author of The Man Who Was Never Shakespeare. The afternoon will also feature Cheryl Eagan-Donovan’s new documentary, Nothing is Truer than Truth, as well as Katherine Chiljan, author of Shakespeare Suppressed, and John Shahan, Chairman of the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition.

Sunday presentations will focus on Shakespeare’s medical knowledge with presentations by Dr. Lance Fogan and Dr. Earl Showerman, and on Shakespeare’s legal knowledge with Tom Regnier. The conference will conclude with a  hosted awards banquet and panel on new media and the authorship challenge.

Link to 1987 American University Moot Court — Shakespeare: Author or Pseudonym?

Here’s the link to the video of the November 25, 1987, moot court held at American University.    Here’s the description on the website:

“Three U.S. Supreme Court Justices heard a moot court debate over the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays. The mock trial was organized to explore the theory that Edward De Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was the actual author of the plays, writing under the pseudonym of Shakespeare.”

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/618-1

BBC’s Shakespeare Uncovered: Sir Derek Jacobi Discusses the Politics of Shakespeare’s Richard II, Visits Castle Hedingham, and Touts Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, as the Author

See below for the short story (click on link for more information) as it appears on the BBC website.  As part of this Episode on Richard II, Sir Derek Jacobi visited Castle Hedingham, the ancestral home of Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.

A press release from Castle Hedingham reads, in part, as follows:

Press Release for Hedingham Castle

http://www.hedinghamcastle.co.uk/blog/index.php/2011/11/sir-derek-jacobi-visits-hedingham-castle

On Friday, November 25, Sir Derek Jacobi visited Hedingham Castle, as part of a BBC Documentary series on Shakespeare’s plays.

The episode presented by Sir Derek will focus on Richard II, one of Shakespeare’s most beautiful and moving plays. It is the only history play written entirely in verse.

Sir Derek was filmed in the keep, the ancestral home of the Earl of Oxford, and in the grounds. As well as discussing the play with the current owner, Jason Lindsay, the pair exchanged views on the “Oxfordian” debate, which questions whether the 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, wrote the plays attributed to Shakespeare. It is well known that Sir Derek is a supporter of the Oxfordian cause.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01km7f9

Derek Jacobi on Richard II

Episode 3 of 6

Duration: 1 hour

Shakespeare Uncovered: Derek Jacobi looks at Richard II and returns to a role he played 30 years ago. He helps actors at the Globe with aspects of the play, reveals why it might have cost Shakespeare his life, and shares some of the extraordinary political parallels within the play that still resonate today.

Derek first played Richard II for the BBC in 1978 – now 34 years later Ben Whishaw is starring in a new BBC film of the play. Derek spans those dates and uncovers what is so special about this play. Although written entirely ‘in verse’, it is nonetheless one of the most resonant and relevant of all of Shakespeare’s plays. Its understanding of power and its inevitable tendency to corrupt and distort the truth are continually repeated in current affairs.

Derek visits Shakespeare’s Globe and shares his thoughts with actors rehearsing the play – but he also looks at his own performance and those of other actors who have over the last 30 years tried this taxing role. Richard is both a king and a man who knows he is acting the role of a king. It makes him an extraordinary character for any actor to play. But was this play written by the actor William Shakespeare? Derek is one of those who doubt that and he visits the ancestral home of the man he thinks might very well be the true author of ‘Shakespeare’s’ plays.

Richard II is a politically sensitive play, with a monarch having the crown taken from them. Derek goes on to tell of the attempted coup against Queen Elizabeth led by the Earl of Essex, and how that involved Shakespeare’s company of actors. The Earl persuaded them to put on the play to encourage his ‘plotters’ and it could have cost Shakespeare his life.

With contributions from both the director and leading actor – Rupert Goold and Ben Whishaw – and clips from the new film, Derek uncovers the continuing resonance of this extraordinary play.

Save The Date: 2012 Shakespeare Authorship Conference in Pasadena, CA — October 18-20, 2012

The Shakespeare Oxford Society and The Shakespeare Fellowship Society Present

The 2012 annual Shakespeare Authorship Conference will be held in Pasadena, CA on October 18-20. The conference venue is the Courtyard Pasadena Old Town by Marriott and a block of rooms in the hotel has been reserved for attendees.

Phone Reservations: 888-236-2427

Internet Reservations: http://cwp.marriott.com/laxot/shakespeare/

Proposals for conference papers are now being accepted. Because the sponsoring organizations are dedicated to academic excellence, guidelines for presentation of papers for the joint have been prepared and are available here. Presenters are expected to consult these guidelines prior to submission of a proposal. Proposals should be accompanied by an abstract of not more than 250 words and a brief one-paragraph biography.

Proposals must be submitted to Bonner Cutting, John Hamill, or Earl Showerman. The deadline for submissions is July 15, 2012.

The conference committee will be sending out updates as papers are accepted and included on the agenda.

The Pasadena theatre company, A Noise Within, will have a fall program in production during the authorship conference. Last fall the company produced Twelfth Night and this spring Antony and Cleopatra will be in production. Their fall schedule will be released by June 1 at which time a group order for tickets will be secured if the production contributes to the goals of the conference.

It’s April 23rd …Happy Birthday William Shakespeare? The Shakespeare Oxford Society Says “Toast But Verify” and Issues Two Top Ten Lists

The Society issues the top ten reasons to doubt the traditional Strafordian theory and the top ten reasons to consider the Earl of Oxford as the true Bard 

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY – April 23, 2012 – Traditional Shakespeare biographers claim the great poet and playwright, William Shakespeare, was born on April 23, 1564.

But before you raise your glass to salute the Bard’s 448th birthday this April 23rd, consider this:  You just might be paying tribute to the wrong person.

The Shakespeare Oxford Society reiterates its position that traditional scholars have been “Barding up the wrong tree” in Stratford-upon-Avon.   Consequently, the Society recommends that Shakespeare lovers around the world should adapt former U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s famous “Trust but Verify” dictum.

The Society calls it “Toast but Verify” and explains that we should toast the peerless works but also attempt to verify the author’s true identity.

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 Antonin Scalia and former Justice John Paul Stevens along with renowned Shakespearean actors Derek Jacobi, Michael York, Jeremy Irons, and Mark Rylance, former artistic director at the Globe Theatre in London.

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) began collecting signatures on a compelling “Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare.”   Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, and Brunel University in West London have launched degree programs in Shakespeare authorship studies.

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.

The Two Top Ten Lists

Top Ten Reasons To Doubt The Conventional Theory That

William Shakspere of Stratford Wrote the Works of “Shakespeare”

10) Illiteracy ran in William of Stratford’s family – his parents and wife seem to have been illiterate. His two daughters were either illiterate or functionally illiterate at best. Why should we believe the greatest writer in English history, perhaps the greatest writer ever, would raise two functionally illiterate daughters? Wouldn’t he want his own daughters to read his works?

9) No evidence exists that adequately explains how William of Stratford acquired the educational, linguistic and cultural background necessary to write the “Shakespeare” works. Where did his extensive knowledge of history, languages, geography, and aristocratic manners and lifestyle come from – divine intervention?

8) The Name Game. The few barely legible signatures of William of Stratford show that he did not even spell his own name “Shakespeare.” Moreover, with very few exceptions records dealing with William of Stratford’s personal and business activities (birth, wedding, taxes, court documents, and will) frequently spell his family name Shakspere, Shaksper, Shacksper, or Shaxper whereas the name on the poems and plays is almost invariably spelled Shakespeare (with an “e” after the “k”) and often hyphenated, which suggests a pseudonym.

7) William 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.

6) The 1609 Sonnets paint a portrait of the artist as a much older man. The author of the Sonnets at times is clearly aging and seems to be anticipating his imminent death. The publisher’s dedication refers to Shakespeare as “our ever-living poet” – a term that implies the poet was already dead. William of Stratford lived until 1616.

5) With the hyphenated “Shake-speare” name on the cover, the Sonnets also suggest strongly that “Shakespeare” was a penname 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.” Sonnet 76: “Every word doth almost tell my name.”

4) Unlike other writers of the period, not a single manuscript or letter exists in Shakspere’s own handwriting. Nothing survives of a literary nature connecting William of Stratford (the man) with any of the “Shakespeare” works.

3) There is no evidence of a single payment to William of Stratford as an author. No evidence of patron-author relationship and no personal, contemporaneous evidence of a relationship with a fellow writer.

2) William of Stratford’s detailed 1616 will makes no mention of anything even vaguely literary – no books, unpublished manuscripts, library or diaries. Not even a family bible is mentioned.

1) William of Stratford’s death in 1616 was a singular “non-event,” despite the fact that “Shakespeare” the author was widely recognized at the time as one of England’s greatest writers. Why was no notice taken of his death if he was such a literary luminary? Reprints of Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece published after his death do not mention his recent passing.

 

***

 

Top Ten Reasons to Consider Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford,

as the author known to history as “William Shakespeare”

10) Many Shakespeare plays contain characters and details that relate directly to Oxford’s life and foreign travels, creating a strong circumstantial case for his authorship. Orson Welles said: “I think Oxford wrote Shakespeare. If you don’t, there are some awfully funny coincidences to explain away.”

9) Act II, scene 2 includes this stage direction: “Enter Hamlet reading on a book.” Hamlet’s book is widely considered by scholars to be Cardanus Comfort, translated from Italian into English and published in 1573 at the behest of Oxford. Plus, the character Polonius in Hamlet is widely regarded as a parody of William Cecil, Lord Burghley – who was Oxford’s guardian and father-in-law.

8) “Shakespeare” displayed an intimate knowledge of a wide range of subjects, including the law, Italy, foreign languages, heraldry, music, navigation, court manners and intrigues, and warfare. Oxford’s known educational background, foreign travels and life experiences match the knowledge base displayed in “Shakespeare’s” writings. In fact, the Italian cities used as settings in Shakespeare’s plays were the very cities that Oxford is known to have visited, while William of Stratford never left England.

7) Oxford was praised during his lifetime as the best of the courtier playwrights for comedy and he was known to have used a pseudonym. While a small number of Oxford’s acknowledged poems survive –probably written when he was very young — no plays exist. Were these later published under the Shakespeare name?

6) Oxford was a leading patron of the arts, widely known to support a large circle of fellow writers with money and lodgings, including Anthony Munday, John Lyly, and Robert Greene. They also worked for him as secretaries and possible collaborators. Conventional scholars have long recognized these writers as having influenced the work of “Shakespeare.”

5) Ovid’s Metamorphoses, translated into English in 1565 by Arthur Golding, had a profound influence on “Shakespeare’s” writing. Golding was Oxford’s maternal uncle, and some scholars believe Oxford translated some or all of Metamorphoses when he was still a teenager.

4) The 1623 First Folio was financed by William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke, and his brother Philip Herbert, 1st Earl of Montgomery (later 4th Earl of Pembroke). Philip Herbert was married to Oxford’s daughter, Susan Vere, and William Herbert was once engaged to another Oxford daughter, Bridget.

3) Beginning in 1586, Oxford was granted a substantial annuity £1,000 by the notoriously parsimonious Queen Elizabeth for unspecified services. It’s possible he used the money to support the production of patriotic history plays later known as Shakespeare’s.

2) The 1609 volume called Shake-Speare’s Sonnets contains numerous autobiographical details that link directly to what is known about Oxford’s life including the poet’s advancing age, his preoccupation with the ravages of time and his own imminent death, his lameness, his shame, and his “outcast state.” Another Oxford uncle, Henry Howard, the Earl of Surrey, was the first to introduce what would later become known as the “Shakespeare” sonnet form.

1) The publisher’s 1609 Sonnets dedication refers to Shakespeare as “our ever-living poet” – a term that implies the poet was already dead. Oxford died in 1604 and William of Stratford lived until 1616.

About The Shakespeare Oxford Society
Founded in 1957, the 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. The homepage of the Society also says the group is “Dedicated to Researching and Honoring the True Bard.”  Visit www.shakespeare-oxford.com and www.shakespeareoxfordsociety.wordpress.com for more information.  SOS on Facebook.  Join SOS or renew your membership online here: http://www.goestores.com/catalog.aspx?Merchant=shakespeareoxfordsociety&DeptID=27020.

Did Oxford Write A Conference About The Next Succession to The Crown of Ingland? Oxfordian Researcher Nina Green Posts Sections of A Conference and Suggests Oxford Wrote It

I thought I would take a moment to alert readers to this highly intriguing proposition being developed by noted Oxfordian researcher Nina Green that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, just might have been the author of a 1593 tract titled A Conference About the Next Succession to the Crown of Ingland.  This book is traditionally attributed to Robert Parsons but Nina Green has raised many legitimate questions about that attribution and has begun to build a very compelling case that the author of A Conference was writing in England, not abroad on the continent.  I won’t attempt to summarize the case for Oxford’s authorship here.  Please see the summary below written by Nina Green and check out her Oxxford-Shakespeare website for more detailed information about this very interesting topic.  Here’s a link to this section on Nina’s website followed by a summary that’s well worth reading. Best wishes, Matthew

From Nina Green’s Discussion of A Conference About the Next Succession:

http://www.oxford-shakespeare.com/Leicester/Conference_About_Succession.pdf

When taken as a whole, the attributes of the author of A Conference — his complex sentence structure, clear expository style, and word coinages; his extensive legal knowledge; his encyclopaedic knowledge of history; his travels in Italy and Flanders; his intimate familiarity with the genealogy and history of members of the nobility; his adoption of the perspective of the nobility in A Conference, including his outrage at the ‘massacring’ of the nobility (among them an Earl of Oxford) by English kings, and, in contrast, his frequent references to the ‘vulgar people’ and the ‘vulgar sort of men’; his fluency in classical and foreign languages; his quotation of Ovid (nitimur in vetitum semper); his fascination with and knowledge of all things political, including taxes and impositions; his reference to the Magna Carta barons (among whom was Oxford’s ancestor, the 3rd Earl of Oxford); his knowledge of details of the accession of Queen Mary, which was supported by Oxford’s father, the 16th Earl; his allusion to the Sicilian Vespers, which Oxford also alluded to in a 1572 letter to his father-in-law, Lord Burghley; his comment on Lord Burghley’s preference for Arbella Stuart as successor to the Queen; his mention of the restoration in blood of the Earl of Arundel, son of Oxford’s first cousin, Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk — suggest that the author was Edward de Vere (1550-1604), 17th Earl of Oxford. Although evidence is found throughout A Conference, three particular points in Chapter VIII indicate Oxford’s authorship: the author’s fluency in languages other than English, his personal attitude to Don Antonio, and his use of the rare word ‘interessed’. Oxford was fluent in several languages, including Latin and Italian; he was appointed by the Queen to accompany Don Antonio when he left England (see Nelson, Alan, Monstrous Adversary, (Liverpool University Press, 2003), p. 274); and he used the rare word ‘interessed’. According to the OED, ‘interessed’ was first used in 1587 in Holinshed’s Chronicles; its second use was in A Conference. Oxford then used this rare word in a letter to his brother-in-law, Sir Robert Cecil, on 22 November 1601, making his usage of it only the third recorded usage: . . . . whereby shall ensue no prejudice unto any of the pretenders which suggest to be interessed in any of the said lands in regard that, if the Queen have no title, there passeth nothing to me. . . . and thus desiring you to bear with the weakness of my lame hand I take my leave from Hackney, this 22th of November, 1601.