Tag Archives: Der Mann der Shakespeare erfand

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

First negative response to Kreiler’s Der Mann

Hanno Wember reported on the first negative review of Kurt Kreiler’s new book Der Mann der Shakespeare Erfand (The Man who Invented Shakespeare) on his German-language, Oxfordian website: Shake-speare Today. The book review appeared in the leading German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Frankfurt General Newspaper) on January 12, 2010 under the title:  “Wer bin ich – und wenn ja, wie viele nicht?” (Who am I – and if so, how many am I not?) by Tobias Doring.

John Tanke of Berkeley CA translated Wember’s German essay into English, and the translation now appears in the English section of Shake-speare Today under the title, “The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) has just published a review of Kreiler’s book”

Wember said:

The “Frankfurter Allgemeine  Zeitung “(FAZ) has just published the latest in a series of reviews [of Kreiler’s book] in the German print media. Tobias Döring is the first to side with the man from Stratford-but only indirectly, and with a highly defensive rationale: “There’s no reason for doubt.”

Tanke has also translated another review of Kreiler’s book that appeared in Weiner Zeitung (Newspaper from Vienna) on December 19, 2009 titled “Vom Himmel gefallene Genies” (A Genius Out of the Blue) by Gerald Schmickl. The translation appears on the Shake-speare Today English language section under the title: A Genius Out of the Blue.

Tanke translates Schmickl’s commentary:

With a modicum of skepticism and common sense, it’s rather easy to accept the proposition that this actor and theatrical entrepreneur from Stratford, possessing relatively little means and little education, couldn’t, at the same time, have been a great dramatic genius. Unless of course one believes that a genius can fall from the sky, as it were-a notion that’s by no means incidental to the bourgeois theory of art. Like its very own Christmas miracle. And it’s for the same reason that this theory clings to such a notion so tenaciously.

Entire Sueddeutsche Zeitung article translated on Shakespeare Today website

Hanno Wember reports that an English translation of the entire article titled “Who wrote Shakespeare’s Dramas?” by Ekkehardt Krippendorf that appeared in the January 5, 2010 edition of the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung is available on his Shakespeare Today website at:  http://shake-speare-today.de/front_content.php?idart=265

This review of Kurt Kreiler’s new book, Der Mann der Shakespeare erfand, was translated by John Tanke, Ph.D of  Berkeley, CA who had been an assistant professor of English at the University of Michigan from 1993-1999 and a visiting assisting professor of English at Union College from 1999-2002.

Of Shakespeare’s accomplishment, Tanke translates Krippendorf:

As computer-assisted research has shown, Shakespeare had approximately 18,000 words at his disposal-the largest vocabulary of any poet or writer in history, and five times as many as the average educated person today; he bequeathed around 1500 new words and phrases to the English language; and more than 200 classical and post-classical authors are either cited or paraphrased in his works. Whatever linguistic superlatives one can think of can justly be applied to him.

No surprise, then, that at a certain point doubts began to arise about the authorship of the man from Stratford.

. . .

Soon Edward de Vere came into the crosshairs of the biographical detectives. A study from 1923 was instrumental, to the great dismay of the Stratfordians, in convincing Sigmund Freud, an avid reader of Shakespeare, to declare himself an “Oxfordian” shortly before his death. From this point onward it was no longer completely illegitimate to pose the authorship question.

A report of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung article with selected clips translated by Robert Detobel appeared on our SOS News Online site on January 6, 2010 in the post: “Detobel translates Kripendorff comments” at:

Egan defends Oxford on BBC

In an extensive report on BBC today, Shakespeare Oxford Society Oxfordian Editor Michael Egan defends the Oxfordian thesis of Shakespearean authorship.

“Edward de Vere: the Bard or not the Bard? Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was one of the leading patrons of the Elizabethan age, but was he also William Shakespeare?” by Dave Gilyeat was featured this morning on BBC Oxford.

The report led with the announcement of the publication of Kurt Kreiler’s book Der Mann der Shakespeare Erfand (The Man Who Invented Shakespeare) and offered a lengthy exposition of the Oxfordian thesis with long and multiple quotes from Egan.

“Nature and intellectual life abhor a vacuum,” added Dr Egan.
“We don’t know enough about Shakespeare’s biography.
“There are huge gaps and because we know so little about him – despite his being one of the most researched lives in literary history – the situation calls for alternative explanations.
“The real key to the authorship debate is the mismatch between what we know of Shakespeare of Stratford and what we can infer about the author of the plays when we read them.
“When you look at the plays without preconceptions of the author we’d have to say this is a highly educated person, well travelled, with intricate knowledge of the courts and aristocratic life.
“So the question is where did an obscure provincial boy gain all this information and knowledge?”

Shakespeare by Another Name author Mark Anderson was also quoted extensively. Anderson was able to elucidate his insight that Oxford’s 1604 death is a positive point for Oxfordian authorship.

“The chronology is ironically a solid piece of evidence for de Vere,” insisted Mark Anderson.
“In fact the proponents of the evidence actually suggest that the Shakespeare factory shut down in 1604.
“There are no new Shakespeare plays that appear in print after 1604 with two exceptions.
“There’s a brief period in 1608 and ’09 when de Vere’s widow sold the house where they lived and I think it stands to reason there was some house cleaning going on.
“An orthodox scholar would say there was a shipwreck in 1609 that The Tempest refers to.
“In fact there’s some really good scholarship published that suggests that it was a different shipwreck that was referenced in a couple of 16th century books that were in de Vere’s father-in-law’s library.”

The Stratfordian viewpoint was defended in Gilyeat’s article by Alan Nelson and Emma Smith.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/oxford/hi/people_and_places/history/newsid_8380000/8380564.stm

Telegraph reports on Kreiler’s Der Mann


An article reporting the publication of Kurt Kreiler’s Der Mann der Shakespeare erfand (The Man who Invented Shakespeare) was published yesterday, November 23, 2009, in the London Telegraph. Reporter Allan Hall wrote the article titled: “William Shakespeare’s plays were written by Earl of Oxford, claims German scholar: A German academic claims to have uncovered the most conclusive evidence to date that the works of William Shakespeare were in fact written by Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford”.

The straightforward account is accompanied by a portrait of what is generally considered to be the sixteenth earl and opens:

Kurt Kreiler’s 595-page book, The Man Who Invented Shakespeare, has been published in Germany to some critical acclaim and an English translation is planned for next year.

Allan quotes German Shakespeare scholar Walter Klier:

“An enormous amount of research has been invested in this fluent, well-written biography, offering a cornucopia of new facts and new insights,” he (Klier) said.

Thanks to Robert Detobel for reporting this source:


Urs Jenny in Der Spiegel

German Oxfordian researcher Robert Detobel summarizes Urs Jenny’s article, Der Dichter und Sein Doppelganger (The Poet and his Doppelganger) published this week in Der Spiegel (The Mirror) on the topic of Kurt Kreiler’s German-language biography of Edward de Vere – Der Mann der Shakespeare erfand (The Man who Invented Shakespeare):

Urs Jenny’s Article in Der Spiegel No 47/16-11-09 starts with three paragraphs on known facts of the life of William Shakespeare.

The fourth paragraph opens: “He that tries to get an idea of one of the greatest poets of world history, is struck with bewilderment when looking into his life’s legacy, the testament of a narrow-minded scrape-penny. Nothing outside the truly overwhelming work allows for a glimpse of the poet’s personality.”

Then Jenny asks: “Or was the poet somebody else?” “The soundest reason to believe in the genius of the man of Stratford is that for some hundred years nobody has doubted it. But at latest in the  middle of the nineteenth century the efforts to undelve his biography led to a certain helplessness.”

Then the author returns to the life of the man of Stratford and asks, “Which miracle turned, within a few years, of which nothing is known, (him) into a dramatist of incomparable eloquence?”. To exclaim with more than a pinch of irony, “The answer can only be: The genius is incommensurable, the genius is a singularity.”

To add a little more irony of my own: this is almost what Gabriel Harvey said of Edward de Vere, “a passing singular odd man”. So, if one is not contented by this answer, one has to look elsewhere. The step which suggests itself is to look for a courtier with pronounced liteary interests.

Jenny then exposes the arguments in favour of Edward de Vere. Jenny also thinks that Kreiler’s argument about the date of composition of the Italian plays is a strong one, placing them before the anti-Italian affect which would have become predominating at court after the Spanish invasion.

Jenny has certainly been won over by Kreiler’s book. He concludes his article with some reservations (rather diplomatically, it seems to me). He asks whether Edward de Vere, “a intensely passionate and talented man” could have had so little aristocratic pride as to remain hidden forever behind a commoner’s pseudonym. I myself would have asked “so much aristocratic pride”.

Finally, the closing paragraph: “The debate will go on. Maybe this is the secret of the self-made man Shakespeare from the province: precisely because we know nothing of him, the man of Stratford can be thought of as being capable of anything.”

Oxford in the mirror


Der Speigel 47/2009 p. 114

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.

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.

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?

Detobel reports on Die Weltwoche review of Der Mann, der Shakespeare erfand

Robert Detobel reports from Germany:
Here an extract of the one-page review of Kurt Kreiler’s book, Der Mann, der Shakespeare erfand: Edward de Vere Earl of Oxford (1550-1604) in “Die Weltwoche” (The Week in the World) a well-known Zurich-based Swiss weekly. Translated are the four first and the final paragraphs.

WELTWOCHE, October 10, 2009

Pseudonym Shakespeare
Research proves: The author William Shakespeare was no real person. The name was the pseudonym of the 17th Earl of Oxford.”
By Daniele Muscionico.

Scientists have run out of their wits over authorship studies. Historians muted into intriguers, biographers into denunciators – for nearly 150 years the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays is a play of Shakespeare: a comedy of errors.

Shakespeare, this world-famous literary figure, was a man of whom nothing was known. A bust in Stratford – stone has no tongue. Six signatures in his own handwriting – but how cramped and clumsy! There is not very much more to prove his existence. From whence did he take his knowledge of the Italian language and landscape? A common player would at best have traveled as far as beyond the city walls of London. Could he write at all? When he arrived in the capital, ten of Shakespeare’s plays already belonged to the repertory of the playing company of which he became a member.

Suspicions have long been uttered: The glover’s son and part-time player Shakspere of Stratford, who created his works out of the blue and the genius Shakespeare embody two incommensurable types of human existence.

A journey to the otherworld sheds light on the enigma: Shakespeare was the pseudonym of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, a favorite at the court of Qeen Elizabeth I. Such is the thesis the Shakespeare expert Kurt Kreiler unfolds in his recent book. In a fascinating circumstantial novel he ennobles the most tenacious criminal case of literary history into a pleading for a Forgotten: Edward de Vere (1550-1604).

. . .

But in Stratford the efforts to fixate the name are going on, an open secret. What to tell the many millions of visitors on pilgrimage to their Saint? How to explain the uniqueness of the genius if suddenly it leaked out that not a burgher of the town but an aristocrat was the One? All’s well that ends well? The wish is father to the thought.