Tag Archives: Looking For Shakespeare

Another Fascinating Blog Self-Described As “A Post Stratfordian Shake-speare Blog” And A “Rambler” Spinoff

Here’s a fascinating new blog that describes itself as “a post Stratfordian Shake-speare blog.”  The official name of the blog is “The Festival Robe.”  Someone named Chris is the brains behind the blog.  Chris seems to be an admirer of “Rambler” (www.lookingforshakespeare.blogspot.com) and this blog is a self-described spinoff of the Rambler blog — which I also recommend highly.

Here’s a link to a new post on Chris’s The Festival Robe blog:


There are only five posts so far so it’s easy to get caught up.  The title of this blog post is “a kind of tumbling boy” — which is a quote from a Burghley letter to Hatton in March 1983.  Chris suggests that William Shakspere of Stratford could have been that ‘tumbling boy” — although he would have been almost 19 years old at the time.  When does a boy become a man?  Perhaps young Will had been a tumbling boy for a few years and the term had stuck with him even though he was getting older by 1583?

In any case … here’s an excerpt from this particular post by Chris.  Just click on the link above or search for www.TheFestivalRobe.com to read his interesting posts.

Note that Chris suggests that the character named Medice (or Mendice) in Chapman’s play The Gentleman Usher represents Will Shakspere of Stratford and that he was a “tumbling boy” perhaps with Lord Strange’s troop and then with Oxford’s troop.  You’ll have to read the other posts to get the full story here … along with Rambler’s posts.

a kind of tumbling boy

The finale of The Gentleman Usher has Medice reveal his life’s story, depicting his rise from low birth to the company of nobility. Here’s the entire relevant section.

“Strozza. …Is thy name Medice ?

Medice.  No, my noble lord.
My true name is Mendice.

Strozza. Mendice ? See,
it first a mighty scandal done to honour.

Of what country art thou?

Medice. Of no country I,
But born upon the seas, my mother passing
’Twixt Zant and Venice.

Strozza. Where wert thou christen’d

Medice. I was never christen’d,
But, being brought up with beggars, called Mendice,

Alphonso. Strange and unspeakable!

Strozza. How cam’st thou then
To bear that port thou didst, ent’ring this Court?

Medice. My lord, when I was young, being able-limb’d,
A captain of the gipsies entertain’d me,
And many years I liv’d a loose life with them;
At last I was so favour’d that they made me
The King of Gipsies; and being told my fortune
By an old sorceress that I should be great
In some great prince’s love, I took the treasure
Which all our company of gipsies had
In many years by several stealths collected;
And leaving them in wars, I liv’d abroad
With no less show than now; and my last wrong
I did to noblesse was in this high Court.

Alphonso. Never was heard so strange a counterfeit.

Strozza. Didst thou not cause me to be shot in hunting ?

Medice.. I did, my lord; for which, for heaven’s love, pardon.

Strozza. Now let him live, my lord ; his blood’s least drop
Would stain your Court more than the sea could cleanse ;
His soul’s too foul to expiate with death.

Alphonso. Hence then; be ever banish’d from my rule,
And live a monster, loath’d of all the world.

Poggio. I’ll get boys and bait him out 0’ th’ Court, my lord

Alphonso. Do so, I pray thee; rid me of his sight.

Poggio. Come on, my lord Stinkard, I’ll play ‘Fox, Fox,
come out of thy hole ’ with you, i’faith.

Medice. I’ll run and hide me from the sight of heaven.

Poggio. Fox, fox, go out of thy hole! A two-legged fox,
‘a two-legged fox! Exit with Pages beating Medice.

Benevemus. Never was such an accident disclos’d.”

Alphonso. Let us forget it, honourable friends,
(V, iv, 245-284)

Mendicus is latin for beggar.  Rambler’s July 13 post demonstrates the link between beggars and actors.  His more recent posts on this play note the repeated use of ‘strange’ in Act I, and notes it was the name of Lord Strange (pronounced strang) prior to becoming the 5th earl of Derby.  The word strange being adjacent to Mendice here may reference Lord Strange’s troupe of actors (or tumblers.)

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: http://lookingforshakespeare.blogspot.com/?view=magazine

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 http://lookingforshakespeare.blogspot.com/2013/04/did-their-contemporaries-believe-that.html?view=magazine

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