Tag Archives: Robert Brazil

Oxfordian Author Robert Brazil’s Childhood Friend, Jefferson Foote, Publishes Brazil’s Groundbreaking Book: Edward de Vere and The Shakespeare Printers

Here’s a link to an excellent post by Linda Theil on the Oberon Shakespeare Study Group site. The post includes a revealing interview with Jefferson Foote, Robert Brazil’s childhood friend who recently published Brazil’s book about Edward de Vere (the 17th Earl of Oxford) and the printers behind the Shakespeare works.

Click here to visit the Oberon Shakespeare Study Group site and read Linda Theil fascinating account of Jefferson Foote’s friendship with Brazil and his decision to publish his friend’s book posthumously.

http://oberonshakespearestudygroup.blogspot.com/2012/01/jefferson-foote-publishes-brazil.html

The book is available for sale on Amazon.com.  Here’s the link:

Robert Brazil's Edward de Vere and the Shakespeare Printers

Edward DeVere and the Shakespeare Printers by Robert Sean Brazil:
http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Shakespeare-Printers-Robert-Brazil/dp/1467951552/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1325962685&sr=1-1-catcorr

You can search inside the book on Amazon, and I encourage you to do so.  In Chapter Two you can read almost 19 of Brazil’s 33 reasons to doubt the traditional Stratford attribution of the Shakespeare works.  Even that partial list is worth reading.  To get the whole list of 33, you’ll have to buy the book – which is worth doing.

Here’s just a taste of what Linda Theil writes in her excellent post:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Jefferson Foote publishes Brazil — electronic version to follow soon
Robert Brazil’s childhood pal, Jefferson Foote, published Brazil’s book, Edward DeVere and the Shakespeare Printers, as an act of friendship. When Foote – a research scientist in Seattle, Washington – learned of Brazil’s death in 2010, he also learned of Brazil’s interest in the Shakespeare authorship question.

“I found out he had written this book and he had published it as a Kinko copy (in 1999),” Foote said in a telephone interview on January 8. “And I’m not prepared to let this slip away – it is his life’s work and I wanted to see it preserved.”

Although he had been long out of contact with Robert Brazil, Foote contacted Brazil’s brother, Tony Brazil, and received a copy of the contents of Brazil’s computer along with permission to publish Shakespeare Printers under the copyright of Brazil’s son and heir Jessie Brazil.

“I had no trouble at all getting approval from the brother and sons,” Foote said. “They were delighted that I picked that up.”

Foote also enlisted the aid of Robert Brazil’s friend, Lisa Duff — owner of the audio-book publishing firm, Wetware Media, LLC — who advised Foote on the publishing process. He used the Amazon print-on-demand company CreateSpace as printer of the volume and published under the name of his Seattle research firm, Cortical Output, LLC. The book was released on Brazil’s birthday, November 19, 2011, with all profits going to Brazil’s heirs: Jessie Brazil and David Brazil. “We want to keep the price moderate; their priority is to get the widest circulation,” Foote said.

###

Again, here’s the link to read the entire post by Linda Theil.

http://oberonshakespearestudygroup.blogspot.com/2012/01/jefferson-foote-publishes-brazil.html

The Shakespeare Chronology Recalibrated: Excellent Review by William S. Niederkorn of “Dating Shakespeare’s Plays” Published by the De Vere Society in the U.K.

Kudos to William Niederkorn for writing an excellent, insightful review of Dating Shakespeare’s Plays.  And kudos to editor Kevin Gilvary and the many other contributors to this landmark work.  I shouldn’t (and won’t) reprint the entire review here.  Several paragraphs follow.  To read the entire review, which was published in the April 2011 edition of The Brooklyn Rail,  please click on this link now or click on READ MORE at the bottom on this post.

http://www.brooklynrail.org/2011/04/books/the-shakespeare-chronology-recalibrated

As anybody who has delved into the Shakespeare authorship mystery in any detail knows all too well, the issue of the chronology of the plays is a major point of contention between the orthodox camp and skeptics of various stripes.  The traditional Stratfordian chronology has always struck doubters as more or less arbitrary, arranged to neatly fit into the lifespan and presumed career of the Stratfordian Candidate — one William of Stratford.  Dating Shakespeare’s Plays tackles this vexing issue with a great deal of skill and refreshing even-handedness.  As Niederkorn puts it in his review:  “[R]egardless of one’s position on the authorship question, Dating Shakespeare’s Plays is a most informative and useful book on a subject at the center of the Shakespeare labyrinth. It is not the last word, but rather an advantageous starting point.”

I couldn’t agree more.  Niederkorn’s review is highly recommended reading … as is Dating Shakespeare’s Plays itself.

Matthew Cossolotto

The Shakespeare Chronology Recalibrated

by William S. Niederkorn

Dating Shakespeare’s Plays: A Critical Review of the Evidence
edited by Kevin Gilvary
(Parapress, 2010)

Determining the chronology of Shakespeare’s plays has been both central and problematic since Shakespeare studies originated in the 18th century. Edmond Malone, whose work is regarded as the cornerstone of Shakespeare scholarship, made the first serious attempt. Malone’s initial Shakespeare achievement was his essay An Attempt to Ascertain the Order in which the Plays attributed to Shakespeare were written, included in the second edition of the Johnson-Steevens Shakespeare in 1778. This was “pioneering research,” as Peter Martin called it in his 1995 biography.

In 1875, Edward Dowden, in his Shakespeare: A Critical Study of his Mind and Art, divided Shakespeare’s career into four periods, based on what he deemed appropriate to the playwright’s age and mood, a division that Shakespeare academics still widely affirm. Dowden vastly expanded on Malone’s use of stylistic data, like frequency of rhyme, to support his chronology with statistics.

E. K. Chambers thoroughly reviewed the full scope of dating research in his William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems, published in 1930, and laid out a chronology derived largely from Malone and Dowden. Of the 36 plays in the First Folio, Chambers’s dating exactly matches Malone’s on 14 plays and deviates from it by only one year on eight more.

Then, in 1987, came William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion by Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor. Though Wells and Taylor admitted, “The existing or ‘orthodox’ chronology for all Shakespeare’s plays is conjectural,” their dates match Dowden and Chambers exactly for 24 plays and differ on average by less than two years for the rest.

All of this is recounted in the introduction to Dating Shakespeare’s Plays: A Critical Review of the Evidence. This new book, apparently several years in the making, goes on to review other aspects of the inherited tradition, and then lays out, play by play, the evidence put forward by scholars who believe that the plays were written by William Shakespeare of Stratford, followed by the evidence put forward by scholars who believe they are by Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.

The book is a major comprehensive revision and re-envisioning of the Shakespeare chronology, but it does not set up a rigid chronology of its own. The new chronology is refreshingly diverse, like the world of Shakespeare authorship studies.

The main challenge to the Shakespeare orthodoxy for much of the past century has been Oxfordian, though Oxfordians, unlike Stratfordians, have made the effort inclusive and welcome into their conferences and journals advocates for Bacon, Marlowe, William Stanley, Edward Dyer, Mary Sidney, et al., including, of course, Stratfordians. As a result, a more open-minded approach to Shakespeare is developing outside the mainstream.

READ MORE

In Memoriam: Robert Sean Brazil 1955-2010

I’m sure that many readers of the SOS Online News would want to know about this.  Barb Flues has created a tribute page for our inimitable friend and colleague Robert Sean Brazil on www.elizabethanauthors.com — the invaluable website Barb and Robert created and maintained together.  Here is the touching note Barb posted on the website announcing Robert’s untimely passing.  Many thanks for doing this Barb.   Matthew

I am saddened to report the death of Robbie Brazil, co-partner in the Elizabethan Authors web site. A born jester, but no fool, he wore his motley with the pride of one who believes in his mission; a born teacher but no pedant, he helped others to bring out the best in themselves. As the web site grows, he will be deeply missed.

Robbie was beyond description, but the following messages will give you an idea of what his friendship meant to some of those who knew him best.

Barb Flues

Detobel/Ligon article on Elizabethan Authors

A number of articles by the German Oxfordian researcher, Robert Detobel, are available to be read at the Elizabethan Authors site, published by Robert Brazil. See:
http://www.elizabethanauthors.com/research1.htm
The featured article, “The Harvey-Nashe Quarrel and Love’s Labour’s Lost,” was co-written by Detobel and the late K.C. Ligon. A tribute to K.C. Ligon appears with the article.

Robert Brazil is also author of the 1609 Chronology blog at http://1609chronology.blogspot.com/

Letter from SOS President, Matthew Cossolotto

This letter appears in the June 2009 issue of the Shakespeare-Oxford Newsletter.

April 2009 may well be remembered ages and ages hence — hopefully sooner — as something of a watershed month in the Shakespeare authorship mystery. With apologies to Robert Frost, the prophesy of this slightly edited stanza from “The Road Not Taken” may indeed come to pass:

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two birthdays diverged in a month, and I—
I took the one less toasted by,
And that has made all the difference.

Those of us who have not taken what appears to be a dead-end road to Stratford-upon-Avon, should be heartened by several developments around April 2009. These developments put both the authorship question and the case for Oxford on the map in a big way.

We just might be seeing some big mo — as in momentum — for the Big O.

The alleged birthday of William Shakespeare is celebrated around the world on April 23. Many media outlets in many countries routinely run a “Happy Birthday Will” story. We know this is going to happen every year and we should do what we can each April to raise the authorship issue and encourage consideration of the Oxford theory.

Again this April, SOS issued a press release about the bogus “Shakespeare” birthday. Here’s a link to the press release, which was posted on our new SOS blog: “Toast But Verify”

As readers of this newsletter know, Edward de Vere’s birthday happens to fall in April 12. That means when Oxford is finally recognized as the real author behind the Shakespeare works people will continue to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday in April.

Two birthdays diverged in a month, and we have celebrated the one less toasted; but this will change.

This year something unexpected happened a few days before the annual April 23 birthday celebration in Stratford-upon-Avon. It’s fair to say that the annual Bard B-Day Bash was marred somewhat by an unwelcome — from the Stratfordian viewpoint – reminder that all is not quiet on the Shakespeare authorship front.

I refer to the front-page story in the Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2009, to a jarring headline for those of the Stratfordian persuasion: “Justice Stevens Renders an Opinion on Who Wrote Shakespeare’s Plays: It Wasn’t the Bard of Avon, He Says; ‘Evidence Is Beyond a Reasonable Doubt’”

How refreshing to see those powerful words in print, on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. The evidence against the Stratfordian theory “. . . is beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Worth noting: Justice Antonin Scalia declared publicly that he, like Stevens, is an Oxfordian! It is interesting that Stevens and Scalia, whose opinions on most legal issues diverge significantly, find themselves in agreement on the case for Oxford.

If you missed the WSJ article, it’s well worth a careful reading. Please visit the News & Events page on the SOS website or go directly to the WSJ.

Here’s a quick rundown of other recent developments that may be seen one day as part of a major turning point in the authorship debate:

Article in the UK’s Evening Standard, April 23, 2009:
“Shakespeare did not write his own plays, claims Sir Derek Jacobi.” Both Sir Derek and Mark Rylance are referred to as signatories of the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt. The article says both Shakespearean actors believe Shakespeare’s works were written by an aristocrat. Sir Derek said he was 99.9 percent certain that the actual author was Edward de Vere.

Shakespeare Authorship Coalition marks second anniversary of the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt about the Identity of William Shakespeare. SAC issues April 13, 2009 press release announcing: Michael York has joined fellow actors as a Shakespeare Authorship Coalition (SAC) Patron; Seven signatories added to SAC notables list.

The thirteenth annual Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference is held at Concordia University April 16-19, 2009. For a detailed account of the conference, see Richard Joyrich’s article in this newsletter. I also found Bill Boyle’s blog, Shakespeare Adventure, entries on the conference very informative.

Oberon Shakespeare Study Group in Michigan celebrates Shakespeare’s UN-Birthday on April 23. Visit the Oberon group’s blog for details.

Lee Rosenbaum, a blogger known as CultureGrrl, outs herself as an Oxfordian –she calls herself a deVere-ian. I found her discussion on her blog to be very interesting, especially her suggestion that “Shakespeare” was de Vere’s alter ego in the sonnets. I’ve been kicking that idea around for sometime myself.

A few authorship-related blogs have been launched recently – in and around April 2009: Visit Stephanie Hopkins Hughes’s Politic Worm; Robert Brazil’s 1609 Chronology blog. Also, I’m in the early stages of developing a blog dedicated to the relatively narrow –but extremely important — hypothesis that the 1609 volume of Shakespeare’s Sonnets was published posthumously. Please visit Shakespeare’s Sonnets 1609 to offer comments and share ideas.

May 3 article in the UK’s Sunday Express — now removed from their website – included several comments that Kenneth Branagh is reported to have made in Los Angeles at the April 29 US premiere of the new PBS mystery series Wallander. Branagh is reported to have said:

There is room for reasonable doubt. De Vere is the latest and the hottest candidate. There is a convincing argument that only a nobleman like him could write of exotic settings.

A version of the report can be viewed at Top News.

So there seems to be some big mo for the Big O right now. We need to seize the public awareness initiative and build on the recent momentum. I strongly encourage members of the society to widely circulate the WSJ and Evening Standard articles to friends, relatives, media contacts, teachers, professors, clergy, neighbors and members of congress. These articles lend enormous credibility to our central messages: that the authorship question is a legitimate issue for serious discussion and the case for Oxford’s authorship is very persuasive.

As always, thank you for your ongoing support as we endeavor to fulfill our mission of researching and honoring the true Bard.

Matthew Cossolotto, President
Shakespeare-Oxford Society
June 2009 Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter