Tag Archives: Robert Detobel

The Shakespeare Oxford Society and the Shakespeare Fellowship Announce Details For Their 2013 Toronto Joint Conference, October 17 – 20

The theme of this year’s Shakespeare Authorship Conference is “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 papers on related subjects presented 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.

A preliminary list of speakers and topics is provided below:

Toronto Conference Schedule

                   The following program is subject to change.         

Thursday, 17 October   

    12:00-1:00   Registration

    1:00-1:15     Welcome. Opening of Conference.

    1:15-2:00      Shelly Maycock.  (Virginia)

                         “Essex, Oxford and the Concept of Popularity in Late Elizabethan

                         Discourse.”  How the notion of popularity can be recast from an 

                         Oxfordian perspective.

    2:00-2:45      Priscilla Costello.  (Ontario)

                         “Astrology Confirms de Vere.”   A professional astrologer compares the

                          astrological charts of de Vere and “Shakespeare.”

    2:45-3:30     Ron Halstead.  (Michigan)

                         “Death of a Dictator: The Dangerous Timeliness of Julius Caesar and

                          the Authorship Question.”  De Vere’s interest in rebellion.

    3:30-3:50    Coffee break

    3:50-4:35  Walter Hurst.  (North Carolina)

                           “What’s Your Authority for that Statement: An Approach to

                             Examining External Evidence in Early Modern Authorship.”

                             How to evaluate the strength of historical evidence.

    4:35-6:00         Video: The Naked Shakespeare

                           A new video on the authorship question from Germany.


Friday, 18 October 

     8:30-9:15       Ron Hess.  (Georgia)

                            “The Significant History of The Passionate Pilgrim.” Did this work

                              predate both Venus and Adonis and Rape of Lucrece?

     9:15-10:0        Heward Wilkinson.  (UK)

                            “Coleridge and the Implications of Authorial Self-Awareness in

                              Shakespeare.”   There is no sign that the Stratford man embodied

                              the consciousness of “Shakespeare” while there is substantial testimony

                              that Oxford did.

    10:45-10:45     Michael Egan. (New Mexico)

                            “The Shakespeare Grain Dealer Uproar.”  The documented facts about

                             Shakspere’s financial arrangements, when compared with the plays, show

                             clearly that we are dealing with two distinct individuals, the man from

                             Stratford and the man who wrote the plays.

    10:45 –11:05   Coffee Break

    11:05-11:50     Tom Regnier. (Florida)

                              “Could Ben Jonson Think Like A Lawyer? Taking a Closer

                               Look at Clarkson and Warren.”   A revaluation of the 1942 study on

                               property law in Elizabethan drama which disparages Shakespeare’s

                               legal knowledge.

    11:50-12:35      Earl Showerman. (Oregon)

                              “A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Shakespeare’s Aristophanic Comedy.”

                               Was Shakespeare acquainted with Athenian drama?  The former

                               President of the SF explores the territory.

                                Lunch on own

     3:00               Bus leaves for the Stratford Festival

                                (Tom Regnier paper on “The Law and Merchant” on bus)

     5:00               Arrive at Stratford.  Meeting with Antoni Cimolino (Director

                                of Merchant)  followed by “on own’ dinner                

      8:00               Merchant of Venice on Festival Stage                      

     10:30             Bus returns to Toronto (arrives about 12:30 a.m.)


Saturday, 19 October

            8:30-9:30      Annual Meeting of the Shakespeare Oxford Society

9:30-10:15     Cheryl Eagan-Donovan. (Massachusetts)

                         “The Reason for the Alias: Oxford’s Bisexuality and

                           the Elizabethan Theatre.”  A look at the sexual 

                           behavior of  bothactors and audiences of the

                           period suggests that Oxford’s Sexuality may have                                been a prime reason for the pseudonym.  


10:15-11:00    Hank Whittemore. (New York)

                                    “The Unbroken Line: Oxford, Acting Companies and the

                                    Phenomenon of Shakespeare.”  A look at de Vere as guiding

                                    force behind the three most important acting companies

                                    of Elizabeth’s reign.

11:00-11:15    The Missing Debate: A Comment. Don Rubin and Keir Cutler.

11:15-12:00      Roger Stritmatter (Maryland) and Lynne Kositsky (Ontario)

                         ‘Much Ado About Nothing: The Tempest Debate.” Two major

                         scholars put the Tempest dating debate to rest.    

            12:00-12:15       The Tempest Book launch/signing (Roger and Lynne)


12:15-1:45      Lunch (buffet with Keynote)

                        Mark Anderson (Massachusetts)

                        “Shakespeare, Newton and Einstein: Listening to the Obsession

                        of Genius.”  The author of the major de Vere biography, Shakespeare

                        By Another Name looks at the nature of genius and obsession.

 2:00-2:45        Robert Detobel/Henno Wember  (Germany)

                        “The Outcast State: Oxford’s Passion for the Theatre.”  Was it

                        his love of the theatre that led to Oxford’s “outcast state?”

 2:45 to 3:30    Keir Cutler (Quebec)

                         ‘From Crackpot to Mainstream: The Evolution of the Authorship

                        Question.”  Are the doubts about the man from Stratford becoming

                        mainstream? An actor suggests that the answer is “yes.”

3:30 to 4:15      Sky Gilbert (Ontario)

                         “Was Shakespeare A Euphuist?”  The connections between Shakespeare

                           and Lyly, between Endymion and Twelfth Night done with student actors. 

4:15 to 4:35      Coffee break

4:35 to 6:35    Canadian Premiere Screening: Last Will and Testament

Introduction of this full-length film by the directors – Lisa and Laura     Wilson.                                          


 Sunday, 20 October

 8:30-9:30         Annual Meeting of the Shakespeare Fellowship

 9:30-10:20       Ramon Jimenez (California)

                          ‘Shakespeare’s Two Lear Plays: How the Playwright Transformed His

                          First Romance into his Last Tragedy.”  From King Leir to King Lear.

10:20-11:20       Michael Morse. (Tennessee)

                           “What the Thunder Said and Tom O’Bedlam’s Song.”  Views of Lear.

11:20-12:15        Gerit Quealey. (New York)

                            “Studying Authorship: Why It Matters for Actors. The Road

                              To Revelation.”  How authorship research can inform and illuminate

                               A Text.” A working actor demonstrates her points with student actors.

12:15-2:00         Closing Banquet with Keynote.  Awards and Final words.

    John  Shahan (California).

    “The Shakespeare Authorship Coalition: Future Strategies.” The

    head of SAC and one of the editors of the volume Shakespeare Beyond

The conference will also include the annual general meetings of both organizations, which, because of the proposed unification of the two organizations, should not be missed.

The conference will be held at the Metropolitan Hotel in Toronto; registrants may receive a conference rate of $135/night at the hotel by calling 800-668-6600 or by e-mail at reservations@tor.metropoliton.com. Please mention Reservation ID#269-931 or the SOS or the SF. This hotel room rate will be good for up to three days before and after the conference for those who wish to extend their visit to Toronto. This rate is guaranteed for reservations made before September 17.

Transportation from the Toronto airport directly to the hotel can be obtained from Airport Express (905-564-6333 or http://www.torontoairportexpress.com). Rates are $27.95 one-way and $42.00 for round trip. There is a 5% discount for ordering online. There is a 10% senior and student discount for one-way only ($25) so this is not practical if you want a round trip.

Full registration for the conference includes all presentations and materials as well as lunch on Saturday and Sunday. Per day rates are also available. Registration is also possible onsite, including reduced daily rates for Saturday and Sunday that do not include lunch.

Please note, however, that the trip to Stratford may not be available for registrations received after September 15. 

For more conference information or to register for the conference, please visit www.Shakespeare-Oxford.com.

Robert Detobel translates Whalen review

Robert Detobel has translated Richard F. Whalen’s English-language review of James Shapiro’s new book, Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?, into German. Whalen’s review is now available on the German-language Shake-speare Today website.

Shake-speare Today administrator Hanno Wember said that Detobel will also translate R. Thomas Hunter’s review and will write a review of his own for Shake-Speare Today. When asked why the site is offering this service to their German readers, Wember said:

Shapiro’s book will be known in Germany sooner or later. Shapiro’s reputation, authority and influence on Shakespeare scholars should not be understimated. This holds for Germany as well. Possibly there will be reviews soon; even if no German translation of his book will be published in the near future. So we want to offer our readers an Oxfordian view first.


Richard Whalens Rezension von James Shapiros neuem Buch Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? wurde von Robert Detobel ins Deutsche übersetzt und ist jetzt auf der deutschsprachigen Internetseite Shake-speare Today zugänglich.


Update April 2, 2010
Robert Detobel’s translation of R. Thomas Hunter’s review of
Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro has been posted to Shake-speare Today.

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:

Detobel translates Krippendorff comments

Our German correspondent Robert Detobel reports that after a hiatus in December, the reviews of Kurt Kreiler’s Oxford biography The Man who Invented Shakespeare have resumed with an article by Ekkehart Krippendorff in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, a newspaper with the widest coverage in Germany of almost half a million readers daily.

From the Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Tuesday, 5  January 2010
(Article not yet online; we’ll post the URL if it becomes available.)

“Who wrote William Shakespeare’s dramas? News from the opposition against Stratford: Kurt Kreiler’s biography of the Elizabethan aristocrat Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford”
By Ekkehart Krippendorff

Selections of Krippendorff’s article are translated below by Robert Detobel:

The plain title with which is announced a book on “Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford”,  a rather not so well known figure in this country, carries the notion, still provocative to a broad public, that William Shakespeare, praised as the greatest among the great poet-dramatists, is an “invention”, concealing another author, even that seventeenth Earl of Oxford. The meanwhile over three hundred fifty years old Stratfordian camp with its multi-million funded bardolatry reacts bitterly against this and other suspicions which have proved impossible to quell during about the last 150 years…

Unconcealed is the identity to Kurt Kreiler, the author of this remarkable biography…

Who was learned how?

No one doubts that this William Shakespeare (in different spellings) of Stratford-on-Avon has existed – birth and death certificates (1564-1616), business transactions in land and houses, his presence in the world of the London theatre, his marriage with a woman eight years older than he in Stratford with whom he had two surviving children, all this is documented beyond doubt. But that the son of a glover of humble rural origins and with a modest school education until the age of twelve would become a much performed and subsequently much printed poet and dramatist  in London, without a writing loving and gossipy sixteenth and seventeenth-century society with its numerous literary circles ever taking notice of this author, who has left us no authentic trace of a holograph, with his two illiterate daughters, who in his last will bequeathed his second-best bed to his wife but does not mention any rights in his works or any books he would have possessed, at whose death, contrary to that of many of his fellow-poets, no commemoration appeared, as if he had never existed – all this and much more (though much more is not known of him) makes the attribution of (at least) thirty-seven plays, the sonnets and the epic poems to him highly dubious…

Small wonder then that at some point in time his authorship was questioned. One of the first prominent doubters was Mark Twain…

How to explain that his first inquisitive biographer, who, less than a century after his death,  had systematically searched Stratford and vicinity for literary traces and oral witnesses had to be content with nothing else than the works…

In 1920 Thomas Looney identified Shakespeare as Edward de Vere. In 1923 in Germany, Sigmund Freud, a fervent reader of Shakespeare, on reading Looney’s book, became so convinced of Edward de Vere that even shortly before his death professed himself an “Oxfordian”, much to the chagrin of the Stratfordian camp…

Whoever Shakespeare was, the debate will not abate.

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.”

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.

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.

Focus on Der Mann

Robert Detobel reports that Germany’s Focus magazine has published a notice about Kurt Kreiler’s new Shakespeare biography, Der Mann, der Shakespeare erfund: Edward de Vere Seventeenth Earl of Oxford (The Man who Was Shakespeare: etc.) — original article in German on the web at:

Below Detobel translation from FOCUS Nr. 40 (2009):

By FOCUS editor Rainer Schmitz
Kurt Kreiler

Who was William Shakespeare? Or more exactly: who wrote Shakespeare’s works? The question haunts the world of letters for about 200 years. Until then Shakespeare was Shakespeare, hailed from Stratford on Avon and wrote approx. 40 comedies, tragedies and historical plays which were being staged continuously all over the world. Doubts arose out of the scarcity of biographically usable data. The richness of the language and the immense learning were just considered incompatible with the bumpkin from the province. Such a work could only have been achieved by a learned member of the upper class. But who?

About 50 contemporaries have been suspected, among them Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, Ben Jonson and even Queen Elizabeth I herself. The debate now mainly turns around Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, the chief suspect. In his thoroughly researched biography of the Earl, Kreiler rolls up “the case” again. Though he does not submit an irrefragable proof, he presents not a little circumstancial evidence. The weightier ones have already been made public some years ago (FOCUS 32/2000). They would convince any jury court. “Shakespeare” is a pseudonym, Edward de Vere was a frequent visitor of Elizabeth I’s court; the dramas were not written for the Globe Theatre but for the English court stage.

Note: The Focus edition 32/2000 referred to in the notice above features a photo of Detobel and a discussion of his contribution to Shakespearean authorship research. A selection of Detobel’s research is available online at Robert Brazil’s Elizabethan Authors site: http://www.elizabethanauthors.com/Part-1-Ch2.pdf

“Anonymous” filming begins March 2010

Film producer Roland Emmerich will begin filming Anonymous, (AKA Soul of the Age) a $28-million film about the Shakespeare authorship question in March 2010. Oxfordian researcher Robert Detobel said the announcement appeared this morning in the Berliner Morganpost in an interview by Peter Beddies: “Roland Emmerich dreht Shakespeare in Babelsberg” (Roland Emmerich shooting Shakespeare in Babelsberg). According to Detobel’s translation of the Morganpost interview that appeared on Nina Green’s e-mail list, Emmerich will film Anonymous before beginning work on his next blockbuster movie, titled 2012.

“Now I have jumped again on the debate about Shakespeare perhaps not being the author of the works ascribed to him, and that will be the stuff of my next movie. It will not be a big production. Rather a little pretty thriller,” Emmerich said.

The original article appears at:

Nina Green’s website is at: http://www.oxford-shakespeare.com/index.html

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:
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/