Shakespeare In Italy, The Press Release

‘I believe De Vere wrote all the sonnets of Shakespeare and most of the better plays,’ Bob Ellis said in Palm Beach yesterday. ‘The evidence is too overwhelming. And so does my collaborator, Denny Lawrence.

‘But we also thought the Stratford Man’s case is not implausible; and we asked ourselves: how might he have become, from such dim beginnings, so regally educated in the world’s ways, and the manners of courtiers and kings, by the age of 30 when Richard III came out, and how did he know so much about Italy? And we came up with this hypothetical.

‘He disappears from Stratford at age 20 after the twins, Hamnet and Judith, are born. He turns up in London, as a jobbing actor and rewrite man, in about 1589 when he is 26. He was almost certainly raised a secret Catholic in Warwickshire, a hive of priest-holes.

‘He sets thirteen plays in Italy and none in Virginia, Moscow, Prague, Morocco, Madagascar or Tokyo.

‘This argues that he must have spent some time in Italy, the details of buildings and small town names and canals are so exact, between 1584 and 1589. And he may, plausibly, have been recruited there as a Catholic spy — as Marlowe was recruited as an Anglican spy — by the violently anti-Tudor Pope Sixtus the Fifth, the inventor of waterboarding, and given money, as Quadrant was by the CIA, to further his sonnet-writing career and report back what he found about his aristocratic friends and the Queen.

‘It’s not that we think this is true. We are both Oxfordians and think the obvious is true. But it is our case for the Loyal Opposition.

‘It is also proof that what the Bard did is not all that remarkable. So much of what he is said to have written is quotes from North’s Plutarch, or More’s Richard III, and so much, like Cymbeline, so really bad, that one wonders sometimes what the fuss is all about.

‘The Crucible is better than thirty-one of his plays. A Man For All Seasons better than thirty-three. Malory’s Morte D’Arthur has better language. Donne wrote better poetry. Dickens’ comic scenes are better than his. Sentence by sentence, Waugh and Nabokov write better English. Stoppard has a higher level of wit. Alan Bennett is more moving when it comes to the madness of kings.

‘So we thought we would both try to best him and explain the Stratford-yokel-made-good legend. It’s better than a lot of his work, be he De Vere or Shaxper, and its female lead, Julia, better than all of his.

‘Or this is my view. August 9, and the film we then make of it, will tell.’

Leave a comment ?


  1. You seem to have removed articles. Buber related articles. Felicity Kendall is right, this place is worse than North Korea. Who are Doug’s experts on experience? I’m going to need names if I’m to proselytize Hudson’s gospel to the masses, peasant by peasant.


      Dear Reader one to the power of one,
      Would it offend your sensibilities,
      if I asked you what do you think of this?

      • It suggests to me a plotted-up, wild-eyed aristocrat with a lot of time on his hands as opposed to a jobbing boob. Or is he supposed to have done it instinctively? And why the shot of Roger in 1973? Did he have a revelation that day in Stratford upon Avon? The most intriguing part of all this is Roger himself. He gives so much of himself away, you are drawn into his world.

        • No worries, thank you.

          • “Synopsis: The Doctor brings Martha to London, 1599. William Shakespeare announces a new play, “Love’s Labours Won,” but the manuscript contains mysterious words that Shakespeare doesn’t remember writing. Aliens known as Carrionites are driving much of Shakespeare’s actions and work. Their power comes from the number fourteen, and from the right words (like the way humans use mathematical equations to discover and accomplish things). In Shakespeare, they have found a boon - a human whose mind can create the right words for them. With “Love’s Labours Won” the words will give them power enough to bring their entire race into being, and take over the planet. As the play is being performed, the Carrionites begin to gather in the Globe, and the Doctor pushes Shakespeare to the front of the stage, insisting that he has the words to stop it. Fortunately, the Doctor is right, and Shakespeare’s monologue confines the aliens.”

            Dr Who - The Shakespeare Code. Sounds a lot like Phillip Adams writing for the Australian.

            • All in all, I am thankful I provoked in you such a coherent and logical yet creative response.

              I understand you. I do not even contest you and that is not to say I agree with you, thought is like that.

              Sensibilities is a poor choice of wording, a reflection of how poorly worded and ill considered my initial questioning was. Morality is a better word, and truth be told I feel my morality offended, a cheek is turned, it must be struck.

              It doesn’t have to be, but this duality demands it. Perhaps there is something in your reasoning that when happening upon my utterances, your sense of morality has become offended?

              The play presents itself before your eyes, so why not write it?

              Why not perform it?

              Then, if this investment in growth is not for the tree’s benefit, pruning is simply a matter of letting go, or is it letting go of a matter?

              It matters not to the forest.

              What are memories but wind?

              A strong part of laughter is embarrassment but we laugh all the same.

              There is a certain duality in your words Reader one.

              Does is not make you happy to create? In some universe, the above would make a great skit, if not a feature length film.

              Doctor who Am I?
              Reason who?
              No. Reason What.
              My name is Reason What.
              I am Grammar, come alive, syntax marching, zeros and ones,
              back from the dead, I shall tell you all, I shall tell you all.

              But that wasn’t it at all, was it?

  2. How terribly embarrassing for you Mr Ellis and Mr Lawrence that you should sabotage your new work with such patent absurdity and fantastic speculation.
    It is a great shame.

    • I am sorry Messrs Ellis and Lawrence, but I could not let this pass without further comment.
      Could you please provide 4 pieces of that “overwhelming evidence” you refer to.
      Or 3.
      Or 2.

      Or even 1.

      Just 1 article of evidence.

      Not speculation, conjecture, hypothesis or probability.
      Not assumption, postulation or presumption.
      But “evidence”. Especially, as you say, of the “overwhelming” kind.

      You may include as prime examples evidence from witnesses or that of expert scholars, you may also include documentation or any scientific material to support your claim.

      In fact, gather all that you can, whatever you can, in support of that claim.

      • What evidence do you have that Will Shaxper and not George Wilkins wrote Henry VI? Do you really think he wrote The Yorkshire Tragedy? His name is on it. Or The Tragedie Of Sir Thomas More? How then can you be sure he wrote anything? I am inclined to the Oxford heresy because of the hundreds of coincidences between De Vere’s life and ‘Shakespeare’s’ plays. And his familiarity with the royal court, and middle age, and Italy.

        • I’ve had a terrible time in getting this comment accepted. Is there a word limit imposed?

          Mr Ellis, I find it comical that you choose to answer a question with a question.
          I specifically asked for “evidence”.
          You provided none.
          Do you not possess any?

          I shall leave your glaring, bathotic, evasion for a moment, and try another tack;
          Mr Ellis, no-one disputes the fact of collaboration. There have been no Shakespearean scholars, to my knowledge, that have denied the role of approximately 9 chaps in joint authorship of a handful of plays. This Oxfordian question is simply a fallacy – and a base one at that. Let me demonstrate its lack of purpose by inverting: could you please provide me with a single atom of evidence that linked De Vere with George Wilkins, or that Wilkins wrote the play in its entirety, or that Wilkins completed De Vere’s draft?
          I’ll take a neutrino should you have it.
          Just one.
          Look, I’ll settle for a quark.

          No Mr Ellis, the question of De Vere is borne of a modern conceit that demands a unity between the life and work.
          A modern ROMANTIC conceit.
          Do you realise that no–one in the 16C had any such notion (of that unity) let alone a working/aesthetic methodology for its expression??
          Do you realise that?
          In this instance it was conceived by Delia Bacon in the hope that her name-sake would be dully enthroned. There was nothing scholarly about its conception – it was pure bias.
          And that search for correspondence is an excursion into absurdity.
          It would be like suggesting that the “value” or validity of Madame Bovary, The Wife of Bath, or Hester Prynne, is nil because their authors were men!

          For you to also suggest that the collaborations between Shakespeare and the others throws the entire canon into suspicion – “How then can you be sure he wrote anything?” - is an absurdity that would require YOU to deny his hand on anything.
          I await that evidence.
          In it could you please describe the relationship between De Vere and the actors of Shakespeare’s troupe; for example, evidence that De Vere knew Burbage, Heminge, Armin, Kempe, Condell, Tooley or Cross.
          Or, :smile: , tell me why it was that Kempe’s name, was written in as “Peter” in Romeo and Juliet, in the First Folio??
          Did De Vere know Kempe?
          Was he on such friendly terms with Shakespeare’s troupe that he would write first names in instead of character names??
          Answer me that Mr Ellis, and we have the beginnings of a discussion.
          Till then, you are still searching for that quark.

          Also to your point; there are not “hundreds of coincidences”, there are but a handful. Look closer Mr Ellis. And think clearly.

          Now onto another matter,
          In your “Shakespeare Contrasted With His Betters” posted in May 25, 2012 you gave us a small taste of your character “Julia” and an example your dramatic writing.
          At the risk of censure , and contrary to your hyperbole, I propose these attached example as far superior to yours.

          “Not only, sir, this your all-licens’d fool,
          But other of your insolent retinue
          Do hourly carp and quarrel, breaking forth
          In rank and not-to-be-endured riots. Sir,
          I had thought, by making this well known unto you,
          To have found a safe redress, but now grow fearful,
          By what yourself, too, late have spoke and done,
          That you protect this course, and put it on
          By your allowance; which if you should, the fault
          Would not scape censure, nor the redresses sleep,
          Which, in the tender of a wholesome weal,
          Might in their working do you that offence
          Which else were shame, that then necessity
          Must call discreet proceeding”.

          Goneril - King Lear

          Or, perhaps you favour this, from Hermione:

          Sir, spare your threats:
          The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
          To me can life be no commodity:
          The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
          I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
          But know not how it went. My second joy
          And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
          I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
          Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
          The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
          Haled out to murder: myself on every post
          Proclaimed a strumpet: with immodest hatred
          The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
          To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
          Here to this place, i’ the open air, before
          I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
          Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
          That I should fear to die? Therefore proceed.
          But yet hear this: mistake me not; no life,
          I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
          Which I would free, if I shall be condemn’d
          Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
          But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
          ‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
          I do refer me to the oracle:
          Apollo be my judge!”

          Admittedly they are slight, I chose them for that very reason; their very “slightness” satisfactory for my purpose.

          Mr Ellis, once again I say to you, Shakespeare presents us with the most remarkable body of work in English literature.
          Not for individual comparisons but as a body of work, he has no peer. Despite your, by now tedious posturing, you have provided no competitor who will shoulder your bombastic claims.

          I leave you with this to consider:

          Leontes: Too hot, too hot!
          To mingle friendship far is mingling bloods.
          I have tremor cordis on me: my heart dances;
          But not for joy; not joy. This entertainment
          May a free face put on, derive a liberty
          From heartiness, from bounty, fertile bosom,
          And well become the agent; ‘t may, I grant;
          But to be paddling palms and pinching fingers,
          As now they are, and making practised smiles,
          As in a looking-glass, and then to sigh, as ’twere
          The mort o’ the deer; O, that is entertainment
          My bosom likes not, nor my brows! Mamillius,
          Art thou my boy?”

          Find me an example from any of your chaps, whereby the iambic pentameter, the standard verse of the day, is thus exploded into shards of what we may now term a distinctly “modern” psychological verity/reality as that.
          The natural rhythms of the drama are here burst Mr Ellis and we step into the world, anew!

          The Stratford man was a genius who had as much need to visit Genoa or Verona as Einstein did to balance on the curve of space or Newton to fly in a rocket or ……

          • Einstein ripped off his best ideas from his girlfriend.

          • I wish I’d said that.

          • I’d like your evidence that the Stratford man wrote one single line of poetry or prose.

          • Wood,

            You claim that Bob does not address evidence. You say he answers a question with a question. Indeed he posts in the form of questions. However if you look carefully at the case he makes and what he posts then the evidence is presented.

            I have taken his post and simply rephrased it to make such a case

            There is evidence that George Wilkins wrote Henry VI not Will Shaxper.

            There is evidence that Will Shaxper did not write The Yorkshire Tragedy, or The Tragedie Of Sir Thomas More.

            There is evidence in the hundreds of coincidences between De Vere’s life and ‘Shakespeare’s’ plays, and his familiarity with the royal court, and middle age, and Italy.

            You have either to address that directly or to accept at the very least that it is highly likely de Vere had a hand in the authorship of works that he did not claim unto himself for reasons unknown to us.

          • Under the rules of this blog, you do not judge a work you have not read or seen, and you are therefore banned for life.

            I will suspend your sentence for a year, and if you do not repeat it, rescind it.

            Leontes’ speech is one of the most embarrassing things in the Canon.

            Come see Shakespeare In Italy.

            It is actually better than The Winter’s Tale.

            And so is Truly, Madly, Deeply.

            • Mr Ellis, welcome back.

              I generally try not to go back on my word however I will in this instance, and respectfully respond to your direct question.

              Let me clarify your initial confusion - I have not judged a work I have not seen; I have judged a portion of a work I have seen.

              I am re-issuing the time stamp as evidence -
              “Shakespeare Contrasted With His Betters” posted on May 25, 2012

              I made a judgement on the piece of writing you presented in relation to examples from Shakespeare.
              My purpose was to present a counter to your bombastic claim that your character “Julia” was “better than all of his [Shakespeare's]“.
              I disagreed and provided examples with which to buttress that judgement. That we disagree is neither here nor there.
              But to suggest that I have made an improper judgement, a speculation, a casual and incomplete comparison, is a fabrication.

              I hope that resolves the matter.

              Now to Leontes: I included those words to demonstrate what I thought to be a prime example of Shakespeare’s skill; I feel as though I am standing before a great innovation; that I am witnessing a transformation in the way the language and the drama “reveal” a character. Shakespeare’s canon overflows with such examples and I simply chose Leontes as a way of offering someone other than the best known character for such language “reveals” - Hamlet.

              You may indeed find it “one of the most embarrassing things”.
              I however do not.

              The Questions:

              The questions to the Oxfordians still stand. From this thread alone, they are:

              * Did De Vere know Kempe? Why was Kempe’s name written into “Romeo&Juliet”?

              * Why does Jonson not doubt Shakespeare’s identity? Or for that matter any and every other collaborative/theatre associate?

              * Why does not a solitary reputable Shakespearean scholar support the De Vere claim?

              * Why is it that the methodology used to support De Vere’s claim would in fact exclude De Vere as a candidate?

              Finally, to a point of great interest to me personally - this conflation of life and work that is intrinsic to De Vere’s claim.
              I repeat, intrinsic.

              And this is a general question to all who have followed this thread, to any writers or poets out there, and to you Mr Ellis, especially in light of your recent play and its central character “Julia”.

              Do you believe that (with examples if you have them) a writer can speak of things outside their material orbit?

              I shall lead with the examples I’ve already listed:
              and here I speak to gender (you may choose any criteria you wish):
              Is Madame Bovary a perjury committed by Flaubert?
              Is Anna Karenina a deception by Tolstoy?
              Is Oedipa Maas less “real” that Pierce Inverarity in Pynchon’s novel?
              Is the depiction of “masculinity” in George Eliot a misrepresentation?
              Does C. Bronte’s “The Professor” suffer as a work of imagination because of its male narrator?

              It is my firm belief that an exploration of questions such as these will go a long way toward understanding both the nature of this authorship question and the way in which we, as readers, approach any work of fiction or imagination.

              Mr Ellis,
              I will indeed see the play.
              Do you have dates/places for its east coast performances?


  3. There is no such thing as bad publicity. Shakespeare in Italy may get a run at the Globe, put on by the RSC.

  4. Lol hive of priest holes, spreading disease, with the queen in Rome.

    Appreciate the lowering to insect level

  5. “also proof that what the Bard did is not all that remarkable. So much of what he is said to have written is quotes from North’s Plutarch, or More’s Richard III, and so much, like Cymbeline, so really bad, that one wonders sometimes what the fuss is all about”

    “quotes from North’s Plutarch”?

    “so much, like Cymbeline, so really bad”?

    Even with bad material to work on I take the word of a great critic and DO see in Cymbeline that rather than expect a great work of art all the time these limits are there and that with that play, “can still show ..his characteristic realising genius”.

    So take this article of yours as definitive? You have cried wolf a little too often anyway. Sorry Bob. Thanks, but no thanks.

  6. My school and uni reading consisted of German, Russian, Swedish and Finnish authors, no Shakespeare on any of my reading lists.
    The other authors you mention I started reading after coming to Australia…. when you know that both Nabokov and Stoppard have foreign non Anglo backgrounds, it’s even more amazing how beautifully they both wrote in English…
    As a fan of Alan Bennett, I’m re-reading his autobiographical books at the moment, sad and humorous at the same time…

  7. Does a pre-meditated plan to murder/assasinate someone equate to a conspiracy? When Bob produces his list of victims, some just didn’t sit right with me, Bin Laden being one of them. So.

    So after hard thinkin’ the closest I can get to defining conspiracy is, the need to remove someone is not an end in itself, killing JFK wasn’t done to kill JFK, but to remove JFK so that Aristotle Onassis could get into Jackie Kennedy’s pants and Women’s Magazines, that is, a means to another end.

    Killing Bin Laden was just revenge and pretty much a given when the FBI put him at the top of their wanted list.

    Getting rid of Shakespeare is a way of adding to the list that includes the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Rabbit, Father Christmas and Mal Brough.

    • I didn’t mean for that video to come up big like that, I meant it as a mystery box prize. The main link was the first one which, though only one or two from the top in the Google search, takes views such as your own and stomps on them, shreds them, spits on them and tears them to pieces. Worth a look.

      • There was a little too much glee in your reply R1. I have been a skeptic ever since I found out that Paul was not dead and I spent seventeen thousand pounds securing the number plate of the volkswagon beetle pictured on the cover of Abbey Road. The failure of my experiment a la Schroedinger, that involved a Lee Harvery Oswald action doll appear in two places at the same time in both a dead and undead state simultaneously, did for me.

        I have though emailed Stanley Wells a copy of Bob’s article and hope for a scathing reply.

        I think artistic differences have now appeared and I withdraw from the Buber project. Hegel dressed as Esther Williams, what were you thinking.

        • hudsongodfrey

          Wanna swap for Paul’s shoes?

        • We have artistic differences alright. Jackie Onassis’ eyes were too far apart for my taste. I prefer too close together than too far apart.

          • Karen Black close? I always thought both JFK and Jackie were unattractive but after Dwight and Mamie and the Nixons everyone, anyone were going to look good.

            • Thankyou, yes. Karen Black’s eyes are indeed nicely spaced. They’ve got that intensity of focus as opposed to indirect bewilderment. You can have eyes on either side of your head, like birds, so that you can look out of one side, the other one or both, but middle ground is dangerous, alien territory in the looks department.

              I’m working on a new theory regarding middle earth and all things middle. I will get it to Soil as soon as it’s hot off the press. I have more time on my hands now that our little project has ended in such catastrophic fury and disgruntlement.

              • Karen Black’s eyes should have had their own billing in the film credits, they were wonderfully evocative. This has been perfected in the cyclopic eye of Leela from Futurama.

                Regarding Buber, I received a telegram from Yoko Ono full of understanding and the name of a good Lawyer. It was good while it lasted R1, I wish you luck with Dirt, I mean Soil.

                • Regarding Buber, I have Rupert’s backing. Yoko who? Try the Knights Templar if you want to buy influence. You heard me. Foxtel goes back a bit further than you thought. Rupert and I have history on our side.

                  Soil is the new allthumbs and much improved. He has a fertile, receptive mind and is not such a staunch, Fact-resistant contrarian. We’re working on a few projects together.

                  • I’m going back out on the road with the Emma Goldman revue show,
                    “Don’t do as I do, do as I say” You still get a credit, althoughthe originalidea was mine. Royalties will be paid at the end of the 3 month run in Wagga. One critic who saw a rough run through was kind enough to say he thouhgt it better than 73 of the plays Ellis wrote or is still to write.

                  • What does this mean and what does Buber have to do with me?

              • I was thinking that Owls unlike other birds have eyes facing forward on the front of their face. And that this feature may be the reason that they are deemed wise. Plus they can spin their heads to face backwards like Linda Blair, which would seem to indicate a tendency to paranoia, wise and paranoid we could learn a lot from owls.

                • “What does this mean and what does Buber have to do with me?” should have been Humphrey Bogart’s last line in Casablanca.

                  • I don’t know what you are talking about. It makes me feel ill. Can you please take 200 or so words to explain what you mean please?

                    • “Owls have large forward-facing eyes and ear-holes; a hawk-like beak; a flat face; and usually a conspicuous circle of feathers, a facial disc, around each eye. The feathers making up this disc can be adjusted in order to sharply focus sounds that come from varying distances onto the owls’ asymmetrically placed ear cavities. Most birds of prey sport eyes on the sides of their heads, but the stereoscopic nature of the owl’s forward-facing eyes permits the greater sense of depth perception necessary for low-light hunting. Although owls have binocular vision, their large eyes are fixed in their sockets—as are those of other birds—so they must turn their entire head to change views. Owls can rotate their heads and necks as much as 270 degrees in either direction. As owls are farsighted, they are unable to see clearly anything within a few centimeters of their eyes. Caught prey can be felt by owls with the use of filoplumes—like feathers on the beak and feet that act as “feelers”. Their far vision, particularly in low light, is exceptionally good.

                      Though owls are typically solitary, the literary collective noun for a group of owls is a parliament.”

                  • I would also have appreciated, “if you can recite it for her, you can recite it for me Fermat”

                    • Masochism.
                      Leading the owl to a book in another language. What is the point?

                    • “Fermat’s Last Theorem states that no three positive integers a, b, and c can satisfy the equation an + bn = cn for any integer value of n greater than two.

                      This theorem was first conjectured by Pierre de Fermat in 1637, famously in the margin of a copy of Arithmetica where he claimed he had a proof that was too large to fit in the margin. No successful proof was published until 1995 despite the efforts of countless mathematicians during the 358 intervening years. The unsolved problem stimulated the development of algebraic number theory in the 19th century and the proof of the modularity theorem in the 20th. It is among the most famous theorems in the history of mathematics and prior to its 1995 proof was in the Guinness Book of World Records for “most difficult mathematical problems”.

            • JFK’s revolutionary, astonishing and most enduring action was to NOT WEAR HAIROIL! Shock! Gasp! Admiration! Imitation! That changed the world, that did: justimagine the Beatles with oily moptops.

              • If only he had, FIK, if only he had, the shine from off the back of his head, a piercing glint in the telescopic site of Oswald’s Carcano,a misdirected bullet blows the stetson harmlessly off LBJ’s noggin, no Vietnam, no Woodstock and Jimi Hendrix playing jazz at Fat Tuesday’s on a Wednesday night.

    • hudsongodfrey

      I think we probably need to differentiate between the conspiracy which quite certainly occurred in JFK’s case, and these things known as conspiracy theories which are merely versions of events quite uncertain to have occurred.

      Their introduction in the case of what Bob is saying is a red herring in my view. The elements may be similar in nature but the onus for providing evidence surely must differ in the case of the Shakespeare authorship question at least in terms of the case Bob makes. Which is just to say that expecting people who share Bob’s suspicions to prove the negative that the man of Avon did not travel to Italy would be asking too much.

      Needless to say there are other ways that this could and probably will be argued. Some are even fair and reasonable, but none of them as far as I can see rely upon conspiracy theories as their main premise.

      • The best proof of the JFK conspiracy is that Ruby, a mafioso, hit the prime witness Oswald, and Hoover, whom the Kennedys were planning to sack in a year’s time, spent forty years denying the Mafia existed.

        • Some say Bruce Wilson is buried next to Jimmy Hoffa in a Melbourne backyard. Fancy that.

        • hudsongodfrey

          Yes I agree entirely that is the best proof that I can see for the belief that we were never told the full truth of what occurred in the official accounts.

          Some of the supposition about how bullets work on the other hand was either completely wrong or quite fanciful.

          • I have minority status on this blog in regards to the JFK/Oswald thing HG, I am awaiting official recognition from the UN as an endangered species. I was hoping your anti-God bothering stance may have meant I would have a comrade, but alas.

            R1 loves bloodsport, she can scent a possible kill, I have to go now.

            • hudsongodfrey

              Ah but there are those among even the best of us who have more in common with the casuistry of conspiracy theorists than they’d ever like to tip their hands to.

        • According to Anthony Summers it might have had more to do with the little adventures that Hoover and Cohn got upto and Susan Rosenstiel was a witness, that may have stopped J Edgar from acknowledging the existence of the Mafia. Joe Valachi whistle blew in 1963 and gave us the Cosa Nostra. Hoover may have been mad but he wasn’t nuts.

  8. Jackie was elegant, and charmingly French, but you have women like that a dime a dozen in Europe, Onassis did not need to kill anyone, there were plenty of attractive women in his homeland too… :wink:

    • Ari was an appreciator, I read he was very fond of bouvier, I think that’s how they spelt it.

    • You are probably correct, Helvi. Beautiful women are everywhere, then as now. But few epitomise a time and style as she did; few inspire imitation of a style and look, as she did. Few have the background, or the advantages of the money and stylists that she did to create a very individual and imitated look. Even fewer can tie this to an encouragement to more educated, more refined values, as she did.
      These are objective comments: I’m not particularly a fan.
      From those times, what other women stood out? Q. Soraya? Farah Diba? Q. Sirikit? Various fashion models - Jean Shrimpton et al. Yes, all those. Fewer Europeans? Or perhaps you can remind me of some.
      French: Bardot, of course…but, truth is that more French women look like Piaf than Bardot.

      • And of course Onassis was marrying her prestige: nothing to do with her looks.
        No European woman had her public prestige: Beautiful European women, say Loren, Lollobrigida, were portrayed as earthy, sexual creatures: sluts, more or less.
        Beautiful Greek women?
        Beautiful Scandinavian women? Ingrid.

        • No, Ari was marrying Jackie to get back at Bobby, who when an aide to McCarthy scuppered an oil deal by Onassis that cost Ari millions. Onassis paid a million dollars to a Palestinian a friend of Jackie who later became a leading figure in the Black September movement as insurance money against airplane hijackings (hi-jacki (ngs) get it), that money was actually used to fund the assasination of Bobby Kennedy. I mean FIK you couldn’t make this stuff up, could you?

          Maria Callas
          Ursula Andress

    • hudsongodfrey

      I don’t know Helvi a big ego sometimes struggles to take no for an answer.

      I think the more compelling argument is the one against the notion that she’d have been with Onassis for any extended period of time under such heavy duress.

    • European women may or not be cheap, Helvi, but suggesting that their price is 10 cents for a dozen seems unnecessarily insulting to them. Is competition for business that stiff?

    • You would have made an enthusiastic executioner in Ceaucescu’s Romania, Bob

      How’s the polling company coming along?

  9. Look, I’m going to sue you for that.

    Give me your lawyer’s number.

  10. Ah here ’tis:

    ELLIS: Suing is the hobby of the rich. Suing is the usual pastime of a Liberal politician wishing to augment his parliamentary pension with a $100,000 or so. It’s not what normal people do. It’s not what I do.

    It’s my form of flattery Bob, asking in my own way for some insight into the Essential poll.

  11. The evidence is all there in the Sonnets.

    That the Bard was a nobleman, the social equal of the Earl who was the love object.

    That the Bard was forty or more years of age whilst the love object was twenty or less.

    That the Bard was attracted smitten and devoted and probably physically involved with a same sex lover.

  12. And that is without even canvassing that the Bard was aware of and used several sources - Cinthio, for example - which were not translated into English.

    And had detailed and intimate knowledge of Italian geography, history, customs and practices. Above and beyond any travellers tales or “must have dones” which the Stratford apologists would seek to hide behind.

    • I keep hearing about this detailed knowledge, can you provide a couple of examples of each Doug on the “geography, history, customs and practices”. I have never understood what that means, detailed knowledge.

      • There is nothing substantial to speak of; there is no “Italy” in the “Italian Plays”.

        Shakespeare, Jonson, and the myth of Venice. McPherson, David C.

        Shakespeare’s Italy: Functions of Italian locations in Renaissance drama, edited by Michele Marrapodi, A. J. Hoenselaars, Marcello Cappuzzo, and L. Falzon Stantucci.

        Shakespeare’s Italian settings and plays. Levith, Murray J.

        • Absolutely.

          The opinion that Shakespeare must have visited Italy is one held by only a very small minority of scholars.

          The minority who support the Oxford theory, of course, is even tinier.

          • Were the street names common knowledge or did he get them out of an atlas?

            • The Marrapodi cited above deals with these kind of questions explicitly. Particularly an essay in it by Roberta Mullini: “Streets, Squares, and Courts: Venice as a Stage in Shakespeare and Ben Jonson.”

              Also an essay by Michele Marrapodi ‘Appropriating Italy: Towards a New
              Approach to Renaissance Drama’ available here:

              Personally, I think Shakespeares use of Italian locations is a good deal more interesting than the questions like ‘Did he ever go there?’ and “Did he lose his Amex card in
              a gondola?’

              • There is also Polybius, some considered links of Shakespeare to John Florio, an English-Italian, lexiographer, translator of Montaigne and well traveled throughout Italy, and through links attached to the Earl of Southampton. Perhaps they spent a few nights crouched over a map of Venice walking their fingers through the streets and alleys and hitching a thumb ride up and down the canals, with Florio filling in the details. Give me a map of Berlin and I will tell you tales.

                • Berlin?I thought more Athens.

                • I’ve had all day to think about Roger’s views on Shakespeare’s relationship with his wife and it got me to thinking about the man’s motives. A true artiste would either -
                  A. Not get married in the first place
                  B. Leave the wife and family in a spectacular fashion and hot foot it to Tahiti
                  C. Remain devoted and root around like William Blake.

                  A middle class stodge, on the other hand, finding himself in a world alternate to his station but in which he gets idolised by flatterers and hangers on, would immediately get caught up in the world of the cool kids and dump his wife when she starts to seem a bit daggy and unimpressive. Most artistes throughout history have a life story attached. I’m thinking of Modigliani and Sylvia Plath, but there are others. Hunter S. Thompson is another one. Lord Byron. If Shakespeare was one for living it large late at night with maps, surely Ben Johnson would have had an anecdote or two.

                  • Well a couple of things. “I’ve had all day to think about Roger’s views on Shakespeare’s relationship with his wife”

                    Irresistable, that is very very funny.

                    Now, there is the possibility that the map was not on paper, but the naked body of some theatre groupie wench. Using a letter and number grid to locate the Bridge of Sighs would have been the 17th century equivalent of sniffing cocaine from a navel.

                  • Shakespeare cast off his wife on grounds of her likely infidelity whilst he was overseas in Italy.

                    Hamlet derives from this period; he took her back later on, but the relationship with her and later with his second wife was always problematic.

                    Shakespeare wrote several strong roles for women; for his time he was very enlightened;

                    Though hardly surprising for the Earl of Oxford.

                  • I’m just tidying up a few things around the place. Van Gogh yearned for a wife and children, a family life. He tried in his rough fashion to duplicate on with Gaughin. One of the theories concerning what drove him to suicide was the happiness Theo had achieved, not only had he acquired a family, but VG felt he was losing what was left of his, Theo having closer concerns. Ironic when it again it is proffered that Theo died of a broken heart. If only Paul had left the toilet seat up.

                  • Van Cleef, Lee Van Cleef. Bob was confusing Lust for Life with The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

        • As ever, you have a really great Avatar name, it outdoes Patrick Dignam, but if I remember rightly you have an additional crew of 4 stowed below. If I am right and I have correctly identified those that have lowered with you then you are playing some serious game. You have always been polite and solicitous towards me and somewhat more generous in your estimation of my abilities than you should be. I am not trying to broker a peace between you and DQ, but you have a pretty vast knowledge on a lot of topics. You should share, it’s not a competition.

          “Now, with the subordinate phantoms, what wonder remained soon waned away; for in a whaler wonders soon wane”

      • I have the wonderful position of needing to prove nothing.

        Those who think the pedestrian boring businessman of Stratford wrote a single line are the ones who need proof.


        • I’m really not sure that that’s the case. Surely, if you believe that de Vere wrote a significant amount of the work that has been hitherto believed to be Shakespeare’s, you need to produce some solid evidence.

          Making a large theatrical gesture and announcing “it’s obvious!” really won’t do.

          After all, the case for Oxford has been around for 80 years. It has never gained the support of more than a tiny minority of scholars, because it rests on a series of unprovable suppositions.

          Let me clear - I’m not saying you are wrong - I’m saying your case is unproven.

          And it’s a very dicey business to treat poetry as some sort of biographical record, cryptic or otherwise. It usually ends up in an unhappy search for pictures of T. S. Eliot with his trousers rolled up.

          • Read the Sonnets.
            Carefully, Poly.

            They form a narrative, at least the first 126 do. They have been glossed over and ignored for their entire existence, yet they are all by the Bard. Not one scholar seriously doubts that.

            • I have read the sonnets, Doug. No-one doubts that they have a narrative element. The relevance of this to the actual facts of Shakespeare’s biography must necessarily remain speculative.

              Poetry may contain biographical or autobiographical elements - however this is a very different thing to claiming you can reconstruct Shakespeare’s Tiki Tours itinerary via a close reading of the sonnets.

              Once again to be clear. I am not saying you are wrong. But I dispute the rhetorical sleight-of-hand by which you attempt to claim that you case is proven and the Stratford man debunked.

              Mind you, Doug, even your worst enemy would have to concede that you’ve opened up an interestingly wriggly can of worms. :smile:

              • Two entirely different themes conflated here Poly. And please spare me the Tiki Tours shit.

                • Well now, it seems a shame that you’re angry with me , Doug.

                  I think we’re all going off at a tangent here.

                  If people value Shakespeare at all, it’s because of some plays he wrote. That is, something that was intended to be performed. And what counts is what a bunch of actors and a director and production people will do with that play is what counts. In comparison to which the discussion over Shakespeare’s identity is a pleasantly inconclusive literary parlour game.

                  It’s interesting to read Samuel Johnson on S. He talks about him very much in the same way that we’d talk about any writer. Some plays worked, some plays didn’t. There was an exquisite passage here, something muffed somewhere else.

                  But in the years after that, somehow, Shakespeare began to turn into something else entirely. Some sort of unique national genius.


                  That’s the more interesting question, whoever he was.

                  • oops - strike one what counts. It’s late :oops:

                  • Not angry, but disappointed in your characterisation of about a year’s sojourn in Italy as Tiki Tours. Travel in 1575 was dangerous, expensive and difficult in ways we can hardly conceive of today.

                    Dismissing it and conflating it with the Sonnets is disappointing.

                    • But he had time to acquire detailed knowledge of the geography,customs, history and practices that are referenced in the Italian plays. All I am asking, outside of the authorship question, is where are these references in the texts, can you point them out to me, so I can go and read them. You brought them up Doug.

                    • FFS there are thirteen plays set in Italy!

            • Added to which you can hardly say the sonnets have been ignored. They’ve been taught in first year English for the last fifty years at least.

              • Yes, I know but they were glossed over “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” (no.18) was lauded as if it was a hetero poem to a beloved. They have been taken out of context and bowdlerised by lack of context for centuries; Victorian morality looms large even today.

      • Read Richard Paul Roe ‘The Shakespeare Guide to Italy.’ I am not here to do your reading for you. Thee are hundreds of books published; some are listed at

        The more traditional view is available by looking at the references listed at :

        (references only please, the rest is dubious and dare I say it speculative?)

        Do your own reading but read ALL the plays and ALL the sonnets - a sine qua non.

  13. 1596-Michaelmas: Court record. William Wayte “swore before the Judge of Queen’s Bench that he stood in danger of death, or bodily hurt,” from “William Shakspere” and three others. “The magistrate then commanded the sheriff of the appropriate county to produce the accused … who had to post bond to keep the peace, on pain of forfeiting the security”.

    1597-5-4: Property documents. Shakspere bought New Place, paying a £60 fine which “may well seem absurdly low; but in fines of this period the consideration mentioned is customarily a legal fiction. We do not know how much Shakespeare actually laid out.” The house was the second largest in Stratford: “No fewer than ten fireplaces warmed New Place in winter, and there were probably more rooms than fireplaces, the latter being a taxable luxury”

    1597-11-15: Tax record. Shakspere is named in the King’s Remembrancer Subsidy Roll as a tax defaulter in Bishopgate ward who failed to pay an assessed 5s

    1598: List of Actors. In the initial presentation of Ben Jonson’s Euery Man In His Hvmovr, “Will Shakespeare” was a “principall Comoedian”

    1598-1-12: Bill of sale. Wyllyn Wyatt Chamberlin “Pd to Mr. Shakespere for one load of stone xd”.

    1598-1-24: Letter. Abraham Sturley wrote to his brother-in-law that “our countriman mr Shaksper is willing to disburse some monei upon some od yardeland or other Shottrei or neare about us…”.

    1598-2-4: List of Hoarders. Shakspere is named as having illegally held 10 quarters (80 bushels) of malt or corn during a shortage

    1598-10-1: Tax record. In the King’s Remembrancer Subsidy Roll, Shakspere is listed as a tax defaulter who failed to pay an assessed 13s.4d.

    1598-10-25: Letter. Richard Quiney wrote an undelivered letter asking Shakspere for a £30 loan. It is written “To my Loveinge good ffrend & contreymann mr wm Shackespre” who “shall ffrende me muche in helpeing me out of all the debettes I owe in London I thancke god & muche quiet my mynde which wolde nott be indebeted”. This letter is the only one ever found addressed to William Shakspere.

    1598-10/11: Letter. Adrian Quiney wrote to Richard Quiney: “yff yow bargen with Wm Sha or recover money therefor, brynge youre money homme”.

    1598-11-4: Letter. Abraham Sturley wrote Richard Quiney that “our countriman mr Wm Shak. would procure us monei which I will like of as I shall heare when wheare & howe: and I prai let not go that occasion if it mai sort to ani indifferent condicions”

    1599-10-6: Tax record. Shakspere is among those listed in the Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer Residuum London accounts as delinquents owing back-taxes (E. 372/444). “The marginal note Surrey, and the reference to ‘Residuum Sussex’, added later, signify that Shakespeare had migrated across the river to the Surrey Bankside”.

    1600-10-6: Tax record. Shakspere is listed in the Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer Residuum Sussex accounts (E. 372/445) and a “tax bill of 13s.4d. is still outstanding. The notation Episcopo Wintonensi in the left-hand margin indicates that the Court of Exchequer had referred the dramatist’s arrears to the Bishop of Winchester, whose liberty of the Clink in Surrey lay outside the sheriff’s jurisdiction. The natural inference is that Shakespeare now lived in the Clink, although it is a curious fact that his name has not been traced in any of the annual lists of residents of the Clink parish (St. Saviour’s) compiled by the officers who made the rounds to collect tokens purchased by churchgoers for Easter Communion, which was compulsory”.

    1601-3-25: Will of Thomas Whittington. “Item I geve and bequeth unto the poore people of Stratford 40s that is in the hand of Anne Shaxspere, wyf unto Mr. Wyllyam Shaxspere, and is due debt unto me…”

    1602-Michaelmas: Property document. New Place was reconveyed to Shakspere, who paid a fee equal to one fourth of the property’s yearly value.

    1602-5-1: Property document. For £320, Shakspere bought 107 acres of land and 20 acres of pasture in Old Stratford from William and John Combe.

    1602-9-28: Property document. Shakspere acquired a quarter-acre of land with “Chapel Lane Cottage” and a garden.

    1603: List of Actors. In the initial presentation of Ben Jonson’s Seianvs his Fall, “Will. Shake-speare” was a “principall Tragoedian”.

    1604: Court record. Shakspere sued the apothecary Philip Rogers for 35s.10d plus 10s damages, seeking to recover the unpaid balance on a sale of twenty bushels of malt and a small loan.

    1604-3-15: Royal record. In the Master of the Wardrobe record, Shakspere is listed among “Players” who were given scarlet cloth to be worn for the King’s Royal Procession through London.

    1605-5-4: Will of Augustine Phillips. “Item I geve and bequeathe to my ffellowe william Shakespeare a Thirty shillings peece in gould”.

    1605-7-24: Property documents. Shakspere purchased from Ralph Hubaud “a half-interest in a lease of ‘Tythes of Corne grayne blade & heye’ in three nearby hamlets … along with the small tithes of the whole of Stratford parish, with certain exceptions honouring former rights”.

    1606: Inventory for Ralph Hubaud. After his death, an inventory of Hubaud’s land and goods included the notation that “There was Owinge by Mr. Shakspre xxli”

    1608-8-17 to 1609-6-7: Court records. Shakspere brought suit against John Addenbrooke for £6, plus 24s. damages. Shakspere won and an order was issued for Addenbrooke’s arrest. Addenbrooke failed to appear in court and an attempt was made to force Addenbrooke’s surety, the blacksmith Thomas Horneby, to pay the full amount.

    1610: Property documents. A Court of Common Pleas fine served to confirm Shakspere’s title to 107 acres of land and 20 acres of pasture purchased in 1602 from William Combe.

    1611: Court records. In a Stratford Court of Chancery Bill of Complaint, the “complainants, of whom Shakespeare was one, asked that the other tenants pay their portion of the mean rent of £26.13s.4d. reserved for John Barker, who held the original lease on the tithes”. William Combe answered the complaint, agreed to pay more than twice what he had been, and asked that the other tenants pay their share.

    1611-9-11: List of Contributors. Shakspere’s name appears on a list of those supporting “the Charge of prosecutynge [a] Bill in parliament for the better Repayre of the highe waies and amendinge divers defectes in the Statues alredy made”. The Bill would have made the national government responsible for repairs previously funded by local residents.

    1613-3-10: Property documents. Henry Walker’s Blackfriars Gate-house was bought by Shakspere, William Johnson, John Jackson, and John Hemming for £140. The deal involved “elaborate arrangements, calling for trustees and a mortgage [whose] practical effect would be to deprive Shakespeare’s widow of her dower right to a third share for life in this part of the estate; for in a joint tenancy, Chancery would not recognize Anne’s privilege unless her husband had survived the other trustees”.

    1614-10-28: Property document. Shakspere made a covenant with Mainwaring’s attorney William Replingham (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Records Office, MS. ER 27/3), which “undertook to compensate William Shackespeare or his heirs or assigns ‘for all such losse detriment & hinderance’ with respect to the annual value of his tithes, ‘by reason of anie Inclosure or decaye of Tyllage there ment and intended by the said William Replingham’” (@ Schoenbaum 231).

    1614-11-17 to 1615-9: Diary entries. Thomas Greene made several notes regarding his “Cosen Shakspeare”, in relation to the land enclosure problem. Greene “had lately invested £300 in a moiety of tithe-interests. Shakespeare owned the other moiety. Hence the Town Clerk’s several references to Shakespeare in his memoranda”.

    1613-3-31: Record of payment. For work on the Earl of Rutland’s impresa, payments were made “To Mr. Shakspeare in gold, about my Lordes impreso, xlivs.; To Richard Burbage for painting and making it, xlivs.” The “impreso” was a symbolic design on a shield which the Earl displayed during a tilt. (Belvoir Castle, Accounts of the Steward of the Earl of Rutland, Rutland MSS. iv. 494).
    This piece of evidence is generally accepted as refering to the Actor William Shakspere. However, “it has been shown (by Mrs. Stopes, in the Athenaeum, May 16, 1908) that ‘Mr. Shakspeare’ was probably one John Shakspeare, a fashionable bit-maker of the time, concerning whom there are may entries in the Wardrobe Accounts of Charles I, as prince and as king. Among other things he made ‘guilt bosses charged with the arms of England.’ Such an artist was very likely to be employed to do the metal work of an impresa. Mr. John Shakspeare would seem to have been a cousin of the poet, which would explain the connection with Burbage” (@ Robertson 586)
    1614-9-5: List of Landowners. The Memorandum lists “Auncient ffreeholders in the ffieldes of Oldstratford and Welcombe.” It was written by Town Clerk Thomas Greene, who was concerned about a scheme for land enclosure promoted by Arthur Mainwaring (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Records Office, Misc. Doc. I, 94).

    1614-10-28: Property document. Shakspere made a covenant with Mainwaring’s attorney William Replingham (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Records Office, MS. ER 27/3), which “undertook to compensate William Shackespeare or his heirs or assigns ‘for all such losse detriment & hinderance’ with respect to the annual value of his tithes, ‘by reason of anie Inclosure or decaye of Tyllage there ment and intended by the said William Replingham’” (@ Schoenbaum 231).

    1614-11-17 to 1615-9: Diary entries. Thomas Greene made several notes regarding his “Cosen Shakspeare”, in relation to the land enclosure problem. Greene “had lately invested £300 in a moiety of tithe-interests. Shakespeare owned the other moiety. Hence the Town Clerk’s several references to Shakespeare in his memoranda”.

    1615-4-26: Court record. On a Court of Chancery bill of complaint, Shakspere is listed among those who sought to obtain Blackfriars property documents.

    1615-5: Court record. Thomasina Ostler’s court plea has a list of shareholders for the Globe Theater and Blackfriars property which includes Shakspere’s name .

    1616-4-25: Burial record. The burial of “Will Shakspeare gent” is recorded in the Stratford parish register. An epitaph was later inscribed upon the stone slab covering Shakspere’s grave.


    • Something went very wrong. The out of order 1613 paragraph should not be in there.

    • An amazingly pedestrian boring fellow was he not? That this fellow wrote Shakespeare’s plays is total bullshit.

    • You can get a real flavour of the man, the poet, the bard, the adventurer, his love of Italy and Spain in his letters.

      • Oxford wrote letters at all, which is more than you can say for some. He also received them.

        The only question left to answer is this - what happened during the dud Shakespeare’s lost years? How did Oxford or Bacon get their hooks into him? Or was it vice versa? He seemed to know a lot of people’s secrets. All those strange bequeathals left to him by business associates. He was obviously fond of a buck and none too shy in coming forward. If it was Shakespeare who was first approached, it would probably be in the spirit that the Qantas board hired Alan Joyce, that is in the full knowledge that a sense of honesty or morality won’t get in the way. Was Shakespeare the Rebekah Brooks of his day? There is no other conclusion but a resounding yes.

        • Just because letters have not be found does not mean he did not write or receive letters. Dinosaurs once ruled the Earth but there is only a pitiful amount of complete skeletons that have been found, many have been constructed from a smaller number of bones no bigger than the remnant aftermath of a reefer induced craving found in a KFC bucket the morning after.

          I had fun yesterday, today I am in a serious mood.

          • One piece of evidence that rounds him out as a real individual. It’s just about the question mark and at what point the question mark arises. And in this case, it is that absence. Who is another actor-playwright apart from Carrie Fisher? Shakespeare would have been touring or working or cutting deals or sueing people or being sued constantly. Other people we have stories about, we know who they are. Shakespeare’s biography is what it is in terms of known details. It’s an odd situation when there is nothing to link him to the view of him that is put about. And there’s been a lot of it - a lot of scholars and a lot of careers. It matters a lot less who he is than who he is not. Because it’s not the thing in itself, it’s people’s reaction. With so much invested it becomes impossible to see what is right before your eyes. If only one of these conspiracies were to be proven, it would show fundamentally how these things can happen. Society doesn’t hold any truth. Just what it tells each other and calls truth.

            • “Society doesn’t hold any truth” I’ll go along with that.

              Conspiracy is always the easier option.

              I wasn’t kidding about reading Camus at 15 and losing my sunny disposition.

              • I think the sunny disposition is what you are…I don’t think you lose it even when bad things happen to you, you recover quicker than the folk with with a more negative outlook on life, those people whose class is always half-full or empty.

            • The key here is not the modularity theorem itself, but the observation by Fermat, namely, that is was too large to fit into the margin. Coincidentally Sydney Greenstreet was a child idiot savant, and once famous as an actor he sponsored an Indian undergraduate to try and solve the problem. Singh eventually failed and returned to Delhi to teach high school math.

              Too large to fit in the margin, remember this R1

      • Allthumbs, :lol:

        I’ll be buggered if I know why those “Tin Mine letters” were ever excluded from the canon. I would have put them right up there alongside Midsummer Nights Dream and Much Ado.

  14. That would depend upon whether or not the above synopsis is a reflection of the perceived manifestation of offended morality. I took it as a clear illustration of atheist frustration, not unlike those who scoffed at Mandelbrot who discovered fractals all those years ago as nonsense.

    I have been reading heavily for a few days straight attempting to wrap my head around Chomsky, his linguistic theories and just last night crunched my way through a great read concerning Metaphor, duality and the gap between the “Guru’s” work in linguistics and work in social theory.

    The apology stands for posting a stupid youtube video in the wee hours without really posing a specific question. I am hoping to engage with people on the issue, and as you had posted sternly “There is no thought”, which along with positive responses I received to the words that I shared regarding emotional intelligence sparked in me a passion to learn that I had not known for quite some time.

    Something broke, reading Mrs Dalloway, standing at the BP waiting to ask them if they needed a tax invoice.

    I’m not sure I know what a coincidence is.

    I’m not sure if anyone caught the show on SBS about a beautiful reconstruction of a ship of Egyptian design, true to the original “blueprints”. Twas quite something to watch amazingly skilled craftsmen recreate such a thing. As they floated the ship, naming it after the ancient god of fertility and shouting God is great! The next morning, twas half sunk.

  15. I might try this route:

    We possess no manuscripts of Marlowe’s plays.

    We have no letters from him or to him.

    We have no examples of his handwriting except a signature from when he was 21 years old, spelled “Christofer Marley.”

    During his lifetime he was never referred to as a playwright or poet.

    The name “Christopher Marlowe,” or any of the various 5 different spellings of the name, was never associated with any play or poem or literary work during the his lifetime.

    We have no evidence to associate him with any acting troupe or company, or with the theatre in any way.

    My purpose in presenting the Marlowe story?
    If we were to apply the Oxford test to all Elizabethan playwrights there would be no Elizabethan playwrights.
    If we were to apply the Oxford test to Oxford himself then we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all.

    DQ - “I have the wonderful position of needing to prove nothing”.

    Let’s be quite clear about this;
    You are prosecuting the claim (that Shakespeare is De Vere).
    Therefore the burden of proof is with you.
    “Read the fucking sonnets” is not evidence.
    Did you think it was?

    To Polybius, well done on your (polite) argument and valuable references. It is a shame the Oxfordians didn’t se fit to read them.
    Allow me to emphasise your most relevant point, as I see it, with a final thought of my own;
    To those who propose a counter argument regarding Shakespeare’s identity I urge them to make a case; cite evidence and conduct yourselves in the manner of one charged with prosecuting a formal claim.
    If that task is beyond you then simply abandon it.

    Doug Quixote, as politely noted by some here, and less politely by others in the past, your foray into literary history/biography has been a trainwreck.
    Please go away.

    Many posters have put a range of questions to you over the past few months and you replied with evasion, abuse and condescension. You continue to pursue this shameful tactic even now: as evidenced in your exchange with Polybius.

    For my part I can offer you nothing but contempt.
    Not for your belief in the Oxford claim but for the manner by which you prosecute it.

    And so in light of my feelings on your thoughtless foray let me ask the question uppermost in the minds of those reading this thread: how are those “intimate [details] of Italian geography, history, customs and practices” coming along?

    Any day now?

    • Not another one? How many faces are there in your bathroom mirror?

      • Mr Quixote, still boxing at shadows?
        We were all waiting for this.

        Fedallah is not Cole. I know that to be true.
        Fedallah doesn’t possess Cole’s blithe and ambrosial demeanor; he is more of a purist, a pugnacious idealist, who suffers fools lightly.
        You may find that out yourself if you continue with the “read the fucking sonnets” line of evidence.

        We have obviously arrived at a crucial juncture in this debate - marshalled against you are several posters: allthumbs, Fedallah, Polybius, Nick, and myself, who have received no address to our questions.

        Unfortunate as that is, it is not unexpected.

        My views as you read them on Mr Ellis’ article of a few weeks ago, “Better than Shakespeare - Coleridge”, still stand; you are simply reciting the standard Oxfordian apologist line with no sense of either historical context or evidential propriety.
        And that is a shame - the debate suffers from your lack of reading and comprehension, and your unwillingness to engage the questions, the suggested readings, or the perspectives of your interlocutors.

        Just so there is no mistaking the trajectory of that perspective allow me the luxury of highlighting, again, Polybius’ central concern:
        If you care to make a case for Oxford then you must come forward with evidence; structured, researched and referenced.
        The man himself is immaterial (to me at least) in this issue.
        I only seek evidence.
        If you indeed are correct, and that De Vere is in fact the author of the canon then great, we’ll all go for a drink (I’ll buy!)and applaud your scholarly, investigative, and intuitive skills.
        Until that day however you will be regarded, by me and several others I’m sure, as a poseur.

        If you care to see, I mean this genuinely, the problems of the Oxford claim as I see them, look at the key 3 questions set forth on this thread by various posters.
        And if you have the inclination to follow those threads of inquiry look to the reading suggestions of Polybius and Fedallah.
        That will point you in the right direction.

        • If the authorship of posts on this blog is as much to be contended as is that of Shaxper’s work then one gets the impression that some people would argue about almost anything.

          • Hudson, we had reasonable day here yesterday. I thought by myself: this is not going to last. :cry:

            • I know Helvi. But it saddens and offends me when people make arguments that contain expressions of contempt for others.

              I’m torn between not wanting to feed the interpersonal bickering and not wanting to let those remarks stand uncontested.

              • I’m always alarmed when people start using divisive tactics, teaming up with others to be stronger in their attacks: I’m- not- the- only- who- dislikes -you…a bit like kids in the sandpit, Jack too hates you.

    • The argument here is become reminiscent of apologetics for either of two schools of thought that are each in their own way creditworthy. Which is to say that the case for Shaxper and the Oxfordian are each in their own way argued on their quite separate merits but never in relation to one another.

      When the de Vere case argues that he would have better been qualified to have produced the works in question, then those promoting the case for the man of Avon assiduously avoid explaining how he could have been equally capable.

      Whereas when the tables are turned evidence for any other authorship of all but a couple of pieces, (to third parties) consistently names the man Shakespeare. So that to say that another person penned this work as a matter of a conspiracy as opposed to a collaborative effort would seem far-fetched. And here the manner of how it could have come to be is not properly addressed by those who want a separate individual to take precedence.

      Perish the thought that none of these were works of inimitable geniuses but that they were mostly the work of teams of collaborators for whom the works themselves were more important than credit where in the case of the noblemen among them none would obtain.

      As for people having contempt for one another I think it is less to be condemned when one speaks from a perspective of genuine interest in a radical theory that they’re willing to test than from apologetics for an orthodoxy that they want to defend. If the radical risks being discredited in the act of saying something that is new and challenging then he has in common with the authors of the Shakespearian plays a willingness to take the stage and accept the acclaim or rebuke of his peers.

      It would in that light be better that the detractors from the Oxford Heresy admit that it makes some good points about the Italian plays for which the evidence to counter is not supplied by venomous denunciation in the name of academic superiority.

      • Bronte was gentle with you.

        Don’t imagine for a second that I share his forgiving attitude toward either your brutal and unforgivable torture of the English language, or your bias, or your preposterous hypocrisy!!

        Geeez! Where to start with you?
        Where to fucking start???
        Where to fucking finish???

        *No-one here (and I am citing the Stratfordians who have offered opinion – W+S, Polybius, Allthumbs, Nick, Bronte and myself) have said that the Oxford claim doesn’t raise questions as to Shakespeare’s biography/authorship.

        *No-one here has said that Shakespeare composed without the assistance of collaborator’s. Not even the most vocal supporter of the “genius” rubric, W+S, suggested such a thing.

        *No-one here has said that Quixote’s claim is without genuine interest or that his interest has not instigated this valuable debate. I do believe Quixote’s interest has been recognised and applauded on several occasions.

        If you feel I have verbaled you on these points then I ask you to simply cut&paste the relevant timestamps.
        Ok? Clear?
        We good to go?

        Now, let’s get this over and done with:
        My contempt for Quixote - his consistent refusal to engage the question. Or better yet, the consistent refusal to engage the question that HE himself instigates!

        The only thing “radical” about Quixote is his proposition that a claim need no evidence to be recognised, acknowledged and installed as the new orthodoxy.

        As has been said to you before - You may view my contempt for such a position as the expression of “intellectual superiority” – I view it as the exposure and eradication of fallacy, cant, and lies.
        You may also view expressions of that contempt as “saddening” and “offensive”.
        I view Quixote’s condescending dismissals, “blah, blah, blah”, “read the fucking sonnets”, and “spare me your Tiki Tour shit”, and your turgid, inane rationalising and hypocrisy (beautifully illuminated by Reader and L’Inconnu) as not just sad and offensive, but simply hideous and deeply, profoundly, objectionable.
        I view it as the single most disagreeable aspect to this blog.
        It reduces adult argument and discussion to the juvenile blah (of Quixote) and the slow, circular ponderings of the kid, (you), who loves writing but doesn’t understand the meaning of the words.
        The turgid doodlings of a torpid mind.

        And to you? What could it be that fuels my disdain for you ?
        It is the stink of hypocrisy that shrouds you.
        You are a Bystander.
        Nothing more.

        If you don’t want to answer me or W+S or Bronte, then answer allthumbs, Polybius and Nick!!
        For fuck’s sake!!
        Add a testicle to that solitary brain cell!
        Who knows, they may get on, swimmingly!

        To be perfectly frank, it feels quite strange, quite absurd, to be arguing points of common sense comprehension with the likes of lumpen, such as yourself, that insist upon inflicting their ignorance onto others.
        I don’t think I’ll do it again.
        I feel somewhat… dizzy,
        like surfacing from some great depth,
        “[where] the multitudinous coral insects, that out of the firmament of waters heaved the colossal orbs…Man’s insanity is heaven’s sense; and wandering from all mortal reason, man comes at last to that celestial thought, which, to reason, is absurd and frantic; and weal or woe, feels then uncompromised, indifferent as his God.”

        No, I won’t do it again,
        lest the contagion of Ignorance travels through the ether…

        • Leave me out of this, I want nothing to do with you. I believe you to be a human vacuum. Hudson can be annoying but he ain’t evil. You on the other hand just can’t let little things drop and that’s weirder than anything Peter’s come up with. Weird, and more than a little bit evil, if you ask me, in the long run. If you are a group, you need to spend some more time apart. Groups can get caught up in unhelpful states of mind as much as individuals.

          • You’re not “in” this.
            Bronte’s the one who see’s something good in you, not me.
            To me you’re just an example. Nothing more.

            You’ve let yourself become a punching bag.

            You might find me a vacuum,
            but I find your subservience sickening.

            I’d say that cancels us out.

          • hudsongodfrey


            Thanks I think.

            Now I think I know what Doug means by the “United States of Tara”. It seems unfortunate. And worrying.

            There is reason to think this topic may be interesting and even that I may be persuaded by some of your arguments over time. But these personal attacks on one another have to stop.

            As I read through the points this person made they were good ones some of which I’m more or less inclined to agree with. I mean the notion of collaboration was the point that I’d made, was it not?

            • Hudson - following on from your final point, you may be interested in these comments from Matthew Lyons:

              “In any event, I think the cultural pressure to cement Shakespeare as the definitive genius of the English language – no ordinarly mortal and all that – leads to an intensity of focus on the man as reflected in the work that is, in itself, distorting. The truth is that when we marginalise the work of Shakespeare’s peers, which we do when we obsess about Shakespeare, he begins to float free from context, from the historical facts that moor him, and he drifts further into a fantasy world in which information can be assembled in almost any way in order to construct an argument.

              As I said in my previous post, the Shakespeare industry itself has been largely responsible for this phenomenon; Oxfordians and other conspiracy theorists are merely reacting to it. Take Two Noble Kinsmen and Pericles, two plays which we have firm evidence to suggest that they were co-authored, with John Fletcher and George Wilkins respectively. I might be wrong, but is there any contemporary edition of either play which acknowledges their authorial status on the cover? Editors names, yes. Men who co-wrote actual plays, no. Whatever the introductions say, the way the plays are marketed reinforces the idea of Shakespeare as transcendent genius, and delegitimises that of him as a working man of the theatre, an inherently collaborative trade if ever there were one.”

              It’s from his blog which can be found here:

              • That is interesting, Poly. How much content is needed before co-authorship should be acknowledged?

                Consider Mozart’s Requiem, however. It is not listed as Mozart and Sussmayer’s Requiem.

                I consider that the “completion” of certain plays by the likes of Fletcher, Middleton and Wilkins is in a similar state - ie that the younger playwrights completed plays written and left incomplete by a deceased playwright.

                That is of course unacceptable to the Stratfordians, whose patsy was still alive until 1616. Amazingly enough, this still alive playwright made no amendments no alterations and no corrections to any of his plays after 1604. Now why might that be?

                Curiouser and curiouser.

                • Lyons makes a number of interesting points. He is not by any means an ‘Oxfordian’, however he also has some very sharp criticisms of what he describes - very appropriately, I think - as the ‘Shakespeare Industry’.

                • hudsongodfrey

                  Would you not then take the view that there is little sign that Oxford aspired to be named the author even if he was indeed a principal contributor? In that sense at least the “Patsy” did no more or less perhaps than was expected of him.

              • hudsongodfrey

                It is another good point well made. The polymath’s polymath is indeed the sum of his parts then.

                Ironic though to find that the Oxfordian camp are still marginalised as conspiracy theorists involved in a heresy against an author who is conceived to be the principal among collaborators and not the individual genius supposed to have been usurped by one or more of the authorship contenders. If that reflects your view as well then the only question remaining is why would we not then move on to the question of whether de Vere was one such collaborator and maybe even the principal among them for a time?

                Thanks for the link. A most interesting perspective.

              • Good link Ploybius, Lyons assertion that Shakespeare’s knowledge was “wide but shallow” is interesting, I cannot discern if it was one way or the other. For a dramatist the ability to make things up or give them a touch of veracity for the benefit of the play itself seems to me a normal part of the trade. Maybe Ellis and Lawrence did extensive research for “Shakespeare in Italy” so that it is authentic in every detail?

                • Perhaps they did, allthumbs.

                  Yet it seems to me that any dramatic journey into the past must necessarily involve conjecture, supposition, imagination - in short, a lot of ‘making stuff up’.

                  What interests me is Lyons’ point that 75% of the drama of the period has been lost, together with a similar proportion of all other printed works. So there is an enormous amount about the period that we do not know and can never know. Unless more source material from the period turns up.

                  What counts with a play is not really it’s historical veracity; it’s whether it works as a piece of drama.

                  Historiography is an entirely different matter and much more rigorous standards apply.

                  What interests me about Lyons is that he is prepared to apply at least as much scepticism to the ‘Shakespeare Industry’ as he does to the Oxford theory.

                  • If the plays and poems are lost, why is everyone astounded that the letters to and from Shakespeare are missing?

                    Jack Lynch’s book “Becoming Shakespeare” is a very well written book on the beginnings of the “industry”.

                    • A very good question, allthumbs.

                    • Because letters from Shakespeare, or reference to such things, or reference to the likelihood of such things, would have been in disparate places.

                      Jonson and Marlowe are fleshed out. There is nothing to flesh out Shakespeare beyond the works themselves.

                • “wide but shallow” is an interesting summation. It is hard to see how one man could be “wide and deep” at the same time.

                  These days were seem to celebrate the specialist at the expense of the generalist, in many fields. I think perhaps I see a kindred spirit in De Vere, “wide but shallow” rather than “deep but narrow”.

                  • The elevation of the specialist may be a function of the proliferation of knowledge, and as such unavoidable. Yet I think it’s partly responsible, among other things, for the paralysis that seems to have engulphed large parts of the Western world as it struggles to respond to the ongoing economic shit-storm. Economists don’t talk to engineers, for example.

                    Actually, economists don’t seem to talk to anybody but the the bathroom mirror.

        • hudsongodfrey

          I don’t believe I spoken to anyone using your moniker before today. But I strongly suspect we have met before, because you’ve made it clear that you hate me with a passion for reasons that have to go well beyond today’s exchange.


          If you disagree with me then that’s fine. I just don’t see why you have to be so unpleasant!

          Instead of saying that we could agree Shakespeare who was credited with the writing had collaborators you choose a tirade of abuse. We could by now be pondering whether de Vere was likely to have been one of those collaborators, but that offends your desire to stoke your egotistical sense of superiority at my expense.

          Bob has provided the questions. You can’t really expect the Oxfordian’s side to prove the negative that William of Avon was never in Italy, so the onus is on you to either show that he was or how it might be credible that he wrote as he did of a place he’d never seen.

          You’ve verballed me and you’ve done the same to Doug repeatedly.

          I believe you to be using multiple pseudonyms to do so writing in more or less the same style and with similar intent throughout. I may be ignorant and you may well be right about the authorship question, but I am not so ignorant as not to be able to recognise an internet troll when I see one. I’ve seen and seen them off so many times in the past. Carbuncles on the backside of humanity one and all….

          Please don’t come back!

          • You have never spoken to me directly but I have had the misfortune of reading your turgid prose before.

            I abhor Quixote’s intellectual grand-standing.
            I abhor your hypocrisy.

  16. FFS there are thirteen plays set in Italy!

    It’s like pulling teeth Doug, then it should be even easier for you to point me in the right direction, pick two plays and give me an example of detailed knowledge Shakespeare had of customs and practices in Italy.

    • “yff yow bargen with Wm Sha or recover money therefor, brynge youre money homme”.

    • As it stands now any reasonable post will be attacked by the ugliest multi-headed troll ever born. United States of Tara doesn’t begin to cover it.

      • He was going to give you a respectful, reasonable, answer to your question allthumbs.

        But I’ve gone and spoiled the whole thing.


  17. This is not going to end well, can we all just start enjoying the work of Shakespeare, who ever he is, or whoever he isn’t, the enjoyment is in the art, in the writing…the work is more important than the man or the men :wink:

    • …and what’s more, I now think that even Peter is not what we think he is, he most likely has been here all along under a different name.
      Time to give this blog a miss.

      • I agree Helvi.

        Bob Ellis, you need to close this site down and bring in a better protocol for the posters.

        Give proven human beings of good will an access code and deny the Trolls access.

      • Helvi, please do not leave on our account - mine and Fedallah’s, I mean.

        Bronte, Fedallah and I know each other. We are close friends, and sometime vocational associates, who find ourselves here due to the request of another in our group.

        Our intention was simply to explore an intial observation arising from this Shakespearean authorship debate that Mr Ellis had instigated, and construct a suitable hypothesis.
        We have now done that.

        This will be the final post from either of us.

        As for Cole - he is away at the moment and it would be presumptuous of me to speak on his behalf.
        Needless to say the decision as to whether he continues to post will be his. As you know he is a formidable intellect of great temper so it’s anyone’s guess at what he makes of today’s flourish.
        My guess is he will, as is his wont, smile broadly.

        But congratulations to you - you alone had his gender right.

        If the presence of Fedallah and myself on this thread has caused undue consternation then I apologise - our concern was always and only on the Argument.

        Good luck to you all.


    • No, it probably isn’t going to end well. But there is still the possibility of an interesting and illuminating discussion arising out of what has become a tediously circular, and at times rather ugly, wrangle.

      • Never Enough Ellis

        Please don’t be dissuaded from answering Allthumb’s question, Doug. I am enjoying the debate and we should allow for a little bit of bluster in the quest for a rigorous analysis.

        • I answered it in the reply which, because it had two links, was delayed ‘awaiting moderation’. The answer would take a book, and it has : Richard Paul Roe’s book, in fact.

          • Doug, I am not attacking you. All I asked was some indication from the play texts of these examples of detailed knowledge of Italy. I am genuinely interested. It is ok if you cannot point to them, and therefore said you were not aware of any specific line or speech within the Merchant of Venice for instance that showed an intimate knowledge of Italy only gained by WS by having visited Italy, but you can find out by reading Roe’s book. If you don’t know that’s fine. I will now see if I can get hold of Roe’s book. Simple. In future instead of asserting the detailed knowledge argument, you can preface it with “according to Roe” for instance, simple.

            • No problems, but I don’t see why I should. It is a matter of detailed research, for which I charge $400 per hour.

              Send me a cheque.

              • You know Doug….naah,doesn’t matter.

                • Can’t you take a joke?

                  How long have we corresponded, allthumbs? It has always been cordial even when we disagree.

                  But sometimes I’m just not in the mood, and sometimes I can be ill, and sometimes so damn busy there isn’t time for arguing with friends, like you, for example, much less for arguing with trolls and assorted educated (or uneducated) idiots.

  18. And finally, I can’t resist throwing this into the mix, again from Matthew Lyons’ Blog:

    “In his book, Shakespeare’s Lives, which I can’t recommend highly enough, one of the great 20th Shakespearean scholars, Samuel Schoenbaum, relates an observation of Desmond McCarthy’s about Shakespearean biography which illuminates this process. Trying to discern Shakespeare’s personality, McCarthy said, is like looking at a portrait set behind darkened glass in a gallery. At first the portrait seems flat and lifeless. But the more intently you regard it, the more the sitter’s features seem to come to life: eyes at first dull now spark and gleam; the solid brushstrokes around the jaw soften, melt to flesh; the mouth parts, as if exhaling a long-held breath. Only then do you realize that it is, in fact, your own face you are admiring, reflected in the glass.”

  19. After breezing over this historically thin controversy in the Bob Ellis pages I have found out some things of interest thanks to the supporters of Oxford. I now know that he was the son of Elizabeth I and authored the King James Authorised Version of the Bible.

    I also loved this piece: “Two professors of linguistics have claimed that de Vere wrote not only the works of Shakespeare, but most of what is memorable in English literature during his lifetime, with such names as Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe, Philip Sidney, John Lyly, George Peele, George Gascoigne, Raphael Holinshed, Robert Greene, Thomas Phaer, and Arthur Golding being among dozens of further pseudonyms of de Vere”.
    Such a shame that none of the contemporaries wrote about this in his lifetime.

    • Umm! :roll: I was guilty of making a little joke about the King James Bible. But I did not say the authorised version because frankly it makes no sense even in a joke to refer to it by a name that only came into use much later.

      • In that case it would have been the bootleg version HG.

      • Can YOU explain to me what Reader1 and all thumbs are on about?
        Can anyone?

        • Incas used to create pots in the shape of peanuts that were highly prized. Some octopuses have been known to eat their arms off when they are exposed to stressful situations.

          • “Well, metaphors are metaphors. If they’re a stimulus to the imagination, fine. Let your imagination be stimulated. But one should not confuse metaphors and imaginative leaps with understanding; they may be a help to understanding, but then we await the understanding to make judgments. As far as these metaphors are concerned, I think there’s also plenty of reason for caution. For example, in the 18th century there was important discussion of humans as machines. Right now, there’s very lively use of contemporary biological metaphors — which are not survival of the fittest, but that wasn’t really Darwin anyway, that was a kind of alterization of it. And I think there’s essentially nothing to say. Use whatever metaphor happens to help you to think, but don’t confuse the metaphor with a conclusion”

          • You are one great dancer. Incas eh? I’m gonna check that in the morning.

            • I’ve read a study that suggests morality is innate.

              But I suppose this is all in good fun, to belittle a being by talking over the top of them and pretending like they are not there at all.

              How enriching an experience.

              “Keep away, Keep away”.

      • Hey, I wasn’t quoting you HG and whilst I wouldn’t even dream of using Wikipedia for anything recent, political etc (too many partisans corrupting that as a source) these historical and technical questions are worthwhile for its use. A brief run down on the topic in Wiki (‘Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship’) showed all those funny claims for de Vere. Apparently it was an author (Streitz, Paul (2001). Oxford: Son of Queen Elizabeth I. Darien, CT: Oxford Institute Press. pp. 185-9) who gave Oxford that additional honour of being the author of the “Authorised Version” as it was described in the article.

        • I’m going to take you completely seriously and out of any kind of context now so that I can get completely offended. Obviously you would quote Wikipedia before you deigned to take notice of anything I’d written!

          Frankly I think de Vere collaborated with the Israelites, but then Henry VIII had a genealogy chart drawn up showing that he was a direct descendant of god, so what would I know.

          • Go out to offend? Never! In my own way I was trying to reassure you that crackpot theories were not being accused of you. Well, not this time anyway. We can all suffer from that tag depending on whose opinion it is

  20. You had the choice R1,I didn’t, and they didn’t have a warning on the cover and the teacher didn’t warn us that it could have a deleterious or indeed liberating effect on your future comprehension of yourself. She also didn’t advise us to leave our sunny dispositions in the locker during class. It wasn’t a revelatory experience, it was an intuitve meeting of minds, if Camus was alive at the time he would have sent me a black polo neck jumper for my birthday. Meursalt was Hamlet without the adolescent pretensions. When I read the book it was called “The Outsider”, whereas I thought he was an insider, Meursault knew where the shoe fit, all the other jerks in the book were outsiders.

    I found Myth of Sisyphus much later. I am the equivalent of a philosophical cork, I float about never managing to land on the beach. I do not have the benefit of the rigours of a tertiary education, I stalled in my teens and have been pushing this vehicle to the next petrol station and never finding one ever since.

    Soil leaves me in the dirt.

    • I will read the book at once.

      Who is Bogart?
      You are. Me?
      Yes. I thought I was Reason What.
      Who? Reason?
      Reason What.
      Reason nothing Bogart, You’re coming with me.

      • I thought you were Lazlo, check with R1, since the Buber thing fell apart, R1 is a solo artiste, presumption is my word of the day today.

        • No, no, I’ve been to Marengo. I nearly belted a chef posing as a bathroom attendant who said to me and my lady friend looking for a shower at Blanket bay, “People like you”. Well people like me like to camp in national parks with the other leeches don’t we? We like to shower at reasonable hours, that appear to be 30 minutes before your office opens. Don’t want some coin for the use of your utilities? Bugger you then sunshine. Follow me to my car for my number plate I have an oily rag just for the occasion & eat my dust. Not to be mistaken with the caravan park on the edge of Marengo, run by a lovely young couple who were more than accommodating. Those two obviously had a story about them beyond “These stupid humans in paradise trying to steal MY hot water”.

  21. R1, is it on purpose you use the thin columns so one cannot reply directly to you, (Fermat). Good point, about the letters being in disparate places.

  22. Very hesitant to get involved in this and rather back Helvi and wonder why people don’t just enjoy all of what we know (and always WILL know) as “Shakespeare”.

    However, one question won’t leave me: Why, with all the passion about this de Vere guy, wasn’t more mentioned in the early days, amongst contemporaries; why weren’t honest-to-goodness “de Vere” works preserved if they were so valuable and recognised? When I fortuitously happened upon my copy of a Peter Jones edition of critical essays on the sonnets from a Casebook series by Macmillan(I didn’t consciously go and buy it for Jones, it was just ‘there’ at the Spitalfields Markets in 2000 or 2004). Even so, it highlights the “contemporaries” point. Amongst other common talking and writing points of the time about the sonnets, when certain of the sonnets were re-published in 1612 along with the work of others (including Thomas Heywood) all got the Shakespeare authorship tag and Heywood complained. However, Heywood also stated that Shakespeare himself was “much offended” by it also, and that the publisher Jaggard subsequently printed a cancel title page removing Shakespeare’s name.

    Why with all this open correspondence about the sonnets and authorship of various published works (including where the authorship of Shakespeare was questioned as being mis-directed) wasn’t de Vere brought up then? De Vere was obviously credited as patron of many works over the years by authors’ dedications, so why the hesitancy to put his name forward at the time?

  23. A couple of advantages Marlowe and Jonson have over Shakespeare. Marlowe was a Catholic spy, who got stabbed in the eye during a conspiratorial meeting in Deptford. He had also been arrested for murder sometime before that. Jonson was nearly hanged at Tyburn after being charged for sedition and known for a hot temper and killed a man in a duel and had a neat “t” branded on his thumb, a sort of three strikes and your out (by gallows). I think the invented story of Shakespeare killing a deer on someone else’s land and that was his reason for leaving Stratford, was probably invented by himself, to match drinking and salty stories swapped with Marlowe and Jonson while quaffing ale, although it was PLM.

  24. Untitled, 1966

    Great discussion.

    Well, sort of.

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