Posted By on November 29, 2009

Welcome to Shake-Speare’s
Our topic is Shake-speare’s Bible. The one he owned.
Really. No joke.
To learn what that means, please visit the “about” page.

Every once in a while, we diverge to consider other topics in intellectual history — lately, the intense and exciting developments in online news and debate over the resurgence of “Cold Fusion” energy production, hailed by Gerald Celente and many others as a new industrial revolution “in statu nascendi.”

Treasures from My Files

Posted By on March 19, 2015

CharlotteArmstrongSome years ago I read, in one of the earliest issues of the Shakespeare Oxford Society Newsletter, a curious article reporting on a purported cryptographic “solution” to Ben Jonson’s well known first folio epigram, written to accompany the 1623 First Folio Droeshout engraving of “Shakespeare.” Over the years I remembered being impressed by the article, which I probably first read around 2003, but was never able to relocate it until today when I finally got serious about the search.

I must say those old SOS newsletters are pack full of the most incredible gems — and this, I think, is one of them.

There is no better way to tell this story than through what traditional scholars call “documentary” evidence. So here is your document: (more…)

Up For Appeal – First Quiz!

Posted By on October 12, 2014

Chris Pannell, Ann Zakelj and Justin Borrow at the Stratford "Debate." Photo kindness the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship and Linda Theil.

Lester Grinspoon, speaking on another topic, says that “you can’t sustain a lie forever.” As I reflect on the recent Stratford, Ontario, Moot Court infotainment extravaganza on the authorship question I wonder if this is really true. I mean, it sounds nice to idealists. Actually, lies can go on and on and on, just as long as there is no one able to point out that they are lies.  To be sure, the Stratford Moot, despite the good intentions of Mr. Pratte, who carried out a difficult job with great dignity and presence in serving as pro bono counsel to the earl, and Professor Don Rubin (among others), who briefed and worked with Pratte to prepare for the event, the whole thing turned into a bit of Stratfordian tomfoolery replete with the Stratford Festival’s artistic director Antoni Cimolino playing a rather prim and huffy Mr. Shakspere easily spooked by his own shadow — the entire argument, as it were, in propria persona.

But the most disappointing part of the event has to have been the generally uninspired chara (more…)

de Facto Names

Posted By on April 23, 2014

Per Handbook for Fictitious Names, Olphar Hamst [Ralph Thomas], London: John Russell Smith, 1868; subtitled “Being a guide to authors, chiefly in the lighter literature of the XIXth century, who have written under assumed names; and to literary forgers, imposters, plagiarists, and imitators”: I wish to add new information here, and removed all the bad mistakes from the draft.

p. 41 – de Boscosel de Chastelard (Pierre)  (1540–1562), aristonym [W. H. Ireland]

p. 41 – de Comyne (Alexander) aristo. [Charles Thomas Browne, of Trinity College, Dublin]

p. 42 – de Mirecourt (Eugene), aristonym [Charles-Jean-Baptiste Jacquot, de Mirecourt, Vosges, France]

p. 42 – de Pembroke (Morgan) aristonym [Morgan Evans]

So might it stand to reason:

de Vere (Edward) aristonym [William Shakespeare]

Compare King Henry V, Act II, scene I, Nym: “I shall have my noble?”

Compare King Henry V, Act III, scene II, Boy: “Nym and Bardolph are sworn brothers in filching…”

The Conversation

Posted By on October 11, 2014

This is a piece of participatory poetry. Click on the image to enlarge and read. You don’t really need to know what’s going on; for the most part, the discussants here know better than to inadvertently let on anything they might know anyway. Mum’s the word with them.  I just found it a beguiling exchange, a new kind of poetry.


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In "From Crackpot to Mainstream"Keir Cutler, PhD, takes down the recent Shakespeare Beyond Doubt (OUP, 2013)

Criticism of Cutler's "Is Shakespeare Dead?": "A magnificently witty performance!" (Winnipeg Sun). "Highly entertaining and engrossing!" (EYE Weekly). "Is Shakespeare Dead? marshals startling facts into an elegant and often tenacious argument that floats on a current of delicious irony" (Montreal Gazette).