Kositsky and Stritmatter Tempest Book Published

Posted By on August 18, 2013

My primary project over the last seven years has been a book on the sources, chronology, and design of The Tempest, co-written with award winning historical novelist and scholar Lynne Kositsky. The book has now been published by McFarland and is available via Amazon.  Details available on ShakespearesTempest.com.

Links to the first Amazon reviews, and purchase options, are in the most recent post, “Couldn’t Put it Down” – a quote from one of the first round of reviewers.

About the author

Roger Stritmatter is a native liberal humorist who lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Contrary to rumor, he does not live on North Avenue. He does, however, work on North Avenue. A pacifist by inclination, one of his heroes is John Brown. But he thinks that Fredrick Douglass, another of his heroes, made the right decision. Stritmatter's primary areas of interest include the nature of paradigm shifts, the history of ideas, forensic literary studies, MS studies, renaissance literature, and the history of the Shakespearean question, the latter a field in which he has published extensively.


19 Responses to “Kositsky and Stritmatter Tempest Book Published”

  1. knitwitted says:

    Hi Doc,

    Perhaps your readers might also be interested in a 1568 map found in the Bishop’s Bible which imho nicely displays Tempest’s island.

    Also, I’ve begun a new series on dating Tempest and will add new parts as soon as proofed.

    Thanks as always for your kind support!


    • Yes, very nice. This is consistent with the very dense pattern of shrovetide imagery that Ms. Kositsky and I discovered in the play.

      • knitwitted says:

        Thank you! I think the two of you found some very nice parallels to Lent… my fav is ‘a laughter’.

        BTW, you may wish to also consider the Lupercalia as celebrated on Feb 13-15. To me, this explains Caliban and his friends’ (i.e. the heathen) behavior throughout the play. I would think the courtship of Mir and Ferd could occur on Valentine’s day. And perhaps Pros had his own ‘day’ on Feb 15 via similar name w/ Faustin. Just an idea… 😉

        • Well, I am sure Lupercalia is implicated, no doubt, especially since Lupercalia is simply the Roman Festival of Shrovetide and the author must surely have known this. However, he didn’t need to look to the “heathens” to find behavior that could inspire the satire of the revellers; as we show in the book, pretty effectively I think, they are as much modelled on the Shrovetide antics of the London apprentices as anything else. When they rioted not just the brothels but also the theatres faced iconoclastic fury of the sort that Caliban’s merry troop make a mockery of. I especially like when they are caught up in examining the theatrical costumes of Lords and Ladies and monarchs while on the verge of their successful revolution. Only Caliban realizes their foolish distraction.

          • knitwitted says:

            Hi Doc,

            Your “I especially like when they are caught up in examining the theatrical costumes of Lords and Ladies and monarchs while on the verge of their successful revolution. Only Caliban realizes their foolish distraction.”


            This is my FAVORITE scene!!

            Trinculo. O King Stephano! O peer! O worthy / Stephano! look what a wardrobe here is for thee!
            Caliban. Let it alone, thou fool; it is but trash.

            What do you think about it being a parallel to Matt 6:19: ‘Laie not vp for your selues treasure vpon yearthe, where the rust and the mothe doeth corrupte, and where theues breke throughe and stele.’
            i.e. Lay up your ‘treasure’ in heaven and leave your ‘trash’ on earth for thieves to steal.

            Consider also:
            Trinculo. Monster, come, put some lime upon your / fingers, and away with the rest.

            Compare with Matt 6:20: ‘ But lay vp for you treasures in heaven, where neither rust nor mothe doeth corrupt, and where theues do not breake throughe, nor stele.’
            i.e. Trinculo would have no need for lime to catch moths if he were placing his treasures in heaven.

            Stephano. Monster, lay-to your fingers. Help to bear this / away where my hogshead of wine is, or I’ll turn you / out of my kingdom. Go to, carry this.
            Trinculo. And this.
            Stephano. Ay, and this.

            i.e. Stephano and Trinculo make Caliban lay up THEIR treasures on EARTH, a reversal of Matt 6:20: ‘Lay up for you[rselves] treasures in heaven’.

            Again, Matt 6:19, 20 were read as part of the BCP Communion Service on the First Day of Lent.

          • knitwitted says:

            BTW, Wasn’t Cal instructed by Pros or Mir about Christianity? That would work that he would know ‘trash’ vs. ‘treasure’.

          • knitwitted says:


            Were you suggesting the play starts Shrove Sun and ends before Ash Wed? Or does it end at noon on Ash Wed? I was thinking it comes in at the ‘tail end’ of Shrove Tue and ends Fri at noon. (I’m sure you get the ‘tail end’ jokes in the play!) I had mapped my Thur to the Passover feast and my Fri to the Cruxificion based on Pros being ‘in some passion’.

            Also, consider Pros gives Ferd ‘a third of mine own life’… Certainly, he’s referring to Mir, who at age 15, would make Pros age 45. And having been on the island 12 yrs. tells us Pros was age 33 when he was banished, the same age Christ was in his passion.

            New question: Do you think a ‘New Moon’ is relevant to the play? Consider Ariel’s ‘on the sixth hour’ [noon] vs. the fact that a new moon occurs at (or after) noon. The BCP shows the date of the new moon for each month.

  2. knitwitted says:

    Howdy Doc,

    Quick FYI… I was able to ascertain via the Book of Common Prayer that Tempest in fact does not reflect Hallowmas but rather follows the First Day of Lent. HTH

    Just curious if you have any interest in ideas which go beyond your book such as Valentine’s day and St. Faustin’s day.

    Best wishes,

  3. knitwitted says:

    The Collect from the BCP for All Saints Day:

    ‘Almighty God, which hast knit together thy elect in one communion and felowship, in the misticall body of thy son Christ our Lord: graunt vs grace so to folowe thy holy sainctes, in all vertues and Godly liuing, that we may come to those inspeakeable ioyes whiche thou haste prepared for them that unfainedly loue the, through Jesus Christ oure Lorde. Amen.’

    Said Collect neither represents Tempest, nor do its related scriptures from Apocolypse 7:2-12 (the sealing of 144,000 of all the tribes of the children of Israel) and Matthew 5:1-12 (a recitation of the Beatitudes, ‘Blessed are…’).

    However, the Collect for the First Day of Lent does nicely match Tempest:

    ‘Almightie and euerlastyng God, whiche hatest nothyng that thou haste made, and doest forgyue the synnes of all them that be PENITENT: create and make in vs newe and contrite hartes, that we worthely lamentyng our synnes: and knowledgyng our wretchednesse, maie obtain of thee, the God of all mercye, perfect remissyon, and forgiuenesse, through Jesus Christ.’

    Recall Prospero’s ‘They being PENITENT, / The sole drift of my purpose’ (V.i.28-9).

    I’ve also found parallels in Tempest to the BCP Communion Service on the First Day of Lent (Joel 2:15-17 and Matt 6:19, 20).

    Also, Joel 1.9, 13 (meat and drink offerings are taken away = Gods wrath) provide an interesting parallel w/ Ariel’s vanishing banquet.

    Please see my essay https://noodlework.wordpress.com/2016/04/09/a-new-source-a-new-date-for-the-tempest-part1/ for details.


  4. knitwitted says:

    Hi Doc,

    I’d just like to pass along my newest research on The Tempest and its parallels to Leviticus 25 (the year of the Jubilee)…


    IMHO, this nicely explains several passages in Tempest which seem to make no sense. ex. Why does Prospero promise ‘to bate’ Ariel for a ‘full year’? Why not release Ariel for an eternity? Now we know per Lev 25 that servants were given their liberty in the year of the Jubilee.

    As you know, Lev 25 was never heard in church, as the Book of Common Prayer and the Bishops’ Bible show that only Lev 18 through 21were part of the official church readings.

    My essay also shows how part of Gonzalo’s ‘commonwealth’ speech is derived not from Montaigne’s 1580 essay ‘Des Cannibales’ (or Florio’s 1603 translation of such) as previously noted by scholars, but from Nehemiah 5 which ties into Lev 25.

    I’d also like to again note that Nehemiah’s map of the Temple of Jerusalem as found in the Bishops’ Bible (f.p. 1568) nicely reflects the Tempest’s island. Clearly, the island contains a ‘fish porte’, an ‘olde fishpoole’, a ‘dung porte’, a ‘fountaine’, a ‘valley gate’ (for the heathen Cal, Steph, Trin), and a ‘shepegate’ (Caliban wears ‘gaberdine’; hence there must be sheep on the island). These 6 porches (gates) are referenced in Neh 3.


    As for scholars’ previous notation that Miranda’s ‘new world’ refers to the Bermudas, I’d like to note that Arthur Golding’s 1583 translation of Calvin’s 1555 sermon on Deuteronomy 15 offers another ‘new world’ which relates to the year of the Jubilee. IMHO Shakespeare is referring to a biblical new world and not a geographical one.

    I hope my research proves to be an interesting and worthwhile piece of the Tempest puzzle.

    Thanks as always for your kind support and best wishes with your research!


  5. knitwitted says:

    Hi Doc,

    Three questions please:

    (1) Have you seen Gascoyne’s *A delicate diet, for daintiemouthde droonkardes* (1576):

    ‘I thought it shoulde not be vnprofitable, nor any way vnpleasaunt (vnlesse it be to such as can not abyde to heare of vertue, for feare least they might be ashamed of theyr vyce) to adde some Aucthoryties and examples for the more speedy extyrpation of this monstrous plant, lately crepte into the pleasaunt Orchyardes of Englande.

    ‘And surely it is time (yea more then tyme) that we shoulde foresée, and learne to auoyde, those Bermaydes of myschiefe, which pype so pleasantly in euery Potte, that men be thereby allured to sayle into the Ilandes of all euyll. And there (being iustly depryued of Gods grace,) are transfourmed into most ougly shapes of brute Beastes.

    ‘And least I séeme ouer sodainly to leape into my matter, and ouer rashly to rayle before good proofe of reproofe, let mée set downe this for my generall proposition, That all Droonkardes are Beastes…’

    ===Do you think this early reference to Bermudas (Bermaydes) as a drink is relevant to The Tempest (‘to fetch dew / From the still-vex’d Bermoothes’)? i.e. Why are scholars so intent on saying Tempest was written about the geographical islands?

    (2) Could the actual island for Tempest be the Fortunate Isles (i.e. Canary Islands)?
    (a) Fortunate = Prosperous
    (b) Canary = There are dogs on Tempest island.
    (c) Caliban’s ‘a south-west blow on ye / And blister you all o’er!’ could refer to the winds coming off the Sahara Desert.
    (d) Ariel’s song ‘Come unto these yellow sands’ could refer to sulphur from a volcano.

    (3) I can’t recall, but do you consider your and Lynne’s book on Tempest to be the end-all to research on The Tempest? Or is it just a piece of puzzle?


  6. knitwitted says:

    Quick update: Someone was nice enough to read my entire essay on dating Tempest and was even nicer to question the significance of year 1583 with a ‘Susanna’s birth???’ As such, I’ve found several intertwining biblical refs (via the liturgical calendars in both the BCP and the Bishops’) in Tempest to her baptismal date which, unfortunately, is a deal killer for me re the SAQ. Unless, of course, someone can find biblical refs related to de Vere in Tempest which I would be thrilled to review as I could never find any. Previously, I had found 3 biblical refs to Bacon’s birthday, but why would he reference Shakespeare’s daughter’s baptism so have dismissed those.

    Anyhoo, I suspect my 1583 date for Tempest puts me in no-man’s-land (where I love to be!) since the Strats refuse to believe Stratguy could have written anything as a teenager despite their undying claim that Stratguy was a genius. Looks like he could have written TGOV when he was 14 or 15 years old, it being such a simple play. Also, I was told Titus needs to be written before Tempest. And, I have no understanding why Shakespeare would wait until 1610-1611 to reference events from 1583 which include not only his daughter’s baptism but also QEI’s 50th birthday. Of course, the play could have been revised over the years. As we all know, who knows.

    If you ever decide a bible person like Shakespeare could have used the liturgical calendar from the BCP to date his plays (don’t several plays give a timeline?), do let me know. AFAIK Steve Sohmer (Oxford U scholar) is the only other person who is trying to date the plays via the BCP. Unfortunately, he is also using a computer program to calculate dates of the moon, etc. which doesn’t work for me. He needs to find those contemporary refs to such dates that were actually available back then.


  7. knitwitted says:

    Wait, wait, wait!! This is too kewl! Eva Turner Clark *Hidden Allusions in Shakespeare’s Plays* (1931) re Tempest (p. 413):

    ‘The question of marriage [QE to Alencon] first came up in October, 1571… Twelve years after the first suggestion of this marriage, that is, on September 10th, 1583, “a cold, almost severe letter was written by the Queen to Alencon, which really sounds the death-knell of the marriage. …”‘

    Please recall the biblical Jubilee is on the ’10th day of the 7th month’ (Sept 10th) which in 1583 also happened to be the fiftieth anniversary of QE’s baptism.

    Wasn’t Ms. Clark an Oxfordian?

    So, gosh darn, could it be possible de Vere included those pesky bible refs to his front man’s first-born kid so smart-butts like me would find them and say “Hey, Stratguy wrote Tempest in 1583 when he was a 19-y/o kid but nobody believes that could have happened so I guess Stratguy really didn’t write Tempest.”

    If that’s true, then why do bible refs to Bacon’s birthdate show up in Tempest, but none for de Vere or even Marlowe? oopsie!! 😛

  8. knitwitted says:

    One of the BEST arguments I’ve heard is Jonson’s (from the FF):

    ‘I should commit thee surely with thy peeres,
    And tell, how farre thou dist our Lily out-shine,
    Or sporting Kid or Marlowes mighty line.’

    So why is Shakespeare being compared to his ‘peeres’ who wrote their works in the 1580s and 1590s IF he wrote his works 1590s to 1611?

    WHY can’t Stratguy be that genius and start writing when he was a teenager? And isn’t it a bit silly to think Stratguy couldn’t have written Tempest in 1583 because he had a child?

    Ya know, it really didn’t take THAT long for him to make a kid. And why on earth would he have to sit around and do nothing while waiting for his child to be born? And then, was he Susanna’s main care-giver?

    Thanks as always for your interest!!
    Have a nice day! 🙂

  9. knitwitted says:

    A perfect example of a properly substantiated criticism of my bible research on Tempest:

    “Egotistical denialists come in all shapes and sizes, and some have polka dots and some have stripes. The invention of a 1583 ‘Tempest’ doesn’t just deny the facts as to the historical William Shakespeare. It also denies the factual history of early modern theater in England.

    “Knitwitless’ ridiculous effort to re-date ‘Tempest’ is just one more example of the desperate need of the denialist to re-imagine Shakespeare and the historical record in an attempt at self-aggrandizement. Each of these poor blighters believes that they have been appointed to receive wisdom from the heavens to divulge some secret truth. It is sad, really. If anyone is interested in viewing some mattoid nonsense, a product of the typical Shakespeare denialist, do visit the pages written by Knotwit and read her vapid ramblings. For me, I only wish I hadn’t wasted any of my on her denialist fantasies. It is comforting to know that they will remain in the trash heap from which they commenced.

    “EDIT: I have little doubt that Knotwit will respond to this, but I am done with it and will go back to ignoring her and her nonsensical notions.”


    Kudos to Mark Johnson for not knowing Susanna Shakespeare was William Shakespeare’s daughter!!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • Categories

  • Archives

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).