Posted By Roger Stritmatter on August 22, 2013
I’ll report the news, and you decide. Internet Stratfordians such as Tom Reedy or Michael Leadbetter are fond of perpetuating the illusion that there is some impermeable barrier between the terms “scholar” and “Oxfordian” (or “anti-Stratfordian”). In the blinkered world of these true believers, real scholars publish in peer reviewed journals and anti-Stratfordians play pretend scholarship.
A review of the June 2013 Notes and Queries “most read list” reveals the absurdity of this fragile belief.
Notes and Queries is the prestigious Oxford University Press literary journal founded in 1849. Of the fifty items on the June “most read” list, no less than three of them are written by non-Stratfordian scholars.
Number five on the list is John Rollett’s “Shakespeare’s Sonnet 125: Who Bore the Canopy?” The popularity of Rollett’s note testifies to the continued interest in the special problems posed Sonnet 125’s reference to the author’s experience – whether actual or imagined remains in some doubt – of “carrying the canopy” over the monarch.
Although Rollett’s stance in the article is anti-Oxfordian, and leaves much to be desired, it is nevertheless true that Rollett is not a Stratfordian — and perhaps just as importantly, the note testifies to the enduring inability of the Stratfordian paradigm to explain anomolies such as: “How in the heck could a bourgeois like Mr. Shakspere have ‘carried the canopy’ — or even imagined doing so?”
And this month Rollett’s note is one of the most read in Notes and Queries.
The second article on the list by an anti-Stratfordian is my own “Revelations 14:13 and Hamlet I.v.91–108: ‘Write, Blessed are the Dead!’” Published in the June issue, the note is the seventh in a series I have published in Notes and Queries since 1999, all of them based on the evidence contained in the Folger library’s hand-annotated de Vere Geneva Bible. It concludes:
In Hamlet’s case, as it would appear by his own testimony, the posthumous disposition of his ‘works’ remains in doubt in consequence of the double indemnity conferred by his ‘wounded name’ and their ‘unknown’ character.
Finally, despite being published in 2009, Richard Waugaman’s “The Sternhold and Hopkins Whole Book of the Psalms is a Major Source for the Works of Shakespeare” remains on the list in position 50. Waugaman is among the most prolific Oxfordian scholars on the contemporary scene, having published at least thirty articles on the topic over the last half dozen years, many in mainstream peer reviewed academic journals like Notes and Queries or the Renaissance Society of America’s Renaissance Quarterly.
Waugaman’s first person account of the close relationship between the findings of his singular Notes and Queries article and his careful study of the de Vere Bible annotations can be found on google docs. Concludes Waugaman:
Dozens of times, passages in Shakespeare echo the wording from those Psalms that de Vere marked. In many cases, knowing he was alluding to specific Psalms is crucial for a fuller understanding of his text.
All but the most recent articles are also available at Waugaman’s highly recommended OxFreudian website.
For many months after its original publication this article, also rooted in the empirical evidence of the de Vere Geneva Bible, held first position on the list of Notes and Queries “most read” articles. It would seem that from Notes and Queries own data, Waugaman’s article is probably the most read of any published in the journal over the last several years.
Quite something for a scholar whom the Leadbetter crew tries to humiliate by calling a fraud.