Shake-speare’s Bible is devoted to telling the story of a unique and startling literary object — the 1568-70 Geneva Bible owned and annotated by the man many independent scholars believe was the heart and soul behind the mask of the name “Shake-speare” — the true author of Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Merchant of Venice, and the other plays of the 1623 “first Folio.” This document, purchased in 1925 by the late Henry Clay Folger, who was deeply curious about the Shakespearean question, is today owned by the library which bears Folger’s name: the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC.
The Bible was the subject of my 2001 University of Massachusetts PhD dissertation. At that time, agents and publishers told me that it was impossible to make a book out of the project.
They were wrong.
This website will provide a repository for developing the book that couldn’t be written.
Here, as the site develops, you will find photos, analysis, and commentary on the de Vere Bible, its place in intellectual history, and the larger controversy in which it is implicated — of which my book can only hope to form a single a chapter. For more details, please visit the Authorship FAQ and or the Bible FAQ.
More generally, the site will delve into cutting edge research in the humanities as sciences, from the perspective of what makes a genuine paradigm shift. For example, as of February, 2012, I’ve been following very closely online news and discussions about LENR and Andrea Rossi, and will continue commenting from time to time on that discussion, and more generally on the politics, science, and epistemology of energy technology.
Who am I?
My name is Roger Stritmatter. As of 2015, I am a full Professor of Humanities at Coppin State University, a founding member and officer of The Shakespeare Fellowship, and the General Editor of Brief Chronicles: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Authorship Studies. My first book, Shakespeare’s Tempest: A Movable Feast, co-written with critically acclaimed young adult fiction writer Lynne Kositsky, will be published this year by McFarland Press. A second book on Herman Melville may temporarily preempt the Shakespeare’s Bible project — but that book will eventually, I promise, be written and published.
Welcome. I hope you check back often — and subscribe to my RSS. Just click on the RSS man!
The work that made this web site possible has been generously supported in the past by a number of individuals and organizations, among them: William Hunt, Barbara Crowley, Carole Sue Lipman, Richard and Tiana Eustis, Isabel Holden, Virginia Renner, James Hardigg, Charles Tower, Leslie Beran Tower, William Moffett, and Elisabeth Sears. The Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts — especially Marc Shell, William Moebius, David Lenson, Elizabeth Petroff, James Freeman (English), and Edwin Gentzler — gave me a place to stand while completing the dissertation.
I benefited immeasurably from the knowledge and generosity of spirit of colleagues in the English Department, among them Arthur Kinney, Charlotte Spivack, Malcolm Smuts (UMass Boston), Donald Cheney, and William Kerrigan.
University of Massachusetts Writing program staff and faculty — including Peter Elbow, Pat Zukowski, and Charlie Moran — gave me a job and taught me the craft of teaching writing.
Dr. Daniel Wright, director of the Shakespeare Authorship Studies Centre at Portland’s Concordia University, graciously served as an external reviewer for my dissertation and has provided many much-appreciated opportunities to present work-in-progress over the years.
The Folger Library was kind enough to extend the opportunity to me to become a reader and made available many slides as well as microfilm of the entire bible, on which the dissertation was based.
Editors at Oxford University Press’s Notes and Queries — one of the oldest and most prestigious journals of literary history in the world — were thoughtful enough to accept for publication a series of brief “out-takes” from the dissertation, which are now available reproduced, here. This work has been carried forward significantly by Richard Waugaman, whose 2009 article on the influence of the Sternhold and Hopkins psalms in Shakespeare, written by using the de Vere Bible as the “answer key,” is rated the 4th most visited article in the Notes and Queries data base.
Since the dissertation defense in 2001, many others have stepped forward with aid of one kind or another, of whom I must mention especially Lynne and Michael Kositsky, Richard Waugaman, Dorna Bewley, and Shelly Maycock.
To these and countless others who provided moral, intellectual, and financial support, gratiam tibi.
Since 2003 I have been blessed to work for Coppin State University.