Here you will find pages linked some of my publications relevant to the topics explored on this blog.  For a more complete and current listing, please see my CV.

Shakespeare and the Bible

Review Essays

Venus and Adonis

Midsummer Night’s Dream

General Shakespeare Authorship

The Tempest (with Lynne Kositksy)

Troilus and Cressida

Richard II, Part I (Thomas of Woodstock)

12 Responses to “Publications”

  1. knitwitted says:

    Howdy, Doc!

    Been studying your V&A Law Case… Question please… Are you suggesting ‘a thousand honey secrets’ and ‘a thousand kisses buys my heart’ represent the same 1000? i.e. Do both represent an ‘annuity’ or ‘wardship’ or both?

    Excellent re your Catullus find!!

    From *Carmen V*:
    “Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love,
    and let us judge all the rumors of the old men
    to be worth just one penny!

    Give me a thousand kisses, then another hundred,

    I note Ernest A. Fredricksmeyer (“Observations on Catullus 5” from *The American Journal of Philology*, 1970: 434) notes: “R. E. Grimm… proposes that a ‘business’ (‘mercantile,’ ‘commercial’) theme runs through the poem as a ‘leitmotiv’ concurrently with the love theme.”

    However, Grimm’s proposition that Catullus’ kisses constitute a business transaction doesn’t work since the kisses are ‘a gift’ (i.e. ‘give me’ [l. 7]) which does not require repayment.

    Compare Shakespeare’s *V&A*:
    “If thou wilt deign this favour, for thy meed
    A thousand honey secrets shalt thou know” (ll. 15-16)


    “A thousand kisses buys my heart from me;
    And pay them at thy leisure, one by one.
    What is ten hundred touches unto thee?
    Are they not quickly told and quickly gone?
    Say, for non-payment that the debt should double,
    Is twenty hundred kisses such a trouble?” (ll. 517-22)

    Certainly, when one ‘buys’ (l. 517) something on credit (‘the debt’ [l. 521]), such action constitutes a business relationship; however, rewarding a ‘favour’ (l. 15) does not in that a reward is a reciprocity in kind… i.e. no payment or debt attaches to a favor.

    So the reward of ‘a thousand honey secrets’ (l. 16) is not a loan and therefore does not need to be repaid. But the buying of an item (‘heart’) on credit (‘a thousand kisses’) does need to be repaid. Such business ‘kisses’ surely equate with the sealing of a business transaction.

    Compare Jonson’s *The Forest VI* “To the Same [Celia]”:
    “Kiss me, sweet : the wary lover
    Can your favours keep, and cover,
    When the common courting jay
    All your bounties will betray.
    Kiss again : no creature comes.
    Kiss, and score up wealthy sums
    On my lips thus hardly sundred,
    While you breathe. First give a hundred,
    Then a thousand, then another
    Hundred, then unto the other
    Add a thousand, and so more :” (ll. 1-11)

    Jonson’s kisses are ‘favours’ (l. 2). ‘Wealthy sums’ (l. 6) seems to imply the ‘kisses’ are of a monetary nature. But, again, ‘favours’ are not a debt and no repayment attaches to such.


    So to my mind, 1000 honey secrets are a reward for doing a favor (i.e. an annuity) while the 1000 kisses which buys a heart is an obligation which must be repaid (i.e. a marriage contract under wardship).

    • “Are you suggesting ‘a thousand honey secrets’ and ‘a thousand kisses buys my heart’ represent the same 1000? i.e. Do both represent an ‘annuity’ or ‘wardship’ or both?”

      Yes. But this is an interpretive scenario that might well include some variations of the sort you suggest. Bottom line: I don’t think the identity of the annuity and the number in the poem is a coincidence. That said, the distinction you make may well be a valid one.

      “Is Gullio = Southampton”

      In my opinion, yes, absolutely. This is also what Leishman thought, and he’s really the most important scholar of those plays. That being the case, when I think he’s right — and he very often is, although he’s also often *incomplete* because he’s a kind of de facto Stratfordian — I’ll go with him. Put another way, I think that the burden of proof is on those who oppose him on any particular interpretation. In my opinion, the case for Gullio being a satire of Southampton is beyond reasonable dispute. Much else might be disputed about those plays, but not that — and I’ll maintain that position unless or until someone can dislodge it with a better theory. So far I haven’t seen one.

      • knitwitted says:

        Thank you! I’m also trying to figure out why Butler and Fowler suggest ‘twenty’ is the age of Southampton when *V&A* came out. If the poem was registered in April 1593, Southampton would be age 19 albeit he would be in his 20th year. And IIRC didn’t a ward start suing for livery at age 20?

  2. knitwitted says:

    Also, I note Catullus’ “Lesbia” is an alias. Apuleuis gave four such examples in *Apologia 10*:

    Catullus’ alias Lesbia : real name Clodia
    Ticida’s Perilla: Metella
    Propertius’ Cynthia: Hostia
    Tibullus’ Delia: Plania

    It has been noted that all these aliases are metrical matches to the real names.

    Possibly Jonson’s ‘Celia’ was a metrical match as well??

    So isn’t ‘Edward de Vere’ (or ‘Edward Oxford’) a “metrical match” with ‘William Shakespeare’? Except de Vere signed himself ‘Edward Oxenford’, which isn’t. Almost!

    • knitwitted says:

      Interesting, in *Return From Parnassus*, Gullio’s mistress is Lesbia. Marston writes in his *Scourge of Villanie*: “If ere you heard him courting Lesbias eyes” re Shakespeare. Is Gullio = Southampton? Just curious if there’s a connection to the V&A kisses??

    • “Also, I note Catullus’ “Lesbia” is an alias. Apuleuis gave four such examples in *Apologia 10*”

      Good point. The Elizabethan satirists and lyric poets were of course following to a considerable extent the Greek and Latin models, in which it was well known and generally accepted that the names given to various characters were in part intended to designate actual persons.

      Fascinating about the metrical match, but you can’t stretch that idea to say that it must have been so with every alias in Elizabethan England. It does suggest to me, on the other hand, that having such a match can supply an additional corroboration of a identification based first and foremost on other considerations – such as the testimony of the poets themselves about who they intended in their poems.

      Do you have an online like the Apuleius source? I’m not familiar with it, but in general Apuleius would be a very good source for this sort of literary rumor.

  3. knitwitted says:

    Apuleius Apologia 10 Latin


    Gullio is a metrical match w/ Southampton.

    If you substitute Aphrodite (Greek) for Venus (Roman) to match the Greek Adonis… Aphrodite is a metrical match w/ Elizabeth.

    • knitwitted says:

      Adonis is also a metrical match w/ Southampton.

    • Yes but “metrical match” is a very low standard of evidence. You need a much larger data sample of less controversial examples. If “metrical match” was a consideration of Elizabethan satirists, than the argument is stronger. But as it is the idea might be used for corroboration but little more.

      • knitwitted says:

        Your “Yes but “metrical match” is a very low standard of evidence. You need a much larger data sample of less controversial examples. If “metrical match” was a consideration of Elizabethan satirists…”

        What about just sticking to instances where the ‘metrical match’ relates to one’s lover (or person of desire) as per the examples given by Apuleius, instead of trying to apply it to all pseudonyms? To me, it would then be difficult to dispute its function. Didn’t Elizabethan writers follow the classicists perhaps in structure as well as in subject in some degree? For example, surely Shepherdes Calendar doesn’t refer to love interests and hence we wouldn’t expect its pesudonyms to be ‘metrical matches’. Very interesting… Thank you for the nice discussion!

  4. knitwitted says:


    Been reading more about Adonis… I didn’t realize his mother had slept w/ her father. Is this a reversal of the Prince Tudor theory (Eliz slept w/ her son, Oxford and bore Southampton)? Or, if Adonis really represents Southampton, could Mary Browne have slept w/ her father (Montagu)? We know Henry’s supposed father was in jail at the time he was conceived. I don’t think I’d ever heard that PT relates to Adonis’ conception. Interesting!

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