HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Reading & Writing » Non-Fiction (Group) » Shakespeare Identified

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:03 PM


Shakespeare Identified

"Shakespeare" Identified in Edward De Vere, the Seventeenth Earl of Oxford
By J. Thomas Looney


On it's own merits, Shakespeare Identified is a great detective story. Those who are firmly tied to the belief that simple Will Shakspere went to London and became William Shake-speare, the greatest writer in the English language, and then returned to Stratford to become a grain dealer, will probably find this book stupid and unreadable. Those with a more open mind will find this book fascinating, and they might come away from reading it with vastly different perspective not just on Shakespeare, but literature and art in general.

Doubts about the authorship of the Works of Shakespeare had been raging in literary circles for the better part of the 19th century when J.T. Looney, a schoolmaster in England, came along. Having spent years teaching The Merchant of Venice to students, Looney felt that he knew the author, and like so many others could not reconcile the author he knew with the biography we have. But rather than try to fit a known author into Shakespeare's shoes, Looney proceeded as if the author was NOT known, and then proceeded to develop a police-type profile that would fit the true author and then determine if anyone could fit any of the necessary characteristics.

Looney developed 9 general and 8 specific traits that the author of the Works would possess. He determined that although the author's name was not attached to the plays, it was very likely to be attached to works of lyric poetry, so he searched for unrecognized poets who composed in a style similar to Shakespeare.

He found only one: Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.

At the time of Elizabeth The House of Oxford was the oldest and highest ranking noble family in England, second in prestige only to the Crown. But who was Edward de Vere? Looney discovered that in his youth de Vere was the brightest star in Elizabeth's court, renowned for his eccentricity and for the plays which he created for the Queen's entertainment. Inexplicably, no plays survive under the name Edward de Vere. More inexplicable is that this most famous of courtiers was forgotten by history. Edward de Vere was banished from court in the late 1580s and lived the rest of his life in obscurity.

But just when Edward de Vere disappears the works of William Shake-speare begin to appear...


So why is the authorship of William Shake-speare important?

First of all credit where credit is due. If the man from Stratford deserves credit then he should get it. By the same standard if Edward de Vere wrote the works then he deserves the credit.

More importantly, the way we understand Shakespeare in our society has, I believe, corrupted our understanding of art. William of Stratford was a "genius" who cut and pasted for money, and just happened to come up with the most highly regarded writing in history without leaving a trace of his own personality in his works. His artistic descendants have sought to emulate him, and they have produced some pretty crappy art if you ask me.

Vere was a highly intense individual. When one reads the works of Shake-speare as being his, one can sense the author screaming to be heard. A culture that recognizes Oxford as Shakespeare might also re-align its artistic priorities away from commercialism and more toward self-expression for its own sake. That would be my hope.

Anyway I would love to engage in conversation over Looney's book or on the Authorship Controversy in general, with Stratfordians who have an open mind, and with Oxfordians who like me have discovered Edward de Vere and would like to further our understanding him and his relation to the Works of Shakespeare.

Here is Sonnet 81, a poem that shouts I am Edward de Vere, a man who knew that his works were great, and knew they would never be attributed to himself.


Or I shall live your epitaph to make,
Or you survive when I in earth am rotten;
From hence your memory death cannot take,
Although in me each part will be forgotten.
Your name from hence immortal life shall have,
Though I, once gone, to all the world must die:
The earth can yield me but a common grave,
When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie.
Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read,
And tongues to be your being shall rehearse
When all the breathers of this world are dead;
You still shall live -- such virtue hath my pen --
Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.

And the final admonition a dying Hamlet charges to Horatio:

O good Horatio, what a wounded name,
Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me!
If thou didst ever (E. Ver) hold me in thy heart
Absent thee from felicity awhile,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
To tell my story.

7 replies, 2088 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Shakespeare Identified (Original post)
Eyes of the World Nov 2012 OP
SheilaT Nov 2012 #1
Eyes of the World Nov 2012 #3
SheilaT Nov 2012 #4
Eyes of the World Nov 2012 #5
kag Nov 2012 #2
Eyes of the World Nov 2012 #6
struggle4progress Dec 2012 #7

Response to Eyes of the World (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:13 AM

1. People have been trying to claim


for many years that William Shakespeare didn't really write the stuff that his name is attached to. About every generation this comes up, and in the end, it really was that guy from Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare, who wrote that stuff.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to SheilaT (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:35 AM

3. Let me correct you


There have doubts about the actual author of The Works of Shakespeare from the beginning.

The story of the Man from Stratford doesn't seem to begin before 1623.

The development of the field of Literary Biography gave impetus to learning more about the writer - and found nothing in the life of Stratford to match with The Works.

While it has been heresy in England to challenge Stratford, the United States did not have the same problem; the authorship controversy has been growing in fertile American soil since at least the 1820's.

The were 60 candidates proposed before the Earl of Oxford was proposed. Now only Oxford and Stratford remain (except for that half-dozen people who still press Bacon and Marlowe)

Although the Academic Community stands by their candidate, independent and usually unfunded research has continued to expand the case for Edward de Vere, without coming up with any evidence to preclude him (the only "evidence" presented on behalf of Stratford is challengeable, most of it based on legend)

So yes the academic community continues with Stratford, but they are people who have staked their names and reputations on Shakspere of Stratford; they are as likely to change their opinion as the church was likely to accept Gallileo (which they didn't too until recently - centuries after everyone else did).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Eyes of the World (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 04:00 AM

4. Well, everything I ever read on this topic


tends to come back to the conclusion that William Shakespeare (various spellings) really is the author of the works attributed to him. Those who conclude otherwise tend to be really cherry-picking. Books have been written on this, I know and I don't feel like reviewing the evidence, but I'm going to go with William Shakespeare really wrote the stuff.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to SheilaT (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:40 AM

5. Those who conclude Shakspere of Stratford was Shake-speare


are the ones who are cherry-picking the evidence. What little there is.

Nearly 400 years after his death, and despite billions of dollars and man-hours of research, no one has yet to put a pen into the hands of Shakspere of Stratford, except to sign his will and 3 other court documents.

Stratfordian researchers DO INDEED jump through some serious hoops to conclude without evidence that indeed Stratford must be the man.

But they never try to explain this:

In 1597 William Shakspere of Stratford was in court in Stratford pursuing a debt of 6 pounds in court. How is it that this man was making a four day ride between London and Stratford without leaving any trace? There are no communications between him and his wife ever (nor any other business associate who must be watching his thriving Stratford business). There are no receipts or lodging records from inns along the way. And why did he sue a man for such a small sum if he was busy making money hand over fist acting and writing plays? Why are there no receipts for payment of any plays or poems? Why does no one in London even mention his name during his lifetime? Why does he not acknowledge the death of Elizabeth? Why does his own death go unacknowledged? How is it that fully half of the plays were published after Stratford's death (by De Vere's son-in-law BTW (I'm sure Stratfordians ignore that) yet no provision for their publishing is made?

The stories that are told about a famous William Shakespeare drinking with Marlow and Jonson at some Tavern are all historical fantasy. Except for a few documents, none of them literary in any way, the person of William Shakespeare seems to have not been a real person at all.

I reiterate for you:

The Academic Community has concluded long ago and without evidence that William Shakspere of Stratford wrote the plays. It is not a surprise that people who have made a career on this study would not acknowledge anything other than what they need to believe (although this is changing; Oxfordian studies are starting to appear in Universities in this country, notably Concordia in Portland Or).

So Sheila T, you must either believe that mysterious William Shakspere of Stratford went to London, changed his name to Shake-speare, churned out an average of 2 plays per year which he also acted in AND found time for some lyric poetry, without ever leaving a scrap of paper with his handwriting on it, without ever sending or receiving a letter, without being mentioned in anyone's journal. You believe that although he sued for small sums of money he allowed his works to be pirated. You believe that it is not strange that William of Stratford was never questioned by the Star Chamber despite having some pretty nasty things to say about the Queen and other powerful persons, things that really should have cost him his thumbs. And after all this he returns to Stratford, changes his name BACK to Shakspere, and lives the reminder of his life as grain dealer, not staging as much as one play for his beloved Stradford neighbors.

Or maybe you should consider that the writer of the works of Shake-speare was a disaffected nobleman who could get away with what he wrote because he covered himself with a pen-name. And maybe that nobleman had his identity covered-up to hide the embarrassment of what he wrote.

If the works of Shakespeare are written by Stratford, then they are magical works of the cut-and-paste genius, to be read only for their beauty.
If Edward De Vere wrote them, then they are a very intimate portrait of Queen Elizabeth and her court written by someone who was their.

Try this: pick up any of Shakespeare's works. Any will do. First read it as if it is written by a commoner from Stratford. Then read it as if it was written by a nobleman. See which reading makes more sense. The man from Stratford is nowhere to be found, but the voice of someone else is crying out.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Eyes of the World (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 11:44 AM

2. Sounds interesting.

A few years ago I read Bill Bryson's brief biography of Shakespeare, and found it kind of interesting. I love Bryson, but this was not one of his best works.

But if you're into historical mysteries, I HIGHLY Recommend Lee Miller's history of the Lost Colony at Roanoke. I can't remember the exact title (I'll try to find it), but it was fascinating, and it sounds quite a bit like the book you are describing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Eyes of the World (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 01:40 AM

6. I just noticed something interesting


I am reading All's Well That Ends Well. Stratfordians describe this play as a Problem Play, because it has an unlikable hero and deals with obscure issues. Oxfordians see it as a highly confessional piece by Edward de Vere.

The word "ever" appears strategically in the dialog in reference to Bertram, who represents de Vere (E.ver). But in the instances where the word is used in conjunction with a character other than Bertram, the word is spelled "e'er" (not "E.ver".

I am going to go back through the works to confirm this, but if I remember correctly "e'er" is used frequently in the works. Now I just have to Verify context.

If William of Stratford wrote the works of Shakespeare, then he based them off the life of Oxford. OR Oxford wrote them.

Clues like this argue for the latter.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Eyes of the World (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 10:42 PM

7. Tis a passing strange fancy, from a time long gone, that great wit was only ever companion

to titled gentry or that a man of common stock might not harbor in his bosom Homeric talent, nor can we say certainly that one same soul could not both craft true verse and yet sell grain

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread