“The Living Record” – 1

Here is the opening installment of a book, to be written at this site, recording my own pathway into the Shakespeare sonnets that led to my edition THE MONUMENT.  The working title of this new book is THE LIVING RECORD, based on the poet’s declaration in Sonnet 55:

Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
‘Gainst death and all oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.

Hypothesis: The Sonnets contain the “Smoking Gun” of Shakespearean authorship

After more than a decade of trying to comprehend SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS (1609), I decided to make one more try.  My goal had been to learn whether the one hundred and fifty-four consecutively numbered verses were written with a special language to conceal, yet also reveal, a true story.

I had already arrived at many conclusions about various facets of the Sonnets and these would come into play.  At the same time, however, I wanted to proceed in an orderly and logical way from one observation to the next, building up a series of hypotheses to see where they might lead.  My criterion for success was to find not only the structure, language and story (assuming these existed), but also some completely new information about the man known to us as William Shakespeare.

This time all the right elements emerged.  It happened while I was in San Francisco in November 1998 for the annual conference of the Shakespeare Oxford Society, a group dedicated to the theory that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (1550-1604) had been the true author.  The case had been made with “Shakespeare” Identified in 1920 by British schoolmaster John Thomas Looney, but some eighty years later the Oxfordian movement was still marginal at best.  Researchers continued to find new evidence for De Vere’s authorship, but they had yet to find a “smoking gun” (such as a page of Hamlet in his handwriting) to prove the case for him.

My feeling was that the answer must exist within the autobiographical Sonnets.  Here the poet adopted the personal pronoun “I” – not for a character in a play, but using his own voice to tell his own story.  In my view Oxford had used this amazing sonnet sequence to record the truth for posterity, explaining why he had buried his identity permanently (i.e., for some generations to come after his death) behind the “Shakespeare” pen name.

So the first hypothesis was that Edward de Vere himself had supplied the “smoking gun” of the Shakespeare Authorship Mystery by recording his story for those of us here and now, as we come up to the year 2009 and the four hundredth anniversary of the first printing of SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS in 1609.  The big question, which I set about trying to answer first, was how to find this indisputable truth that he would have left behind.

Published in: Uncategorized on November 30, 2008 at 10:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

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