Below is the introduction to Volume I of our series of papers entitled Building the Case for Edward de Vere as Shakespeare, edited by Paul Hemenway Altrocchi and Hank Whittemore.

Volume I of "Building the Case for Edward de Vere as Shakespeare"

The title of the opening volume is The Great Shakespeare Hoax: After Unmasking the Fraudulent Pretender, Search for the True Genius Begins.


A hoax is a stratagem, scheme or story intentionally designed to deceive a group of people into believing something is true when it is not. Thus did the father-son team of William and Robert Cecil, the most powerful politicians in Elizabethan England and the early Stuart monarchy, force Edward de Vere to assume a pen name and become anonymous as “William Shakespeare.” Why? For reasons of avarice and unquenchable desire for power, to be described fully in this book series.

This four-century hoax foisted on an unsuspecting world is the most successful literary ruse in the Western World. It is hard to believe, but true, that deceptive strategies to maintain the Great Shakespeare Hoax continue up to the present day both in England and the United States.

The Wrong Guy

The Wrong Guy

For more than a hundred years after the death of William Shaksper of Stratford-on-Avon, no one publicly disputed his fraudulent authorship of the plays of William Shakespeare. It was only in the late 1700s that a brave few began to question his authenticity because of the marked discrepancy between his background and the subject matter of the plays.

When authorship skeptics looked around for alternative candidates, they sought an individual with a brilliant mind who also had access to England’s aristocracy and Royal Court. The brightest known encyclopedic mind of the late Elizabethan and early Stuart eras was Francis Bacon’s. Never mind that his fields of expertise were natural science, rational inquiry, and philosophy rather than creative literature. Thus, beginning quietly in the late 1700s and building incrementally for the next one hundred and fifty years, Bacon’s candicacy for being the great playwright assumed primacy among those who simply could not believe that Shaksper of Stratford had the intelligence, ability, or training to write great plays and poetry.

With Bacon’s phenomenal memory and high I.Q., it was assumed by his followers that he should have been able to shine in any field. They overlooked the fact that Bacon had no reason to use a pseudonym. Therefore they postulated that he must have had secret reasons for doing so.  He did have access to the Court and to aristocracy – the major backdrops for the great plays.  He had traveled to Europe and was a brilliant lawyer. He seemed to be the best available choice and therefore must have been Shakespeare. No other known Elizabethan filled the bill. Baconians have never been able to admit that their Bard just didn’t have the proper kind of brain to be a genius poet and playwright.  He wasn’t a “right- brained” creative person.  As Cumberland Clark said in 1929 in his book, Shakespeare and Science:

Francis Bacon - Another Wrong Guy

Francis Bacon - Another Wrong Guy

“Bacon sought to explain the causes of phenomena. The dramatist was content to describe their beauty. Bacon dived into scientific experiment; the dramatist borrowed picturesque simile and metaphor. Bacon revealed in his astronomical researches a dry, legal, scientific mind. The dramatist’s mind glowed with poetry, beauty, and romance. Bacon could not have been the dramatist.”

Oxfordians don’t agree with the Bacon advocacy but Baconians were quite useful in their heyday in pointing out the extraordinary weakness of the case for Shaksper of Stratford.  Baconian enthusiasts did, however, have a negative impact on other authorship viewpoints because of their radical views on unconvincing cyphers and numerical codes which were easily proven false and which became a source of widespread academic ridicule.
Despite Edward de Vere’s vitally important impact on the Elizabethan Era, he was virtually unknown to history. Why? Because most documents and letters pertaining to his life had been successfully destroyed by William and Robert Cecil to perpetuate their deception. The reasons for the Cecils’ hoax will become clear in later volumes.

Sir George Greenwood

Sir George Greenwood

Volume One begins by featuring the eloquent barrister, Sir George Greenwood, who was anti-Stratfordian to the core and who, with blistering rhetoric, basically demolished the case for the illiterate Will Shaksper. Greenwood didn’t know the identity of the real Shakespeare but knew it wasn’t the Stratford Man.  Part Two of Volume One contains excerpts from books, paers and lectures emphasizing Shakespeare’s breadth of knowledge and encyclopedic mind. To round out the fascinating story of the quest for the true Shakespeare, the strengths and weaknesses of the Baconian case are presented in Part Three.

J. Thomas Looney

J. Thomas Looney

Edward de Vere bursts out of his historical anonymity in Part Four with the publication in 1920 of J. Thomas Looney’s stunning book, “Shakespeare” Identified in Edward de Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford, which initiated the Oxfordian Era.  Looney’s powerful deductive logic plucked de Vere from historical obscurity, resurrected his magnificent authorial qualifications, and introduced this unknown genius to the literary world. Since then, de Vere has been the number one Shakespeare authorship candidate.

In this series, Building the Case for Edward de Vere as Shakespeare, no attempt is made to give the Stratfordian authorship theory “equal time.” The Oxfordian Editors believe that four-hundred years should have been quite sufficient for Stratfordian professors to prove their theory. The fact that they haven’t been able to come remotely close to doing so speaks volumes against their flimsy premise and even flimsier case.

The Right Guy

The Right Guy

During the past ninety years, Oxfordians have steadily built their case through solid research, beginning with the impressive group of English authorship writers who burst forth following the publication of Looney’s book.  Remarkably able thinkers and investigators from England like Percy Allen, B.R. Ward and his son B. M. Ward sprung to life in the twinkling of an eye once Edward de Vere was liberated from his coerced hibernation. These first Oxfordian Giants are featured in Part Five of Volume One.

The excerpts from books and articles included in these volumes speak for themselves with minimal commentary by the Editors. The material demonstrates the inherent power of factual discovery and the intrinsic Elegance of Truth, especially when pitted against fiction, fantasy and dogma. Research references from the older literature, usually to extinct journals and out-of-print books, have been deleted.  When necessary for clarity and consistency, minor changes in wording, punctuation and spelling have been made, without substantive change.

During the four centuries available to Stratfordians to establish their Man, Shaksper, as Shakespeare with bona fide research, virtually no data has emerged to validate their candidate. Yet they still hold sway, attempting to squash Edward de Vere not by the intrinsic persuasiveness of rationale and proof but by the astonishing power of Conventional Wisdom.

It was John Kenneth Gaibraith, late Harvard Professor of Economics, who introduced the term “conventional wisdom” in his 1958 book, The Affluent Society.  He clearly described how a traditional guild belief “is more preciously guarded than any other treasure,” and that the defense of conventional wisdom is almost a religious rite, permeated with mystique and powered by amazing tenacity and resistance to change.

Edward de Vere, by the sheer power of evidential logic, is beginning to win the Shakespeare authorship controversy. We believe he will continue to do so until the inevitable Paradigm Shift occurs.

Published in: Uncategorized on July 5, 2009 at 4:05 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi Hank,
    Congratulations to both you and Dr. Altrocchi on finishing your Building the Case. I look forward to reading it once I finish moving.

    Along those lines, I was hoping you could solve a mystery for me. I just posted three portraits that all portray Edward de Vere as having a clearly deformed right ear (and maybe a left one as well), and I was wondering if you knew anything about how this might have come about. It had to have happened before he turned 25 because the Welbeck has the best example of the marred ear. Have you ever heard anything about this?
    Below is an attempt to insert a side-by-side photograph into the comments in order to convince you I’m not making this up. Probably, though, html photos won’t work in comments (they certainly don’t in Blogger). In which case just enlarge the above portrait in your post of the Welbeck, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Birth defect? Poisoned poured into it:) I wonder . . .
    Again, sorry to be off topic here.

  2. William Shakespeare, businessman (but not writer!)


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