Shakespeare Authorship Debate in London – LIVE STREAMING AT 2:30 P.M. EASTERN TIME

LIVE STREAMING OF THE DEBATE AT 2:30 p.m. EASTERN TIME – at OR at—english-speaking-union !!!

Well, this should be fun!  Here’s the text of a press release from Brunel University:

William Leahy, head of Brunel's School of Arts

Head of Brunel University’s School of Arts, Dr William Leahy, will challenge the accepted authorship of Shakespeare’s plays in a special debate alongside film director Roland Emmerich in central London next Monday [6 June].

Film director Roland Emmerich on the set of "Anonymous," the first feature about Edward de Vere Earl of Oxford as "Shakespeare," set for release in September

The debate forms part of a wider scheme of events to publicise the forthcoming release of Roland Emmerich’s film Anonymous, a historical thriller about Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. The film suggests that de Vere was not only the incestuous lover of Queen Elizabeth I, but also the true author of the works of William Shakespeare.

Dr Leahy will be arguing against the motion: ‘This House believes that William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the plays and poems attributed to him’, alongside Charles Beauclerk, president of the De Vere Society and former president of the Shakespeare Oxford Society, and Roland Emmerich himself.

Charles Beauclerk, author of "Shakespeare's Lost Kingdom"

Leading the arguments in favour of the motion will be Stanley Wells, renowned Shakespeare scholar and Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Stanley Wells, current leader of the Stratfordian tradition

Dr Leahy is Convenor of the Shakespeare Authorship Studies MA at Brunel, the first programme of its kind in the world. The Master’s course tackles the subject of Shakespeare and authorship, interrogating the mythologisation of Shakespeare and the issues surrounding the notion of collaboration.

Dr Leahy explains: “I am a sceptic as far as Shakespeare being the author is concerned and I have real problems accepting that he wrote all the plays and poems attributed to him – thus my Master’s programme. But I do not advocate an alternative author – neither Oxford, Bacon, Marlowe or whoever. Rather, I support the need to question the authorship and the right for ‘Oxfordians’ to hold their views.”

The debate, organised by the English-Speaking Union, will take place at Dartmouth House, central London from 7pm. Free tickets to the event are available on request on a first come first served basis. Visit for more information.

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Is there any way that the debate could be made available on the Internet either during or after? I would give anything to be able to see it.

    • It should be interesting. The most in-depth comments will come from Charles Beauclerk. I hear that in fact it will be filmed; then how to see the film will be the question:-) I’m sure we’ll find a way.

  2. It is streaming live at this link today at 2:30pm EST…—english-speaking-union
    Hopefully they will archive it as well.

  3. What a damp squid! Six speakers in 30 minutes. Give me a break!

    • Agreed. Glad the issue gets out there to more folks, but wish it could have been a genuine debate.

  4. I was very disappointed in the debate, especially (other than the excellent Charles Beauclerk)the speakers on our side. Roland did not support the anti-Stratford cause, saying that his film was just fiction and he made it because he thought it was a good story.

    Leahy while he made some points about Shaksper’s background, did not draw the issues clearly, ending up saying that he thought Shakespeare was the true author but that he only wrote one act of each play.

    None of the specious points raised by the arrogant Stratfordians was addressed. No one even said that when contemporaries referred to William Shakespeare, they were talking about a name on the title page and that no one ever claimed to have met the author.

    No one in the audience challenged the Stratfordians to defend their untenable positions. It is no wonder that the majority of the audience sided with the Stratfordians. Five minutes for each speaker did not give enough time for anyone to develop their points or to refute the opposition.

    All in all, it was a disappointment. Hank, you should have been one of the speakers.

    • Need three hours with an intermission, at the least.

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