Anti-Stratfordians Strike Back: Michael York and the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition Launch Big Counter-Offensive against the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Michael York

Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 21, 2011 – Amidst all the controversy surrounding Sony Pictures’ recently-released feature film Anonymous, actor and author Michael York, O.B.E., launched a powerful, multi-pronged counter-offensive against the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) in Stratford-upon-Avon, and its “60 Minutes with Shakespeare” authorship campaign, initiated in response to the film.

Michael York in his breakthrough film role as Tybalt in "Romeo and Juliet" - 1968

York also announced a monumental breakthrough in the Shakespeare Authorship Controversy — detailed evidence that William Shakespeare traveled all over Italy. The problem for orthodox Shakespeare scholars is that the Stratford man never left England.

During a briefing at the LA Press Club’s Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood, Michael York, Hilary Roe Metternich, daughter of the man who discovered the new evidence, and John M. Shahan, Chairman & CEO of the California-based Shakespeare Authorship Coalition (SAC), lambasted the SBT for its Orwellian attacks against doubters and for the inferior scholarship in its “60 Minutes with Shakespeare” website, which features 60 prominent SBT supporters, each giving a 60-second audio-recorded response to one of 60 questions posed by the SBT.

John Shahan, chairman of the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition, with the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt

Michael York, in language echoing that which brought down Senator Joseph McCarthy, castigated Stanley Wells, Honorary President of the SBT, and Paul Edmondson, Head of Learning and Research at the SBT, for suggesting that the authorship controversy is merely another “conspiracy theory,” and for labeling all doubters as “anti-Shakespeareans.”

“Have you no sense of decency sirs, at long last?  Have you left no sense of decency?”* York asked.

“Or, as Shakespeare put it in Hamlet, ‘O shame! where is thy blush?’” he added.

“Doubters are not ‘anti-Shakespeare,’” York insisted, “but your behaviour is most un-Shakespearean.”

Stanley Wells, chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT), with the Cobbe Portrait of -- Shakespeare???

SAC Chairman John Shahan announced that a coalition of a dozen authorship organizations, based in the U.S., U.K. and Germany, has rebutted each point in the SBT “60 Minutes.” The rebuttal document, titled Exposing An Industry in Denial: Authorship Doubters Respond To “60 Minutes with Shakespeare.”

“The SBT made a mistake in coming down from their ivory tower to attack us,” Shahan said. “This rebuttal document makes it clear that the best of our scholars are far superior to theirs.”

Shahan issued a challenge to the SBT to write a single definitive declaration of the reasons why they claim there is “no room for doubt” about the identity of William Shakespeare and post it along with the names of those who have endorsed it.  He noted that the SAC wrote and posted a definitive statement of its position, the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare, in 2007; and it has now been signed by over 2,200 people — over 800 with advanced degrees, and nearly 400 current or former college faculty members.

"The Shakespeare Guide to Italy" by Richard Paul Roe

Hilary Roe Metternich announced the discovery of strong new evidence in the controversy, contained in the just-released book, The Shakespeare Guide to Italy: Retracting the Bard’s Unknown Travels, by Richard Paul Roe (HarperPerennial). Ms. Metternich, daughter of the author, a prominent Pasadena attorney who died late last year, said that her father had spent over 20 years searching in Italy, his only guide being the texts of Shakespeare’s 10 “Italian plays” — those set roughly in his own time (not counting the three plays set in ancient Rome).

“The clues were right there in the plays,” Metternich said. “My father found the locations of nearly every scene in all 10 plays, locations missed by orthodox scholars for over 400 years.  His great chronicle of travel, analysis and discovery paints with amazing clarity a picture of what the author ‘Shakespeare,’ whoever he was, witnessed before writing his Italian Plays.”

In 1954 Sen. Joseph McCarthy made accusations against the U.S. Army, whose attorney Joseph Welch responded, "Have you no sense of decency?"

*Question put to Senator Joseph McCarthy on June 9, 1954, at theArmy-McCarthy hearings.


U.S. Army Attorney Joseph Welch versus Senator Joseph McCarthy – 1954

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