The Table of Contents for “Twelve Years in the Life…”

Some readers have requested that I post the Table of Contents for my new book Twelve Years in the Life of Shakespeare, a chronological collection of seventeen columns focusing on a dozen separate years in the life of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (1550).


  1. 1564: The Education of Young Shakespeare
  2. 1572: Politics of Massacres, Need for Intelligence
  3. 1577: The Art of Navigation
  4. 1580: The Year of Living Dangerously
  5. 1581: Reckonings and Reconciliation
  6. 1586 (P. 1): “Buy a thousand pound, buy a rope”
  7. 1586 (P. 2): Preparations for War
  8. 1589: The Metamorphosis Begins
  9. 1593: Oxford’s Metamorphoses
  10. 1597: Island Voyages and Isle of Dogs
  11. 1601 (Pt. 1): “Authorizing thy trespass…”
  12. 1601 (Pt. 2): “I watch the clock for you”
  13. 1601 (Pt. 3): “On better judgment making”
  14. 1601 (Pt. 4): “Three winters cold”
  15. 1603: “Your trespass now becomes a fee”
  16. 1604 (Pt. 1): “Our revels now are ended”
  17. 1604 (Pt. 2): The Rest of the Story 

The columns were published in Shakespeare Matters, the newsletter of the Shakespeare Fellowship, and I had never planned to collect them; however, it occurred to editor Billy Boyle and me that we had created a special kind of biography without realizing it.

Because of the focus on individual years in Oxford’s life, arranged in chronological sequence, there’s a new clarity — which, it seems to me, creates some enjoyable reading while lending new insights into Oxford’s life in relation to the “Shakespeare” phenomenon.

In another post soon I’ll post up the Table again with a short paragraph of description for each chapter.

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