Wikipedia Entry for “Palgrave’s Golden Treasury” is Corrected

Thanks to William J. Ray for correcting Wikipedia’s entry for Palgrave’s Golden Treasury — after reading the previous post on this blog, pointing out that Edward de Vere Earl of Oxford had been omitted from the list of authors.  Let’s hope the problem stays corrected.

Wikipedia Omits Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford from Its List of Poets Included in “Palgrave’s Golden Treasury” — An Oversight That Must Be Corrected!

Visitors to this blog site will surely correct me if I am wrong (and believe me, I’d like to be wrong), but it appears to me that Wikipedia’s entry for Palgrave’s Golden Treasury (1861) omits Edward de Vere, the seventeenth Earl of Oxford from its list of authors in Book One!  Here is the list of poets on the Wikipedia page:

Book I (Palgrave)

William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling – Richard Barnefield – Thomas Campion – Samuel Daniel – Thomas Dekker – Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex – John Donne – Michael Drayton – William Drummond – W. Drummond of Hawthornden – Richard Greene – Thomas Heywood – Thomas Lodge – John Lylye – Christopher Marlowe – Thomas Nashe – William Shakespeare – Sir Philip Sidney – Edmund Spenser – The Shepherd Tonie – Joshua Sylvester – John Webster – Sir Thomas Wyatt

And here is the actual entry in Palgrave’s Treasury, Book One, on page 30 — opposite the name of “W. Shakespeare” facing it on page 31! — as printed by A.L. Burt Company, Publishers, under the heading The Golden Treasury: The Best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English Language; Selected and Arranged with Notes by Francis Turner Palgrave, Late Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford; with a dedication by Palgrave to Alfred Tennyson, Poet Laureate:


I have long thought that Palgrave, who is considered the founder of the Public Record Office, either knew or suspected that Edward de Vere and Shakespere were one and the same poet.  In any case, this is an important entry for Oxfordians, since the earl’s poem in the Treasury is the very piece of evidence that started J. Thomas Looney on the trail that led to his landmark book “Shakespeare” Identified in Edward de Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford in 1920.

If anyone can report back that I’m in error about Wikipedia’s omission, please do so!  I cannot say that I’m shocked, because Wikipedia has been blatantly hostile to the Shakespeare authorship question and to the Oxfordian view in particular; but, well, it’s pretty shocking!

A cover page for the Golden Treasury

The poems in Palgrave’s Treasury [See  the Project  Gutenberg] are listed as numbers 41 and 42 as follows:


If women could be fair, and yet not fond,

Or that their love were firm, not fickle still,

I would not marvel that they make men bond

By service long to purchase their good will;

But when I see how frail those creatures are,

I muse that men forget themselves so far.

To mark the choice they make, and how they change,

How oft from Phoebus they do flee to Pan;

Unsettled still, like haggards wild they range,

These gentle birds that fly from man to man;

Who would not scorn and shake them from the fist,

And let them fly, fair fools, which way they list?

Yet for disport we fawn and flatter both,

To pass the time when nothing else can please,

And train them to our lure with subtle oath,

Till, weary of their wiles, ourselves we ease;

And then we say when we their fancy try,

To play with fools, O what a fool was I!



Blow, blow, thou winter wind,

Thou art not so unkind

As man’s ingratitude;

Thy tooth is not so keen,

Because thou art not seen,

Although thy breath be rude.

Heigh ho! sing heigh ho! unto the green holly:

Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:

Then, heigh ho! the holly!

This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,

That dost not bite so nigh

As benefits forgot:

Though thou the waters warp,

Thy sting is not so sharp

As friend remember’d not.

Heigh ho! sing heigh ho! unto the green holly:

Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:

Then heigh ho, the holly!

This life is most jolly.


[Note:  The Wikipedia entry does manage to include — and virtually bury — Oxford’s name within a huge list of poets in a 1994 edition.  The important question is how and why the name of Edward de Vere was omitted from the list of poets in the original 1861 edition.]

Reason No. 44 Why Edward, Earl of Oxford was “Shakespeare”: (Part One): His Youthful Poetry

Throughout these “reasons” I’ve often included the poetry of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, but this time his verse stands on its own.  Those who believe in the traditional Shakespearean biography – and, yes, it’s a belief – love to sneer at Oxford’s poetry, declaring it grossly inferior.

What the critics may not realize, however, is that much of Edward de Vere’s signed poetry was published in The Paradise of Dainty Devices of 1576, when he was twenty-six, and that he actually may have written it by age sixteen.  On the other hand, none of the young “Shakespeare’s” poetry has ever been found.

Could it be that Oxford’s youthful poetry is in fact the missing early work – the missing evidence of apprenticeship – written by the young Shakespeare?  I suggest the answer is yes.  I suggest if we went looking for evidence of Shakespeare’s early poetry, his trials and errors along the way to maturity as a poet, the verses attributed to Edward de Vere when he was young are exactly what we should expect to find.

I also suggest the other side of that coin seems true as well: that Shakespeare’s poems and sonnets are exactly what we should expect from the pen of the older, more mature Edward de Vere; and that, in fact, Oxford’s mature poetry was published under the “Shakespeare” pen name.

Louis P. Benezet of Dartmouth (1876-1961), a pioneer in the reform of American education, once created a string of lines attributed to “Shakespeare” and mixed them with lines attributed to the Earl of Oxford; then he challenged colleagues to guess which lines were from which author.  If they failed to guess correctly, the next question was:

“Do you think it’s possible that all those lines came from the same poet?”

Following is a small version of that test, using some of Benezet’s lines but mostly new ones that I’ve thrown into the mix.  I know – it’s not scientific, and it proves nothing; but if you like, try guessing which lines come from “Shakespeare” and which from Oxford:

Who taught thee how to make me love thee more

The more I hear and see just cause of hate?

In constant truth to bide so firm and sure

Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constancy

In true plain words by thy true telling friend

To scorn the world regarding but thy friends

Who taught thee first to sigh, alas, my heart?

Who taught thy tongue the woeful words of plaint?

If women would be fair, and yet not fond

Or that their love were firm and not fickle still

For if I should despair, I should go mad

And shall I live on th’earth to be her thrall?

A torment thrice threefold thus to be crossed

And since my mind, my wit, my head, my voice, and tongue are weak

My love is strengthened, though more weak in seeming

If care or skill could conquer vain desire

Or reason’s reins my strong affection stay

Past cure I am, now reason is past care

My death delayed to keep from life the harm of hapless days

Desire is death, which physic did except

I saw a fair young lady come, her secret fears to wail

A plaintful story from a sistering vale

(I’ll include the answers in Part Two of this Reason.)

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