“The Sonnets Stand There for Every One to Read…”

“The Sonnets stand there for every one to read, and no arguments could have the same value as an intimate knowledge of the poems themselves viewed in the light of the actual facts of the life and reputation of Edward de Vere.  Upon all who wish to arrive at the truth of the matter we urge the close and frequent reading of the Sonnets…

    J. Thomas Looney         1870 - 1944

J. Thomas Looney
1870 – 1944

“We are unable to place ourselves in the position of a reader who, with the facts concerning Oxford that we have submitted, can become conversant with these Sonnets without realizing that they reflect at once the soul and the circumstances of ‘the best of the courtier poets of the early days of Queen Elizabeth.'”

– John Thomas Looney, “Shakespeare” Identified in Edward de Vere, the Seventeenth Earl of Oxford (1920)

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. True words.

    • Yes. Sometimes we forget the original words used by those who came to the truth for the first time…

  2. It was Jeremy Irons who opened my eyes to the Oxford case and Looney, whose book made me sure. And Hank’s Monument made this whole story fascinating and entertaining. And thought-provoking, for all that 🙂

  3. Dear Hank, on your website you extract from de Vere’s letter to Cecil:

    On May 7, 1603, just ten days after Elizabeth’s funeral, Oxford wrote to Secretary Robert Cecil and reminded him:

    “But I hope truth is subject to no prescription, for truth is truth though never so old, and time cannot make that false which was once true.”

    For reasons known only to yourself, you use this extract to illustrate a ‘real life’ story. Cunning Cecil has forced de Vere to sacrifice his identity, both as the father of the Queen’s heir and as the author of the “Shakespeare” .

    Incredible scholarship, with the operative word being incredible. The letter you refer to is a long standing grievance about “Tytell to the keepershipe of Waltham foreste, and of the housse and parke of Haueringe”.

    Interested readers can find a facsimile on Alan Nelson’s website:


    • Dear Mike, thanks for the comment — you are correct, I should have inserted the correct context of the letter in terms of the Forest of Waltham being the specific subject matter. Oxford is reminding Cecil of more than just that history, however, because here he makes a statement that is universal and powerful — much as many of the quotes attributed to Shakespeare (or his characters), quotes that stand as at once spoken within a specific context and universally applicable. Imagine Cecil reading this. But in the strict sense, you are right, and I acknowledge it. I’ll have it changed as soon as possible, in fact, even though such change will not affect the use of Oxford’s statement in the wider context of the recent end of the Tudor dynasty.
      I wonder how the traditional or orthodox Shakespeare experts would treat that same sentence had it been written by Shakspere of Stratford in the context of, say, a demand for the payment of a debt. I think they would do much as I have done — although, I admit, if so then they should also inform readers about the debt context.
      Thanks again,

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