Reason 94 to Believe that Edward de Vere the Earl of Oxford was “Shakespeare” — Acknowledged Sources of the Plays Include the Works of Many of the Writers under His Patronage and Guidance

“Men can always be blind to a thing, so long as it’s big enough” – Chesterton

The bottom line of this post is that many of Shakespeare’s immediate or contemporary “predecessors,” cited by scholars over the generations as providing source materials for the great author, in fact gained their subject matter and learned their skills from Edward de Vere. As we look through various editions of the Shakespeare works, there emerges (seemingly from between the lines) a clear pattern of Oxford’s silent but hugely influential presence – like some towering and pervasive ghostly figure who has gone virtually unnoticed, simply because no one has been looking for him. So let us begin again…

Reader's Encyclopedia of  Shakespeare - edited  by O. J. Campbell

Reader’s Encyclopedia of Shakespeare – edited
by O. J. Campbell — one of the best books on the bard

A powerful reason why Edward de Vere Earl of Oxford was “Shakespeare” is that the identified sources for many of the comedies include literary or dramatic work by writers who worked under his patronage and guidance. Based primarily on two major reference works – The Reader’s Encyclopedia of Shakespeare edited by Oscar Campbell and Dating Shakespeare’s Plays edited by Kevin Gilvary, here are ten such plays in alphabetical order:

As You Like It – The direct and primary source is Rosalynde, Euphues’ Golden Legacy, a prose romance by Thomas Lodge, written by 1587. Lodge followed the euphuistic literary movement (aimed at refining and enriching the English language) of which Oxford was the leader. The earl’s secretary John Lyly had published two Euphues novels in 1579-1580; and As You Like It contains several thematic links with Lyly’s court plays such as Sappho and Phao, Galathea and The Woman in the Moon. In addition the play James IV by Robert Greene, another writer in Oxford’s orbit, contains forerunners of As You Like It’s feminine characters and is also notable for using the similar setting of rural England.

Indispensable for all kinds of solid information

Indispensable for all kinds of solid information

The Comedy of Errors – Once again, writings attributed to Oxford’s personal secretary Lyly are identified as sources used by the Shakespearean dramatist. “The rhetorical features of the comedy betray the influence of John Lyly that was strong during the formative years of Shakespeare’s art,” Campbell writes.

Love’s Labour’s Lost – This play contains “many features of the euphuistic style made fashionable by the publication of John Lyly’s Euphues, the Anatomy of Wit,” Derran Charlton and Kevin Gilvary report. H.R. Woudhuysen observes that parts of the play are “reminiscent of the court comedies and the prose romances of John Lyly,” who dedicated Euphues his England (1580) to Edward de Vere.

The Merchant of Venice – Considered a likely source is Zelauto, the Fountain of Fame (1580) by another of Oxford’s secretaries, Anthony Munday, who dedicated it to the earl. Details of plot, character and language in Munday’s work are paralleled in the Shakespearean play – including the usurer’s daughter and her marriage, as well as the two ladies who disguise themselves as lawyers. And it appears that Portia’s speech about the “quality of mercy” was influenced by the judge’s pleas for mercy in the same work by Munday, who referred to himself in the dedication as “Servant to the Right Honourable the Earl of Oxenford.”

The Merry Wives of Windsor – According to Philip Johnson, the treatment of Falstaff by the ‘fairies’ in the final scene appears to parallel the episode of Lyly’s play Endimion in which the soldier Corsites is pinched by fairies. Johnson also notes that some influence on Falstaff “may have been derived” from the character of Captain Crackstone in Munday’s Fedele and Fortunio (1585), a translation from Luigi Pasqualigo.

Geoffrey Bullough's multi-volume series on the sources -- a great library resource

Geoffrey Bullough’s multi-volume series on the sources — a great library resource

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – H.F. Brooks and C.L. Barber agree that this play also reflects the court dramas attributed to Lyly, who also acted as Oxford’s stage manager for plays performed at Blackfriars and the royal court. Geoffrey Bullough believes that Lyly’s play Endimion influenced the Shakespearean play. H.F. Brooks and Nevill Coghill have observed that the dramatic structure of the Dream by Shakespeare is similar to a combination of leading features in Munday’s play John a Kent and John a Cumber.

Much Ado About Nothing – The English source of this Shakespearean play appears to be Fedele and Fortunio (1585) by Oxford’s secretary Munday, who would have adapted it from an Italian play, Il Fedele, written in 1579.

The Tempest – The play Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (c. 1591) by Oxford’s protégé Robert Greene “bears some primitive and remote resemblance to The Tempest,” Campbell writes, “and is one of the earliest examples of the successful interweaving of a subplot with the main story.” In addition, Greene’s play The History of Orlando Furioso (1594) drew from Ariosto’s work of that name (1516); and in their game-changing book On the Date, Sources and Design of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest (2013), Roger Stritmatter and Lynne Kositsky show how that Italian epic poem is itself an important source of this Shakespearean play (and of Much Ado, for example).

The Two Gentlemen of Verona – Geoffrey Bullough notes some common techniques in Two Gentlemen and the comedies and romances of Lyly; and he believes that Lyly’s novel Euphues, The Anatomy of Wit (1579), inspired (and perhaps dictated to him) by Oxford, his employer, comes closest to this Shakespearean work. “Shakespeare’s debt appears in the courtly atmosphere of Lyly’s romance plays,” Noemi Magri writes; and C. Leech, editor of the Arden edition of Two Gentlemen, notes “many incidental echoings” of Lyly and that the Launce-Speed dialogue in Act Three, Scene One contains a major “crib” from Lyly’s romantic comedy Midas, played in 1591 by the Paul’s Boys for Elizabeth at court.

All the Varioriums of all the plays, poems and sonnets are gold mines of info!

All the Varioriums of all the plays, poems and sonnets are gold mines of info!

(The title of Two Gentlemen is suggestive of Munday’s play Fidelio and Fortunio, the Deceits in Love Discoursed in a Comedy of Two Italian Gentlemen. R. Hosley, an editor of Munday’s work, suggests that Fidelio and Fortunio was acted before the Queen by Oxford’s company of child actors called Oxford’s Boys.)

The Winter’s Tale – Campbell writes, “The source of the main plot is Robert Greene’s novel Pandosto, or the Triumph of Time,” printed in 1588. The Shakespearean play carries over all the characters in Pondosto except one (Mopsa)! “There has been considerable disagreement among scholars as to the relationship of Greene and Shakespeare,” Campbell observes. “If, as many scholars have believed, Shakespeare began his career by revising other men’s plays, then it is probable that some of these plays were at least partly Greene’s.”

(Some Oxfordians – notably Stephanie Hughes and Nina Green – have set forth impressive arguments that “Robert Greene” was but an early pen name used by Oxford before “killing him off” in 1592, prior to adopting the “Shakespeare” pseudonym. In any case, one of Greene’s earliest books – Card of Fancy, printed in 1584 – was dedicated to Oxford as “a worthy favourer and fosterer of learning” who had “forced many through your excellent virtues to offer the first-fruits of their study at the shrine of your Lordship’s courtesy.”)

Oxfordian editions of the plays are coming forth... (See

Oxfordian editions of the plays are coming forth…

Meanwhile The Winter’s Tale owes much to the use of Greek Romances. In that regard, two contemporary writers linked to Oxford contributed suggested sources: Angel Day, who published an English translation of Daphnis and Chloe in 1587; and Thomas Underdowne, who translated Heliodorus’ Aethiopica in 1569, when he dedicated it to nineteen-year-old Oxford, writing of the earl’s “haughty courage joined with great skill, such sufficiency in learning, so good nature and common sense” among other virtues. Eddi Jolly, noting the influence of Aethiopica upon The Winter’s Tale, observes that “the entire moving force is a king’s jealousy.”

Another Oxfordian edition -- with more sources than orthodox editions have acknowledged

Another Oxfordian edition — with more sources than orthodox editions have acknowledged

This rundown is about as brief and compact as I could make it; however, I cannot resist citing one of my favorite influences upon “Shakespeare” by a writer working under Oxford’s patronage: The sequence of 100 consecutively numbered sonnets or “passions” entitled Hekatompathia, or the Passionate Century of Love by Thomas Watson, who dedicated it to Oxford in 1582, thanking the earl for having “perused” the work in manuscript. (Oxfordians have suggested that Oxford wrote the prose “headers” or brief scholarly notes for each of Watson’s sonnets; and, too, they have suggested that Edward de Vere wrote the entire “century” or 100-sonnet sequence himself.) The point here is that, when I set forth the 100-verse sequence of Sonnets 27 to 126 as the centerpiece of SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS of 1609, in my edition The Monument, citing Watson’s sequence as a precedent, it was unknown to me that someone else had already made the same observation nearly seventy years earlier!

It was Edgar Fripp, an orthodox scholar, in his work Shakespeare, Man and Artist of 1938, who wrote: “Centuries or ‘hundreds’ of literary pieces were in fashion – of Songs, Sonnets, Prayers, Sermons, Hymns, Sentences, ‘Flowers,’ ‘Points of Husbandry,’ Emblems, Medical Observations, or what not … The Hekatompathia or Passionate Century of Love by Thomas Watson, otherwise a Century of Passions, may have served as a model for Shakespeare’s Century of Sonnets … Shakespeare’s Sonnets 27-126 are a Century.”

hek TP WEB4

(Moreover it was suggested in The Monument that Shakespeare’s “century” of 1609 is divided into two parts: Part One, the eighty sonnets 27-106 and Part Two, the twenty sonnets 107-126; and Watson’s sequence of 1582 is also divided into two parts, in the same way, as Part One, Sonnets 1-80 and Part Two, Sonnets 81-100. I suggest that Oxford structured the Shakespearean sonnet sequence in direct reflection of the Watson sequence, in order to steer us back to Passionate Century , where we would find him!)

In addition to the Arden, Riverside, Penguin and other editions of the Works, here are just some of the other books that include Shakespeare sources:

This book represents  the most significant example of what results when the orthodox version of Shakesepeare's sources is examined from a fresh perspective!

This book represents the most significant example of what results when the orthodox version of Shakesepeare’s sources is examined from a fresh perspective!

Anderson, Mark, “Shakespeare” by Another Name, 2005

Bullough, Geoffrey, Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare, 1958

Chambers, E.K., The Elizabethan Stage, 1923

Clark, Eva Turner, Hidden Allusions in Shakespeare’s Plays, 1931; reprint 1974

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25 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks as always, Hank. I never looked at these poems before. But I agree there are hints of de Vere’s involvement, beyond their dedication to him. He may have used dedications to himself to signal that the entire work was written by him.

    If that’s true in this case, I believe he wrote these poems to Queen Elizabeth to try to soften her heart and persuade her to pardon him and cancel his exile from court. They were published during his exile. The final sentence of the dedication refers explicitly to de Vere’s “Foes”– “wishing…reconciliation of all Foes.” That may allude to the Queen, who has him in exile.

    The glosses before each poem are reminiscent of the glosses in the 1579 Shephearde’s Calendar (possible by de Vere). The predominance of monosyllables, especially in the couplets, is consistent with the Sonnets of de Vere.

    “Warbling” in at least 2 of these poems make me think of “warble” in The Rape of Lucrece (line 1080). Poem 11, 17, and probably others (I haven’t finished them yet) refer to the “Phoenix of our age,” who was the Queen. The same with “my She-Sun” of poem 9. “I dare not name the nymph that works my smart” in poem 8 sounds like another reference to the Queen.

    The first line of 16 (“My gentle bird which sung so sweet late”) is so similar to line 4 in Sonnet 73, “…where late the sweet birds sang.” 25 is an echo poem, a format de Vere used elsewhere. 28 refers to the mistress as “perfume.” The Queen loved the perfumed gloves he brought her from Italy; de Vere was associated with perfume in England even a century later.

    Just some preliminary thoughts.

    • Great report, Richard, and you’ve just begun! I especially like the one with Sonnet 16 of Watson connecting with Sonnet 73. Wonderful. Keep up the great work and let us know whatever you can — but I can sense another paper coming:-)

      • Thanks for the encouragement, Hank. That’s all I needed! Some random thoughts on the remaining poems–
        36 includes “I duly dance attendance as I may,/ With hope to please, and fear to make offence.”
        That certainly makes one think of the time several years earlier when de Vere offended the Queen by refusing to dance before the French ambassador.
        “Phoenix” and “Second Sun” also appear in 39 and 42.
        Since Gabriel Harvey praised de Vere’s Latin poems, I’ve always been curious about them. This collection includes about six poems in Latin. Now I wish I could read Latin!
        79 refers to a translation from Greek into Latin by the poet, of Sophocles’s play Antigone.
        47 refers to “haggard Hawkes,” as noted in the appendix at the end.
        I couldn’t tell what about 67 led the poet to write that he “purposely compiled it at the press.” If this is de Vere writing, it confirms my suspicion that he was able to exercise more control over his compositors than most Elizabethan authors could. He cared, he had power, and he had a reputation for homicide when he was really annoyed at someone.
        73 refers to being “lock’d…up in Tower” and to “This prison.” So this may refer to the beginning of de Vere’s exile, when he was sent to the Tower for impregnating the Queen’s Lady in Waiting.
        Finally (for now), 80 is in the form of a “pillar,” which makes me think of The Arte’s description of oddly shaped poems (although the “pillar” poem in that chapter is a bit different from 80).
        Certainly, enough connections to make further research seem worthwhile. There’s more here than any one of us can do single-handedly, so anyone who is motivated to do so should work further on this. Especially those fluent in Latin!

      • Fantastic. And the dating of the prison reference to 1582 is brilliant. No one, to my knowledge, has seen it. Yet right there in front of us…

  2. Along the same lines as your description, the AlVEARie dictionary makes a concentric circle around de Vere. The dedicatee: Cecil. The aides: Nowell (Alexander or Laurence I am not sure who and Thomas Smith). The “To the Reader” author: Arthur Golding in the 1573 edition and Thomas Marsh, Golding’s proxy name, in the 1580 edition, both pieces representing Oxford’s ambition to make English a first-rate literary language. The additional Greek proverbs and definitions: Abraham Fleming, Oxford’s secretary.

    Besides which, trotting out my little red wagon, there is a Vere identifying word and line after the TENTH line of the title-page, Ten is a crucial number in Oxford subtextual identification, since 10 looks in type like IO, the word for “I” in Italian that sounds as Oxford’s initials, EE’O. Meres, Camden, and Stow-Howe used the cue of counting ten when listing the Shakespeare epithet. Meres listed Lord Oxford number one and Shakespeare number 9 to sum to his 10. The others listed ten other authors, then “Shakespeare”, instead of putting the most preeminent author first.

    In An Alvearie, the first word “Whatsoever” in the eleventh line has TEN characters, the last four ‘ever’, a Vere anagram. The 17th [cf 17th Earl] character is an “e”; the 22nd [cf 2+2=4=vier] character, a “d”. Ed Vere or de Vere. The total character-count of that line is 28, summing to 10 [=io=EE’O]. It looks to me like a Vere-influenced production. Apparently at that stage of his career, Cecil supported his odd son-in-law’s literary efforts. They would expand English as a refined language, an objective with positive political ramifications.

    • Bill, thanks so much — and I love the “concentric circle” idea. Circling the wagons around De Vere. It can be done. He is connected to the entire Elizabethan age by an average of far less than one degree of separation. I’ll study more of this…

  3. Alan H. Nelson wrote a book about Oxford. Based on this book, Andrew Gurr wrote to me, that Oxford was a ‘ham-fisted’ writer, so he couldn’t be the real author. Alas, I haven’t read the Nelson book, nor Oxenford’s (accepted by the stratfordians) poems, other works. Really, what one can see from these works is that Oxford was actually ham-fisted? Of course I do know that he was the real author, but the image is that of Mr Gurr?

  4. Whittemore, I think you forgot the Metamorphoses and the Bible. They are, I believe, sources unique to Oxford.

    Anyone could have read Golding’s translation, but to the point Shakespeare knew? My edition of “Venus and Adonis” (that of The New Cambrigde Shakespeare) is full of references to similarities between Shakespeare’s text and Golding’s. There is too much knowledge of the last author.

    The Genova Bible has it’s similarities to Shakespeare’s poems and plays. Sonnet 147 has some references to the Psalms; Sonnet 116 has been compared by some to Corinthians 13:1-13; maybe Oxford saw at some late point of his life, writing the self-indulgent “Othello” and “A Winter’s Tale”, himself in a situation back to 1575 like Joseph when he discoreved Mary was a pregnant virgin; also one of Romeo and Juliet’s first characters to appear is called Abraham; remember how Polonius compares himself to Jephthah; we can also compare Hamlet and Horatio to David and Jonathan; the raping atmosphere in Venus and Adonis and Lucrece with Jopseh and Potiphar’s Wife and Tamar and Ammon respectively; Portia’s great discourse on mercy maybe inspired by Deborah’s discourse on God’s help to Israel when to defeat it’s enemy. Who knows at some point Oxford alone compared Essex with Absalom. Just some ideas.

    • Good stuff, Francisco. For the reason 94 I was focusing strictly on the Shakespeare sources by writers who had served under Oxford’s patronage and guidance. But you have given me the idea to continue, in 95, to include other sources such as Golding etc. I may be wrong, but it seems that reason 94 and the next one are looking at the material from another perspective — from the vantage point of looking first at the plays and what the scholars say about their sources — possible, probable, definite. And suddenly we see Oxford’s influence all over the place.

      Thanks for the biblical material. More to study!

      • Oxford influenced in the same way he was influenced. He was, indeed, a great name to the Elizabethean Literature, people don’t need to be Oxfordian to say this.

        I understand what you’re trying to do. It’s also true: the sources attributed to Shakespeare fits better Oxford. At least, I find it better than any of the other two most famous candidates: Bacon and Marlowe. The first seems to know Ovid’s masterpiece, but doesn’t have much knowledge or seems to use Golding as Shakespeare; and Marlowe didn’t use the Bible so much as Shakespeare. Just an idea.

        But I would like you to mention it, or even dedicate a post if you want. Oxford’s knowlodge of the Bible can well be reflected in Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s knowledge in the Bible haven’t escaped from scholars’ attention. So much is it, some argue for Shakespeare as a Roman Catholic (the main argument is that of the Virgin Mary’s presence in many phrases in the plays. Don’t quite see why this is an argument, she is absent from the Sonnets, which are far from the semi-autobiography works of Shakespeare, the Sonnet’s issue on religion seems to reflect England’s religion. Even so, Oxford was connected to Catholicism).

        When I’m not researching Shakespeare, I’m seeking for the Bible and how it can fit History. When I read Shakespeare, I see much biblical references. For example, I can’t stop reading Macbeth without thinking of Oxford’s effort to make Mary Stuart a new Jezebel; or the hot-headed Fortinbras with Shishak. Just a thought. It won’t be hard to find scholars’ references to biblical presence in Shakespeare’s works, certainly. Thank you for your attention 😉

      • I just want to make sure all readers know of Roger Stritmatter’s trail-blazing research on the hundreds of connections between marked passages in de Vere’s Geneva Bible and the works of Shakespeare. It was the 2002 New York Times article about his research that inspired me to do my own Oxfordian research.

      • You beat me to it:-) Couldn’t agree more.

  5. I just heard from the Folger that they have a copy of that translation of Antigone into Latin. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it’s also by our guy!

  6. I think the density of connections around him is very compelling. Expanding to other sources such as Golding, Surrey and Vaux (father-in-law of the recusant Mary Tresham Vaux who lived at King’s Place with Oxford and the Countess) would also be interesting.

    I would love to see a social network analysis too. The below link is an example, though I can’t help but wonder how the layout would would have changed had they compared demonstrable connections between Oxford, Shakespeare and the other playwrights as opposed to restricting it to collaborative connections and excluding Oxford as they do. Frankly with the amount of lifting from other works and paying homage that was going on and all the issues of hidden authorship and questionable attribution I question how a study of “Shakespeare’s collaborations” can be considered in any way scientific in the first place. I also disagree with some assumptions such as that Jonson maintained a silence about Shakespeare in his works before say 1616 (hello, Sogliardo???) or that Oxford was an enemy of the Herberts (in the end he wasn’t). Yet it was interesting — like the grouping of Jonson, Beaumont, Chapman, Drayton, Marston, Middleton versus the gang of Shakespeare, Lodge, Munday and Heywood, while Chettle, Fletcher and Dekker straddled the two camps. The Jonson group were all either Catholic or had close midland Catholic associations, and I think was a group that Oxford drew closer to toward the end of his life. This group also contains the two who more clearly eulogized him in their works (Chapman and Marston), besides insider Ben Jonson.

    Click to access HayesSocialNetworksAndShakespeare.pdf

    • Thanks for this comment and for the link. I’ve printed it out. Looks very interesting, but agree with you on various points.

      • Early in my Oxfordian association I made a “flow chart” for Oxford and for “Shakespeare”, If we put Oxford in the middle and then put all known Shakesperean influences around him in terms of influence or direct relationship, nearly everyone of importance is in some constellation to him, some nearer (Munday, Lily, Burghley, Pembrokes, Queen,etc)

        “Shakespeare” on the other hand only has Jonson (posthumously).
        Most of the assumed associations such as Greene (Groatsworth) are nebulous, they are not definitive. Direct references, as Price points out, to the _man_, not the _name_ are not there.

        Thus we can link Oxford to Spenser because Spenser names him directly. We have no such references or links from, say Lily, who worked for Oxford while supposedly creating a new literary genre and which Shakespeare mined brilliantly in LLL.

        So ALL the how, who, why of Shakespeare is complete conjecture or plainly is just confusion. Why did he write Hamlet and Lear? No one knows. He’s like the ghost legend says he played in the production. Why does Nashe rip Harvey using the graveyard scene from Hamlet and referencing one of ITS MOST FAMOUS LINES (“Painted an inch thick”) in 1594?

        This is one of the most intriguing points to raise. Oxford had strong relations to about EVERYONE involved, and at the proper time.

        Where is William in all this?

        Make a chart and show it to the Strats. Say “explain, please”. With evidence, not conjecture.

        Nashe on Harvey-1594

        “Was never whore of Babylon so betrapped with abominations as his style (like the doghouse in the fields) is pestered with stinking filth. His vainglory (which some take to be his gentlewoman) he hath new **painted over an inch thick**. Some few crumbs of my book he hath confuted; all the rest of his invention is nothing but an **ox with a pudding in his belly[**62], not fit for anything else save only to feast the dull ears of ironmongers, plowmen, carpenters and porters. Master Lyly, poor **deceased Kit Marlowe**, reverent Doctor Perne, with a hundred other quiet senseless carcasses before the Conquest departed, in the same work he hath most notoriously & vilely dealt with, and, to conclude, he hath proved himself to be the only Gabriel ***Grave-digger*** under heaven.”

        Please, Please explain how Marlowe isn’t dead and how this isn’t Shakespeare’s Hamlet, unless he stole scene AND line.

        Price makes the point, yes, authors liberally used source texts such ass Putarch but rarely stole *from one another*.

        Give me a break.

      • Ken, Only thing I would add to your Shakespeare association list is the fact that Thomas Digges who wrote a commendatory verse for the first folio was the stepson of Thomas Russell, an overseer of Shakspeare’s will. Since Russell was Maurice Berkeley’s half brother (who was a brother-in-law of Henry Neville and friend of Southampton) that’s a big one but Stratfordians ignore it because it brings him too close to authorship candidates (including de Vere) and Essex Rebels.

  7. Hi Hank, et al.

    The idea that Watson may have been one of Oxford’s earlier pseudonyms was explored in great detail by Eric Altschuler and William Jansen in the Fall 2004 Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter. I was just looking it over and it is full of observations (e.g. Sonnet 76) and citations to other works. I don’t see from a quick look-see that they have anything to say about the subject matter being pleas to the Queen, re: his recent troubles and imprisonment. If this POV bears out under further scrutiny (i.e., that Watson *is* early Oxford, and that the primary subject matter is Oxford and the Queen, “Oxford in trouble,” and “Oxford in prison”), then that is a big, big deal. It would confirm the Monument Theory of the Sonnets, and also that the Sonnets are alluding to (and contain) real history. And we know where that might lead, don’t we?

    A PDF copy of the issue is available on the SOS site (still up and running) on their newsletter archive page at:

    • Yes, Bill, I believe Richard Waugaman has made a genuine discovery here, in terms of the Watson-Oxford-Hekatompathia reflection of 1581 events in relation to the Queen, the Tower and so on. That “century” of sonnets looks to be even more than a “precedence” of the 1609 century — more like a foundation for it. Stay tuned!

  8. Hank, in the First Folio I found a certain L.Digges. L. would stand for Thomas?

  9. Sorry Sandy and thanks for catching the error. Leonard Digges wrote the commendatory verse; Thomas Digges the astronomer was his father. After Leonard’s father died, his mother married the Thomas Russell who was the overseer for Shakespeare’s will.

    Through Thomas Russell, Leonard’s step-uncle was Maurice Berkeley who was arrested with his brother-in-law Neville and friend Southampton on the night de Vere died/disappeared.

    Another step uncle through Thomas Russell was John Russell of Strensham who was married to Elizabeth Sheldon, though they were estranged by the time Francis Trentham married her sister. Oxford had to know him though because this half brother of Thomas Russell was raised at the Earl of Bedford’s house.

    All information & documentation in their wikis and Parliament online. Nina Green’s site also has a wealth of information about these connections,

    Whalen had an article which pointed out Leonard’s associations with publisher Blount and the Herbert brothers, and the fact that his father was Thomas Russell the will overseer.

    Click to access SOSNL_2001_2.pdf

    The IM dedication in the folio is thought to be from his friend James Mabbes. Jonson, also connected to Blount and the Herberts, and his friend Hugh Holland wrote the other two.

  10. Everyone here HAS to keep abreast of Stephanie Hughes. She and Hank make a great tandem. Her latest is astounding. This is the kind of stuff I mean. We HAVE to get into the history departments.

    “1597: The Showdown”

    • Stephanie made the incredible claim
      “These are only the most salient points in the story of this final showdown. The thread presented here, the string of deaths, theater closings,

      constant publication of revised versions of Richard III (eight in all, over the years, ***every time Cecil got another office or title),*** the fact that it was the first play to be published under the name Shakespeare, must be correlated to several other threads, if all taken together, make a subject worthy of a full length book. What part did Essex play? Bacon? The Queen? The printers? The publishers? George Carey, Hunsdon’s heir and the Lord Chamberlain during the final years of Elizabeth’s reign? Where does the revision and publication of Richard II that accompanied the publication of Richard III fit in? Hopefully time will tell.”

      I asked her to confirm the starred portion.

      Her reply
      “his comes from an article by Margaret Hotine in Notes and Queries in 1991. You’ll find more about her article and those of two other history profs who have provided an important and hitherto missing piece in the authorship puzzle on this page.

      We MUST start dealing with history professors.

  11. The printers surely played a very important part of the story.

    • Absolutely. The power struggles were up and down the line. She has a long section on how Roberts handed off material to Wise. I’m sure the printers had no love for the Cecils and the Privy Council. Their business was being threatened.

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