A Bargain for Southampton’s Life – “The Living Record” – Chapter 44

Sonnet 47 – February 28, 1601

Three days after the execution of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, this sonnet resolves the struggle between Oxford’s eye (mind) and heart (emotions) described in the previous verse — the struggle between his duty to the state, having to vote for a guilty verdict against both Essex and Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton … and then to work behind the scenes for the latter, his son by the Queen, in order to hopefully save his life.

The Earl of Essex, beheaded at the Tower Green on February 25, 1601

The Earl of Essex, beheaded at the Tower Green on February 25, 1601

Oxford records that a “league” or bargain with Secretary Robert Cecil has been struck in order to spare Southampton from execution. The ransom price, however, will be Southampton’s relinquishment of any claim to the throne. Meanwhile Oxford writes to record again that the image of his imprisoned royal son is always with him:\

Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took,

(“You peers, continue this united league” – Richard III, 2.1.2)

And each doth good turns now unto the other;

When that mine eye is famished for a look,
Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother,
With my love’s picture then my eye doth feast,
And to the painted banquet bids my heart:
An other time mine eye is my heart’s guest,
And in his thoughts of love doth share a part.

(“The pleasure that some fathers feed upon is my strict fast – I mean my children’s looks, and therein fasting hast thou made me gaunt” – Richard II, 2.1.79-81;  “And so my state … show’d like a feast” – the king in 1 Henry IV, 3.2.53-59)

So either by thy picture or my love,
Thy self away, art present still with me:
For thou no further than my thoughts canst move,
And I am still with them, and they with thee;
Or if they sleep, thy picture in my sight
Awakes my heart to heart’s and eye’s delight.

Are these sonnets referring to Southampton being “away” in the Tower?  Look at these references:

“Things removed” – Sonnet 31, line 8
“O absence” – Sonnet 39, line 9
“When I am sometime absent from thy heart” – Sonnet 41, line 2
“Where thou art” – Sonnet 41, line 12
“Injurious distance” – Sonnet 44, line 1
“Where thou dost stay” – Sonnet 44, line 4
“Removed from thee” – Sonnet 44, line 6
“Present-absent” – Sonnet 45, line 4
“Where thou art” – Sonnet 51, line 3
“The bitterness of absence” – Sonnet 57, line 6
“Where you may be” – Sonnet 57, line 10
“Where you are” – Sonnet 57, line 12
“The imprisoned absence of your liberty” – Sonnet 58, line 6
“Where you list” – Sonnet 58, line 9
“Thou dost wake elsewhere” – Sonnet 61, line 12
“All away” – Sonnet 75, line 14
“Be absent from thy walks” – Sonnet 89, line 9
“How like a Winter hath my absence been/ From thee” – Sonnet 97, line 1
“This time removed” – Sonnet 97, line 5
“And thou away” – Sonnet 97, line 12
“You away” – Sonnet 98, line 13

King James VI of Scotland, for whom Robert Cecil is now working, behind Queen Elizabeth's back, in order to engineer his succession (with Southampton being held hostage in the Tower until James can be proclaimed King of England)

King James VI of Scotland, for whom Robert Cecil is now working, behind Queen Elizabeth's back, in order to engineer his succession (with Southampton being held hostage in the Tower until James can be proclaimed King of England)

To be continued…

“Building the Case for Edward de Vere as Shakespeare” – The Complete Tables of Contents Vols 1 – 5

Here are all Tables of Contents for the first five volumes of

BUILDING THE CASE FOR EDWARD DE VERE AS SHAKESPEARE

Series Editors: Paul Altrocchi & Hank Whittemore

NOW AVAILABLE AT

iUniverse Publishing (800-288-4677 x 5024)

iuniverse.com … amazon.com (search by volume title)

VOLUME 1: THE GREAT SHAKESPEARE HOAX

After Unmasking the Fraudulent Pretender,

Search for the True Genius Begins

Part 1: Growing Disbelief in the Stratford Man as Shakespeare

1. Preface

2. Elsie Greenwood: Obituary of G. G. Greenwood [1859-1928]

3. George Greenwood, 1916: Is There A Shakespeare Problem?

4. George Greenwood, 1916: Professor Dryasdust and “Genius”

5. George Greenwood, 1916: The Portraits of Shakespeare

6. George Greenwood, 1916: Shakespeare as a Lawyer

7. George Greenwood, 1921: Ben Jonson and Shakespeare

8. George Greenwood, 1925: Stratford Bust and the Droeshout

Part 2: The Breadth of Shakespeare’s Knowledge

1. Preface

2. James Harting, 1864: Ornithology of Shakespeare

3. Archibald Geikie, 1916: The Birds of Shakespeare

4. William Theobald, 1909: The Classical Element in the Shakespeare Plays.

5. Cumberland Clark, 1922: Astronomy in the Poets

6. St. ClairThomson, 1916: Shakespeare and Medicine

7. Eva Turner Clark, 1931: Singleton’s The Shakespeare Garden

8. C. Clark, 1929: Shakespeare and Science, including Astronomy

9. Richard Noble, 1935: Shakespeare’s Biblical Knowledge

Part 3: The Case for Francis Bacon

1. Preface

2. H. Crouch Batchelor, 1912: Advice to English Schoolboys

3. Georges Connes, 1927: The Shakespeare Mystery

4. J. Churton Collins, 1904: Studies in Shakespeare

5. Roderick Eagle, 1930: Shakespeare. New Views for Old

6. Harold Bayley, 1902: The Tragedy of Sir Francis Bacon

7. George Bompas, 1902: The Problem of Shakespeare Plays

8. Elizabeth Wells Gallup, 1910: The Bi-lateral Cipher of Sir Francis Bacon.

9. John H. Stotsenburg, 1904: An Impartial Study of the Shakespeare Title.

10. Granville Cuningham, 1911: Bacon’s Secrets Disclosed in Contemporary Books

11. Gilbert Slater, 1931: Seven Shakespeares

Part 4: Edward de Vere Bursts out of Anonymity

1. Preface

2. V. A. Demant, 1962: Obituary of J. Thomas Looney [1870-1944]

3. J. Thomas Looney, 1920: “Shakespeare” Identified in Edward de Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford

Part 5: A Sudden Eruption of Oxfordian Giants

1. Preface

2. Marjorie Bowen, 1933: Introduction to Percy Allen’s The Plays of Shakespeare and Chapman in Relation to French History

3. Obituary of Hubert Henry Holland [1873-1957]

4. Hubert H. Holland, 1923: Shakespeare through Oxford Glasses

5. Phyllis Carrington, 1962: Obituary of Bernard Rowland Ward

6. Colonel B. R. Ward, 1923: The Mystery of “Mr. W. H.”

7. Obituary of Bernard Mordaunt Ward [1893-1943]

8. B. M. Ward, 1928: The Seventeenth Earl of Oxford

9. Obituary of Mrs. Eva Turner Clark [1871-1947]

10. Eva Turner Clark, 1931: Hidden Allusions in Shakespeare’s Plays

11. Rev. Gerald Rendall, 1930: Shakespeare’s Sonnets

12. T. L. Adamson, 1959: Obituary of Percy AlIen [1875-1959]

13. Percy Allen, 1933: The Plays of Shakespeare and Chapman in Relation to French History

14. Percy Allen, 1930: The Case for Edward de Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford as “Shakespeare”

15. Percy Allen, 1931: The Oxford-Shakespeare Case Corroborated

16. F. Lingard Ranson, 1940: Death of Ernest Allen [1875-1940]

17. Percy Allen and Ernest Allen, 1933: Lord Oxford and “Shakespeare”: A Reply to John Drinkwater

VOLUME 2: NOTHING TRUER THAN TRUTH

Fact versus Fiction in the

Shakespeare Authorship Debate

Part 1: Authorship Articles from England in the 1930s

1. Preface

2. Percy Allen, 1937: Lord Oxford as Shakespeare

3. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1938: The Man Who Was Shakespeare by Eva Turner Clark

4. J. Thomas Looney, 1935: Lord Oxford and the Shrew Plays, Part 1

5. J. Thomas Looney, 1935: Lord Oxford and the Shrew Plays, Part 2

6. Gilbert Slater, 1934: Letter to Editor

7. Canon Gerald Rendall, 1935: Lord Oxford was “Shakespeare” by Montague Douglas

8. Editors, 1935: Elizabeth Trentham and Edward deVere

9. Ernest Allen, 1937: Shakespeare’s Sonnets

10. Bernard M. Ward, 1937: Shakespearean Notes

11. Bernard M. Ward, 1937: When Shakespeare Died by Ernest Allen

12. F. Lingard Ranson, 1937: Shakespeare: An East Anglian

13. Percy Allen, 1938: The De Vere Star

14. Editor, 1940: Ben Jonson and the First Folio by G. H. Rendall

15. Montague Douglas, 1940: Welcome to the American Branch

Part 2: Shakespeare Fellowship News-Letters from the American Branch, 1939-1943

1. Preface

2. Eva Turner Clark, 1939: Introduction to the ShakespeareFellowship, American Branch

3. Louis Benezet, 1939: The President’s Message

4. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1939: To Pluck the Heart of the Mystery

5. Editors, 1939: Origins and Achievements of the Shakespeare Fellowship

6. Editors, 1939: Noted Oxfordian Ernest Allen Dies

7. Editors, 1940: Scientific Proof that certain Shakesper Portraits are De Vere

8. Editors, 1940: Dean of Literary Detectives on the War

9. Louis Benezet, 1940: Organization of the Shakespeare Fellowship, American Branch

10. Eva Turner Clark, 1940: Shakespeare Read Books Written in Greek

11. Eva Turner Clark, 1940: Shakespeare’s Birthday

12. Editors, 1940: Editorial in The Argonaut of San Francisco

13. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1940: Mountainous Error

14. Eva Turner Clark, 1940: The Date of Hamlet’s Composition

15. Louis Benezet, 1940: Shakespeare and Ben Jonson

16. Editors, 1940: A Master of Double-Talk

17. Eva Turner Clark, 1940: He Must Build Churches Then

18. Esther Singleton, 1940: Was Edward de Vere Shakespeare?

19. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1940: Dr. Phelps and his Muddled Miracle

20. EvaTurner Clark, 1940: The Painting in Lucrece

21. Charles Wisner BarreD, 1940: Arthur Golding and Edward de Vere

22. Eva Turner Clark, 1940: Topicalities in the Plays

23. Eva Turner Clark, 1940: Anomos, or A. W.

24. Eva Turner Clark, 1940: Gabriel Harvey and Axiophilus

25. J. Thomas Looney, 1941:”Shakespeare”: A Missing Author, Part 1

26. J. Thomas Looney, 1941: “Shakespeare”: A Missing Author, Part 2

27. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1941: Shakespeare’s Irish Sympathies

28. Louis Benezet, 1941: A 19th Century Revolt against the Stratford Theory, Part 1

29. Louis Benezet, 1941: The Great Debate of 1892-1893: Bacon vs. Shakespeare, Part 2

30. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1941: Shakespeare’s “Fluellen” Identified as a Retainer of the Earl of Oxford

31. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1941: “Shake-speare’s” Own Secret Drama, Pt 1

32. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1941: “Shake-speare’s” Own Secret Drama, Pt 2

33. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1942: “Shake-speare’s” Own Secret Drama, Pt 3

34. Editors, 1942: Import of These Discoveries

35. Flodden W. Heron, 1942: Bacon Was Not Shakespeare

36. Eva Turner Clark, 1942: Lord Oxford as Shakespeare

37. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1942:  “Shake-speare’s” Own Secret Drama, Pt 4

38. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1942: “Shake-speare’s” Own Secret Drama, Pt 5

39. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1942: “Shake-speare’s” Own Secret Drama, Pt 6

40. Louis Benezet, 1942: Shaksper, Shakespeare, and DeVere

41. Eva Turner Clark, 1942: The Red Rose

42. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1942: “Shake-speare’s” Unknown Home on the Avon

43. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1943: He Is Dead and Gone, Lady

44. Louis Benezet, 1943: Look at the Chronicles, Part 1

45. Louis Benezet, 1943: Look at the Chronicles, Part 2

46. Louis Benezet, 1943: Look in the Chronicles, Part 3

47. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1943: King of Shreds and Patches – Dyer as “Great Revisor” of the Shakespearean Works

48. Phyllis Carrington, 1943: Was Lord Oxford Buried in Westminster Abbey?

49. Editors, 1943: The Duke of Portland’s Welbeck Portrait

50. Eva Turner Clark, 1943: A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres

51. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1943: Who Was John Soothern?

52. Eva Turner Clark, 1943: Cryptic Passages by Davies of Hereford

53. George Frisbee, 1943: Shame on the Professors

VOLUME 3: SHINE FORTH

Evidence Grows Rapidly in Favor of

Edward de Vere as Shakespeare

Part 1: Articles from the Shakespeare Fellowship Quarterly (1943-1947)

1. Preface

2. Editors, 1943: The Quarterly, A Continuation of the News-Letter

3. Louis Benezet, 1944: The Frauds and Stealths of Injurious Impostors

4. Eva Turner Clark, 1944: Stolen and Surreptitious Copies

5. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1944: Documentary Notes on the Swan Theatre

6. Editors, 1944: Obituary of John Thomas Looney [1870-1944]

7. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1944: Newly Discovered Oxford- Shakespeare Pictorial Evidence

8. Eva Turner Clark, 1944: Some Character Names in Shakespeare’s Plays. Part 1

9. Eva Turner Clark, 1944: Some Character Names in Shakespeare’s Plays. Part 2

10. Eva Turner Clark, 1944: Some Character Names in Shakespeare’s Plays. Part 3

11. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1944: Lord Oxford as Supervising Patron of Shakespeare’s Theatrical Company

12. Louis Benezet, 1944: The Stratford Defendant Compromised His Own Advocates. Part 1

13. Louis Benezet, 1944: The Stratford Defendant Compromised His Own Advocates. Part 2

14. Louis Benezet, 1944: The Stratford Defendant Compromised His Own Advocates. Part 3

15. Louis Benezet, 1944: The Stratford Defendant Compromised His Own Advocates. Part 4

16. Louis Benezet, 1944: The Authorship of Othello

17. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1944: New Milestone in Shakespearean Research: “Gentle Master William”

18. Eva Turner Clark, 1945: Lord Oxford’s Shakespearean Travels

19. Charles W. Barrell, 1945: “The Sole Author of Renowned Victorie.” Gabriel Harvey Testifies in the Oxford-Shakespeare Case

20. Charles Wisner Barreil, 1945: Earliest Authenticated “Shakespeare” Transcript Found With Oxford’s Personal Poems

21. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1945: Rare Military Volume Sponsored by Lord Oxford Issued by “Shakespeare’s” First Publisher

22. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1945: The Wayward Water-Bearer Who Wrote “Shake-speare’s” Sonnet 109

23. Eva Turner Clark, 1945: Lord Oxford’s Letters Echoed in Shakespeare’s Plays. An Early Letter Examined. Part 1

24. Eva Turner Clark, 1945: Lord Oxford’s Letters Echoed in Shakespeare’s Plays. An Early Letter Examined. Part 2

25. Louis Benezet, 1945: The Remarkable Testimony of Henry Peacham.

26. Charles W. Barrell, 1945: “Creature of Their Own Creating.” An Answer to the Present School of Shakespeare Biography

27. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1945: Genesis of a Henry James Story

28. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1946: Exploding the Ancient Play Cobbler Fantasy

29. Lewis Hammond Webster, 1946: Those Authorities

30. Louis Benezet, 1946: Another Stratfordian Aids the Oxford Cause.

31. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1946: A Literary Pirate’s Attempt to Publish The Winter’s Tale in 1594

32. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1946: The Playwright Earl Publishes “Hamlet’s Book”

33. Louis Benezet, 1946: False Shakespeare Chronology Regarding the Date of King Henry VIII

34. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1946: Shakespeare’s Henry V Can Be Identified as Harry of Cornwall in Henslowe’s Diary

35, Eva Turner Clark, 1946: Shakespeare’s Strange Silence When James I Succeeded Elizabeth

36. Charles W. Barrell, 1946: Proof That Shakespeare’s Thought and Imagery Dominate Oxford’s Statement of Creative Principles

37. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1947: Queen Elizabeth’s Master Showman Shakes a Spear in Her Defense

38. James J. Dwyer, 1947: The Poet Earl of Oxford and Grays Inn

39. Louis Benezet, 1947: Dr. Smart’s Man of Stratford Outsmarts Credulity

40. Editors, 1947: Sir George Greenwood

41. Editors, 1947: Physician, Heal Thyself

Part 2: Bonus Selections

1. Preface

2. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1937: Elizabethan Mystery Man

3. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1940: Shakespearean Detective Story

4. Percy Allen & B.M. Ward, 1936: Relations between Lord Oxford as “Shakespeare,” Queen Elizabeth and the Fair Youth. Part 1

5. Percy Allen & B.M. Ward, 1936: Relations between Lord Oxford as “Shakespeare,” Queen Elizabeth and the Fair Youth. Part 2

VOLUME 4: MY NAME BE BURIED

A Coerced Pen Name Forces the

Real Shakespeare into Anonymity

Part 1: Articles from The Shakespeare Fellowship Quarterly, 1947-1948

1. Preface

2. Louis Benezet, 1947: The Shakespeare Hoax: An Improbable Narrative

3. Editors, 1947: Tufts College Then and Now

4. Abraham Feldman, 1947: Shakespeare’s Jester: Oxford’s Servant

5. Editors, 1947: Revising Some Details of an Important Discovery in Oxford-Shakespeare Research: Peacham’s Minerva Britanna

6. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1947: Pictorial Clues and Key Initials

7. Editors, 1947: Historical Background of The Merchant of Venice Clarified

8. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1947: New Proof that Henry Vlll was Written Before the spring of 1606

9. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1947: Dr. John Dover Wilson’s “New” Macbeth is a Masterpiece without a Master

10. Louis Benezet, 1948: Oxford and the Professors

11. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1948: Rarest Contemporary Description of “Shakespeare” Proves Poet to Have Been a Nobleman

12. EvaTurner Clark, 1948: Alias

13. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1948: Oxford vs. Other “Claimants” of the Edwards Shakespearean Honors, 1593

14. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1948: “In deed as in name: Vere nobilis for he was W… (?)…”

15. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1948: John Lyly as Both Oxford’s and Shakespeare’s “Honest Steward”

Part 2: English Shakespeare Fellowship News-Letters after World War II

1. Preface

2. J.J. Dwyer, 1947: Queen Elizabeth and Her Turk

3. J. J. Dwyer, 1947: The Portraits of Shakespeare

4. Montague Douglas, 1948: Book Review of Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Edward de Vere by Canon Gerald Rendall

5. Percy Allen, 1951: King Lear in Relation to French History

6. H. Cutner, 1951: Provincial Dialect in Shakespeare’s Day

7. Percy Allen, 1952: Book Review of This Star of England by Dorothy and Charlton Ogburn

8. Kathleen Le Riche, 1953: A Portrait of Shake-speare?

9. Gwynneth Bowen, 1954: The Wounded Name

10. T. Adamson, 1955: Shakespeare and Oxford in the Lecture Room

11. J. Shera Atkinson, 1955: The Famous Victories of Henry V

12. John R. Metz, 1955: Gascoigne and De Vere

13. John R. Metz, 1955: The Poet with a Spear

14. Katherine Eggar, 1955: Brooke House, Hackney

15. Editors, 1956: The Aristocratic Look of Shakespeare

16. Rex Clements, 1957: Shakespeare as Mariner

Part 3: Excerpts from Books, 1920s to 1950s

1. Preface

2. B. M. Ward, 1928: The Seventeenth Earl of Oxford

3. Eva Turner Clark, 1937: The Man Who Was Shakespeare

4. Louis P. Benezet, 1937: Shakspere, Shakespeare, and De Vere

5. Alden Brooks, 1937: Factotem and Agent

6. Montague Douglas, 1952: Lord Oxford and the Shakespeare Group

7. Hilda Amphlett, 1955: Who Was Shakespeare? A New Enquiry

8. J. J. Dwyer, 1946: Italian Art in Poems and Plays of Shakespeare

9. Ernesto Grub, 1949: Shakespeare and Italy

10. Louis P. Benezet, 1958: The Six Loves of “Shakespeare”

11. Dorothy and Charlton Ogburn, 1955: The Renaissance Man of England

Part 4: Bonus Selections

1. Preface

2. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1946. Verifying the Secret History of Shake-speares Sonnets

3. Dorothy and Chariton Ogburn, 1959. The True Shakespeare: England’s Great and Complete Man

4. Dorothy and Chariton Ogburn, 1952: This Star of England

VOLUME 5: SO RICHLY SPUN

Four Hundred Years of Deceit are Enough.

Edward de Vere is Shakespeare

Part 1: Shakespearean Authorship Review 1959-1973

1. Preface

2. Julia Cooley Altrocchi, 1959: Ships and Spears in Genoa

3. Ruth Wainewright, 1959: Elizabethan Noblemen and the Literary Profession

4. Gwynneth Bowen, 1959: Debate at the Old Vic – The Shakespeare Mystery

5. Katharine Eggar, 1959: Review of G. Bowen paper: Hamlet, A Mirror of the Time

6. D.F., 1959: Review of Katharine Eggar paper: Lord Oxford and His Servants

7. Julia Cooley Altrocchi, 1959: Edward de Vere and the Commedia dell’Arte

8. Gwynneth Bowen, 1959: Book Review of Louis Benezet’s The Six Loves of Shakespeare

9. Editors, 1959: The Deiphic Oracle

10. Sir John Russell, 1960: Book Review of Joel Hurstfield’s The Queen’s Wards

11. Ruth Wainewright, 1960: Replies to Mr. Mendi’s Criticisms of Who Was Shakespeare?

12. Gwynneth Bowen, 1960: Oxford Did Go to Milan?

13. D.W.T. Vessey, 1961: Freud and the Authorship Question

14. Georges Lambin, 1961: Did Oxford Go North-East of Milan?

15. Gwynneth Bowen, 1961: Editorial Reply Regarding Spinola Letter

16. Gwynneth Bowen, 1961: The Incomparable Pair and “The Works of William Shakespeare”

17. R. Ridgill Trout, 1961: The Clifford Bax Portrait of W. Shakespeare

18. Ruth Wainewright, 1961: Book Review of Martin Holmes’ Shakespeare’s Public

19. Ruth Wainewright, 1961: Review of Prof. Penrose’s Lecture, “The Shakespeare Portraits”

20. Gwynneth Bowen, 1961: Review of Ruth Wainewright’s Lecture, “Macbeth and the Authorship Question”

21. J.H.D., 1961: Obituary of Professor Louis P. Benezet

22. T. Adamson, 1962: Obituary of Chariton Ogburn

23. Editors, 1962: A Backward Look

24. Phyllis Carrington, 1962: Obituary of B. R. Ward [1863-1933]

25. E. Greenwood, 1962: Obituary: George Greenwood [1850-1928]

26. V.A. Demant, 1962: Obituary of J. Thomas Looney [1870-1944]

27. Georges Lambin, 1962: Obituary of Abel Lefranc [1863-1952]

28. Ruth Wainewright, 1962: “Forty Winters”

29. William Kent, 1963: Professor Saintsbury and Shakespeare

30. Ruth Wainewright, 1963: Book Review of Dorothy and Charlton Ogburn, Jr.’s Shakespeare: The Real Man Behind the Name

31. Sir John Russell, 1963: Book Review of Georges Lambin’s Voyages de Shakespeare en France et en Italie

32. Editors, 1963: Review of H. Gibson’s Lecture, “The Case against the Claimants”

33. Editors, 1963: Debate with Orthodoxy, “The Authorship Question”

34. G. Bowen, 1963: Book Review of S. Pitcher’s The Case for Shakespeare’s Authorship of ‘The Famous Victories.’

35. H. Cutner, 1963: Obituary of William Kent

36. Gwynneth Bowen, 1963: Stratfordian Quarter-centenary

37. D.W. Vessey, 1964: Some Early References to Shakespeare

38. Ruth Wainewright, 1964: Review of G. Bowen’s Lecture: “New Evidence for Dating the Plays: Orthodox and Oxfordian”

39. Hilda Amphlett, 1964: Review of Lecture by G. Cimino, “The Golden Age of Padua”

40. Gwynneth Bowen, 1964: Reverberations

41. D.W. Vessey, 1964: After the Pageant: A Meditation for 1965

42. James Walker, 1965: The Pregnant Silence

43. W.A. Ferguson, 1965: The Sonnets of Shakespeare: The “Oxfordian” Solution

44. G. Bowen, 1965: Hackney, Harsnett, and the Devils in King Lear

45. H.W. Patience, 1965: Topical Allusions in King John

46. l.L. McGeoch, 1965: Book Review of A. Falconer’s Shakespeare and the Sea

47. Ruth Wainewright, 1965: Book Review of E. Brewster’s Oxford: Courtier to the Queen

48. Ruth Wainewright, 1965: Review of G. Bowen’s Lecture “The Merchant and the Jew”

49. Gwynneth Bowen, 1965: Review of Ruth Wainwright’s Lecture, “Conflicting Dates for Various Candidates”

50. Gerald Rendall, 1966: A 1930 Toast to Edward de Vere

51. G. Bowen, 1965: Sir Edward Vere and His Mother, Anne Vavasor

52. Frances Carr: Review of Lecture by Marlowe Society Members: “The Death of Kit Marlowe: A Reconstruction”

53. Frances Carr, 1966: Review of Lecture by G. Bowen: “Who Was Kyd’s and Marlowe’s Lord”?

54. Ruth Wainewright, 1966: On the Poems of Edward de Vere

55. Editors, 1966: Brief Note on the “Flower Portrait”

56. W.T. Patience, 1966: Shakespeare and “Authority”

57. Gwynneth Bowen, 1967: Oxford’s Letter to Bedingfield and “Shake-speare’s Sonnets”

58. R. Ridgill Trout, 1967: Edward de Vere to Robert Cecil

59. Editors, 1967: Review of T. Bokenham’s Lecture: “Ben Jonson, Shakespeare and the 1623 Folio”

60. Editors, 1967: Review of D.W. Vessey’s Lecture: “Shakespeare’s Classical Learning”

61. Editors, 1967: Review of Gwynneth Bowen’s Lecture: “The Shakespeare Portraits and the Earl of Oxford”

62. Gwynneth Bowen, 1967: Touching the Affray at the Blackfriers

63. Dorothy Ogburn, 1967: The Authorship of The True Tragedie of Edward the Second

64. Ruth Wainewright, 1967: Book Review of M. Dewar’s Sir Thomas Smith: A Tudor Intellectual in Office

65. Craig Huston, 1968: Edward de Vere

66. Hilda Amphlett, 1968: Titchfield Abbey

67. Ruth Wainewright, 1968: Book Review of Tresham Lever’s The Herberts of Wilton

68. Editors, 1968: Book Review of Christmas Humphreys’ A Cross-Examination of Oxfordians

69. Gwynneth Bowen, 1968: More Brabbles and Frays

70. H.W. Patience, 1968: Earls Come and Castle Hedingham

71. Ruth Wainewright, 1968: Book Review of B. Grebanier’s The Great Shakespeare Forgery

72. Gwynneth Bowen, 1970: What Happened at Hedingham and Earls Come? Part 1

73. Gwynneth Bowen, 1971: What Happened at Hedingham and EarlsColne? Part 2

74. H.W. Patience, 1970: Note on the 16th Earl of Oxford

75. Alexis Dawson, 1970: Master Apis Lapis

76. D.W. Vessey, 1970: Book Review of G. Akrigg’s Shakespeare and the Earl of Southampton

77. D.W. Vessey, 1970: Review of Sir John Russell’s Lecture: “For and Against William of Stratford: A Barrister’s Evaluation”

78.Gwynneth Bowen, 1971. Review of Lecture by Ruth Wainewright “All’s Well That Ends Well and the Authorship Question”

79. Ruth Wainewright, 1971: Review of Alexis Dawson’s Lecture “They Tried to Tell Us”

80. Gwynneth Bowen, 1972: Purloined Plumes

81. Minos Miller, 1972: Address to the Shakespearean Authorship Society on its 50th Anniversary

82. Gwynneth Bowen, 1972: Book Review of C. Sisson’s The Boar’s Head Theatre: An Inn-Yard Theatre of the Elizabethan Age

83. Gwynneth Bowen, 1973: Oxford’s and Worcester’s Men and the “Boar’s Head”

84. Francis Edwards, 1973: Oxford and the Duke of Norfolk

Part 2: Bonus Selections

1. Preface

2. Gywnneth Bowen, 1951: Shakespeare’s Farewell

3. William Kent, 1947: Edward de Vere, the Real Shakespeare

4. Charles Wisner Barrell, 1940: Identifying Shakespeare by X-ray and Infrared Photography

5. Ruth Loyd Miller, 1975: The “Ashbourne” Goes To Court

6. Percy Allen, 1934: Anne Cecil, Elizabeth and Oxford

/////////

Quite a lineup, eh?  All of us who feel it’s important to investigate the Shakespearean authorship can be proud of this amazingly rich body of research and writing — by extraordinary men and women — that stands as the foundation of more great work done up to, and including, the present.

“The Plea Bargain for Southampton’s Life” – The Living Record, Chapter 43

One of the big questions about the Shakespeare sonnets is whether they are arranged by the author to create an ongoing chronicle, in the form of a diary of private letters; and the resounding answer of the Monument Theory is … Yes!

A Contemporary Report of the Essex-Southampton trial, showing Edward de Vere as highest-ranking earl on the tribunal

A Contemporary Report of the Essex-Southampton trial, showing Edward de Vere as highest-ranking earl on the tribunal

My aim is to demonstrate this answer until, at some point, it becomes self-evident.

The first forty sonnets of the 100-sonnet central sequence are within four chapters of ten sonnets each, covering forty days from the night of the failed Essex Rebellion of February 8, 1601.  Oxford is writing to and about Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, who remains in his Tower prison room as a convicted traitor who is expected to die by execution:

THE CRIME – sonnets 27-36 – February 8 – 17, 1601

THE TRIAL – sonnets 37-46 –  February 18 – 27, 1601

THE PLEA  –  sonnets 47-56  – February 28 – March 9, 1601

REPRIEVE  – sonnets 57-66  – March 10 – 19, 1601

Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford

Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford

CHAPTER THREE – THE PLEA

(Oxford is trying to solidify a “league” or plea bargain with Secretary Robert Cecil on behalf of Southampton, his son by the Queen and her rightful successor by blood.  The prince is “locked up” in the Tower while Oxford is desperately putting forth “the lawful reasons” for the Queen to excuse her son and spare his life.  [His dealings are actually with Cecil, who needs to bring James of Scotland to the throne upon Elizabeth’s death; otherwise, he will lose all his power and most likely his life.] To that end Oxford visits the Tower and personally tries to persuade Southampton to forfeit any claim as Elizabeth’s natural heir.  Oxford’s “grief lies onward” as he rides away from “where thou art” in the prison, while “strange shadows on you tend” — the shadows of disgrace and coming death, during “this sad interim” between the tragedy of the rebellion and whatever the outcome will be.)

Son 47 – Feb 28 – “A League is Took”
Son 48 – Mar 1    – “Locked Up”
Son 49 – Mar 2  – “Lawful Reasons”
Son 50 – Mar 3  – “My Grief Lies Onward”
Son 51 – Mar 4  – “Where Thou Art”
Son 52 – Mar 5  – “Up-Locked”
Son 53 – Mar 6  – “Strange Shadows on You”
Son 54 – Mar 7  – “Sweet Deaths”
Son 55 – Mar 8  – “‘Gainst Death”
Son 56 – Mar 9  – “This Sad Interim”

Tower of London

Tower of London

Has anyone had any other plausible explanation for the torrent of legal terms and “dark” imagery in these sonnets, along with the author’s emotional turmoil and insistence that the beloved younger man is “away” and “locked up”?

The ten sonnets of this chapter are packed with such images and expressions:

“Thy self away … bars [locks, barricades] … my greatest grief … locked up … closure [walls] … to guard the lawful reasons on thy part … the strength of laws … I can allege no cause … tired with my woe … my grief lies onward and my joy behind … excuse … offence … where thou art … excuse … excuse … key … up-locked … imprisoned … millions of strange shadows on you tend … die to themselves … sweet deaths … death and all-oblivious enmity … the ending doom … the judgment … perpetual dullness … this sad interim …”

We’ll take up the story as it proceeds through Sonnets 47-56, with Oxford desperately seeking a [legal] remedy for 27-year-old Southampton before it’s too late.  These sonnets reflect the very real suspense that was building and building within 50-year-old Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, as he labored behind the scenes and set down this “living record” of his royal son for “the eyes of all posterity that wear this world out to the ending doom.”  [Sonnet 55, lines 11-12]

A Reply to Critics of Those Who Study the Shakespeare Authorship — and a Challenge

It’s tiresome to read the negative remarks about those of us who doubt the traditional view of Shakespeare authorship and who have concluded that Edward de Vere Earl of Oxford wrote the great works.   For example, the latest one [from Alex Beam of the Boston Globe] asserts:

“The search for the ‘real’ Shakespeare is a collective madness … The case for de Vere seems modest at best.  He wasn’t much of a poet, and his greatest champion is a now-forgotten author named Looney [cheap shot!].  Two of his main fans are the superannuated [low blow!] Supreme Court justices John Paul Stevens and Antonin Scalia … ”

Most of the critics who calls us “snobs” or “conspiracy nuts” [gimme a break] have no real interest in Shakespeare, much less do they care about the history of Elizabethan England, nor do they feel any need to learn about Oxford’s tumultuous life – despite the fact that he was at the center of the “renaissance” of English literature and drama in the 1570’s and 1580’s leading to (and making possible) the sudden appearance of “Shakespeare” in 1593.

Edward de Vere Earl of Oxford

Edward de Vere Earl of Oxford

Arthur Golding, whose translation of Ovid in the 1560’s became the English source used throughout the Shakespeare works, was Oxford’s uncle who lived under the same roof at Cecil House while producing that translation.

John Lyly and Anthony Munday, whose literary and dramatic works were used as contemporary sources for the Shakespeare works, were both employed by Oxford.

Edward de Vere and “William Shakespeare” had a lot in common.  If they were separate individuals, they certainly should have known each other!  Here’s just a small sampling of some of the statements that contemporaries of Edward de Vere made to and/or about him:

“Hereon when your honour shall be at leisure to look, bestowing such regard as you are accustomed to do on books of Geography, Histories, and other good learning…” – Thomas Twyne, 1573

“For a long time past Phoebus Apollo has cultivated thy mind in the arts.  English poetical measures have been sung by thee long enough.  Let that courtly epistle, more polished even than the writings of Castiglione himself, witness how greatly thou dost excel in letters; I have seen many Latin verses of thine, yea even more English verses are extant.” – Gabriel Harvey, scholar, 1578

J. Thomas Looney

J. Thomas Looney

“Mark him well; he is but a little fellow, but he hath one of the best wits in England.  Should he take thee in hand … I prophesy there would be more gentle readers die of a merry mortality engendered by the eternal jests he would maul thee with..” – Thomas Nashe, pamphlet writer, to Gabriel Harvey, 1580, referring to Harvey having “incensed the Earl of Oxford against you.”

“Where it hath pleased your Honour to commend unto me and the heads of [Cambridge University] my Lord of Oxford his players, that they might show their cunning in certain plays already practiced by them before the Queen’s Majesty…” – John Hatcher, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge, 1580, to William Cecil Lord Burghley

“Since the world hath understood – I know not how – that your Honour had willingly vouchsafed the acceptance of this work, and at convenient leisures favourably perused it, being as yet but in written hand, many have oftentimes and earnestly called upon me to put it to the press, that for their money they might but see what your Lordship, with some liking, had already perused.” – Thomas Watson, poet, 1582

“Your Honour being a worthy favourer and fosterer of learning hath forced many through your excellent virtue to offer the first-fruits of their study at the shrine of your Lordship’s courtesy.” – Robert Greene, writer, poet, dramatist, 1584

“I may not omit the deserved commendations of many honourable and noble Lords and Gentlemen in Her Majesty’s Court, which, in the rare devices of poetry, have been and yet are most skillful; among whom the right honourable Earl of Oxford may challenge to himself the title of the most excellent among the rest.” – William Webbe, 1586

“Your Lordship, whose infancy from the beginning was ever sacred to the Muses” – Angel Day, author, 1586

“The Earl of Oxford and Master Edwards of Her Majesty’s Chapel [do deserve the highest praise] for Comedy and Enterlude … And in Her Majesty’s time that now is are sprung up another crew of Courtly makers [poets] … who have written excellently well as it would appear if their doings could be found out and made public with the rest, of which number is first that noble gentleman Edward Earl of Oxford.” – anonymous, The Arte of English Poesie, 1589

“And also for the love which thou dost bear/ To the Heliconian imps [the Muses of poetry and drama] and they to thee,/ They unto thee, and thou to them most dear” – Edmund Spenser, poet, 1590, in a dedicatory sonnet to Oxford

“The best for Comedy among us be Edward Earl of Oxford…” – Francis Meres, author, 1598

“For without flattery be it spoke, those that know your Lordship know this, that using this science [music] as a recreation, your Lordship have overgone most of them that make it a profession.” – John Farmer, composer, 1599

“Your wit, learning and authority hath great force and strength in repressing the curious crakes of the envious.” – Dr. George Baker, medical expert, 1599

“Most, most, of me beloved, whose silent name/ One letter bounds” — John Marston, dramatist, 1599, apparently referring to the name “Edward de VerE,” which is bounded by the single letter E.

“He was beside of spirit passing great,/ Valiant and learned and liberal as the sun,/ Spoke and writ sweetly, or of learned subjects, / … And ’twas the Earl of Oxford.” – George Chapman, poet and dramatist, after 1600

Not a bad set of references!

Imagine Hamlet greeting the players … writing a dozen or so lines to insert in one of their speeches … having them put on a play for the monarch and the Court … and you might as well be imagining Edward de Vere bringing his players to perform for Queen Elizabeth and her Court.

I challenge anyone who criticizes those of us who study the authorship question to investigate contemporary England during the lifetime [1564-1616] of the man traditionally perceived as the author and follow the contemporary evidence to discover Will of Stratford-upon-Avon as the writer.  I challenge current Stratfordian believers such as Stephen Greenblatt and James Shapiro to try finding him this way.

They can’t find him.

I challenge them to list five contemporary English sources for the Shakespeare works and see if they find Edward Earl of Oxford.

They can’t avoid him.

“And By Their Verdict” – The Living Record – Chapter 41

Excerpts from The Monument for Sonnets 43-44-45-46

Waiting for the execution of Essex and attempting to save Southampton’s life, the Earl of Oxford returns to the theme of the first of the prison verses, Sonnet 27, when his royal son appeared to him as “a jewel hung in ghastly night.”  In the daytime, he sees Southampton as “un-respected” (a convicted traitor in disgrace); at night, during sleep, he sees him in dreams as the true royal prince.  The “Summer’s Day” of Southampton’s royal blood has turned to darkness, shadow, and night; reality itself has been turned inside out.

Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford

Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford

Sonnet 43 – “In Dead Night” – 24 Feb 1601

When I most wink, then do mine eyes best see;
For all the day they view things un-respected,
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
And darkly bright, are bright in dark directed.
Then thou whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
How would thy shadow’s form form happy show
To the clear day with thy much clearer light,
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so?
How would (I say) mine eyes be blessed made
By looking on thee in the living day,
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay?
All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.

The Tower of London

The Tower of London

The Execution of Essex – 25 Feb 1601

“The death of Essex left Sir Robert Cecil without a rival in the Court or cabinet, and he soon established himself as the all-powerful ruler of the realm.”  – Agnes Strickland, Elizabeth, 1906, p. 675

“The fall of Essex may be said to date the end of the reign of Elizabeth in regard to her activities and glories.  After that she was Queen only in name.  She listened to her councilors, signed her papers, and tried to retrench in expenditure; but her policy was dependent on the decisions of Sir Robert Cecil.”- Charlotte Stopes, The Life of Henry, Third Earl of Southampton, 1922, p. 243

Sonnet 44 – “Heavy Tears” – 25 Feb 1601

Essex is executed by beheading at the Tower of London.  Robert Cecil has gained all power to engineer the succession upon Elizabeth’s death; and Oxford will be forced to go through Cecil, his brother-in-law, to save Southampton’s life.  In the eighth line he makes an unmistakable reference to the Tower as “the place” – a common euphemism for the monarch’s fortress-like prison.  Alluding indirectly to the death of Essex’s mortal body (“the dull substance of my flesh”), Oxford refers to the first two of the four “elements” (earth, water, air, and fire) of life.  He writes of having to attend “time’s leisure” (the Queen’s pleasure or royal will) that will likely lead to Southampton’s death, and he records his funereal “moan” over this impending loss.  Oxford and Southampton share “heavy tears” and “woe” over the tragedy of this wrongful execution.

If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,
Injurious distance should not stop my way;
For then, despite of space, I would be brought
From limits far remote, where thou dost stay;
No matter then although my foot did stand
Upon the farthest earth removed from thee,
For nimble thought can jump both sea and land
As soon as think the place where he would be.
But ah, thought kills me, that I am not thought,
To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone,
But that so much of earth and water wrought,
I must attend time’s leisure with my moan;
Receiving naughts by elements so slow
But heavy tears, badges of either’s woe.

“You both shall be led from hence to the place from whence you came” – the Lord High Steward, speaking to Southampton and Essex at the end of the trial on 19 Feb 1601

Robert Cecil

Robert Cecil

Sonnet 45 – “Thy Fair Health … Swift Messengers” – 26 Feb 1601

The Privy Council takes note of Southampton’s “long sickness, which he hath had before his trouble.”  His health is poor and he’s being treated both for a quartain ague and a swelling in his legs and other parts of his body. Messengers on horseback bring word to Oxford from the Tower that Southampton’s health has been stabilized.  Oxford rejoices, but then, sadly, sends them back to the Tower with more correspondence (perhaps some of these sonnets) for his imprisoned son.  (His “fair” health = his “royal” health.)

The other two, slight air, and purging fire,
Are both with thee, wherever I abide:
The first my thought, the other my desire,
These, present absent, with swift motion slide;
For when these quicker Elements are gone
In tender Embassy of love to thee,
My life being made of four, with two alone
Sinks down to death, oppressed with melancholy,
Until life’s composition be re-cured
By those swift messengers returned from thee
Who even but now come back again assured
Of thy fair health, recounting it to me.
This told, I joy; but then no longer glad,
I send them back again and straight grow sad.

Sonnet 46 – “By Their Verdict” – 27 Feb 1601

Oxford continues his daily sonnets by again pledging his devotion to Southampton, addressing him as his royal son.  In this verse, he recreates the entire experience on the “quest” (jury) at the trial, leading to the “verdict” of guilt by which Southampton continues to face execution.

Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war
How to divide the conquest of thy sight;
Mine eye, my heart thy picture’s sight would bar
My heart, mine eye the freedom of that right;
My heart doth plead that thou in him dost lie
(A closet never pierced with crystal eyes),
But the defendant doth that plea deny,
And says in him thy fair appearance lies.
To ‘cide this title is impanelled
A quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart,
And by their verdict is determined
The clear eyes’ moiety, and thy dear heart’s part:
As thus, mine eyes’ due is thy outward part,
And my heart’s right, their inward love of heart.

Execution on Tower Hill

Execution on Tower Hill

So ends the second chapter:

CHAPTER ONE: THE CRIME: Sonnets 27-36    8 Feb – 17 Feb 1601

CHAPTER TWo: THE TRIAL: Sonnets 37-46   18 Feb – 27 Feb 1601

The sequence of 100 sonnets at the center of the monument is structured as a book of 10 chapters, each containing ten sonnets. Chapter Two – The Trial concludes, appropriately, with a trial whose jury members render “their verdict” as Oxford and the other peers on the tribunal had been forced to issue a guilty verdict against Essex and Southampton.

Pleading for Mercy – “The Living Record” – Chapter 40 – Southampton Writes to the Privy Council to Save His Life

Twenty-seven-year-old Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton wrote several letters to the Privy Council from the Tower of London soon after his trial of Feb. 19, 1601, when he was condemned to death as a traitor.

Southampton in the Tower, reduced from Lord to Commoner as "Mr. Henry Wriothesley" or in legal terms "the late earl"...

Southampton in the Tower, reduced from Lord to Commoner as "Mr. Henry Wriothesley" or in legal terms "the late earl"...

According to the Monument theory, Sonnets 27-66 cover this crucial time when fifty-year-old Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, after being forced to act as his son’s “adverse party” on the tribunal of peers sitting in judgment, was now acting behind the scenes as Southampton’s “advocate” or legal counsel trying to save his life.

“Thy adverse party is thy Advocate,” Oxford tells him in Sonnet 35, and Southampton is following his advice by saying he had not intended any treason and by begging for Her Majesty’s mercy.

There’s a remarkable correspondence between the legal terminology in Southampton’s letters to the Council and the words that Oxford uses in his private sonnets to Southampton:

“I beseech your Lordships be pleased to receive the petition of a poor condemned man,” Southampton writes, “who doth, with a lowly and penitent heart, confess his faults and acknowledge his offences to her Majesty.”

“Let me confess that we two must be twain” – Sonnet 36

“All men make faults” – Sonnet 35

“Th’offender’s sorrow lends but weak relief
To him that bears the strong offence’s cross.” – Sonnet 34

Hank performing "Shake-Speare's Treason"

Hank performing "Shake-Speare's Treason"

“What my fault hath been your Lordships know to the uttermost, wherein, howsoever I have offended in the letter of the law, your Lordships I think cannot but find, by the proceedings at my trial, that my heart was free from any premeditate treason against my sovereign, though my reason was corrupted by affection to my friend [Essex] (whom I thought honest) and I by that carried headlong to my ruin, without power to prevent it, who otherwise could never have been induced for any cause of mine own to have hazarded her Majesty’s displeasure but in a trifle: yet I can not despair of her favor, neither will it enter into my thought that she who hath been ever so renowned for her virtues, and especially for clemency, will not extend it to me, that do with so humble and grieved a spirit prostrate myself at her royal feet and crave her pardon.”

“To you it doth belong
Yourself to pardon of self-doing crime” – Sonnet 58
(Southampton has it in his power to agree to the bargain Oxford has made with Robert Cecil, requiring him to renounce any claim to the throne so he can gain a royal pardon)

“O let her never suffer to be spilled the blood of him that desires to live but to do her service, nor lose the glory she shall gain in the world by pardoning one whose heart is without spot, though his cursed destiny hath made his acts to be condemned, and whose life, if it please her to grant it, shall be eternally ready to be sacrificed to accomplish her least commandment.”

“When hours have drained his blood” – Sonnet 63

“My lords, there are divers amongst you to whom I owe particular obligation for your favors past, and to all I have ever performed that respect which was fit, which makes me bold in this manner to importune you, and let not my faults now make me seem more unworthy than I have been, but rather let the misery of my distressed estate move you to be a mean to her Majesty, to turn away her heavy indignation from me.  O let not her anger continue towards an humble and sorrowful man, for that alone hath more power to dead my spirits than any iron hath to kill my flesh.”

Kill me with spites” – Sonnet 40

“Ah, but thought kills me” – Sonnet 44

“My soul is heavy and troubled for my offences, and I shall soon grow to detest myself if her Majesty refuse to have compassion of me.

“But heavy tears, badges of either’s woe” – Sonnet 44

“The law hath hitherto had his proceedings, whereby her justice and my shame is sufficiently published; now is the time that mercy is to be showed.  O pray her then, I beseech your lordships, in my behalf to stay her hand, and stop the rigorous course of the law, and remember, as I know she will never forget, that it is more honor to a prince to pardon one penitent offender than with severity to punish many.

“Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief” – Sonnet 34

“Loving offenders, thus I will excuse thee” – Sonnet 42

“To conclude, I do humbly entreat your Lordships to sound mercy in her ears, that thereby her heart, which I know is apt to receive any impression of good, may be moved to pity me, that I may live to lose my life (as I have been ever willing and forward to venture it) in her service, as your lordships herein shall effect a work of charity, which is pleasing to God; preserve an honest man (howsoever now his faults have made him seem otherwise) to his country; win honor to yourselves, by favoring the distressed; and save the blood of one who will live and die her Majesty’s faithful and loyal subject.”

“But weep to have that which it fears to lose” – Sonnet 64

“Thus, recommending my self and my suit to your Lordships’ honorable considerations; beseeching God to move you to deal effectually for me, and to inspire her Majesty’s royal heart with the spirit of mercy and compassion towards me, I end, remaining,

“Your Lordships’ most humbly, of late Southampton, but now of all men most unhappy,

H. Wriothesley

(Charlotte Stopes, The Life of Henry, Third Earl of Southampton, 1922, pp 225-226; Salisbury Papers, vol. XI, p. 72; “after Feb. 19, 1601”)

“Lay On Me This Cross” – The Living Record – Chapter 39

Traditionally Sonnets 40, 41 & 42 have been viewed as the poet’s reaction to the youth’s betrayal of him by stealing his mistress.  The point  here, however, is that this perception represents only the surface, just one side of the “double image” created by Edward de Vere Earl of Oxford, who, in his real-life record running in parallel, is actually referring to Queen Elizabeth.  The time is February 1601 and she (because of the now all-powerful Secretary Robert Cecil) has  imprisoned their son, Henry Wriothesley Earl of Southampton, who has been convicted of high treason and sentenced to die.

At the high point of this sequence, near the end of Sonnet 42, he presents a vision of himself as Jesus bearing the Cross on Calvary — or perhaps as Simon of Cyrene being made to carry it for Him.

Both find each other, and I lose both twain,
And both for my sake lay on me this cross…

The traditional view inevitably leads to the question whether “Shakespeare” is really serious about this biblical image of himself and his suffering.  Given the imagined context (his young male lover in bed with his mistress), it seems way over the top.  Moreover the lines are followed by this couplet:

But here’s the joy, my friend and I are one;
Sweet flattery!  Then she loves but me alone.

Sounds like a joke, eh?  Katherine Duncan-Jones deserves credit for commenting candidly:

“The claim that the woman, in loving the youth, actually loves only the poet, is both logically and emotionally weak. First, the argument that love for one person is really love for another is inherently implausible; and secondly, the poet has made it quite clear in preceding lines of the sonnet that what he cares about is the young man’s defection, not the woman’s.”

Two of those preceding lines to Southampton, are:

That she hath thee is of my wailing chief,
As loss in love that touches me more nearly.

Within the real-life context that this is Southampton’s father writing of his son’s imprisonment and death sentence, the same words of suffering no longer appear “logically and emotionally weak,” but finally do make logical and emotional sense.

The actuality, I argue, is that this is Oxford’s record for posterity of how he chose to save Southampton’s life by (1) persuading him to give up any claim of succession and (2) sacrificing his own identity as the father of Southampton and as author of the immortal works printed under the “Shakespeare” pen name.

In Sonnet 44 he will refer to “heavy tears, badges of either’s woe” (yours and mine), more directly reflecting the context of Southampton’s imprisonment and the verdict of guilt.

In Sonnet 46 he will wrap up this “chapter” (37-46) with a stream of words reflecting the recent treason trial [at which Oxford served as highest-ranking earl on the tribunal and was forced to join the unanimous verdict of guilt for both Essex and Southampton:  (“plead … defendant … plea deny … impanelled … quest [jury] … verdict”).

Traditionally these words create a sustained metaphor.  Well, yes, but here again that’s just one half of the double image. The other half is a sustained personal and political reality.

Critiquing the Critique – 9

Arguing that most of Sonnets 27-126 contain “no evident connection” to the events of the Essex Rebellion of February 8, 1601 and, too, that some of the sonnets “manifestly cannot be about either,” Kositsky and Stritmatter continue:

“For example, Sonnets 71-74 are all meditations on the poet’s imminent death.  In these and other sonnets, the poet repeatedly emphasizes the fair youth’s surviving him, a curious emphasis indeed if the youth is living in the Tower  under a death sentence.”

A little earlier, in Sonnet 66, Oxford recorded his reaction to the decision in March 1601 to spare Southampton’s life, the price being his loss of any hope for the crown.  Now, however, the younger earl faces the prospect of spending his life in the Tower; and Sonnets 71-74 are arranged AFTER this reprieve, when Oxford’s fear that he might outlive his own son is replaced by the reality that he, a generation older, will most likely die first.  He also uses these same sonnets to record the necessary sacrifice his own identity, both as Southampton’s father and as author of the magnificent “Shakespeare” works, which he had dedicated to Southampton:

When I (perhaps) compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse.
Sonnet 71, lines 10-11

My name be buried where my body is,
And live no more to shame nor me nor you.
Sonnet 72, lines 11-12

Right here we have incontrovertible evidence that the poet of the Sonnets is deliberately predicting, and recording, his own obliteration upon his death.

“Furthermore, many sonnets in the hundred-sonnet sequence [27-126] address the youth as an object of consolation to whom the poet turns when distressed by other circumstances:

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.
Sonnet 30, lines 13-14

“Why would the poet be consoled by, or find joy in, the idea of his beloved if that beloved is incarcerated?”

Would a suffering father not turn to his own son for consolation?  Regardless of the tragic situation for Southampton, he finds joy in the truth of him as a prince.

“This couplet and many others make no sense of the context as defined by Whittemore and Boyle.”

I say it’s the other way around: the context of THE MONUMENT allows that couplet and all the others to make sense for the first time!

“Both writers create the illusion of such a connection only through the adroit selection of certain words and phrases with no regard for their immediate or larger context as parts of sonnets or sonnet sequences.”

THE MONUMENT demonstrates in every line that the sonnets are written simultaneously on two entirely different levels of meaning, one fictional and universal or timeless, the other nonfictional and specific:

And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name
Sonnet 76, lines 7-8

The first level is that of the “noted weed” or familiar costume of love poems; the second level is the true story being recorded.  Therefore he is ALMOST — i.e., not quite directly — revealing his own “name” or identity as well as the story.

“We have already considered Sonnet 27.  Let us now examine the evidence Whittemore presents for linking subsequent sonnets to Southampton’s imprisonment.  He states:

“Identifying with the younger earl’s plight, [the poet] records in 29 that he himself is ‘in disgrace with fortune (the Queen) and men’s eyes’ in the same way Southampton is suffering in the Tower.”

“However, a close reading of the sonnet shows that the poet is not in any way identifying with ‘the plight’ of the addressee, but talking of his own disgrace, which is again compensated for by his pleasant thoughts of the youth”:

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising)
From sullen earth sings hymns at heaven’s gate,
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings,
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
Sonnet 29, lines 9-14

But when these sonnets are viewed as chronological entries of a diary, they can be read IN RELATION TO EACH OTHER; and then it becomes obvious that Oxford is expressing a range of different and even contradictory emotions WITHIN THAT CONTEXT OR FRAMEWORK.

Yes, in Sonnet 29 he finally thinks of Southampton and gains comfort. He continues this theme until, in Sonnet 34, he turns to the matter of Southampton’s own guilt and disgrace as the ‘offender’ whose crime has affected Oxford’s own life; and here he makes it plain that it’s the son’s offense that produces his own wretchedness:

Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief’
Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss;
Th’offender’s sorry lends but weak relief
To him that bears the strong offence’s loss.
Sonnet 34, lines 9-12

And in the couplet that follows, Oxford once again finds comfort in his thoughts of Southampton:

Ah, but those tears are pearl which thy love sheeds,
And they are rich, and ransom all ill deeds.
Sonnet 34, lines 13-14

The basic situation is a familiar one: the father is made angry and distraught (and finds himself disgraced) by the “ill deeds” of his son, but he simultaneously still values the son and their relationship above all else.

This emotional conflict is expressed fully in the next verse, in which Oxford quite plainly identifies with Southampton’s plight:

Sonnet 35

No more be grieved at that which thou hast done:
Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud;
Clouds and eclipses stain both Moone and Sunne,
And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.

All men make faults, and even I, in this,
Authorizing thy trespass with compare,
Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss,
Excusing their [thy] sins more than their [thy] sins are:

For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense;
Thy adverse party is thy Advocate,
And ‘gainst my self a lawful plea commence;
Such civil war is in my love and hate

That I an accessory needs must be
To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me.

So the comment about Sonnet 29 (“the poet is not in any way identifying with ‘the plight’ of the addressee, but talking of his own disgrace”) must be seen in relationship to the other “entries” of this diary; and in this case, just five sonnets later we come to Sonnet 35 and Oxford’s virtually total identification with Southampton’s plight.

“Whittemore’s evidence connecting Sonnet 30 to the Privy Council trial of Essex and Southampton is even less credible:

‘Oxford records in 30 that the Privy Council will summon him to the Sessions or Treason Trial of Essex and Southampton to sit as the highest ranking earl on the tribunal of peers who will judge them.’

“Here Whittemore mistakes a metaphorical use of the words sessions and summon for a literal one. The ‘sessions’ to which the poem refers are the poet’s own imaginative sessions of ‘sweet silent thought’ and the ‘summoning’ is not of the session, but of a ‘remembrance of things past.’ Although legal metaphors do permeate this sonnet (and many others), there is no mention here of a trial, except perhaps in the most oblique Proustian sense (i.e. a psychological ‘trial’ at which the writer is defendant, advocate, and judge).   Moreover, even if one understood ‘sessions’ and ‘summon’ to be literal rather than metaphorical, the direct link to the Southampton trial would still be un-established.  Although Whittemore does not acknowledge the fact, these terms apply to many different kinds of trials, not just capital crimes such as treason.”

On the most immediate level the legal terms “sessions” and “summon” in this sonnet are metaphorical – of course!   But when the same sonnet is viewed within the context that Oxford knows he will be summoned to the treason trial or “sessions” of Southampton as a peer sitting in judgment, the same words leap from the page with additional meaning and specific reference.

(“This sessions,” begins King Leontes in act 3, scene 2 of THE WINTER’S TALE, and he’s referring specifically to a treason trial.)

THE MONUMENT places Shakespeare’s Sonnets within a new context that yields a new perception of their meaning.  In 400 years no other suggested context has been able to make sense of the form and content of the entirety of the 154 sonnets; but it’s only by such means that these verses can begin to be understood.

“Compounding these implausibilities, Whittemore attempts to identify Southampton as one of the ‘precious friends hid in death’s dateless night.’ (30.6) As the ‘friends’ are described in the third person and the youth in the second person, this is clearly not a viable reading.”

Oxford uses the third person for Southampton (and his friends, if you will) in the main body of Sonnet 30 and then, only in the ending couplet, turns to address Southampton in the second person:

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend…

If the word “friends” is in the third person, can the poet be identifying Southampton?  Take the opening line of the Sonnets:

From fairest creatures we desire increase
Sonnet 1, line 1

The poet can be viewed as referring to all the fairest creatures of the world, but more specifically ALSO to the singular Fair Youth of the Sonnets as one of them.   (He’s the “fairest creature” or “most royal child.”)  This is the third person but, as the critique writers themselves know, Oxford is addressing just one person, Southampton — a point generally accepted.

“Additionally, the youth cannot be one of the ‘precious friends,’ as they are already dead.”

The opening lines of Sonnet 30 are:

When to the Sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste.

Then can I drown an eye (un-used to flow)
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night…

Viewing Southampton as an accused traitor who will probably be executed, it would be difficult to describe him with more lyrical tenderness and sadness than to place him among “precious friends hid in death’s dateless night.”

Essex and Southampton are facing a joint trial — the two friends who, on instructions of Secretary Robert Cecil, will be found guilty by unanimous verdict and sentence to death.

“He [Southampton] is, instead, exactly as in Sonnet 29, providing solace for the poet’s ‘losses…and sorrows’ — acting, in other words, as a replacement for those already gone. When the poet calls the addressee ‘the grave where buried love doth live’ in Sonnet 31, his meaning is transparent and has nothing to do with the imprisonment or imminent execution of the addressee; rather, the youth has become the repository for the poet’s lost loves.  This reading is without ambiguity, for the poet continues:

THEIR images I loved I view in THEE,
And thou, ALL they, hast ALL the ALL of me.

Sonnet 31, lines 13-14 (emphases in first line added by the critique; in the second line by me)

In the final line of Sonnet 31, quoted above, Oxford is simply saying that his love for Southampton covers all those he has loved in his life and whom he carries within him.  (As Hamlet says to his friends, “Your loves, as mine to you.” – 1.2.273)  ALL his loves (and those he has loved) are within himself’; and, because Southampton claims ALL of Oxford’s love, Oxford and his loves are ALL within his son, echoing Southampton’s own motto “One for All, All for One”.

This meaning is somewhat similar to that of Oxford’s dedication of LUCRECE to Southampton:  “What I have done is yours, what I have to do is yours, being part in ALL I have, devoted yours.”  (emphasis added)


Legal Support for Elizabeth as Dark Lady

The Monument theory proposes that the so-called Dark Lady is none other than Queen Elizabeth, who kept the Earl of Southampton in the Tower for more than two years until she died on March 24, 1603 and King James set him free a few weeks later; and I’d like to share some new corroboration that I’ve recently found.

In August I obtained a rare book entitled Commentaries on the Law in Shakespeare: With Explanations of the Legal Terms Used in the Plays, Poems and Sonnets; and Discussions of the Criminal Types Presented, written by Edward Joseph White and published in 1911.   The entire text of the book is presented online by Google Books!

It’s a fascinating book in which White shares his massive, detailed evidence that Shakespeare was not only a legal expert but knew “more about criminology and criminal motives and instincts than any other known writer on the subject.”

On page 511 he takes up Sonnet 107 as corresponding to Southampton’s release from prison in the spring of 1603:

FORFEITURE OF LIMITED LEASE
Sonnet 107, lines 1-4:

Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul
Of the wide world dreaming on things to come,
Can yet the lease of my true love control,
Supposed as forfeit to a confined doom.

He comments:  “These lines clearly refer to a conditional or determinate lease of realty, which is a contract between the lessor and the lessee, for the possession of land, for a fixed or determinate period, for a certain consideration, to be void, or forfeited, on the breach of some certain condition. The Poet had considered his love, formerly possessed, forfeited and ended by Southampton’s confinement in the Tower, but on the death of Elizabeth, the supposedly forfeited lease or tenancy of his friend’s love becomes again a vitalized, live estate, subject to no limitations or forfeiture in law. (Emphasis added)

141-tower-of-london-q70-500x375

Then he moves to Sonnet 134 of the Dark Lady series:

FORFEITING MORTGAGED PROPERTY
Sonnet 134, lines 1-4

So, now I have confess’d that he is thine
And I am mortgaged to thy will,
Myself I’ll forfeit, so that other mine
Thou wilt restore to be my comfort still.

He comments: “This verse clearly refers to the confinement of Southampton in the Tower.” (Emphasis added)

Whether White realized it or not, his statement leads to the inescapable conclusion that the Poet is speaking to Queen Elizabeth, his sovereign Mistress, who is confining Southampton in her prison fortress, the Tower.

He continues:  “And the former verse [Sonnet 133] expresses the Poet’s desire to be permitted to go his bail, by substituting his own person for that of his friend, in jail.”

Sonnet 133, lines 9-12:

Prison my heart in thy steel bosom’s ward,
But then my friend’s heart let my poor heart bail;
Whoe’er keeps me, let my heart be his guard:
Thou canst not then use rigor in my jail.

Again it follows of necessity that the Poet is addressing the Queen, who is a “dark” lady only because of her negative attitude and actions toward Southampton.  The poet (whom I believe to be Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford) tells Elizabeth in Sonnet 131, line 13 that her darkness has nothing to do with physical appearance:

In nothing art thou black save in thy deeds

I hope to add White’s commentary in future editions of The Monument, which continues to draw new evidence in its support.

His rather complicated remarks (for a layman) on Sonnet 134 conclude:

“A mortgage is the temporary pledging of land in security for a debt due the mortgagee, by the mortgagor. The land itself, not being susceptible of a manual delivery, the mortgagee holds the mortgage as an evidence of his right to the land as security for his debt until it is paid. The only way to create a mortgage in early times was to give livery of seisin of the freehold estate, thus passing the estate to the mortgagee. On breach of the condition of the mortgage, to pay the debt the estate was forfeited and became the absolute property of the mortgagee. And the Poet here proffers to forfeit himself as security for his friend, recognizing that the condition of the obligation is broken.”

Critiquing the Critique – 8

The Kositsky-Stritmatter critique of the Monument theory of the Sonnets continues by acknowledging that “at least at the beginning of the final segment [107-126], Whittemore is fortunate enough to enjoy the authority of the many other scholars who date Sonnet 107 to spring 1603 and regard the phrase “the mortal moon hath her eclipse endured” to be an indication of Elizabeth I’s death on March 24. It is entirely plausible, therefore, that the line, “Supposed as forfeit to a confined doom” refers to Southampton’s imprisonment.”

Hooray.  I’m gratified that Lynne and Roger agree that I “enjoy the authority” of other scholars on the matter of Sonnet 107 — although, to tell the truth, I’ve never sought any such enjoyment.  I’m grateful that scholars since the mid-nineteenth century have dated 107 to spring 1603 and acknowledge my debt to them.

“But one sonnet does not a monument make, and the possible context of 107 presents another problem. If, as Whittemore contends, it is written to celebrate Southampton, it precedes a sonnet that seems likely to refer to his imprisonment or execution. In Sonnet 112 the poet speaks of the youth as one who is

‘so strongly in my purpose bred/
That all the world besides me thinks y’are dead.'”

(Sonnet 112.13-14)’

The above couplet expresses the terrible fact that Southampton’s claim to the throne will never exist in the eyes of the world (contemporary England, at least) except in Oxford’s own view.  Such is the consequence of the deal with Secretary Robert Cecil and King James that saved Southampton’s life and now has gained his freedom.

I might add that when Oxford wants to express something literally, such as his fear that Southampton may literally die, he seldom does so directly by using a word such as “die” or “dead.”  Earlier, for example, fearing that Southampton will soon have his head cut off, he expresses it this way in Sonnet 63:

For such a time do I now fortify,
Against confounding Age’s cruel knife,
That he shall never cut from memory
My sweet love’s beauty, though my lover’s life.

Sonnet 63, lines 9-12

By contrast, the couplet of Sonnet 112 would be far too direct or literal if used in relation to Southampton’s possible death.  Using the word “dead” would have been far beneath Oxford’s standards of poetical expression within the Sonnets of Shakespeare, which are intended for “eyes not yet created” (81) in posterity.

“To us,” K-S continue, “the ‘Essex rebellion’ reading of this couplet [of Sonnet 112] is plausible – although other interpretations also are.”

Well, I’m glad they think it’s plausible; and if so, why doesn’t this encourage them to open the doors of their minds some more?

“However, identifying the line as being about Southampton’s imprisonment under sentence of death has an unfortunate consequence for Whittemore’s ‘monument’ thesis.  If both 107 and 112 are about the Essex Rebellion, and if 107 truly marks Southampton’s release from the Tower, then it follows that the sonnets are not arranged in chronological order, a finding which undermines, if it does not destroy, Whittemore’s ‘monument.'”

This kind of circular argument is one reason I’ve not bothered to reply to their critique until now  — now that it’s possible to “blog” about it, piece by piece.  “Undermines, if it does not destroy” — oh, baloney.

“In fact, with the possible exception of 107, 112, and 124, a close reading of Sonnets 27-126 reveals no evident connection to the events of the rebellion and Southampton’s imprisonment…”

Such connections abound within the context of the contemporary history; and if we read the lines within that context, the same sonnets become powerful reactions to the imprisonment, trial, death sentence, the execution of Essex, the iminent death of Southampton, his reprieve from execution and so on.  Just for example:

Oxford, who sat on the tribunal at the trial and had to condemn Southampton to death, writes to him in Sonnet 35:  “Thy adverse party is thy Advocate [legal counsel].”

He writes in Sonnet 52 of “imprisoned pride” and in Sonnet 58 of the “imprisoned absence of your liberty,” adding to Southampton that “to you it doth belong yourself to pardon of self-doing crime.”

There are dozens of such allusions, but most do not reveal any “evident connection” to Southampton’s crime and imprisonment.  And while Oxford never uses the name “Essex” or the word “rebellion,“ in Sonnet 92 he does speak of  “thy revolt” and the list of legal terms along with words related to crime and prison is staggering.

Many of these sonnets are timeless and universal; but like Hamlet’s “to be or not to be” soliloquy, they need to be read or heard within the correct context.  Standing alone, without the context of ‘Hamlet, Prince of Denmark,’ that famous speech has no evident connection to any events of the play.  Without having the play in which it appears, we could never read that soliloquy and know who was speaking, much less what Hamlet’s circumstances were. The answer to the biographical and historical meaning of that soliloquy, and of the Sonnets, is context-context-context!

To be continued…

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