Tag Archives: Earl of Oxford



you underestimate the power of Roper´s argument. To find words by chance in a grille is easy. To find a readable sentence is VERY improbable. To find a readable sentence with a relevant bearing on the subject simply doesn’t happen. A grille built on the figure 31 will give us PAT SIP NO FLEAS, on 32 HE YET HIT AS COT, 35: TOY TIE OR SO, and so on. But only a 34-column grille will give an answer to the challenge put to the reader of the monument: READ IF THOU CANST WHOM ENVIOUS DEATH HATH PLAST WITHIN THIS MONUMENT (for Shakespeare). Combined with the anomalies in the text, which serves the hidden message to be readable, the figure 34 which has a certain correspondence to the name hidden and the fact that the concealed words come in clusters, strengthen the argument that the whole thing was put there by design. Moreover since the person hidden in the message happens to be the same as the one person in history with the strongest known connections, biographical or literary or anything, to the texts we call the Shakespeare canon, should be enough to make anyone who cares about truth at least a bit curious.

IF, I say if, the Folio had been printed without a name on the first page, who would we today consider the Author? A man who left no traces of a literary life AT ALL, like William-of-Stratford, or a man whose literary fingerprints are left on virtually every page, like Edward de Vere? The answer is obvious, but we have a paradigm shift to go through before the world is ready for it, and such things are painful experiences to many people. So painful actually that the wish to stay in the phase of denial can be lifelong.

(pardon my English, I am from Northern Europe)

Many thanks for that. For a shortish reply please see the comments pages in The Earl fo Oxford, William Ray and a Leering hydrocephalic idiot. To go there CLICK HERE and go down to comments, at the bottom right, in blue.

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You can read some of the arguments about a Stratford vs supposed Oxford camp, around Shakespeare authorship, mostly in the comments under the post EDMUND SHAKESPEARE, THE EARL OF OXFORD, FALSTAFF AND THE HOLLOW CROWN, in William Ray’s and our notes. First little Phoenix Ark should declare an edge of ‘prejudice’ and that is all instincts here are towards Rowe, Aubrey and the ensuing Shakespeare tradition, of Stratford Will Shakespeare. Not as blind followers of any tradition though, and not without interest in other authorship ‘theories’. Then we would say that there is not a significant Oxford camp, in a theory dreamt up in the troubled 1920s and that any onus towards proving anything lies most assuredly there.

But if anyone starts to trumpet the research they do, Phoenix Ark want to suggest the value, even the singular importance of the Edmund Shakespeare story, in Southwark, to the debate. If a link can be made, and it has not been yet, between a London Hunt family, that owned The Vine in Southwark, where 27 year old Edmund Shakespeare was staying in 1607, (in the tenement rooms of one Edward Woodroofe, and perhaps his wife, probably at least, from the Southwark Cathedral Token Books) and the Stratford Hunts, it is at least suggestive. We tracked The Vine back to The Brotherhood of Our Lady of Assumption, linked to St Margaret’s Church, and founded under Henry VI, in the name of John Le Hunte, Peter Averne and others. But in a highly interconnected world, perhaps Shakespeare’s player brother, young and ultimately tragic Edmund, came to London to stay with people already known in Stratford. That has yet to be proved.

Southwark though, and especially St Olave’s Church, no longer there, but the spire of which is mentioned more than any other in Shakespeare’s plays (Ackroyd), also has strong Wessex ties. But there too, among many players and writers, is another actor in the Shakespeare family. Indeed the tradition of acting families was to emerge out of the Shoreditch, Southwark, and London circles. The significance of brothers in the plays is its own field of study, though echoes in fiction do not absolutely prove historical fact. But beyond any authorship debate, what is wonderful too are the vivid bits of evidence about lives and deaths in Southwark, so evocative of extraordinary times and a world that still raises marvellous passions.


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Henry IV part II, last night, in the BBC’s Shakespeare series The Hollow Crown, was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Set in the contemporary clothes it was meant to be, with that very gritty sense of real people, and real history, it brought everything alive. The acting was superb across the board, but despite Jeremy Irons, and Tom Hiddleston’s great and sensitive Henry V, the very unhollow crown went to Simon Russell Beale as Falstaff.

The cleverness, maturity and scope of that performance, never tumbling into just the comic caricature, was extraordinary and marks him out as one of the greats. Just to pick up a little argument here, apparently he does not think Shakespeare was the Earl of Oxford, Francis Bacon, or anyone else except complex Will Shakespeare, but perhaps leading actors like Derek Jacobi, Mark Rylance and Simon Russell Beale should argue it out for us, from the actors viewpoint.

But something else that TV production proved, in its perfect handling of settings, people and the text, was that Shakespeare inhabited that kind of environment in London, out of comparatively recent history, that had not changed a great deal. But forget the Olympics, this Shakespeare fest, both plays and the commentaries, is proving a jewel in a country’s sometimes tarnished cultural crown.

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ps with a respect for not mouthing other’s opinions we added an ‘apparently’ Simon Russell Beale does not think Shakespeare was Oxford

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Did we tell you the one about meeting the actress who played the poisoner who Livia employed in I Claudius, in a chemist in the Oval, complimenting her on her talent and the wonderful series, then deciding not to buy any medicine that day! From the frayed temper in reply to a blog about another I Claudian, Derek Jacobi, and the Earl of Oxford theory today, perhaps emotions run deep. We do want to stress then undying admiration for real writers, poets, and actors, especially Derek Jacobi, so point out that disagreeing with his thoughts on Shakespeare’s identity, in his programme about Richard II, has nothing to do with our appreciation of his huge talents as an actor. So we invite him to tea, to dispute the Oxford theory, or even better to hear about research here into the story of Edmund Shakespeare in Southwark. No poison will be even contemplated.

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