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Vol. 4 2: No. 2 Did Shakespeare Read From t he 17th Earl of O:xford's Personal Library? W. Ron Hess, assisted by Alan Tarica A real-life, reading, writing, book-owning Bard: Orle of our greatest Oxfordian
Vol. 4 2: No. 2 Did Shakespeare Read From t he 17th Earl of O:xford's Personal Library? W. Ron Hess, assisted by Alan Tarica A real-life, reading, writing, book-owning Bard: Orle of our greatest Oxfordian advantages is that::: the 17th Earl of Ox ford demonstrably read a.nd wrote, whereas the family of Mr. Shaks pere of Stratford were afflicted with cong enital illiteracy (quoth Irv Matus in a 1994 d ebate), and there is little to contradict the ia:ference that Mr. Shakspere was illiterate to ). As to Shakespeare, the author of the w o rks we cherish, there's little doubt that he rea d and wrote in over-plus, not just in English but also in Latin, French, Italian, and p ossibly Spanish. Moreover, whole 'ltbe ~bakegpeare !&xforb Newsletter A Publication of the Shakespeare Oxford Society Dedicated to Researching and Honoring the True Bard (cont'donp.13) INSIDE Pres i dent's LetterlEditorial Greeting 2 SOS & SF Joint Conference 3 Pers onal Adventures with the Autborship Question 4 Re i ew of the Annual Meeting of th e De Vere Society 7 Letters to the Editor 9 The Prince Tudor Hypothesis 10 A S 1.Iarp B lade, a Tall Man and a Good Whore? 19 Anto ny and Cleopatra: the ~omen's Voices 22 Review: Searching for Shakespeare Exh.ibition 26 Oxt : rdian Archives 28 I am not what I am. Othello Ii S ring 2006 OXFORD AND THE FIRST BLACKFRIARS Part Two of Dr. Davis's previous article: William Shakspere, Oxford, Elizabethan Actors, and Playhouses As near as can be determined conclusively, Oxford was involved directly in only one Elizabethan playhouse, and that was the first Blackfriars, the third dedicated theater established in Elizabethan times. The history of this playhouse is most interesting and certainly relevant to our discussion, clearly introducing Oxford into the theater world. To begin, we need to recall that Blackfriars was a monastery for the Dominican (or Black ) friars until Henry VIII broke with the Catholic Church (or vice versa), and Henry either destroyed or confiscated the monasteries of England as he did with Blackfriars in He presented (by letting ) Blackfriars to his supportive aristocrats so that during Elizabeth's reign the properties were held privately. Blackfriars was in an upscale area of west London (at the time) (Adams ), and though it was within the city wall, it was under the jurisdiction of the crown as opposed to the Council of London. It consisted of a number of buildings and numerous gardens. In and around the property lived important gentry such as Lord Cobham and the French ambassador. Numerous court activities had occurred there during Henry VIII's reign including the hearing of the case against Catherine of Aragon and later the Parliament hearing charges against Cardinal Wolsey. Following the success of James Burbage's Theater and Curtain in , a Richard Farrant sought to convert one of the buildings to an enclosed playhouse. His ostensible plan was to use the playhouse for practicing of the Children of the Royal Chapel, but to no one's surprise, he would open it up to the public who would pay to see these practice plays. He obtained his lease from Sir William More who had acquired the property from Lord Cobham who in turn had procured it from Sir Henry Neville. It is interesting that Neville apparently helped (through his connections) Fan'ant with the acquisition. Farrant consummated the lease from More on December 20, 1576, and proceeded to renovate the property, causing him to become seriously indebted. (In a subsequent law suit, More complained that the renovations had put the property into a state of great ruin. ) For the training of boy actors, Farrant sought to combine the Children of Windsor with the Children of the Royal Chapel for whom William Hunnis was master. In 1580, Moore was planning action against Farrant for utilizing the property continually as a playhouse, not just for rehearsal. Unfortunately, this was the year Farrant died. Anne Farrant, his widow, was now saddled with the debt problem without the ability to run the theater. She wrote a letter to More asking permission to sublet the premise, which she did, although later More denied giving such permission. The widow made a formal lease (sublet) in December, 1580 to William Hunnis and John Newman for 20 l3s 4d per annum. This was a little over 6 that she had to pay More for her lease. In 1583, Hunnis and Newman transferred their lease to a Welshman, Henry Evans. This was done without More's consent and constituted a definite breach of the original lease agreement. More declared the original lease invalid, but Evans, who was (cont'd on p. 5) page 2 Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter Published quarterly by the Shakespeare Oxford Society P.O. Box 1854 Silver Spring, MD Tel: (301) Fax: (301) ISSN Editors: Lew Tate Editorial Board: Dr. Frank Davis Susan Sybersma Ramon Jimenez Brian Bechtold Dr. James Brooks Joe Peel James Sherwood Dr. Richard Smiley Layout and Printing St. Martin de Porres Lay Dominicans New Hope, Kentucky All contents copyright 2006 Shakespeare Oxford Society The Newsletter welcomes research articles, book reviews, letters and news items. Contributions should be reasonably concise and, when appropriate, validated by peer review. Assignment of copyright is required for publication. The views of contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the Shakespeare Oxford Society as a literary and educational organization. Board of Trustees Shakespeare Oxford Society Lifetime HOllorary Trustees Dr. Gordon Cyr and Charles Boyle 2006 President: Matthew Cossolotto First Vice President: Dr. C. Wayne Shore Second Vice President: John Hamill Treasurer: Virginia Hyde James Sherwood Dr. Frank Davis Michael Pisapia Randall Sherman Dr. Richard Smiley Elliot Stone Susan Sybersma Dr. Richard Joyrich Spring 2006 President's Page Dear Fellow Shakespeare Lovers: Countdown to the Ann Arbor Conference (November 9-12, 2006) It's hard to believe our conference in Ann Arbor is only three months away! This will be our second joint conference with the Shakespeare Fellowship. We're hoping for a great turnout from both organizations, as well as from as many nonmembers as we can attract. A big draw for this conference - in fact one of the main reasons we opted for this venue during these dates - is the presence at the University of Michigan of famed Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart and the Royal Shakespeare Company the same week of our conference. We're exploring the technological feasibility of beaming up Patrick Stewart and others from the RSC into our conference. More on that later! We have secured tickets for conference participants (maximum of three tickets per registrant) for Julius Caesar (Thursday evening), The Tempest (Friday evening), and Antony alld Cleopatra (Saturday evening). Please see the Registration insert or the SOS website for more details. These tickets are in great demand, so I encourage you to register and order your tickets as soon as possible. Another Countdown - Our 50 th Anniversary in 2007 Over the next several months, your Board of Directors and hopefully all members of the Society will be exploring ideas for celebrating our 50 th anniversary next year. I hope we will all take this opportunity to Think Big so we make the most of the golden PR and marketing opportunities offered by our Golden Anniversary in Among other things, we should consider: Setting an ambitious goal forexpanding our membership; Marking the anniversary year with a series of special authorship and Oxford-related Hot Topics publications; Establishing an active Speakers Bureau of members willing to speak to 10- Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter cal schools and community groups; Sponsor a series oflectures or conferences on the authorship question; Seek funding fi'om individuals, and foundations to support our ongoing educational and outreach programs. Please share any ideas you have about how best to mark our Golden Anniversary. New Yahoo! Discussion Group The Board of Directors recently voted to create a new Shakespeare Oxford Society discussion group on Yahoo! The group has now been created and all SOS members are invited to participate. Simply visit ShakespeareOxfordSociety-su bscri yahoogroups.com to subscribe to the group. Let me be clear: This new Yahoo! group is exclusively for members of the Shakespeare Oxford Society, about the Shakespeare Oxford Society. There are other groups out there for broader discussions regarding the (collt'd all p. 25) GREETINGS Whereas we have many words to fit in the newsletter, and whereas brevity is the soul of wit,... I wish to thank the scholars/writers for the tremendous content of this issue. Also, several of them deserve thanks for adjusting to a hurry-up deadline enabling us to inch closer to a reasonable schedule. If you are working on a project for the 'summer newsletter, try for a mid September submission. While on submissions: a) if at all possible, please submit digitally; b) please use MLA, particularly in documentation; c) if not MLA, please indicate the format you are using and stick with that format; d) please remember that you can report on De Verestudies activities, educational strategies, personal experiences; e) keep digging. You may be the one to find the document, authenticated by your good work, that says, I am damn tired of writing the name of that rube from Podunk, Warwickshire. Signed, Edward Oxen ford Lew Tate, ed. Shalce speare Oxford Newsletter Spring 2006 page 3 SOS and SF Joint Conference November 9-12, 2006 in Ann Arbor, Michigan T h e Ann Arbor Authorship Conference,jointly sponsored by the Shake speare Oxford Society and the Shakespeare Fellowship, will be he ld beginning at 2 p.m. on Thursday through 2 p.m. Sunday, Nove mber9-12, at the Dahlmann Campus Inn, on the campus of the Unive rsity of Michigan in Ann Arbor. This will coincide with the last vveek of a three-week residency of The Royal Shakespeare Com :pany. Tickets will be available for all interested registrants for the R-SC performances of The Tempest (Friday night) and Antony and Cleopatra (Saturday night), both starring Patrick Stewart. A limite d number of tickets to the Thursday night performance of J uliu s Caesar are also available. Each registrant may purchase two addit:ional tickets to each performance while available. T h e following is a list of current proposed speakers: Tom Hunter, Peter Dickson, Ron Hess, Bill Farina, Ron Halstead, Barb Burris, Johna thon Dixon, Paul Altrocchi, Ren Draya, Michael Egan, Roger StritrIlatter, Lynne Kositsky, Rima Greenhill, Earl Showerman, Steph anie Hughes, Matthew Cossolotto, Richard Desper, Peter Aust1 n-zacharias, Richard Whalen, and Hank Whittemore. T h e closest major airport to Ann Arbor is Detroit Metropolitan WaYl3e County Airport, about 25 miles away. This airport is a hub for ~ CJrthwest Airlines and also serves other airlines such as American, A merica West, Continental, Delta, Southwest, Spirit, United and LJS Airways. Possible travel arrangements to Ann Arbor will be prcjvided upon receipt of Conference registration. Accommodations: A very limited number of discounted rooms are being held at the Dahlmann Campus Inn. Regularly priced rooms at the Campus II1n and at two other campus hotels within walking distance of the Campus Inn and the theater are also being held. Please call the hotels directly and mention either the SOS or the Shakespeare Fellowship. Dahlmann Campus Inn ( ): Discounted rooms are $135/$157 (single/double occupancy). Regular priced rooms are $2011$233 Bell Tower Hotel ( ): varying rates from $139/$161 to $216/$238 Inn At the Michigan League ( ): Single occupancy rate $130 Thursday night and $135 Friday and Saturday nights. Extra person $10 A larger number of less expensive rooms are being held in several hotels located in a cluster (within walking distance of each other) about 2-3 miles off campus (on the way from the airport to the campus). Again, call the hotels directly and mention SOS or SF to get the discounted rate. Hampton Inn South ( ): $89 Four Points Sheraton ( ): $92. There is a complimentary shuttle bus service for guests to get to campus. Courtyard by Marriott ( ): $89 Fairfield Inn by Marriott ( ): $72 For information on the RSC visit to Ann Arbor, including ticket sales, go to If you are interested in presenting a paper at the Conference, please send a title and one-paragraph abstract to either John Hamill or Lynne Kositsky hotmail.com). Be sure to register early! Theater tickets may be limited. If available, up to two extra theater tickets may be purchased with your registration. A registration form is enclosed with this newsletter. Send it in today! r THIS IS YOUR NEWSLETTER The Shakespeare Oxford Society welcomes articles, essays, commentary, book reviews, letters, and news items of relevance to Shakespeare, Edward de Vere and the Authorship Discussion. It is the policy of the Sh akespeare Oxford Society to require assignment of copyright on any article submitted to the Newslettel: Ple ase contact the editor with any questions. Su bmit text in digital form to: ta bellsouth.net Mail photographs and illustrations to: Newsletter Editor Shakespeare Oxford Society PO Box 1854 Silver Spring, MD 20902 page 4 Spring 2006 Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter Personal Adventures with the Authorship Question Robin Fox My encounters with the Shakespeare authorship problem are described in Participant Observer: Memoir of a Transatlantic Life, an account of the first forty years of my life. At school in the North of England in the late forties, I had my first shock. (The story is told in the third person.) He read Mark Twain on Shakespeare and a whole part of his world came tumbling down. If we couldn't be sure that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare - and clearly the boring Stratford businessman Mr. Wm. Shaksper hadn't written those exquisite aristocratic poems and plays - then of what could we be sure? (90-91) Since my major subject in preparing for university entrance was English Literature and History, and since the major topic was the works of Shakespeare, this revelation had a shattering effect. I had, however, to keep it to myself for exam purposes, which was not hard since the question of authorship never came up as such. The plays were dealt with as things in themselves, unconnected to the life of whoever was their author. Later, studying sociology, philosophy and anthropology at the London School of Economics in the early fifties, I had another unexpected encounter.. It was my first time speaking at the Student Union weekly debate, and I seconded a motion (something like - Freedom is more important than equality ) proposed by the Tory MP, Enoch Powell. He was tjuly impressed in conversation in the bar afterwards with Powell's intelligence and power of personality. A strange man, not even like a politician, more of an academic - which evidently he had been in Australia: a professor of Greek. He was a passionate believer in the claims of the Earl of Oxford to have written Shakespeare. This gave them something in common because our skeptic had never recovered from Twain's debunking of the Stratford businessman. In some ways Powell was perhaps too intelligent, too academic, to be a successful politician. When he finally fell from grace it was really because he was too honest: he said what many of his party thought, but could not say out of political necessity: another hard lesson political reality. (121) Powell's fall from grace was a result of his prediction that uncontrolled immigration would lead to blood in the streets. He lost his Conservative seat in Birmingham and was rescued by the Ulster Unionists and voted back to Parliament in Belfast. None of this helped his Oxfordian cause. Powell was a political pariah to English intellectuals, comparable perhaps to Governor George Wallace in the States. To quote him as a supporter of the Oxford case was to court ridicule and contempt. However, the only other serious contender I knew about at the time was Francis Bacon, whose case got lost in a morass of codes and ciphers, which helped the orthodox portray all skeptics as fools. I had been studying the philosophy of science under Karl Popper, and had read enough Bacon - the Novul1l Organum and The New Atlantis, to figure that he was, while a brilliant thinker, an unlikely candidate for the Shakespeare crown. Later that decade, at Harvard for graduate studies in the Social Relations Department (now defunct) I was forced to read the works of Sigmund Freud who then dominated intellectual discussion. It was heavy going at first, but I liked Totem and Taboo, and eventually wrote a follow-up: The Red Lamp of Incest. I deeply admired Freud's great learning. Then... He warmed even more to Freud when he discovered that the old guy was a passionate devotee of the case for the Earl of Oxford as the author of Shakespeare. (How unfortunate, though, that the originator of the case was the oddl y named' J. Thomas Looney': an old Manx name, and pronounced ' Loney' - but no one knew that, and it didn't help the calise. (176) Add Looney to Powell and you had a lot of baggage going into the authorship argument. I did read Looney, however, and was impressed by his arguments. However, I still thought there was a lot of Marlowe in the early works, and that there must have been a consortium, with perhaps Shakespeare (the Stratford one) as the entrepreneurial, wheeler-dealer producer, making the nice profit he later parlayed into Stratford real estate. He also, as the upstart crow episode suggests, didn't mind passing himself off as the author. Many years later, in the seventies, I was on sabbatical at Oxford at the invitation of Maurice Freedman, head of the Institute of Social Anthropology and a fellow of All Souls College. I was invited to dinner there, with A. L. Rowse presiding. He did not know.quite how passionate a bardolator Rowse was in turn. Idiotic stuff! spluttered the indignant one. De Vere! De Vere! My God! Earls don't write plays. What earl ever wrote a play? Clever grammar school boys write plays. For a start he had to fend off Rowse's not-too-serious advances, but then he had the temerity to bring lip the subject of the authorship of Shakespeare. He even worse had to mention Enoch Powell's quite passionate espousal of the cause of the Earl of Oxford. He knew Rowse had written a 'biography' of the Bard - full of suppositions rather than facts, since there were so few facts, and those contradictory. He did not (colll'd on p. 12) Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter Spring 2006 page 5 Oxford BlackJriars (cont'dfrom p. 1) a lawyer, kept the issue delayed. Now the widow got into the fray by bringing a suit against Evans in the Court of Requests. It was at this time of disaster that the Earl of Oxford entered the picture to save the day. Oxford himself had a troupe of boy actors (the Children of St Pauls), and as we know through Puttenham and other sources, he was a writer of plays. Oxford bought the lease from Evans, keeping him as manager while retaining Hunnis as one of the trainers for the troupe. The troupe now consisted of both the Children of the Royal Chapel and the Children of St Pauls. Then in June, 1583, Oxford transfelted the lease as a gift to his secretary, John Lyly. It was at this time that two of Lyly's plays (later attributed to Lyly), Call1paspe and Sapho alld Phao, were shown. Lyly had been in Oxford's service since about 1580, this date determined in part from the dedication of Lyly's second book, Euphlles alld His Ellgland; but some have suggested as early as Lyly had written a letter to B urghley in June of 1582 concerning some unspecified problem he was having with Oxford and tried to convince Burghley that he (Lyly) was not at fault. Perhaps the transfer of the Blackfriars to Lyly was related to resolving this unknown problem, but there is also another possibility having to do wit
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