For the record

For those whose interest goes deeper than the surface, here’s a list of the proxies (standins, pen names) used by Oxford, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, or the Earls of Pembroke, to get his works published over the years. If there’s an interest I can explain who these individuals were, those who were real, in Oxford’s life.

1562- Arthur Brooke: narrative poem – Romeus and Juliet

1563- L. Blundeston – Introduction to Barnabe Googe’s Eclogue’s 

1565-67-Arthur Golding: narrative poem – Ovid’s Metamorphoses

1564-66- Richard Edwardes: plays for university commencements- Cambridge: 1564: Damon and Pythias; Oxford: 1566: Palamon and Arcite

1566 – William Painter – comic and bawdy tales translated from French and Italian sources: Painter’s Pallace of Pleasure. Major source of Shakespeare’s plots (alongside Plutarch, Ovid & Holinshed).

1567 – George Gascoigne – plays for Gray’s Inn: The Supposes, Jocasta

1567-68 – anonymous – plays for Paul’s Boys; Children of Windsor; or Children of the Chapel: Wit and Will; Orestes; A Tragedy of the King of Scots

1568-1574 – anonymous – unnamed plays for Children’s companies, and companies led by the Dutton brothers. 

1576 – George PettieA Petite Pallace of Pettie his Pleasure. A collection of tales in the style of Euphues. (published by R.B.)

1576 – Richard Edwardes (dead): first poetry anthology: A Paradise of Dainty Devices

1576-77 – anonymous – play for Paul’s Boys: The Historie of Error

1578 – John Lyly: novel – Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit

1578-79 – anonymous – plays for Lord Chamberlain’s Players – The Cruelty of a Stepmother (Cymbeline?); Murderous Michael (Arden of Faversham?)

1580 – Anthony Munday: novel – Zelauto: The Fountain of Fame

1580 – John Lyly: novel Euphues: His England

1580 – Robert Greene – pamphlet: romance tale: Mamillia (the first of dozens published over the 1580s)

1581 – George Pettie – translation of Stephano Guazzo’s Civile Conversation, Books I-III.

1584-85 – anonymous – play for “The Earl of Oxenford his boys” – Agamemnon and Ulysses (Troilus and Cressida?) many plays for various companies, none immediately identifiable by title.

1589 – Robert GreeneMenaphon – pamphlet introducing Thomas Nashe

1592 – Robert Greene -farewell pamphlet – Greene’s Groatsworth of Wit

1594-1600 – anonymous – published in quarto: Taming of A Shrew, Henry VI part two, Henry VI part three, Titus Andronicus, Edward III, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, Richard III, Henry IV part one, Henry IV part two, Henry V

1598-1609: William Shakespeare: in quarto: Pericles, Prince of Tyre, King Lear, Troilus and Cressida, Hamlet, Merry Wives, Merchant of Venice, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard II, Richard III

1623 – William Shakespeare – collected works in the First Folio.Apart for a few minor exceptions, all the other plays, roughly half, were first published in 1623.

7 thoughts on “For the record

  1. Excellent, Stephanie! I would add “Thomas Brown,” ostensible translator of Sturm’s A Ritch Storehouse–

    Click to access BC7_Waugaman_Sturm.pdf

    Would you want to include such obvious pen names as Ignoto and Anomos? How about E.K.?

    I’m currently preparing an article with evidence that Oxford was probably the anonymous first translator of The Decameron into English.

    I suspect there may be many more works that have not yet been attributed to Oxford. For example, Gabriel Harvey praised his Latin poems. It would terrific to find some of them!

    1. It’s probably a habit he acquired from his years with Smith, when reading something important in another language, it was instinctive t commit it to memory by translating it into English. I believe he did this with Plutarch for Julius Caesar and others, and for the English Kings, by helping create the 1587 edition of Holinshed, which explains Shakespeare’s “borrowing” of some of its wording. How much actual writing he did with the plays is worth considering, since peers normally had secretaries, and we know some of them, who could easily have taken dictation, but the translating must have done by his own hand. What could have happened to these?

  2. How about the John Manwood book on forestry law? If there was a John Manwood, he was a pretty good writer on a not so spicy subject.

  3. ” Manwood was close to him during his final years in the Forest of Waltham.” I live in Waltham Forest and I’m wondering, can I get a local angle on this for the upcoming 400-year anniversary of The Greatest Literary Hoax of All time? (1623). Was de Vere skulking in Waltham Forest ‘after death’ in 1605 when he wrote King Lear? Was he then finding his undue dependence on his three daughters rather stressful, causing this tragedy to be written?

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