The Cecils and History

History has been kind to the Cecils because the Cecils have been kind to history, for without them and their vast collection of papers at Hatfield, only fully calendared within the last thirty years, there would be little understanding of their period, or of the one preceding.  (Some of their collections have been put online, so … Continue reading The Cecils and History

Oxford and Marlowe

Was Marlowe Shakespeare? Despite the problem of Marlowe’s well-documented assassination by government agents in 1593, Marlovians cling to this idea largely because of crossovers (direct quotes and similar phrasing) between his works and those of Shakespeare.  It’s easier for them to imagine their hero as escaping the scoundrels who were out to kill him, stowing … Continue reading Oxford and Marlowe

Why is it taking so long for the Academy to deal with the Authorship Question?

The following is the substance of the lecture I gave recently at the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship Conference in Hartford CT. It’s so obvious that a man from William of Stratford’s background, that of an uneducated 16th-century wool dealer’s son from a town three days ride by horseback from England’s only theatrical city, simply COULD NOT … Continue reading Why is it taking so long for the Academy to deal with the Authorship Question?

Out, damned biography! Out I say!

The great anomalies that have dogged Shakespeare from the start, whether associated with his name, his person, his plays, or the theaters that introduced them to the world, all can be traced to a single cause, the biography of William of Stratford. Reduce his narrow if necessary role to that of provider of a name … Continue reading Out, damned biography! Out I say!

Missing evidence

Throughout the process of researching this period in English history, again and again I will run into what seems to be an interrupted narrative, the interruption occurring just when and where there ought to be relevant material. Anyone wishing to write about Oxford who attempts to review the record will have the same experience: just … Continue reading Missing evidence

Unravelling the Mystery: The Professor and the un-Countess

Reviewing Shakespeare and the Countess: The Battle that Gave Birth to the Globe by Chris Laoutaris; Penguin, 2014 The great mystery, of course, is how and by what means the London Stage was brought to life during one of the most repressive periods in Western History. Laoutaris focuses on a small piece of that mystery, namely … Continue reading Unravelling the Mystery: The Professor and the un-Countess