My firsts

I really don’t like beating my own drum, but if no one else is going to do it, I guess I’ll have to.   I’ve been the first to discover, prove, or claim the following milestones in the search for the truth about the Shakespeare authorship.  If you can show that I’m wrong about any of these, I’ll be happy to be more specific, or, if proved wrong, equally happy to admit it, for as time goes by I’ve discovered that others have often been there before me (particularly the Baconians).  Until then I’d be grateful if, in your communications, posts, articles, etc., you’ll remember that I was . . .

  • First to publish the fact that Oxford was raised by England’s foremost scholar of Greek and Civil Law, Sir Thomas Smith, that he lived with Smith and his wife from age four to twelve, that most of those years were spent at Ankerwycke near Windsor, and that with the help of Oxfordian Malcolm Blackmoor, I was first to pinpoint the site;
  • First to publicize Smith’s library list and connect the titles with Shakespeare’s sources;
  • First to show that Smith’s special interests were the same as Shakespeare’s;
  • First to connect the source of most of the Shakespearean image clusters described by Carolyn Spurgeon with Oxford’s childhood near the bird-filled water meadow at Runnymede, the gardens and laboratory of Sir Thomas Smith, and the Forest of Windsor across the Thames;
  • First to suggest that he was the initiating force behind the first two successful commercial theaters in London;
  • First to suggest that he was the source of the Vitruvian design of Burbage’s Theatre (based on claims made by Frances Yates for John Dee) and other round theaters that came after it;
  • First to urge that Court-based aristocratic patrons are as important to this story as are the writers and actors, that after the true authors, they are the second most crucial element missing from the history of the London Stage;
  • First to suggest that the reason why the Lord Chamberlain’s Men continued the coverup in the way they did (by hiring William of Stratford to stand in for Oxford) was to protect the reputations of those high-ranking members of the Court community whom Oxford had satirized in his plays;
  • First to claim that Oxford wrote the Robert Greene canon (though unaware at the time that Baconians had claimed this for Shakespeare decades earlier);
  • First to connect Edward Alleyn in his teens with Oxford through the location of his parent’s inn next door to Fisher’s Folly;
  • First to draw attention to Sir Francis Walsingham as the true patron of the London Stage during the 1580s;
  • First to claim that Marlowe’s work for Walsingham was as a writer, not a spy, that there is no real evidence that Marlowe was ever a spy, and first to claim that his murder was payback for his authorship of antiestablishment plays;
  • First to prove that Mary Sidney wrote the John Webster canon;
  • First to connect Emilia Bassano (discovered by A.L. Rowse as Shakespeare’s Dark Lady) with Oxford through her parents location across the road from Fisher’s Folly, her brothers’ names in The Spanish Tragedy, their locations near Fisher’s Folly in the 1580s, the fact that she was educated by his sister-in-law, and the use of the name Emilia in Shakespeare;
  • First to suggest that Oxford’s actions towards the end of Elizabeth’s reign and the early years of James’s are largely explained by the fact that his two most bitter enemies, Henry Howard and Robert Cecil, were acquiring the kind of power that allowed them to systematically destroy their enemies;
  • First to question Oxford’s supposed death in 1604, based on evidence provided by Christopher Paul, and to propose that everything we know of his actions then suggests he moved to the Forest of Waltham, for privacy and security from his enemies;
  • First to suggest that Oxford was buried in Poet’s Corner in Westminster, that Jonson in his dedicatory Ode tells us where he was interred, and that his burial there was what gave Poet’s Corner its name.
  • First to pinpoint the moment in time when the coverup of the playwright’s identity first took place, October 1597, when the name William Shake-speare (with hyphen) was first added to the title page of one of his plays.
  • And first to give the reason why it occurred at that particular moment and not earlier or later.

My effort from the first has been to create a scenario where all the pieces of the puzzle, so long left in a perplexing disarray, could fit together to make a coherent story, one with the kind of drama that has it’s own kind of truth.  I believe that I’ve done that, and that what I’ve discovered or projected solves all of the most important problems that have faced questioners of the Stratford story since the beginning.

One thought on “My firsts

  1. Dear Stephanie, I’ve only just stumbled upon your work – I can’t believe my complete ignorance of its existence, (I read Ogburn’s book years ago and was utterly convinced by it, since then, though following aspects of the authorship story I had to get on with life and work, as with all of us, and the trail went somewhat cold). As a great admirer of Mark Rylance and with a total fascination for De Vere’s claim to authorship of the plays, I’m just stunned by what you have unearthed through what must be a lifetime of research – utterly incredible! Huge congratulations! I’m so enjoying – if only just beginning – this treasure trove! I lived in Italy for five years and during all that time unwittingly following De Vere’s trail, (although obviously aware of at least some of the links with the plays). I’ve directed quite a few Shakespeare plays professionally, and Hamlet left me in no doubt as to De Vere’s authorship claim, especially in the light of Ogburn’s amazing work. Last week I returned from Sicily and had a great yearning to visit the Aeolian Isles but couldn’t fit it in, we had to content ourselves with supper overlooking their general direction, at Montello. Just thunderstruck to read of Roe’s discovery that The Tempest was based on one of the islands, and to read about all the Palermo connections! I do hope you have been rewarded for all your work. With, for what it’s worth, vast admiration, Jo.

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