Nergenah: Your pages are truly fascinating! I like your proposal of de Vere’s disappearance/”death”, but how do you reconcile your theory with this, by Mark Alexander and Daniel Wright (at authorshipstudies.org ):
Scientists have observed that Shakespeare’s record of astronomical knowledge acquired during the Elizabethan Age (such as the discovery of Mars’ retrograde orbit) and the record of major celestial events (such as the supernova of 1572) cease with the occurrence of astronomical events and discoveries that had been made by mid-1604. William of Stratford, however, lived until 23 April 1616—long enough, if he were Shakespeare, to continue to record in the Shakespeare plays the discovery of sunspots, the invention of the telescope, the discovery of Jupiter’s moons, and other significant celestial phenomena and developments in astronomical science that occurred between 1604 and 1616. But the Shakespeare plays, while abundantly referential to such discoveries prior to 1604, are silent on those astronomical discoveries and celestial phenomena that were made or observed between 1604 and 1616. Edward de Vere died on 24 June 1604.
Hughes: First, Oxford may well have known about scientific developments after 1604, but had no reason to refer to them in a play. Second, what evidence there is suggests that during the final phase of his life he was mostly making additions and revisions to his favorite plays. Third, has anyone examined the record for other scientific developments than those of astronomy? Maybe he did allude to something that’s escaped our notice. (It should be noted that this was the subject of several lectures given at authorship conferences at Concordia University by Dr. Eric Altschuler.)
Actually, I believe that Oxford did refer to a recent voyage of discovery at some point after 1602, during which his cousin, Bartholomew Gosnold, “discovered” and named Cape Cod and the Elizabeth Islands. As several historians have expounded (among them the famous Edward Everett Hale), details of the voyage may have found their way into The Tempest. If so, it must have been the version titled The Spanish Maze (Stritmatter), produced during the festivities that attended Susan Vere’s wedding to the Earl of Pembroke’s brother in January 1604.
In my view The Tempest is not about a particular shipwreck or island, but a hodge podge of references to shipwrecks on islands, beginning possibly with St. Paul’s on Malta from the Acts of the Apostles, and continuing with The Decades of Peter Martyr translated by Richard Eden, and published in 1556 (as shown by Stritmatter and Kositsky), so that if some details from Gosnold’s voyage were added to the play between Gosnold’s return in 1602 and his daughter’s marriage in 1604, while not provable, is certainly possible.