In 2009 I published The De Vere Code, which demonstrates that the poems published as Shake-speare's Sonnets in 1609 were in written, not by William Shaksper from Stratford-on-Avon, but by Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, a nobleman at the court of Queen Elizabeth I.

As the promotional bandwagon for Roland Emmerich's Stratford-baiting Anonymous gets under way, this blog will chronicle the next few months in the life of The De Vere Code, to see how its arguments, and the wider case for Edward de Vere, fare during this time of unprecedented scrutiny around all things Authorship…

Friday, 30 September 2011

U and non-U

The Anonymous debate is showing its first signs of breaking out of the confines of movie blogs, as a mini-row breaks out  in the Times Higher Ed over an entry in the previously mentioned  Sixty Minutes with Shakespeare, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's pre-emptive volley against the anti-Stratfordians:

"William Leahy, head of the School of Arts at Brunel University, was startled to discover one contributor questioning the "intellectual justification" of "degrees awarded to those doubting Shakespeare's authorship at Brunel and Concordia (Oregon) universities"."

In a bizarre twist to the "Snobs, snobs, yer all snobs" accusation levelled against Oxfordians, it seems the academic establishment is now turning on its own. Again, it all comes down to whether you think the authorship of Shakespeare's works is a subject worthy of serious study. Some clearly don't. But some, like Brunel, do. But whichever side one is on, I don't think the Brunel course, or even a module on it, is entitled "Proving Stratfordians Wrong", let alone "Solving the Authorship Question", and the idea that exploring a subject indicates that one is not intellectually the full shilling is, of course, snobbery par excellence. Perhaps Brunel should award James Shapiro, and Alan Nelson honorary degrees. They are after all academics, and they have published on the authorship question. It wasn't beneath them.

PS: Having met William Leahy, I know that he's an extremely serious academic. But then I would say that, as he was kind enough to read The De Vere Code in manuscript, and described it as 'convincing', among other things. But, and it's a big but he said, the difficulty I would face was getting anyone to take encipherment seriously, as it was a subject so tarnished (and rightly so I reckon) -  by the Baconian nonsense of the late-19th and early-20th centuries.

That has turned out to be true enough. As I have discovered, in a landscape already over-populated by ostracised fanatics, the cipher-discoverer is the loneliest loony of them all.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Jonathan,

    Aptly put: "As I have discovered, in a landscape already over-populated by ostracised fanatics, the cipher-discoverer is the loneliest loony of them all."

    As a fellow "cipher-discoverer", working in the trenches of Shake-speares Sonnets, I hear your pain. One of my favorite "discovery modus operandi" has to do with textual alignments through the page. The Author (I believe it was Sir Henry Neville) appears to have verified my "discovery" at the beginning of Sonnet 17, where he both asks and answers the question: "Who will believe my verse in time to come". If you look at the 1609 imprint (see link below) the answer "thou wilt" (Sonnet 19, line 6) is aligned through the page with the aforesaid words "in time" (Sonnet 17, line 1).

    Sonnet 17:;jsessionid=327E120B89449F51620A4F795F6E5C5A?trs=56&sort=Call_Number%2CMPSORTORDER1%2CCD_Title%2CImprint&qvq=q%3ACall_Number%3D%22STC%2B22353%22%3Bsort%3ACall_Number%2CMPSORTORDER1%2CCD_Title%2CImprint%3Blc%3AFOLGERCM1%7E6%7E6&mi=11

    Sonnet 19:"STC+22353";sort:Call_Number,MPSORTORDER1,CD_Title,Imprint;lc:FOLGERCM1~6~6&mi=12&trs=56

    Thanks for listening!

    David Ewald