Friday, November 14, 2014

Very Sad News-The Passing of Ronald Halstead

Posted by Richard Joyrich

I am quite saddened to have to report the sudden passing of our dear friend Ronald Halstead last Friday (November 7, 2014). Ron has been a long-standing member of the Oberon group and will be sorely missed. 

There will be a memorial service for Ron at William Sullivan and Son Funeral Home at 705 W 11 Mile Road in Royal Oak (east of Woodward and west of Main St) at 3-5 PM.

Here is a link to the obituary and other information on the funeral home website: http://www.sullivanfuneraldirectors.com/obituary/Ronald-Douglas-Halstead/Royal-Oak-MI/1449423

We, at Oberon, will be preparing a special memorial page on this blog in the near future with more details about Ron's many contributions to Oberon and to the wider Shakespeare Authorship community. We will welcome any personal comments or remembrances of Ron at that time.

In the meantime, please join me in wishing the best to Ron's wife Barbara Burris and Ron's entire family and large group of friends in this time of sorrow.

Monday, November 3, 2014

David Montee enlightens young Shakespeareans

by Linda Theil

David Montee, author of Translating Shakespeare

David Montee, PhD has distilled 30 years of teaching "Acting Shakespeare" at Interlochen Center for the Arts into Translating Shakespeare: a Guide for Young Actors published in August 2014 by theater book publishers Smith & Kraus.

Interlochen is the venerable and prestigious arts center near Traverse City, Michigan that is noted for its full-time education of talented youth. Last month, Montee gave a reading and presentation of his new book on the Interlochen campus, and he will make a presentation from 3-5 p.m. on November 22 at Horizon Books, 243 E. Front Street in Traverse City.

Oberons may remember Montee as Shylock in an Interlochen production of Merchant of Venice reviewed by our late chairperson, Tom Hunter in July, 2011. Hunter said:
His performance not only avoided the clown Jew stereotype, but was done with an ideal mix of understatement and intensity which accurately showed Shylock’s descent into tragedy. I have no idea if this was a conscious choice by Mr. Montee, but conscious or not, the result was the Shylock which I believe most closely achieved Shakespeare’s intentions of all of those I have witnessed in many other recent productions.
Montee shares this knowledge and depth of insight into acting Shakespeare's characters in Translating Shakespeare. His publisher says:
Translating Shakespeare seeks to make the actor’s preparatory work on the Bard’s plays both stimulating and fun by de-mystifying the experience. It offers step-by-step explanations of the fundamental processes involved in creative preparation: comparing edited texts, analyzing verse rhythms, identifying antitheses, and most importantly, helping the actor to find his or her own personal key to unlock the plays’ contexts and circumstances in an inspiring way. Offering many specific examples from the plays in each chapter to illustrate the topics covered, the book concludes with detailed approaches to six Shakespearean scenes, applying all of the work covered in earlier chapters to a practical rehearsal approach.
After a 2011-12 sabbatical that he spent in part writing Translating Shakespeare, Montee is back in the classroom at Interlochen where he spoke to your Oberon reporter about his work, his book, and his view of the Shakespeare authorship question:

Oberon: Do you care to say a word about Interlochen and your work there?
Montee: I've been at Interlochen for 27 years, as a teacher, director, administrator, and -- occasionally -- an actor. It's been the center of my creative life for many, many years, and I've been fortunate to have had the chance to teach and work with an incredible number of students who have gone on to make their talented presence felt in professional and educational theatre, in films and TV, and in all other aspects of life. It's been an amazing artistic journey for me.

Oberon: Does Interlochen have an annual Shakespeare festival?
Montee: Yes it does.  As a member of Actors' Equity, I've acted in three shows in the last several years, playing Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Polonius in Hamlet, and Malvolio in Twelfth Night. This coming summer I've been asked to do Jaques in As You Like It.

Oberon: When did you write Translating Shakespeare? Would you tell us about your process?
Montee: I was granted a full year sabbatical from Interlochen during the academic year 2011-12. I was stepping down from my 21-year position of Director of Theatre, during which I was responsible for the leadership of all Academy and Camp theater programs. During that sabbatical year, I travelled, did some professional acting, some guest teaching at other venues -- and wrote the first draft of this book. The book was intended to expand and elaborate on the Acting Shakespeare class that I have taught every year at Interlochen for the nearly 30 years I have been associated with the institution. It follows the basic outline and approach of that class, but covers all the subjects in much more depth. It attempts to help the young actor to understand the techniques of verse analysis, marry the modern Stanislavskian acting approach to the particular demands of heightened language, and -- most importantly -- help them "translate" Shakespeare's characters and situations into personal dramatic contexts that are meaningful in their everyday lives. The last of the book's eight chapters deals with moment by moment analyses of six Shakespearean scenes, using all of the lessons of the earlier sections: scenes from Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, Twelfth Night, Two Gentlemen Of Verona, and Richard III.

Oberon: Why did you decide to write Translating Shakespeare, and what do you hope will be its benefit to readers?
Montee: I've been wanting to have the time to write the book for the past decade, but the sabbatical finally gave me the freedom I needed. It is primarily intended to help young actors get over their intimidation over performing Shakespeare by giving them the knowledge they need to find it exciting and inspiring. I also hope that folks who are non-actors -- but interested in finding out more about the Bard -- will find it interesting and informative as well. All in all, it's a way to honor all of the students who have worked with me in class and in the production of over half the Shakespeare canon on stage -- and all that they have taught me over the years.

Oberon: As you know, our readers are interested in the Shakespeare authorship question. Is the question of Shakespeare's identity important to you?
Montee: Like many others, I'm fascinated to read the various books and treatises on the authorship question. I believe that just reading all the theories illuminates possible interpretations of the plays in fascinating ways. If nothing else, they teach me more and more about the historical and social settings that gave birth to the Elizabethan, Jacobean and Carolinean theatre in general, and Shakespeare's works in particular.

Oberon: Are you interested in Shakespeare's identity?
Montee: I am, but am pretty much resigned to the idea that it will undoubtedly remain an unresolved question, failing some hidden document being uncovered somewhere.  And I actually kind of like the mystery!

Oberon: Have you studied the issue?
Montee: I have, and have read some fascinating books on it. Besides the slew of Oxford books that have been so popular of late, I was particularly taken with the recent books by Sabrina Feldman, especially The Apocryphal William Shakespeare, Book One. Although I'm not sure I'm ready to buy her candidate (as revealed in Book Two, of which she's kindly sent me an advance manuscript for my thoughts), I think her ideas in Book One are revelatory, and tell us interesting things about the Elizabethan processes of developing plays for the theater of the time. I recommend them as very entertaining and informative reading.

Oberon: Are your students interested in the authorship question?
Montee: They are in a vague way. Happily, I think (as actors) they're much more interested in how the scripts work on stage -- whomever they were authored by!

Oberon: Does the identity of the author have meaning and usefulness to teachers and students who use your book?
Montee: I don't really think so, not directly anyway. For actors and directors, the plays are blueprints for performances; and the book is aimed at helping actors, both young and old, in interpreting those blueprints in the most theatrically effective manner possible.


David Montee is available for readings and presentations of his new book, Translating Shakespeare: a Guide for Young Actors and may be reached at <mailto:monteedd@interlochen.org>.

















Resources: http://oberonshakespearestudygroup.blogspot.com/2011/07/interlochen-surprise-merchant-of-venice.html
http://smithandkraus.com/sk/translating-shakespeare-a-guidebook-for-young-actors/
http://www.interlochen.org/
http://www.interlochen.org/person/david-montee
http://actorslife.com/david-montee-director-of-theater-interlochen-center-for-the-arts-michigan/ 10/06/12
http://www.northernexpress.com/michigan/article-6602-david-montee-translates-shakespeare.html 10/12/14

Friday, October 17, 2014

Newton and Delahoyde offer School of Night


SOF webmaster and media consultant Jennifer Newton sent information about an online class lead by Michael Delahoyde to those who follow her The Shakespeare Underground website. Oberon chair Richard Joyrich said, "This 3-part online lecture series will be very good. For those who haven't yet seen him, Professor Delahoyde is an extremely entertaining and knowledgeable speaker. I have already registered for this course. It is completely free. All you have to do is provide your email address so you can get the details on how to access the webcasts."

Newton said:
I want to let you know of an upcoming event, School of Night -- an interactive, online Shakespeare authorship course featuring Professor Michael Delahoyde, hosted by The Shakespeare Underground. This three-part series will take place Thursday evenings in November: 11/6, 11/13, and 11/20. 
The Shakespeare Hoax
November 6
9:00pm EST / 6:00 pm PST

“This well-painted piece”: Renaissance Art in The Rape of Lucrece
November 13
9:00pm EST / 6:00 pm PST

The Winter’s Tale: a Tudor Redemption Story
November 20
9:00pm EST / 6:00 pm PST

These live video webcasts will feature real-time discussion via chat and a Q&A session in which participants with webcams can appear onscreen and converse with Dr. Delahoyde and the group. 

The course is free and open to all. Registration and details are here: http://www.theshakespeareunderground.com/school-of-night/. Technical information about how to access the class and participate interactively will be sent to registrants.

The School of Night course is experimental -- a further exploration of online possibilities for communicating about the Shakespeare authorship question. If it goes well and receives a good response, we may make it an ongoing program. It would be wonderful to see you there, and I'd appreciate any feedback and suggestions you have about the experience. Please join us in November for the classes, and please spread the word!

Ever,
Jennifer Newton
The Shakespeare Underground

Monday, October 6, 2014

Oberons attend "Authorship Appeal" in Stratford

by Linda Theil

Matt Wyneken enjoyed breakfast at Features restaurant on Ontario St. in downtown Stratford before 10:30 a.m. "Authorship Appeal" moot court.

A contingent of Oberons hit the road again this weekend to attend the "Authorship Appeal" moot court sponsored by the Stratford Festival in Ontario as part of its annual Forum series.

Ron Halstead stands outside the Festival Theater in Stratford, Ontario before attending the October 4, 2014 "Authorship Appeal" moot court.

Matt Wyneken, Ron Halstead and I attended the event held in the Festival Theatre on October 4 where we watched litigator Guy Pratte contend against the Stratfordian attribution of the Shakespeare canon before the Right Honorable Madam Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin of the Supreme Court of Canada.

We met-up with old friends Lynne and Michael Kositsky. Lynne Kositsky shared the news that she has two new young adult books out: With Fearful Bravery and The Plagues of Kondar. York University professor Don Rubin -- who organized the SOS/SF conference last year in Toronto -- had assisted Guy Pratte with his case against Stratford and attended the Forum event with his wife, Patricia Keeney.

Don Rubin and Lynne and Michael Kositsky greet friends in the lobby of the Festival Theatre, Stratford, Ontario before "Authorship Appeal" moot court.

After the moot court, Matt and I had lunch with Don Rubin, Patricia Keeney, the Kositsky's, Priscilla Costello, Sky Gilbert, Justin BorrowAnn Zakelj, Matthew Wynekin, Ted Alexander and Chris Pannell at Demetre's in Stratford. Ron Halstead had a ticket to see the King Lear matinee, and skipped lunch. We dined in the small private room where we Oberons have gathered during Stratford visits in the past.

Around table at Demetre's in Stratford, October 4, 2014: Priscilla Costello, Sky Gilbert, Lynne Kositsky, Michael Kositsky, Justin Borrow, Ann Zakelj, Patricia Keeney, Matt Wyneken, and Ted Alexander.

The entire "Authorship Appeal" event was streamed live over the Internet and is available on video produced by the Shakespeare Festival of Ontario, Canada.



Click on arrow above to watch "Authorship Appeal" Stratford Festival Forum event held Oct 4, 2014.

Listen to Guy Pratte's discussion of the Shakespeare authorship on the October 3, 2014 CBC radio show Ontario Morning. Podcast at http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/ontariomorning_20141003_28162.mp3 
Guy Pratte’s interview begins at mark 33:15.

Read more of my report on the "Authorship Appeal" moot court on the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship news page under the title "Rubin pleased by Stratford moot court".

Friday, October 3, 2014

Stanley Wells on Shakespeare's Love of Books

by Richard Joyrich

As a member of the Folio Society (an organization that prints and sells very beautiful, although expensive, editions of classic works of literature, history, fiction, science, and just about everything else) I get a free subscription to their semiannual magazine, which is simply called folio. This magazine contains very short articles about literary matters of all kinds.

I just received the September 2014 edition and it has a short article by Professor Stanley Wells, titled “Shakespeare: A Lover of Books”.

In this article Professor Wells discusses briefly how Shakespeare (by whom he of course means William Shakspere of Stratford) loved and read many books and used them as inspiration for his plays.

Wells mentions many books that Shakespeare must have read and says that many of them were published before Shakespeare began writing his plays. These include Arthur Brooke’s Romeus and Juliet (1562), Arthur Golding’s translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses (1567) and Sir Thomas North’s 1579 translation of Plutarch’s Lives

I note that all of these books would have been “old” by the time the traditional William Shakespeare would have begun writing plays (early 1590s), but are just about right for the young Edward de Vere to have read at a time when he could very well have been writing his first plays. [Some Oxfordians even ascribe the writing of the first two of these books to de Vere himself.]

In his list of books that Shakespeare read (which of course is not intended by Professor Wells as being inclusive, just “interesting” to the readers of folio) there are none published after 1604 (when Edward de Vere is supposed to have died).

Professor Wells also mentions that William Shakespeare and John Fletcher collaborated on The Two Noble Kinsmen [a “fact” I have grave doubts about], which is based on works of Chaucer, and speculates that “they probably used an edition of Chaucer published in 1598”. I don’t know how Professor Wells came to this conclusion, but I will note here that Edward de Vere is known to have purchased a copy of Chaucer in 1569.

Professor Wells has some other speculations in his article that I have doubts about. One is that Shakespeare (i.e. William of Stratford) “forgave” Robert Greene for writing about him in Groatsworth of Wit (as an "upstart crow") and then used Robert Greene’s 1588 Pandosto as a source for The Winter’s Tale, one of Shakespeare’s “late masterpieces” [according to Professor Wells].

But, where would William of Stratford get hold of any of these books? Ah, good question. Here is the speculation of Professor Wells.

He notes that, at school [this is of course assuming that he actually attended the Grammar School in Stratford], “Shakespeare would have known his townsfellow Richard Field, three years his senior, who, like him, was to go from Stratford to pursue a successful career in London.”

Professor Wells explains that Richard Field was a publisher and his publications included the first four editions of Venus and Adonis and the first edition of The Rape of Lucrece, as well as the volume that contains Shakespeare’s The Phoenix and the Turtle. So much is actually true, but I am not sure of the significance of this. But Professor Wells has an answer:

“Shakespeare may well have used Field’s publishing shop as a kind of library where he could read, and perhaps borrow—or even buy—some of the books which inspired his plays.”

Well, this explanation of how William of Stratford got hold of the books he needed in order to be able to write all those plays serves as well as any other that traditional scholars have been able to come up with. Never mind that there is no actual evidence that William of Stratford EVEN KNEW Richard Field, or that Richard Field is not known to have published any of the books that Professor Wells mentions in his article, or that no books are mentioned in the will of William Shaksper of Stratford.

Now, I’d like to comment on this passage from Professor Well’s article:

“…books played a massively important part in Shakespeare’s life from his schooldays onwards. In what is surely the most autobiographical scene in his plays, Act 4 Scene 1 of The Merry Wives of Windsor, he portrays a schoolboy named William being put through his paces in Latin grammar, quoting directly from William Lily’s Short Introduction to Grammar. It is easy to imagine this as a scene from Shakespeare’s own boyhood. Lily’s book, prescribed by royal proclamation for use in all the grammar schools of the nation, continued in use until well into the nineteenth century. From it Shakespeare himself would have received his grounding in the language at the King’s New School in Stratford-upon-Avon.”

First of all, I thought that reading the plays autobiographically was taboo in the case of Shakespeare (as opposed to the case for virtually EVERY OTHER author) according to the teachings of the “orthodox” Shakespeare scholars. Apparently it isn’t prohibited when you can come up (or "imagine" as Professor Wells puts it in the above quotation from his article) with some SMALL autobiographical link to the life (or actually the imagined life, since there is no direct evidence either way that William of Stratford even attended the Grammar School at Stratford) of the “man from Stratford”.

Second, Professor Wells makes a big deal that Shakespeare quotes from, and also parodies, this particular book (although the author’s name is almost always given as William Lyly, not Lily as Professor Well’s has it, but no matter), which was used in the Grammar Schools, thereby “proving” that Shakespeare went to a Grammar School. However, Professor Wells fails to note that this book on Grammar was ALSO the prescribed text for the teaching of the nobility by their tutors, and that a copy was present in the library of Sir Thomas Smith, the tutor of young Edward de Vere, as well as in the library of Sir William Cecil, in whose house de Vere was brought up after the death of his father.

Third (and perhaps least important), William Lyly was the grandfather of John Lyly, who was, for a time, the “secretary” of Edward de Vere, and who was also the author of various works that were direct inspirations for “Shakespeare”.

So, here we once again have Professor Wells struggling, as do all traditional scholars, with trying to reconcile the immense “book-learning” of William Shakespeare with the known life of one William Shakspere of Stratford.

I wish him gook luck in this endeavor.


The September issue of folio is not yet on the Folio Society web page for this publication (www.foliosociety.com/pages/folio_magazine), which still has the March 2014 edition, but I hope it becomes available on this website in the near future so it can be more widely read by those interested in Shakespeare's use of books.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Oberons attend SOF conference in Madison

by Linda Theil
Richard Joyrich at American Players Theatre, Spring Green, WI, Sept. 13, 2014

Richard Joyrich, Ron Halstead, and I attended the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship conference in Madison, Wisconsin September 11-14. Richard is secretary to the SOF board and served on the conference committee; Ron presented on the topic of "What's Hecuba to Him? Connecting Life and Drama in Hamlet"; and I gave a speech on mobile-media basics.

Oberon member Ron Halstead presented Sept. 14, 2014 at SOF conference in Madison, WI.

It was a lot of fun! And I'm hoping Joyrich will post his notes on the entire event.
Chef Jeremy Lynch of Enos Farms, Spring Green WI

On Saturday night we all went to the American Players' Theatre in Spring Green where we had a great picnic prepared by chef Jeremy Lynch of Enos Farms. We had tickets to the APT production of Much Ado, with David Daniel -- who entertained us with theatrical insight during dinner -- as Benedick. 

But as the night got darker, the world got colder and I cravenly retreated to the bus during the second half of the performance. Richard, however -- nothing daunted -- enjoyed every word.

The conference was held in the Overture Center which was absolutely gorgeous. 
Lobby, from second-floor balcony, Overture Center, Madison WI

Madison, WI from Overture Center mezzanine where we had lunch Sept. 12, 2014

Our event coordinator from the center was Janet Knoeller, who did a wonderful job of making sure everything went perfectly during the conference. She told me she became a convert to the post-Stratfordian point-of-view after listening to the presentations. "This is the most interesting conference I've ever coordinated," Knoeller said. "I told my husband about it and he said, 'They've been talking about that for ten years.' I told him, 'They've been talking about it for over a hundred years!'"

Overture Center Event Services Coordinator Janet Knoeller, new Oxfordian!

SOF webmaster Jennifer Newton and I shared duties blogging, and tweeting, and posting to Facebook at the conference, but we took a break to enjoy the sunshine on on the streets of Madison during Saturday farmers' market.

SOF webmaster Jennifer Newton enjoys lunchtime stroll in Madison farmers' market, Sept 13, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Wember reports on authorship book published in Sweden

Hanno Wember, board member of The New Shakespeare Society in Hamburg, Germany
at the 2014 SOF conference in Madison, WI
by Linda Theil

Once again our Hamburg correspondent, Hanno Wember of Neue Shake-speareGesellschaft (New Shakespeare Society) brings word of post-Stratfordian thought in northern Europe with his report on a new book by Swedish author Martin Tegen published by Themis of Stockholm.

The book is titled Vem var Shakespeare? Sonetternas gåta, which translates: Who Was Shakespeare? The Riddle (or enigma) of the Sonnets.


Wember says that part of Tegen's thesis is that the author of Shakespeare's works was a musician and he links de Vere to the works through de Vere's own musicianship.

Wember provides the following information translated from the publisher's website: 
Who is hiding behind the name of the author Shakespeare? The first time the name of the author William Shakespeare emerges is the verse epic story of Venus and Adonis 1593. Many saw in it an allegory about the Queen and her "virginity". Is it - wonder the same queen who also appears in Shakepeare's sonnets as the dark lady? Martin Tegen's first book to publishers Themis was his interpretation of Shakespeare's sonnets and verse narratives for which he received the Society of the Nine översättarpris in 2007.
Martin Tegen, born April 28, 1919 in Uppsala, Sweden, is a Swedish music researchers, university teachers and translators. Martin Tegen became PhD in 1955, and then served as Assistant Professor (1956-1969) and Associate Professor (1964-1984) in music research and musicology at Stockholm University. Martin Tegen is an expert on 1800s Swedish music and musical life. He is a member of the Royal Academy of Music and was rewarded in 2004 with a scholarship from Hilding Rosenberg Fund for Swedish musicology. After his retirement Tegen has launched a second career as a translator of classical literature, including William Shakespeare and Rainer Maria Rilke.


Resources:

Stratfordians have nowhere to squat

Alexander Waugh, presented two papers at the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship 2014 conference in Madison, WI; Photo Linda Theil

by Linda Theil

Ron Halsted, Richard Joyrich and I attended the 2014 Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship conference in Madison, WI Sept 11-14. Alexander Waugh flew in from England to present two papers: one on the bogus nature of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust site, and the second on Ben Jonson's "Sweet Swan of Avon" reference in the First Folio that appears to place the author of Shakespeare's works on the banks of Stratford on Avon.

Waugh's essay on the topic of Shakespeare's birthplace appears in his just-published Kindle Single ebook titled, Shakespeare in Court, and is available from Amazon for $1.99 at http://amazon.com/Shakespeare-Court-Kindle-Single-Alexander-ebook/dp/B00NFFP3OU. A Kindle reader is available at no cost from the site. Preview available here.

Waugh's essay on Jonson's "swan of avon" is published in the latest editon of the SOF journal, The Oxfordian, that is available to SOF members -- information at http://www.shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/the-oxfordian/.

Waugh says in The Oxfordian, Vol. 16 (2014) p. 100: 
So it would appear that Hampton Court was anciently known as “Avon”. Camden’s source was Leland’s Genethliacon of 1643, but this was by no means his only reference to the Royal palace as “Avon”. In his Cygnea Cantio (1545) Leland explained that Hampton Court was called “Avon” as a shortening of the Celtic-Roman name “avondumun” meaning a fortified place (dunum) by a river (avon), which “the common people by corruption called Hampton.” This etymology was supported by Raphael Hollinshed, who wrote in this Chronicles (1586) that “we now pronounce Hamton for Avondune.
 Edward de Vere’s tutor, the antiquarian Laurence Nowell, also knew of this connection because he transcribed, by hand, the complete “Syllabus” from Leland’s Genethliacon, which contains the  entry: “Avondunum, Aglice Hamtoncourte.” Historian William Lambarde, in his Topgraphical and Historical Dictionary of England, written in the 16902, includes an entry for Hampton Court, which, he writes, is “corruptly called Hampton for Avondun or Avon, and usual Names for many Waters within Ingland.”
So, one of the three shaky legs (i.e. title pages attributing work to Shakespeare, the Stratford monument, and Jonson's reference to the swan of Avon in the First Folio) of the Stratfordian attribution is sawn off by a British iconoclast who revels in challenging the status quo.

Since the title pages are meaningless, the monument is fraudulent, and now the First Folio leads to the site where Shakespeare's plays were originally offered to the court, the Stratfordian stool is legless. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Cutler releases Shakespeare's Mulberry Tree as free ebook








Keir Cutler's 3,000-word monograph titled, "Shakespeare's Mulberry Tree" is now available as a free ebook on Smashwords. The publisher says:
The true story of "Shakespeare's Mulberry Tree" of Stratford-upon-Avon is not generally known, even though it was seminal to the development of William Shakespeare as the cultural icon he is today. Keir Cutler, who possesses a PhD in theater, tells the fascinating real life account in this short and revealing essay.
Beginning with Shakespeare’s death in 1616, Cutler succinctly takes the reader on a historical journey that provides food for thought for the open-minded thinker. If William of Stratford was the writer of the famous plays and poems, why was nothing ever found in his hometown connecting this man to the great works? Why are there no plays, poems or even any letters in Shakespeare’s own hand? And most significantly, why would the mulberry tree in back of his former home in Stratford become “one of the most valuable assets of the town?”
“Shakespeare’s Mulberry Tree” is a true story few professors ever tell their students because it is difficult to maintain the strict orthodoxy that there is no Shakespeare Authorship Question once this important piece of history is known.
"Shakespeare's Mulberry Tree is available in epub, mobi, pdf formats and also available to read online from the Smashwords site at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/466896. Cutler also has a performance on this topic available on YouTube under the title "Shakespeare Authorship: The Mulberry Tree".

Stratfordians are still fascinated by arboreal relics; the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in the person of head of research and knowledge, Paul Edmondson, has just completed a summer-long tour of Shakespeare festivals in the US -- handing out pieces of a cedar tree from Stratford-on-Avon. See: "Shakespeare Birthplace Trust hands out relics of the True Cedar Tree in USA".

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pirè and Valentini reply to Oberon

by Linda Theil

I received this email today from deposed Memoria di Shakespeare editors, Luciana Pirè and Maria Valentini:
Dear Ms Theil, thank you for your concern. We will not be appearing as editors of the tenth issue of Memoria di Shakespeare; the Editorial Board has decided on a particular line and rather than having been replaced we have chosen to step down from the editorship of this particular issue. We must however add that all papers had been only temporarily accepted rather than definitively and were due to be read by the Board as a whole and then go through peer review. We believe there is not much more we can add. Yours sincerely, Luciana Pirè and Maria Valentini
I asked the two Italian scholars for their response to the new Memoria di Shakespeare editor, Gary Taylor's having accused them both of " . . . a breach of faith . . ." in choosing Shakespeare-authorship researcher Richard Waugaman, MD, for a place in the tenth edition of Memoria -- an edition dedicated to the topic of Shakespearean biography, due to be published in 2015.

Taylor told Waugaman that getting rid of Waugaman's article had been a condition of Taylor's acceptance of the Memoria editorship. For background on this story, see the August 23, 2014 Oberon article "Gary Taylor sez Waugaman is as unconvincing as holocaust deniers".

The text of my query to Luciana Pirè and Maria Valentini is posted below:
Da: Linda Theil
Inviato: giovedì 21 agosto 2014 13:34
A: pire; (valentini)
Oggetto: Gary Taylor's remarks
Ms Pire and Ms Valentini,
I am preparing a post about Richard Waugaman's article being dropped from Memoria 10 for the blog: Oberon Shakespeare Studies Group at http://oberonshakespearestudygroup.blogspot.com/ and I hoped that you would wish to comment on the following Gary Taylor comment made in an August 19, 2014 letter to Richard Waugaman. Gary Taylor said:
" . . . I understand that you are chargrined about the change of policy at the journal. But the previous co-editors, who contacted you, were themselves guilty of a breach of good faith, in committing the journal to positions conflicted with the intentions and desires of the journal's founders. . . ."
Do you think Taylor's comment is correct? Could you comment on the issue?
Can you tell me if you will appear as editors of the tenth issue of Memoria and are you still working on the project? Taylor gives the impression that you have been replaced and I wondered if that was accurate.
Dr. Waugaman says that Taylor (and by extension, the Memoria board) is guilty of a breach of academic freedom by censoring Waugaman's paper after it had been accepted by the board's chosen editors.
Do you think the board's actions are a breach of academic freedom?
Thank you very much for your time and attention,
Linda Theil