Monday, October 29, 2007

Report: Shakespeare's herbal imagery and advancing Oxford

Dear Oberon,

I am pleased to report that Thursday's meeting featuring herbalist Lonnie Morley discussing Shakespeare's herbal imagery as a clue to the author's identity was a huge success. Ms. Morley brought insight into the important role of herbs and flowers in Shakespeare's plays and poems. She has agreed to post a shortened version of her talk on our Oberon blog, so please stay tuned. If you are interested in Shakespeare, you will be very interested in Morley's treatment of this key topic.

In addition, Ms. Morley is a staunch supporter of the view that Edward de Vere authored the works of Shakespeare. After all, he grew up in the home of his ward, Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley, whose gardens were among the most magnificent in all Elizabethan England and whose master gardener, with whom young de Vere was surely well acquainted, wrote a compendium on herbs of such authority that it is still in use today. Shakespeare shows a remarkable familiarity with herbs, flowers, and gardens, and here were the best gardens and gardeners in all of England right in his back yard.

And that's not all. At the end of Ms. Morley's presentation to an Oakland Community College gathering of 70-80 the previous afternoon, a Wayne State University English professor rose to challenge her as to who wrote Shakespeare. When he demanded proof of her thesis, Ms. Morley replied that she would need a semester to present it all. Indeed, this reply goes right to the heart of the Stratfordian advantage: they own the playing field. They control the classrooms. But on Wednesday, Oakland County seniors demonstrated that they have open minds if university professors do not, and so Ms. Morley won the day in telling Oxford's story.

All in all, Ms. Morley made Thursday evening a most uplifting experience for Oberon. On Thursday, via Linda Theil, we also made contact with Charles Kelly of Ann Arbor who has just published new work on the quarto editions of Hamlet, Echoes & Shadows in the Texts of Shakespeare's Hamlet. We are looking forward to hosting Charles at our January meeting, now scheduled for Thursday, January 17 at the Farmington Library.

In the mean time, don't forget Tom Townsend's presentation on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern at our meeting Nov 15. Tom will demonstrate Oxfordian connections to these minor but important characters in the play. With Tom's help, we will be taking another step forward in our Hamlet project. The year is concluding on a strong note, and that will be continuing in 2008.

Yours as always for a deeper understanding of Shakespeare,

Tom Hunter

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