Thursday, October 16, 2008

View from New York

View from the Tappan Zee bridge

The White Plains SOS/SF authorship conference blew us away with over 20 presenters offering insights into Elizabethan history and authorship issues. Bonner Miller Cutting’s exhaustively researched paper on Shaksper’s will, Frank Davis’ meticulous analysis of Henslow’s diary, and Robert Brazil’s 70-page treatise on Angel Daye’s The English Secretary stand out for me.

Yet, despite the fun and fascination of a jam-packed schedule of outstanding presentations, the most exciting aspect of the 2008 SOS/SF conference was the powerful wind that blew through the authorship landscape. We blinked thrice and discovered our Oxfordian island had become a promontory, pointing the way to a brave new view of the world.

The new view:

Mark Anderson’s keynote insisted that 1604 is the Oxfordian “ace in the hole”. No longer, said Anderson, must Oxfordians whimper apologetically about the unfortunate demise of our hero before all the plays had been written. Turn it around, he said, and ask instead why none of Shakespeare’s work includes reference to events or writing after the 1604 date.

"Shakespeare stopped writing in 1604, the year that Edward deVere died," Anderson said. The few potential exceptions that might be taken to his statement, Anderson defeated with ease.

Then John Plummer -- Anderson’s collaborator on a TV series based on Anderson's book, Shakespeare by Another Name -- took the floor and knocked us all for a loop with the high-energy thrill of his Oxfordian conversion. Ron Song Destro showed us his masterful “Oxfordian Lecture” – a first-look at the authorship question that Destro says has never failed to convert rooms-full of skeptical inquirers. And Cheryl Egan-Donovan talked about work on “Nothing is Truer than Truth” --  her film outing Shakespeare – with such confident passion that I sat awestruck in the crowded meeting room.

The common attribute of these young Oxfordians is their absolute faith in their view of the world – they believe in themselves and they believe in their work. They do not question that the world has changed; they simply act according to that change. The civil war has been won, and while liberty must always be defended, we will never be slaves again.

Or, as Mark Anderson said, "You owe it to yourself to look at the world through Oxfordian glasses."

Links of interest about (or recommended by) conference presenters:

Bonner Miller Cutting’s website featuring Ruth Lloyd Miller’s collection of reprints of essential pioneer Oxfordian works by Looney, Ward, Clark, and Fowler.

Ron Song Destro’s NYC Oxford Shake-speare Center project website.

Ramon Jimenez’s review of new SOS Oxfordian journal Editor Michael Egan’s The Tragedy of Richard II, Part One: a newly authenticated play by William Shakespeare, Edited, introduced and with variorum notes by Michael Egan. 4 v. The Edwin Mellen Press 2006.

List of books by Elizabethan historian Paul Hammer who was recommended by Bill Boyle.

Website of dramaturg John Hudson’s Dark Lady Players in NYC

Early English Books Online website recommended by Ron Hess.

Robert Brazil’s Elizabethan Authors and Earl of Oxford websites.

SOS Oxfordian of the Year 2008 Dan Wright’s Shakespeare Authorship Research Center website.

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