Dick and his wife, Jane, who survives him, were grand and active Oxfordians. Dick just published last year his breakthrough work of a lifetime -- one of the most important studies in the Shakespeare authorship question ever: The Shakespeare Guide to Italy. I was honored to attend a reception for Dick in Pasadena at the release of his book last year. We are all pleased, given this sad news, that Dick was able to receive the enthusiastic accolades of friends and supporters before his death for undertaking, and seeing through to completion, this titanic accomplishment -- the result of decades of travel, investigation and meticulous research, jaw-dropping in its significance. For this achievement Dick was slated to receive the Concordia University's Vero Nihil Verius Award for Distinguished Scholarship at the forthcoming Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference in April, 2011.Wright said the award will be given posthumously. Wright also reported previously that Roe's book -- The Shakespeare Guide to Italy, previously privately available in a small print-run -- will be published next year by Harper Collins.
Oxfordian luminary Stephanie Hughes gave us permission to quote her response to the sad news of Roe's death:
Apart from the stunning information it contains, The Shakespeare Guide to Italy is also a very beautiful and engaging book. In my view (and leaving Oxford aside) Roe's lifework is the most important book about Shakespeare to be published in our time. I believe the winds of awareness will finally begin to blow in our direction once it's out there.
But sad as it is that he should miss this moment, I think that Dick would agree that the purest joy was in the doing. Nothing could ever match those marvelous trips to Italy, the excitement of the chase and the thrill of discovery. How wonderful that he's captured this for us, taking us with him as he locates, again and again, with the skill of a great detective the very sites where events in Shakespeare took place.
Much credit must go to Dick and Jane's daughter Hilary Roe Metternich and to designer Steve Hirsch for their efforts to see this exceptional book into print. And thanks to Dan Wright as well for his part in introducing us to Dick and giving so many of us the opportunity at the Concordia conferences to hear his lawerly briefs in behalf of Oxford. Many thanks to all involved.Hank Whittemore, author of Shakespeare's Son and His Sonnets (published Dec. 1, 2010 by Martin and Lawrence Press and available from Amazon) also expressed gratitude for Roe's lifework and his response on hearing of Roe's death:
I grabbed his wonderful book The Shakespeare Guide to Italy, Then and Now off the shelf and read the opening sentences of his introduction: "There is a secret Italy hidden in the plays of Shakespeare. It is an ingeniously-described Italy that has neither been recognized, nor even suspected -- not in four hundred years -- save by a curious few. It is exact; it is detailed; and it is brilliant." What a gift he has given us!