Friday, January 28, 2011

Anonymous "could be a gem" says Browne

Jaws dropped last night when during a discussion of Roland Emmerich's Anonymous -- an upcoming film about the Shakespeare authorship question -- Oberon member Robin Browne casually said in his understated British way, "I've seen some of the footage."


Turns out our film-maker friend who is a member of the British Society of Cinematographers recently attended a local workshop held by Arriflex to demonstrate its new Alexa electronic, high-definition camera. Since Emmerich used the new camera to shoot Anonymous, the workshop included soundless footage of the film.

"It does look very beautiful; it has a great feeling of the period," Browne said. "The little, tiny footage we saw was very beautiful and very atmospheric -- pictorially, it could be a gem."

Emmerich's Anonymous is scheduled for release September 30, 2011.

SF/SOS annual conference Oct 13, 14, 15, 16 will visit Folger

Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington D.C.
SOS board member and SF/SOS conference committee member Susan Grimes Width said last night at the January Oberon meeting that she has scheduled a tour of the Folger Shakespeare Library for all conference attendees on Friday afternoon, October 14, 2011. The Bible belonging to the seventeenth earl of Oxford, Edward deVere will be on display as part of the tour. The 2011 joint Shakespeare Fellowship and Shakespeare Oxford Society annual Shakespeare authorship conference will be held October 13, 14, 15, and 16, 2011 in Washington, D.C. at an in-town site still under negotiation.

Photo courtesy: Folger Shakespeare Library

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shakespeare Fellowship adds live news feed

The Shakespeare Fellowship has added a live news feed to its web site. From the Shakespeare Fellowship Oxfordian News page:
We would like our readers to get news as soon as it is posted here, so we have made this Oxfordian News page on the Shakespeare Fellowship website live. That means if you wish to add a live RSS feed from Oxfordian News to the list of live blogs on your website or weblog, this URL is now available for that service:
For more information, go to "Add live feed from SF Oxfordian News page now"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stritmatter & Kositsky fuel tempest

Roger Stritmatter and Lynne Kositsky at Crater Lake National Park -- Oregon, Sept. 2010

After five years of work on their joint project about Shakespeare's TheTempest, Roger Stritmatter, PhD and Lynne Kositsky have completed the manuscript of A Movable Feast: Sources, Chronology and Design of Shakespeare's Tempest, a closer look at the sources and dating of the play.

In a joint statement, Stritmatter and Kositsky said:
We have no doubt that the book will be extremely controversial. It rebuts the usual theory -- together with its architects and latest contributors, Tom Reedy and Alden Vaughan -- that Strachey was the primary source of the Tempest, and demonstrates instead how many earlier texts such as Eden, Erasmus, and Ariosto are a better and more plausible fit than Strachey. If Strachey's True Reportory, dated by most orthodox scholars to 1610 but actually published in 1625, was not the source, then the play could be much earlier. Depending on texts that seem to demonstrate allusions to Tempest, we date it to or before 1603.
Regarding a publisher, Kositsky said, "We've had some interest, but will continue to query publishers of scholarly books. We are now ready to send out our finished draft."

Off to Ukraine
Stritmatter and Kositsky plan to travel to Ukraine this May to speak at a Shakespeare authorship conference sponsored by the Petro Mohyla Black Sea State University. William Leahy author of Shakespeare and his Authors and Peter Dawkins author of The Shakespeare Enigma are also expected to attend. In addition to her work on The Tempest, Kositsky will also speak to students about the art of writing and her two latest publications: Minerva's Voyage and Rachel.
Stritmatter & Kositsky published articles on The Tempest:
NOTE: Jan, 27, 2011
See also Stritmatter & Kositsky's Internet site, Shakespeare's Tempest at:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ambient offers "wider view" to Shakespeare tourists

Ambient Tours division of Ambient Events Limited in Southwell, Nottinghamshire is offering a 7-day Tudor Poets & Playwrights Tour in March and May this year. According to the brochure, Ambient's Tudor Poets & Playwrights Tour:

 . . . provides an insight into the intrigue surrounding some of the most famous Tudor literary figures including Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, John Fletcher, Edmund Spenser, Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford and William Shakespeare. Your tour will examine the lives and times of these literary greats. We will visit some of the places where they lived, studied, performed, and wrote their great masterpieces.
Athough the London, Oxford, Cambridge, Stratford itinerary doesn’t include Hedingham Castle and other specifically authorship-related sites, Dilley said the Tudor Poets & Playwrights Tour will offer wide scope to the Shakespeare authorship question:
When we started to research the concept over two years ago, it was clear to us that existing preconceptions about the Bard were open to interpretation. In addition, there were so many great Poets & Playwrights around at the same time to whom the accolade 'great' could also be attached.
After visiting Stratford Upon Avon and talking to the people at the Shakespeare Trust, we were struck by how little was known about William Shakespeare except where he was born, spent his early life, and when and where he died. 
We were sceptical that a person with such a limited education could have produced such masterpieces. This led us to examine the various theories about who could have been the author of the work attributed to Shakespeare in the First Folio. 
Many people are in the frame including Christopher Marlowe and Edward de Vere. 
This is why we chose to widen the scope of this particular tour to include visits the University Colleges of Oxford and Cambridge where most of the poets and playwrights associated with the period were known to have studied. 
During the tour, it our intention to present the known facts and the well published theories, to widen the knowledge of the groups that book with us and take them on a journey that will enable them to take a wider view and make up their own minds. Most of all they will enjoy a real cultural and Heritage experience. 
In some respects, we see the matter authorship as academic. Our four tours are intended to show how influential the Tudor period was in broadening the frontiers of the then known world as explorers, literary figures, creators of fine architecture and shrewd political operators. 
Whoever was the true author of the works of Shakespeare, and we shall probably never know for sure, they left a legacy and set the literary bench mark standards that are still applicable today.
Although no specifically Oxfordian tour is currently offered by his company, Dilley said Ambient Tours will create custom travel:
For groups of 20/30 people, who have a specific interest, or would like a more in-depth insight into particular aspects of any of our tours, it is possible to produce something of a more bespoke nature.  . . . We have researched the alternative authorship candidates and would have no problem in producing a bespoke Poets & Playwrights tour to include sites such as Castle Hedingham etc. 
We have done a lot of work on the Cecil family and whilst none of their London houses are still standing, Hatfield House (built by De Vere's brother-in-law) and Burghley House (built by his father-in-law) are featured in some of our other tours.
The tour packages have been developed by me, assisted by the manager of our Ambient Tours division, Ann Herdman. We both have a particular interest in Tudor England but felt that the myth often obscured the reality. With our 'On the Trail of the Tudors' tour packages we have set out to set the record straight.
What started as a purely commercial extension of my marketing communication and event management company has become almost a labour of love. We researched the subject for over three years before developing the product offerings that we are currently marketing.

Thanks to Robin Dilley, Managing Director of Ambient Events LimitedLockwood, Lower Kirklington Road, Southwell, Nottinghamshire. NG25 0DZ, Tel: +44 (0)1636 816989, Mobile:+44 (0)7778 993 717, email:, Internet:, Twitter:
and to Neala Schwartzberg, editor of Offbeat Travel at

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Elliot Stone eulogized in Boston Globe

Harvard lawyer and devoted Oxfordian Elliot Stone was eulogized today in the Boston Globe, "Elliot Stone, 79, lover of art, including the art of conversation" by Brian Marquand. According to the Globe, Mr. Stone died of cancer on December 19, 2010 in his Cambridge, Massachusettes home. We offer our sincere condolence to his friends and family.

Irvin Leigh Matus passed away Jan. 5, 2011

We were sad to learn that Irvin Leigh Matus, 69, author of Shakespeare, In Fact (Continuum, 1994), passed away on January 5, 2011 of natural causes, according to his website, Willyshakes. Matus' book and other work offered rebuttal of anti-Stratfordian authorship arguments. Links to his work are available on the All Things Shakespeare pages of his website. Richard Whalen's 1995 review of Shakespeare, In Fact titled "Matus's Cannonade Against Oxford Misfires" appears on the Shakespeare Fellowship website.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kreiler book will be released in paperback April 2011

Cover of paperback edition of Kurt Kreiler's Der Mann der Shake-speare Erfand . . .

German correspondent Hanno Wember -- administrator of the German Shake-speare Today website, home of the Neue Shake-speare Gesellschaft (New Shakespeare Society) -- reports that Kurt Kreiler's Der Mann der Shake-speare Erfand: Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford (The Man Who Invented Shakespeare: Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford) will be published in paperback. Wember said:
. . . Insel will bring Kreiler’s book as paperback (German: Taschenbuch), which is a further step and will help to bring it to a broader readership.
The German paperback edition of Der Mann . . . will be released April 18, 2011. Regarding an anticipated English translation of Kreiler's book, Wember said that things are not settled and he has no news to report.

Kreiler's book was covered extensively in the German press when it was released in hardcover by Insel Verlag in Sept. 2009. John Tanke's English translation of a review titled "Who Wrote Shakespeare's Dramas?" by Ekkehardt Krippendorf published in the Jan. 5, 2010 edition of the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung can be accessed on the Shakespeare Today website.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rhys Ifans channels deVere

Roland Emmerich's film "Anonymous" about the Shakespeare authorship question has made several lists of important films of 2011, such as this Rope of Silicon report, "Previewing the Films of 2011: 25 Most Anticipated" from Jan. 4, 2011. According to this report, the US release date appears to have been moved from Sept. 23 as reported earlier to Sept. 30, 2011.

In this clip from the April 29, 2010 press conference on the set of  Emmerich's "Anonymous" at Babelsberg Studios in Berlin Rhys Ifans  said:
I play Edward de Vere, the earl of Oxford, the author of these works. He has a mind like a creamy pumpkin the size of the universe. . . . I have been increasingly convinced as a wordsmith that this question allows us to access the magic of whoever person . . .  wrote this. . . .  a person whose life uncannily echoes every wail, every laugh, every limp every cry in Shakespeare's works. I'm kind of deeply moved by the whole thing and talking to you is a nuisance.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book news: Shapiro, Twain, Gilvary

James Shapiro's Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?, a Stratfordian view of the Shakespeare authorship question has been included in several best-books-of-2010 lists, and the just released (Jan. 6, 2011) UK paperback edition is #11 on the history and criticism bestseller list and is #801 overall on the Amazon UK bestselling books list. The US paperback edition is scheduled for release by Simon & Schuster on April 19, 2011. Although Shapiro argues for reliance on the traditional Stratfordian attibution of Shakespeare's works, the success of Contested Will is good news for those who wish to see the Shakespeare authorship question brought into wider discussion.

The University of California Press new edition of the Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1 published Nov. 15, 2010 is #21 on the Amazon bestseller ranking of books. Although Twain was a notorious Shakespeare authorship skeptic, his hilarious commentary, Is Shakespeare Dead? From My Autobiography by Mark Twain is not included in this new volume. Query regarding the publisher's future intent with respect to "Is Shakespeare Dead?" has gone unanswered. For those who wish to investigate Twain's works and correspondence, the Mark Twain Project Online -- hosted by the University of California Berkeley's Library Systems Office -- is a trove of information.

Is Shakespeare Dead? From My Autobiography by Mark Twain is available in several published editions such as the 2010 Kessinger Publishing Legacy Reprint edition, and several online versions including a version from The Literature Network. A 95-cent Kindle edition of the 2010 General Books Club edition is available to download from Here is a quote from Chapter 13 of Twain's anti-Stratfordian screed:
Shakespeare had no prominence while he lived, and none until he had been dead two or three generations. The Plays enjoyed high fame from the beginning; and if he wrote them it seems a pity the world did not find it out. He ought to have explained that he was the author, and not merely a nom de plume for another man to hide behind. If he had been less intemperately solicitous about his bones, and more solicitous about his Works, it would have been better for his good name, and a kindness to us.

DeVere Society Website Editor Jeremy Crick recently sent news of the society's publication of their long-awaited research on the dating of Shakespeare's plays, Dating Shakespeare's Plays: A Critical Review of the Evidence edited by Kevin Gilvary (Parapress, Nov. 2010). The society says of Dating Shakespeare's Plays:
This critical review of the evidence challenges the orthodox scholarly consensus about the order in which Shakespeare composed his plays and when they were written. It reveals surprising discrepancies in date comparisions. King John has been placed by scholars in every year of the decade up to 1598 and there are suggestions that Hamlet’s date of 1602 could be put back to 1589
In this authoritative book, evidence is reviewed methodically to produce a range of dates, supported by in-depth analysis of aids to dating such as language, historical allusion the testimony of title pages, as well as works by other authors including Palladis Tamia and the Stationers’ Register.
In considering Oxfordian dates, the intention is not to prove the Earl of Oxford was the author but to demonstrate the possibility of a range of earlier dates for each of the 36 plays in the First Folio, and four other plays which have been attributed to Shakespeare.
Kevin Gilvary has a BA and MA from the University of Southampton and is currently a research student at Brunel University. He has taught in Canada, South America, and Hampshire.

The publication may be ordered online from Parapress at:

UPDATE April 6, 2011: Read William Niederkorn's review of Dating Shakespeare's Plays, "The Shakespeare Chronology Recalibrated" published in the April 2011 edition of The Brooklyn Rail.

Is Shakespeare Dead/Online Literature,