Sunday, November 24, 2013

Foote publishes Brazil's Angel Day

Robert Brazil's childhood friend and publisher, Jefferson Foote, announced that Brazil's unpublished manuscript, Angel Day, the English Secretary, and the Seventeenth Earl of Oxford, is now available as a paperback from Amazon.

The description of Angel Day, etc. says:
. . . In this volume, Robert Brazil reports his research into the life of Angel Day and The English Secretary's broad influence on Elizabethan writers, including Shakespeare. Day was the English Secretary -- to Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, to whom every edition was dedicated. Brazil shows evidence that the two men worked together to produce the book, Day being the loyal, practical conduit for the erratic co-contributions of an eccentric genius.
Upon learning of Brazil's death in 2010, and with the approval of Brazil's family, Foote undertook to publish Brazil's lifework beginning with Edward DeVere and the Shakespeare Printers that Foote published in 2012 under the name of his Seattle-based research firm, Cortical Output, LLC.

Foote said of the publication of Edward DeVere and the Shakespeare Printers:
Rob's dad . . . was overjoyed to be reminded of the respect and affection accorded Rob within the Oxfordian community. The reception of the Edward de Vere book -- at that time a few hundred copies had been sold -- confirmed for him that Rob had made a contribution to scholarship of lasting value. Hopefully, Angel Day will add to that.
Foote plans to release the Kindle edition of Angel Day, etc. by the second week of December. For more information about the publication of Edward de Vere and the Shakespeare Printers see "Jefferson Foote Publishes Brazil . . ." on the Oberon blog, January 12, 2012. For more insight into the work of Robert Sean Brazil visit his Elizabethan Authors website published in collaboration with Barboura Flues.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Nut of Stratford

by Linda Theil

William Shakespeare and Others: Collaborative Plays byJonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen (Palgrave Macmillan (Nov. 2013) is the latest implement in the recently popular Shakespeare-as-collaborator toolbox. “New” plays by Shakespeare and buddies have been popping up all over the canon, and I detect the stink of desperation in the Stratfordian rush to gain knowledgable assistants for the Stratford man's rapidly disintegrating authorial skills. Here is what J.Kelly Nestruck says on the topic in yesterday’sToronto Globe and Mail:
If the larger-than-life myth of William Shakepeare – the genius son of a glover, the greatest writer of all time – has often strained belief, it’s only because of misunderstandings about the intensely collaborative culture he worked in (a culture that makes theories that Shakespeare was a secret pseudonym seem more absurd than ever). 

Although a very good Oxfordian friend says I am dead wrong, I insist that the Shakespeare “collaboration” hullaballoo is the best thing to happen to the authorship question since Charlton Ogborn drew his breath in pain on Frontline!

And here is why Shakespeare “collaboration theory” is a good thing for anti-Strats:

It is very difficult to step outside our steeped-in-Shakespeare point-of-view to understand that most Shakespeare lovers are not aware that not a single scrap of writing by the putative author exists. Yet all the fuss about Hand D in the “collaboration” model, makes this sad fact apparent to all readers and highlights the lack of hard evidence for the Stratford candidate.

The other vital aspect of Shakespeare studies that few Shakespeare devotees grasp is the extent to which the original works appeared anonymously, and the number of works that were originally attributed to Shakespeare’s pseudonym but that did not appear in The First Folio, and were not considered to be the work of William Shakespeare, despite the title pages. Yet this aspect of Shakespeare studies is also a major component of the widely publicized “collaboration” model.

(For more information on this topic Read Starner and Traister’s Anonymity in Early ModernEngland (Ashgate, Feb. 2011), just out this year in Kindle format; Sabrina Feldman’s The Apocrayphal William Shakespeare (Dog Ear, Nov. 2011), also available in Kindle format, and Marcy North's The Anonymous Renaissance (University of Chicago Press, 2003.)

So when you have a number of academics who, like James Shapiro, naively insist that the name on the title page is proof of authorship by a man named Shaksper from Stratford, but only in some cases, the "title page" argument is weakened.

In the process, Stratfordians are so blindly devoted to smashing the Oxfordian candidate into oblivion by whatever means available, they cannot see that they undermining their own Stratfordian position.

So, besides making two anti-Strat arguments widely available to the public – i.e. no manuscript, nor even scrap of writing by the Stratford candidate exists, AND the title pages are meaningless in terms of identifying the pseudononymous author – the collaboration-theorists are widely addressing the despised topic of Shakespeare authorship AND weakening the hold of their candidate at the same time.

Yes, I agree with my Oxfordian pals who say that identifying "Hand D" as Shaksper’s by using his six miserable signatures is ridiculous.

Yes, talking about Early Modern England as if it were twenty-first century Hollywood is pathetically anachronistic – especially from people who are so insistant about their esoteric knowledge of the early theater.

But these silly Stratfordian arguments don’t matter, because the Shakespeare collaboration-theory wrenches are unscrewing Shaksper from the works of William Shakespeare. The fashionable collaborative Bard theory loosens the nut of Stratford from the bolt of The Works that screws Shakespeare into pubic awareness.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Kurt Kreiler releases German commentary on de Vere's poetry

by Linda Theil

Neue Shake-speareGesellschaft (New Shakespeare Society) board member Hanno Wember of Hamburg, Germany reports that Kurt Kreiler’s new book, Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford -- The Thriftless Threadwhich Pampered Beauty Spins, was released by leading German publisher Suhrkamp/Insel on November 11, 2013. The book features commentary and translation into German of the poems of Edward de Vere (1550-1604).

“The book - although in German - is bilingual concerning the poems. Interested people can at least read the poems in the original language,” Wember said. “ Suhrkamp/Insel is is one of the leading German publishing houses in literature.”

Wember translated two paragraphs from the publisher’s webpage from German into English to give a sense of the content of Kreiler’s book about de Vere’s poems:
Edward de Vere, Earl of OxfordDer zarte Faden, den die Schönheit spinn (“The thriftless thread which pamper’d beauty spins”)One Hundred PoemsEdited and translated by Kurt KreilerSuhrkamp / Insel, 401 p, 24,95 €2013 Discovery of the early poetic workA hundred poems of the man who invented Shakespeare We look surprised at the work of a young writer of the sixteenth century, whom the history of English literature does not know or treated as marginal. His poems have charisma, intelligence and determination. The poet - Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford (1550-1604) - hides his name from the beginning behind the veil of various pseudonyms: Meritum petere grave (It's hard to ask for the deserved), Fortunatus Infoelix (The unhappy delighted), Ferenda Natura (The nature which has to be endured), Spraeta tamen vivunt (The despised still lives), My lucke is losse, Phaeton. From 1593 (in the fall of this year, a narrative poem, Venus and Adonis appears under the name of William Shakespeare), it is then the only one: William Shakespeare.
These hundred poems of an experienced actor (rollenkundig), mocker, language-loving (sprachverliebt) dialectician, which revolve almost all around the positive - and negative - existence of love and rejection, desire and aversion, passion and taming, are a new release in the world of literature. They do not win their value by attribution to William Shakespeare. Reversed: Their quality supports the theory that Edward de Vere published from 1593 under the pseudonym William Shakespeare. (See NOTE below.)
Kurt Kreiler is the author of Der Mann, der Shakespeare erfand (The Man Who Invented Shakespeare): Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford 1550-1604 that was published by Insel Verlag in 2009 and created a great deal of interest in the German press at the time of its publication. More information about Kreiler’s Der Mann is available at

The Naked Shakespeare DVD available
Wember also reported that the German film -- The Naked Shakespeare by director Claus Bredenbrock – that was screened the SOS/SF annual conference in Toronto last month was presented with an Award of Excellence from The Indie: a showcase forcinematic gems and unique voices. The Naked Shakespeare is listed under its production company Westdeutscher Rundfunk (Germany) and was presented the award of excellence for work in the field of arts/cultural/performance/plays.

Wember says the subtitled DVD of The Naked Shakespeare costs about $25 including shipping and handling and may be ordered by sending an email requesting the film and including your mailing address to the Neue Shake-speare Gesellschaft at Customers will be billed when the DVD is shipped and may pay via Pay Pal. Wember may be reached directly at

NOTE from Hanno Wembler regarding this translation:Kreiler used - or even created - some unique German words which no dictionary includes:rollenkundig (adjective): a person who knows how to play a role on the stage is rollenkundig.sprachverliebt (adjective): a person who is fallen in love with language is sprachverliebt.

Monday, November 18, 2013

SAT convenes at The Globe this Sunday

This information about the 2013 SAT Conference in London, England is available from their web site at: LT

Shakespearean Authorship Trust Conference 2013 - Sunday 24 November 2013

The Shakespearean Authorship Trust, in collaboration with Brunel University, presents Much Ado About Italy.

Our conference this year will challenge the assumption among orthodox scholars that Shakespeare was no true traveller. Topics covered will include the Author’s familiarity with Italian literature and the arts - including Roger Prior’s remarkable discovery of the Bassano frescos - and a presentation of the extensive researches of Richard Paul Roe in his landmark bookThe Shakespeare Guide to Italy - Retracing the Bard's Unknown Travels.

Ros Barber (The Marlowe Papers and Shakespeare: the Evidence)
Julia Cleave (Trustee of the SAT)
Kevin Gilvary (Dating Shakespeare’s Plays, De Vere Society Chairman)
Jenny Tiramani (Theatre Designer and Costume Historian)
Alexander Waugh (Shakespeare Beyond Doubt?)
Hank Whittemore (The Monument, Associate of the SAT)

Members of the panel forum will also include advocates for Francis Bacon (Peter Dawkins The Shakespeare Enigma) and Henry Neville (John Casson Much Ado About Noting).

Click here for the programme schedule in pdf format.

Date: Sunday 24 November 2013
Time: 11:00 – 18:00 (Tea and coffee available from 10:30)
Venue: Shakespeare's Globe, Bankside, London, SE1.
Tickets: £40 (including tea and coffee)
Booking: Shakespeare's Globe Box Office: Tel: 020 7401 9919

Friday, November 15, 2013

Ros Barber's new Shakespeare authorship book out November 24, 2013

by Linda Theil

Ros Barber's Shakespeare: The Evidence --The Authorship Question Clarified will be published Nov. 24, 2013. Info at Video promo for the book (above) is available on YouTube at Shakespeare: The Evidence.

Promo material on the publisher's page says:
Whether you are a firm believer that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare, or suspect that he didn't, this book aims to enable readers to gain a more comprehensive knowledge of the problems at hand, clarify their thinking, and identify weaknesses in, and logical rebuttals to, the arguments of their opponents, as well as potentially strengthening their own.
Ros Barber, PhD is the author of The Marlowe Papers (St. Martin's Press, 2013) that won the Hoffman Prize in manuscript in 2011.

UPDATE 11/17/13: A note published today by Ros Barber at says the first installment of the Shakespeare: The Evidence ebook will be published on November 26, 2013.

UPDATE 11/19/13: Read Ros Barber interview "Ros Barber publishes the evidence" on Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship news page at

See also:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

What's your authority for that statement?

by Linda Theil
Wally Hurst talks about his presentation "What's Your Authority for that Statement?" at the Toronto Shakespeare authorship conference Oct. 17-20, 2013.
Wally Hurst is that rarest of creatures: a master of arts in Shakespeare authorship studies. He was awarded his degree from Brunel University, London, England in July this year. Also trained in the law, Hurst put his academic background to good purpose when he spoke on day-one at the Toronto Shakespeare authorship conference, October 17, 2013. Hurst's presentation was met with great enthusiasm by conference attendees; the title of his talk became something of a byword for the remainder of the conference. In fact, the question raised by Hurst's topic might serve as a motto for anti-Strats everywhere: "What's Your Authority for that Statement?" Hurst told his audience of authorship skeptics that they must develop a sense of skepticism about all research, including their own. In a video overview of his talk, linked above, Hurst said:
We have to recognize our own biases,  our own fallacies, in our everyday thinking -- both in others, which is easy; and in ourselves, which is not so easy. It is very, very difficult to recognize our own biases. We always resort to ad hominim attacks -- which means attacking the person rather than the ideas they hold. We are comfortable with our own beliefs; we think we are the rational and logical ones and everybody who opposes us is irrational and illogical. Those are just two of the fallacies -- the mistakes in everyday thinking, the cognitive biases -- that we hold.
He also proposed a method for thinking about evidence based on what he termed a "living theater proposition":
 . . . examining evidence the way an actor builds character by answering six specific questions; we ask who, what, where, when, why and how. . . . We ask those questions much like an actor asks those questions in building their own character. We can talk about how good the evidence is -- what its veracity is: is it good evidence, some evidence, or evidence not even worth talking about.
In his talk, Hurst recommended reading Skepticism 101: How to Think like a Scientist by Michael Shermer. When asked about Shermer's famous derision for the Shakespeare authorship question (see Note below), Hurst said: 
He’s suffering from his own bias. Physician heal thyself! its very tough to do that. Its something we have to do ourselves. We are not part of a conspiracy therory. We’re a paradigm shift.
Wally Hurst is director of the Norris Theatre and a faculty member at Louisburg College, NC where he teaches courses in English, drama and political science. He and his wife Maria Hurst will lead a tour of London May 11-20, 2014 through the Office of Alumni Relations at Louisburg College. Hurst plans to make his "What's your Authority for that Statement" (see note below) presentation available soon on YouTube. He may be reached at or at 919 497 3429.  Note on Michael Shermer: for more information on Shermer's view of the authorship as a conspiracy theory see "Skeptics take on the life and argued works of Shakespeare" by Michael Shermer, originally published as "Shakespeare Interrupted" in the July 31, 2009 edition of Scientific American. For Oberon commentary on the Shermer SA article see: "SciAm not so rational" "Tom Hunter comments on Shermer's SciAm essay" "Tom Hunter comments on Shahan/Shermer discussion on CHQR"

Note: "What's your Authority for that Statement?" video available on YouTube

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Stratford Festival's communications director David Prosser considers name-calling appropriate communication

by Linda Theil

An article titled “Come not between the Oxfordian and his wrath to paraphrase Lear” appeared in the Toronto Globe & Mail on October 16, 2013 -- the day before the Toronto Shakespeare authorship conference began. This piece did not get as much attention as later articles in the local press criticizing York University and Guelph University for their roles in supporting the conference.

In the October 16 article, Stratfordian Kelly Nestruck wrote about an encounter last year between Toronto Shakespeare authorship conference organizer Don Rubin and Ontario's Stratford Festival communications director David Prosser at a day-long authorship seminar Rubin convened on April 7, 2012 wherein Prosser compared authorship inquiry with Holocaust denial.

According to Nestruck’s October 16 article, Prosser said he regretted his comment. Nestruck wrote:
In defending the traditional, fact-based narrative that a fellow named William Shakespeare wrote William Shakespeare’s plays, Prosser made what he now calls a “rhetorical mistake” – asking if there might not be equal grounds for a class questioning whether the Holocaust happened?
“I should have said something less emotionally charged – like how do we really know the Americans landed on the moon,” says Prosser.
I was astonished to discover that -- according to Prosser – he only regretted the "rhetorical mistake" of having used a emotion-laden metaphor. He didn’t regret calling those who wish to study the Shakespeare authorship a despicable name? He only wished he had used a despicable name that fewer people cared about? Is name-calling considered a legitimate rhetorical device at the Shakespeare Festival in Ontario where Prosser serves as "communications" director?

It is hard to reconcile that great institution with Prosser and his crude comprehension of appropriate public discourse. We have complained before about the Shakespeare Festival's support of bullying and we are sorry to see by this recent Nestruck article that the Festival depends on communications professionals possessed of such limited communications skills.

In addition, we suggest to writer Kelly Nestruck that calling the traditional Stratfordian attribution of Shakespeare's plays, "fact-based" does not make that statement true any more than Prosser calling anti-Strats holocaust-deniers makes his statement true. I refer Nestruck to Stratfordian David Ellis' book The Truth about William Shakespeare: Fact, Fiction, and Modern Biography (Edinburgh University, 2012) for one Stratfordian's take on Shakespeare "facts".


Monday, October 21, 2013

Images from Toronto day four

Oxfordian of the year!

Roger Stritmatter, PhD was named Oxfordian of the Year at the 2013 Shakespeare Oxford Society/Shakespeare Fellowship joint conference held at the Metropolitan Hotel in Toronto, Ontario, October 17-20.

SOS President John Hamill and SF President Tom Regnier, JD announce the results of the unification vote. Members of the Shakespeare Oxford Society (138 to two) and the Shakespeare Fellowship (74 to four) voted in favor of unification. Hamill will assume presidency of the unified organization, the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, when legal papers are filed today. Update 10/22/13: Ann Zakelj posted a video of the presidents signing the new bylaws at

Shakespeare Authorship Coalition Director John Shahan spoke to attendees at the conference banquet about what they can do to forward the cause of anti-Stratfordian research: 1. read and sign the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt, 2. share authorship ideas on social media and elsewhere, 3. support research with donations of time and money.

Alex McNeil holds unification votes at SF annual meeting October 20, 2013: 74 yes, four no. McNeil will edit the newsletter for the new Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship.

Researcher Earl Showerman, MD presented on the topic of "A Midsummer Night's Dream: Shakespeare's Aristophanic Comedy" on the final day of the conference, October 20.

Sky Gilbert, PhD -- Guelph University associate professor and conference presenter of "Was Shakespeare a Euphuist?"-- was quoted in the Guelph-Mercury in response to university colleagues who publicly criticized university involvement in the Shakespeare authorship conference. The article, titled "Guelph professors troubled over Shakespeare debate" by Chris Seto was published Oct. 19, 2013.

Local conference organizer Don Rubin, who teaches a course on the Shakespeare authorship at York University also came under fire in print. Theater critic Kelly Nestruck authored a piece that appeared Oct. 16, 2013 in the Toronto Globe & Mail titled "Amid controversy, two Canadian universities financilly back debate over Shakespeare's 'true identity'". Both articles generated extensive commentary by readers. Rubin invited Nestruck to debate the issue in today's (Oct. 21, 2013) Letters to the Editor in the Globe & Mail.

Unified organization gets glamorous new website

Jennifer Newton, creator of The Shakespeare Underground podcast site worked with members of the Shakespeare Fellowship communications committee to redesign the Fellowship website which will incorporate the site of the former Shakespeare Oxford Society now that both organizations have unified. Material from both old SF and SOS sites will be archived and available on the new site. For a preview of the space that will be the official home of the new Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship on the Web, go to

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Images from Toronto day three

Film maker Cheryl Eagan-Donovan presented on the topic of Oxford's homosexuality. "I believe Oxfords sexuality is a primary reason for his pseudonym," she said. She will debut her film Nothing Is Truer than the Truth in Boston in November.

New York actor and author Hank Whittemore spoke about Oxford as the guiding force behind the three most important acting companies of Elizabeth's reign.

Lynne Kositsky and Roger Stritmatter sign their new book On the Date, Sources and Design of Shakespeare's The Tempest.

Journalist Mark Anderson gave the keynote address on "Shakespeare, Newton and Einstein: Listening to the Obsession of Genius".

Shelly Maycock made her debut appearance at the conference with a paper on "Essex, Oxford, and the Concept of Popularity in Late Elizabethan Discourse".

SOS/SF Unification vote:
During the SOS annual meeting this morning, Vote Teller Frank Davis announced a total of  l38 ballots in favor of the unification of the Shakespeare Oxford Society and the Shakespeare Fellowship, two negative votes and two abstentions were cast. The Fellowship will vote on the unification tomorrow morning and the results will be announced before the end of the conference.

More local press coverage, this article from the Guelph Mercury: "Guelph professors troubled over Shakespeare debate" at

Update 10/26/13
Canadian actor Keir Cutler, PhD presented in his signature comedic style "From Crackpot to Mainstream: The Evolution of the Authorship Question" explaining how the Shakespeare authorship question is going from crackpot idea to mainstream thought, on the third day of the Toronto Shakespeare authorship conference, October 19, 2013. A video of his presentation is now available on YouTube at "Shakespeare Authorship / Crackpot to Mainstream"

Friday, October 18, 2013

Images from Toronto day two

Shakespeare Authorship Conference organizer Don Rubin (right) and assistants Chad Froude (left) and Peter Andrusiak (center) prepare for a second successful day at the Metropolitan Hotel in Toronto, Ontario.

Shakespeare Fellowship President Tom Regnier beams after successful presentation on the errors in Clarkson and Warner's analysis of Shakespeare's knowledge of the law.

Gerit Quealy presented a fascinating look at how authorship study informs the work of actors.

York University theater students Michael Atlin and Jade Lattanzi illustrated Quealy's talk wearing t-shirts she designed based on the Droushout engraving in the First Folio. Check out availability on her Facebook page, History Chiq.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Images from Toronto conference2013

Oberon member Ron Halsted, after successful presentation on the "Dangerous Timeliness of Julius Caesar"

Bonner Cutting, SF trustee

Roger Stritmatter and Wally Hurst discuss Hurst's presentation on examining evidence in early modern authorship. UPDATE DEC 7 2013: Hurst's address now available on YouTube at:

Anthony Pointon and Heward Wilkinson in from England will present this weekend.

Hanno Wember from Germany and Michael Kositsky discuss Wember's presentation of Robert Detobel's "The Outcast State".

Richard Joyrich, SOS trustee relaxes after a successful conference launch,

Note: We were very sorry to hear that Ron Hess and family members were in an auto collision on their way to the conference with no injuries, but Hess will not attend the conference to present his paper on Oxford'ssecretary hand. We send our best wishes for their speedy recovery from their trauma.

As SAC's John Shahan said in an email to colleagues, Toronto welcomes Oxfordians in Globe & Mail article.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Planned unification of the SOS and SF

Posted by Richard Joyrich

As many of you already know, the two leading Oxfordian groups in the United States, the Shakespeare Oxford Society and the Shakespeare Fellowship, are making plans to unify into a single organization.

This unification is long overdue, in my opinion. Both organizations have the same basic goals and mission and there has been a lot of inefficiency and extra expense in maintaining separate organizations.

Both groups have already shown that working together has many benefits. Witness the past seven Joint Authorship Conferences (and the upcoming eighth one to be held next month in Toronto) as well as the recently concluded High School Essay Contest.

The Boards of Trustees of both organizations have been working tirelessly to come up with a plan to unify the two groups in a way that preserves the "best of both". A Plan of Unification and a completely new set of bylaws for the new organization have been drawn up.

As I write this, both of these documents are being sent to the members of the Shakespeare Oxford Society and the Shakespeare Fellowship to be approved. Final approval will hopefully occur at or before the Annual Meetings of the two groups, which are scheduled to occur during the upcoming Toronto Conference (see an earlier post for some details on this Conference).

Some highlights of the proposed Plan of Unification include:

1. The unified group, to be known as the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship (SOF), will publish both of the two currently produced journals, The Oxfordian and Brief Chronicles, and will be able, because of the enhanced efficiency of the unification, to send print copies of both journals to all Regular Members. The journals will continue to have the same editors as previously, thereby maintaining the high degree of scholarship they provide.

2. The SOF will also send out four newsletters a year to all members. The newsletter will be edited by Alex McNeil, who is now serving as the editor of Shakespeare Matters, the current newsletter for the Shakespeare Fellowship.

3. The SOF will initially be governed by a Board of Trustees which has been nominated by the current Boards of the Shakespeare Oxford Society and the Shakespeare Fellowship. At subsequent Annual Meetings of the SOF elections will be held for Trustee positions, as specified in the new bylaws. The proposed initial SOF Board will consist of nine individuals: John Hamill (President), Tom Regnier (1st Vice President), Joan Leon (2nd Vice President), Michael Morse (Treasurer), Richard Joyrich (Secretary), Ramon Jimenez, Lynne Kositsky, Tom Rucker, and Earl Showerman.

4.  The current Shakespeare Fellowship website will be updated for use as the website for the new SOF and all appropriate content (including copies of past newsletters and journals) from the websites of both existing organizations will be combined. Other social media outlets currently managed by the two organizations will be similarly combined.

As I mentioned above, complete details of the Plan of Unification and the new Bylaws will be sent to the membership for approval. The bylaws are also available online at for anyone who is interested.

I believe that this unification will result in allow for much better education of the general public on the important Authorship Issue and will allow a more united front for the continual attacks by the "academic community" who are no longer able to just ignore us and hope we will just go away.

I urge all members of the Shakespeare Oxford Society and the Shakespeare Fellowship to vote to approve the Plan of Unification and the new Bylaws.

The future begins now.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A further update on the Toronto Conference

Posted by Richard Joyrich

I have more information now about the upcoming Toronto Conference to be held October 17-20, 2013. I urge everyone to register as soon as possible. 

Tickets to see The Merchant of Venice at the Stratford Festival on Friday are only guaranteed if your registration is received by September 15 (but MIGHT still be available later).

Also, the Metropolitan Hotel, where the conference is being held will only honor the discounted conference room rate of $135/night (plus taxes and fees) until September 17.

Please go to either the Shakespeare Oxford Society website ( or the Shakespeare Fellowship website ( for other information and to register for the Conference.

Here is the current Conference schedule (subject to change):

               Toronto Conference Schedule
                   The following program is subject to change.         
Thursday, 17 October   
    12:00-1:00   Registration
    1:00-1:15     Welcome. Opening of Conference.
    1:15-2:00      Shelly Maycock.  (Virginia)
                         “Essex, Oxford and the Concept of Popularity in Late Elizabethan
                         Discourse.”  How the notion of popularity can be recast from an 
                         Oxfordian perspective.
    2:00-2:45      Priscilla Costello.  (Ontario)
                         “Astrology Confirms de Vere.”   A professional astrologer compares the
                          astrological charts of de Vere and “Shakespeare.”
    2:45-3:30     Ron Halstead.  (Michigan)
                         “Death of a Dictator: The Dangerous Timeliness of Julius Caesar and
                          the Authorship Question.”  De Vere’s interest in rebellion.
    3:30-3:50    Coffee break
    3:50-4:35  Walter Hurst.  (North Carolina)
                           “What’s Your Authority for that Statement: An Approach to
                             Examining External Evidence in Early Modern Authorship.”
                             How to evaluate the strength of historical evidence.
    4:35-6:00         Video: The Naked Shakespeare
                           A new video on the authorship question from Germany.

Friday, 18 October 
     8:30-9:15       Ron Hess.  (Georgia)
                            “The Significant History of The Passionate Pilgrim.” Did this work
                              predate both Venus and Adonis and Rape of Lucrece?
     9:15-10:0        Heward Wilkinson.  (UK)
                            “Coleridge and the Implications of Authorial Self-Awareness in
                              Shakespeare.”   There is no sign that the Stratford man embodied
                              the consciousness of “Shakespeare” while there is substantial testimony
                              that Oxford did.
    10:45-10:45     Michael Egan. (New Mexico)
                            “The Shakespeare Grain Dealer Uproar.”  The documented facts about
                             Shakspere’s financial arrangements, when compared with the plays, show
                             clearly that we are dealing with two distinct individuals, the man from
                             Stratford and the man who wrote the plays.
    10:45 –11:05   Coffee Break
    11:05-11:50     Tom Regnier. (Florida)
                              “Could Ben Jonson Think Like A Lawyer? Taking a Closer
                               Look at Clarkson and Warren.”   A revaluation of the 1942 study on
                               property law in Elizabethan drama which disparages Shakespeare’s
                               legal knowledge.
    11:50-12:35      Earl Showerman. (Oregon)
                              “A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Shakespeare’s Aristophanic Comedy.”
                               Was Shakespeare acquainted with Athenian drama?  The former
                               President of the SF explores the territory.
                                Lunch on own
     3:00               Bus leaves for the Stratford Festival
                                (Tom Regnier paper on “The Law and Merchant” on bus)
     5:00               Arrive at Stratford.  Meeting with Antoni Cimolino (Director
                                of Merchant)  followed by “on own’ dinner                
      8:00               Merchant of Venice on Festival Stage                      
     10:30             Bus returns to Toronto (arrives about 12:30 a.m.)

Saturday, 19 October
            8:30-9:30      Annual Meeting of the Shakespeare Oxford Society
9:30-10:15     Cheryl Eagan-Donovan. (Massachusetts)
                         “The Reason for the Alias: Oxford’s Bisexuality and the
                           Elizabethan Theatre.”  A look at the sexual behavior of both
                           actors and audiences of the period suggests that Oxford’s
                           Sexuality may have been a prime reason for the pseudonym.
            10:15-11:00    Hank Whittemore. (New York)
                                    “The Unbroken Line: Oxford, Acting Companies and the
                                    Phenomenon of Shakespeare.”  A look at de Vere as guiding
                                    force behind the three most important acting companies
                                    of Elizabeth’s reign.
11:00-11:15    The Missing Debate: A Comment. Don Rubin and Keir Cutler.
11:15-12:00      Roger Stritmatter (Maryland) and Lynne Kositsky (Ontario)
                         ‘Much Ado About Nothing: The Tempest Debate.” Two major
                         scholars put the Tempest dating debate to rest.    
            12:00-12:15       The Tempest Book launch/signing (Roger and Lynne)
12:15-1:45      Lunch (buffet with Keynote)
                        Mark Anderson (Massachusetts)
                        “Shakespeare, Newton and Einstein: Listening to the Obsession
                        of Genius.”  The author of the major de Vere biography, Shakespeare
                        By Another Name looks at the nature of genius and obsession.
 2:00-2:45        Robert Detobel/Henno Wember  (Germany)
                        “The Outcast State: Oxford’s Passion for the Theatre.”  Was it
                        his love of the theatre that led to Oxford’s “outcast state?”
 2:45 to 3:30    Keir Cutler (Quebec)
                         ‘From Crackpot to Mainstream: The Evolution of the Authorship
                        Question.”  Are the doubts about the man from Stratford becoming
                        mainstream? An actor suggests that the answer is “yes.”
3:30 to 4:15      Sky Gilbert (Ontario)
                         “Was Shakespeare A Euphuist?”  The connections between Shakespeare
                           and Lyly, between Endymion and Twelfth Night done with student actors. 
4:15 to 4:35      Coffee break
4:35 to 6:35    Canadian Premiere Screening: Last Will and Testament
Introduction of this full-length film by the directors – Lisa and Laura     Wilson.                                          

 Sunday, 20 October
 8:30-9:30         Annual Meeting of the Shakespeare Fellowship
 9:30-10:20       Ramon Jimenez (California)
                          ‘Shakespeare’s Two Lear Plays: How the Playwright Transformed His
                          First Romance into his Last Tragedy.”  From King Leir to King Lear.
10:20-11:20       Michael Morse. (Tennessee)
                           “What the Thunder Said and Tom O’Bedlam’s Song.”  Views of Lear.
11:20-12:15        Gerit Quealey. (New York)
                            “Studying Authorship: Why It Matters for Actors. The Road
                              To Revelation.”  How authorship research can inform and illuminate
                               A Text.” A working actor demonstrates her points with student actors.
12:15-2:00         Closing Banquet with Keynote.  Awards and Final words.
    John  Shahan (California).
    “The Shakespeare Authorship Coalition: Future Strategies.” The
    head of SAC and one of the editors of the volume Shakespeare Beyond
     Doubt:  Exposing An Industry in Denial discusses plans for the coming

The conference should be one of the best that we have had. I hope to see a lot of people there.