Thursday, December 6, 2018

Oberon holiday gathering 2018

Richard Joyrich, MD, December 2, 2018, Howell MI
by Linda Theil

Oberons gathered on Sunday afternoon for a celebration of the holiday season in Howell, Michigan. As always, we had a wonderful time together, and extend warm wishes of the season to all our friends!

Sharon Hunter and Pam Varilone, December 2, 2018, Howell MI
Rosey Hunter and Mara Radzvickas,
December 2, 2018, Howell MI

Monday, November 12, 2018

Joyrich honored by SOF at 2018 conference in Oakland CA

Oberon Chair Richard Joyrich, MD, displays clock presented to him in appreciation for his two decades of service by the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship at the 2018 SOF Conference in Oakland, CA.
by Linda Theil

At our November 11 meeting, Oberon Shakespeare Study Group Chair Richard Joyrich, MD, reported on the 2018 Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship Conference held October 10-14, 2018 in Oakland, CA.

Joyrich displayed a clock presented to him by the SOF in appreciation for his 14 years of service to the organization. Joyrich was on the board of the Shakespeare Oxford Society from 2005-2012. He served as president from 2011-2012, and was first vice-president from 2009-2010. When the SOS became the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, he served on the board from 2013 through this year, serving as first vice-president from 2015-2017. He has served as conference committee chairperson for the SOS/SOF from 2005-2018.

Richard Joyrich said,
I was very pleased to receive recognition from the SOF for my years of service on the boards of the SOS and SOF and my role in conference planning. I enjoy planning conferences and feel that these continue to be very important in the mission of the SOF. Although I am no longer on the board, I will continue to be as active as I can in future conference planning and SOF activities.
Oberons congratulate our chairperson Richard Joyrich, and the SOF for their acknowledgment of the talents and skills of our highly esteemed colleague. We are proud of you, Richard.

Mara Radzvickas, Oberon meeting Nov 10, 2018

Rosey Hunter and Pam Verlone, Oberon meeting Nov. 10, 2018

New books!

Joyrich also brought back from the Oakland conference four newly released books. Each represents years of work and study by modern luminaries of the Shakespeare authorship inquiry:

Shakespeare Identified by J. Thomas Looney, centenary edition edited by James Warren (Forever Press, 2018)

Shakespeare's Apprenticeship: Identifying the Real Playwright's Earliest Works by Ramon Jimenez (McFarland, 2018)

Hamlet: The Oxfordian Shakespeare Series edited by Richard F. Whalen (Breezeway Books, 2018)

Necessary Mischief: Exploring the Shakespeare Authorship Question by Bonner Miller Cutting (Bonner Miller Cutting, 2018)

2019 SOF Conference

Joyrich reported that the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship will hold its next conference October 17-20, 2019 at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut. The Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford Connecticut. The museum will co-sponsor a production of Keir Cutler's one-man show "Is Shakespeare Dead?" inspired by Mark Twain's Autobiography

Mark Twain's "Is Shakespeare Dead?" with Keir Cutler, PhD

Dan Wright memorial

Oberons were sad to hear of the passing of Dan Wright, PhD, on October 5, 2018 in Vancouver, WA

Professor Wright was former director of the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre at Concordia University in Portland, OR. Information about his memorial service is available on the SOF website at "Memorial Service for Dr. Dan Wright on November 14, 2018"

The disposition of Professor Wright's extensive library is being curated by James D. Gaynor of Khalil Research Group at the University of Washington. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Montee named best of Bard for Lear performance in 2017

David Montee as Lear July 8, 2017 at Interlochen Center for the Arts, Interlochen MI.
Photo courtesy: Interlochen Center for the Arts.
by Linda Theil

Oberons were delighted to learn at our meeting on Saturday September 11, 2018 that Oberon colleague David Montee was awarded "Best Performance -- The Bard" in the 2017-18 Michigan professional theater season at Encore Michigan theater critics seventeenth-annual Wilde Awards presented Aug. 27, 2018 at the Berman Center in West Bloomfield, MI.

Montee was honored for his performance of King Lear at Interlochen Center for the Arts in July, 2017. The production itself was also recognized by Encore Michigan as "Best of the Bard" in the 2017-18 Michigan professional theater season.

Oberon Chair Richard Joyrich, MD and I attended the July 8, 2017 performance, and reported on our remarkable experience in two contemporary Oberon weblog posts:
"Montee is best Lear ever" and "Every inch a Lear".

Encore Michigan also reviewed the production last year, July 1, 2017, in an article titled "David Montee is force-of-nature in Interlochen's King Lear"

Interlochen's Crescendo magazine recently reported on the awards and quoted David Montee:
The company and I are honored and humbled to be recognized by Encore Michigan. It is a terrific privilege to present the works of history’s greatest playwright in the beautiful, natural setting of northern Michigan. It’s an even greater privilege to collaborate with my talented professional colleagues and former students in bringing the works of Shakespeare to life. This particular role was a life-changing experience for me, and that was primarily due to working with this lovely company of artists.
Bravo, dear friend.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

James Warren will publish new edition of J. T. Looney's Shakespeare Identified

Draft cover of James A. Warren's new, centenary edition of
 J. Thomas Looney's 
"Shakespeare" Identified.
The book cover is modeled after the dust jacket of the 1920 Cecil Palmer edition.

by Linda Theil

James A. Warren, author of An Index to Oxfordian Publications (Forever Press, fourth edition 2017), announced last week that he will publish a new, centenary edition of "Shakespeare" Identified by J. Thomas Looney with Bill Boyle's Forever Press.

Warren said the new edition features clean, clear text that is beautifully formatted and extensively footnoted. Warren has purchased the rights to use five images from the National Portrait Gallery, and hopes to publish the new edition within the next month. 

He will price the edition to sell for less than current, on-demand, editions that are simply bound photocopies of the out-of-print original book. Profits from the sale of Warren's new centennial edition will go toward the support of the Shakespeare Online Authorship Resources (SOAR) site at Bill Boyles' New England Shakespeare Oxford Library (NESOL).

Warren is also working on a new edition of Looney's other Oxfordian work, The Poems of Edward de Vere; as well as a new book chronicling the impact of Looney's work in the one-hundred years since the publication of "Shakespeare" Identified to celebrate the centennial. 

Warren said,
With the edition of the poems to come out later, the centenary edition of "Shakespeare" Identified to come out soon, and the collection of all 28 of Looney's known articles and letters for publication included as appendices to the one-hundredth-anniversary book, all of Looney's Oxfordian writings will be readily available by the time of the centenary of his book on March 4, 2020.

James A.Warren, editor of "Shakespeare" Identified,
Centenary Edition

From the cover of 
"Shakespeare" Identified
Centenary Edition, edited by
James A. Warren
In 1920 J. Thomas Looney's "Shakespeare" Identified introduced the idea that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, was the man behind the pseudonym "William Shakespeare." This Centenary Edition -- with the first new layout since the 1920 U.S. edition -- is designed to enhance readers' enjoyment as they make their way through Looney's fascinating account of how he, shining light from a new perspective on facts already known to Shakespeare scholars of his day, uncovered the true story of who "Shakespeare" really was and how he came to write his works.
Even as the centenary of its publication approaches, "Shakespeare" Identified remains the most revolutionary book on Shakespeare ever written. Since its appearance several generations of scholars have deepened and extended Looney's original findings, further substantiating his claim that Edward de Vere was indeed the author of the dramatic and poetic works widely regarded as the greatest in the English language. 
Perhaps most importantly for scholars, this edition of Looney's classic text identifies the sources of more than 230 passages he quoted from other works, providing readers for the first time with accurate information on the books and papers he consulted in his research. A Bibliography at the end of the book supplements those notes for easy reference to Looney's sources.
So if you're new to the Shakespeare authorship question, or even if you've read widely on the subject, get set to enjoy the book that novelist John Galsworthy called the best detective story he had ever read.

Update November 3, 2018: 
Jame's Warren's new edition of Shakespeare Identified was published on September 20, 2018 and is available on Amazon at

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Oberons celebrate UN-birthday 2018

Oberons gather in Howell, MI for Shakespeare's UN-birthday April 22, 2018. Clockwise from bottom: Susan Nenadic, Sharon Hunter, Barbara Burris, Robin Browne, Sawyer Theil, Linda Theil, Richard Joyrich, Pam Varilone, Rosey Hunter, and Mara Radzvickas.
by Linda Theil

Members of the Oberon Shakespeare Study Group gathered in Howell, Michigan on April 22, 2018 for our annual Shakespeare's UN-birthday celebration, when we honor Edward deVere as the author of the Shakespeare canon.

Shakespeare's UN-birthday cake 2018
We were fortunate in the beautiful weather and the wonderful company of many dear friends: Susan Nenadic, Sharon Hunter, Barbara Burris, Robin Browne, Richard Joyrich, Rosey Hunter, Pam Varilone, Mara Radzvickas, Alisa Theil, Sawyer Theil, Emerson Theil, and myself. Our celebration was a day we will long remember. 

Richard Joyrich brought a bottle of Oberon wine -- a 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon by Robert Mondavi Vinyards -- that we are saving for our next party.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

“Shakespeare’s Shylock and The Merchant of Venice” by Showerman and Delahoyde presented at Folio: Seattle Athenaeum Tuesday

Earl Showerman, MD and Michael Delahoyde, PhD
 at Folio: Seattle Athenaeum, March 13, 2018
by guest correspondent Tom Townsend
March 14, 2018

Two Shakespearean scholars, Earl Showerman, MD and Michael Delahoyde, PhD discussed critical topics about Shakespeare’s impressive work The Merchant of Venice.

Dr. Showerman discussed a real person, Gaspar Ribiero, as the likely model for Shylock; Dr. Delahoyde showcased the need to view different perspectives in Merchant. These presentations took place Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum where approximately 50 people attended. These conversations are timely because The Seattle Shakespeare Company is producing Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice March 20-April 15, 2018.

Showerman’s thesis: Ribiero is Shylock
Earl Showerman clearly presented many excellent reasons why Gaspar Ribiero, a Sixteenth-century, Portuguese Jew living in Venice — and forced to convert to Christianity — could likely be the model for Shylock. Dr. Showerman added that he believes Edward de Vere, seventeenth earl of Oxford, was the true Shakespeare. Both de Vere and Gaspar Ribiero attended the same church in Venice; and de Vere may have known Ribiero. 
Ribiero’s reputation in the Venice and Jewish community, however, was well known during the time de Vere visited and lived in Venice in 1575. Further, Ribiero’s daughter eloped with Ribiero’s ducat’s — just as Jessica, Shylock’s daughter, elopes with Shylock’s money and jewels.
While Showerman offers several additional similarities between Ribiero and Shakespeare’s Shylock, perhaps none is more convincing then the unusual language used by Ribiero: he repeated words and phrases just as someone with dementia. In fact, Ribiero’s language style is mirrored in Shylock’s speaking style, with similar repeating words and phrases.

Delahoyde’s discussion
Dr. Michael Delahoyde insightfully integrates the art of Sixteenth-century Venice with the play The Merchant of Venice. He believes The Merchant of Venice should be viewed from different perspectives. He demonstrated that Venetian painting during the Sixteenth Century showed different perspectives of the same scene from different vantage points. He pointed out that while Shylock appears to be a villain, Antonio and Portia are villains to him. In the trial scene, Portia asks Shylock for mercy, but offers none to Shylock. We know both Jewish and Christian religions endorse mercy, but no one does in the Merchant. To paraphrase a critic of the play: In The Merchant of Venice we see everyone behaving badly.

There was a lively and interesting question-and-answer session after these discussions by Earl Showerman and Michael Delahoyde. Many questions and comments centered on how the true author of Shakespeare — a man from Stratford, or Edward de Vere — could have known these intimate details of characters and ambience in Sixteenth-century Venice.

Note: For more information on this topic, read:


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Report on Oberon March 2018 meeting

Mara Radzvickas, Robin Browne, Rosey Hunter, Richard Joyrich, Pam Verilone, and Sharon Hunter at Oberon Shakespeare Study Group meeting March 10, 2017 at Bloomfield Twp. District Library, MI.

by Linda Theil
March 10, 2018

Oberons had a nice study session at our March 10, 2018 meeting with lots of information sharing.


My Shakespeare: the Authorship Controversy -- experts examine the arguments for  Bacon, Neville, Oxford, Marlow, Mary Sidney, Shakspere, and Shakespeare edited by Professor William Leahy, Deputy Vice-chancellor at Brunel University, London; published in 2018 by EER Brighton, UK. Available at Amazon.

The Fictional Lives of Shakespeare by Kevin Gilvary (Routledge Studies in Shakespeare) published by Routledge, New York and London, 2018. 
Available from Routledge.

The Seven Steps to Mercy: with Shakespeare's Key to the Oak Island Templum.
Available at Amazon.

The Royal Secret by John Bentley (John Bentley, 2014) in the style of Dan Brown according to Oberon member Robin Browne.
Available at Amazon.

William Shakespeare Punches a Friggin' Shark and/or Other Stories: a Secret Book Only Smart People Own by Ryan North (Ryan North, 2017) a choose your own adventure book available from Kickstarter.

Other discussion

Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship news article: Steve Steinburg exposes "Fallacies in Jonathan Bate's Debate Performance". Robin Browne said of Steinburg's commentary, "He tears Bate's arguments to shreds." Info on SOF new blog at
The Waugh/Bate "Who Wrote Shakespeare?" debate is on YouTube at

Diana Price's "Chart of Literary Paper Trails" Appendix B from her book Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography (Greenwood, 2001) is online at The 2013 edition of her book is available at Amazon.

Tom and Joy Townsend will attend an Oxfordian presentation about Merchant of Venice at the University of Washington in Seattle March 12 and 13, 2018. Info at

Several of our members have signed up for Ros Barber's new online authorship course, "Who Wrote Shakespeare?" from the University of London. Kevin Gilvary wrote a post about the course as a guest blogger on the Oberon weblog at

We discussed "Shakespeare Identified Centennial (SI-100) progress update: December 2017" compiled by Kathryn Sharpe, and available on the SOF website at


National Theatre Live will present Julius Caesar on movie screens worldwide -- including Ann Arbor and Detroit locations --  at 7:30 p.m. March 22. For more information see

UMS will sponsor a showing at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor on May 6, 2018. More information at

NT Live will broadcast Macbeth on May 10, 2018. Info at

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

University of London sponsors online Shakespeare authorship course

Ed: Kevin Gilvary, PhD is the author of The Fictional Lives of Shakespeare (Routledge, 2017) and trustee of the Shakespeare Authorship Trust.

by guest correspondent Kevin Gilvary, PhD

The world's first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the Shakespeare Authorship Question will go live on the Coursera platform on Monday February 19, 2018. The four-week online course, which is completely free, is written and presented by Dr Ros Barber, lecturer in the English and Comparative Literature department at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Director of Research at the Shakespearean Authorship Trust.  It includes interviews with leading authorship doubters including this writer [Professor William Leahy of Brunel University] and Oscar-winning actor Sir Mark Rylance. Coursera currently has 30-million registered users and is one of the world's leading providers of free online education.

Registration is now open at arn/shakespeare

The Shakespeare authorship question -- the question of whether William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon had any hand in the writing of the plays attribute to him -- has long been taboo in academia. Despite significant interest in the subject among the general public, English Literature academics tend to dismiss it as a subject not worth discussing. For this reason, the launch of a university-sponsored MOOC which explores the Shakespeare authorship question will undoubtedly be controversial.

When the University of London International (UoLIA) Learning, Teaching and Assessment Subcommittee discussed the approval report for the MOOC, the chair -- a literature professor -- gave a glowing report: saying it was ". . . engaging, really engaged critical thinking, and really added something to literary studies."

From the course description:

This MOOC explores critical thinking, and the interpretation of texts, through the Shakespeare authorship question. Using doubt about Shakespeare’s authorship as our playground, we will explore the key concept of authorship attribution, while developing skills in literary analysis, interpretation, and argument. Through forensic exploration of key texts, by both Shakespeare and other writers of the period, you will learn why Shakespeare’s authorship is questioned, and what evidence is cited on both sides of the debate. For those of you interested in exploring the works of Shakespeare from a new angle, or just wanting to hone your analytical thinking skills, this MOOC offers an introduction to a fascinating area of interest. Those of you already interested in the Shakespeare authorship question will be encouraged to question your own assumptions in fruitful ways. Whether undertaken as a standalone course, or as preparation for the University of London BA in English, this MOOC will be food for thought. 
Shakespeare aficionados and novices alike will find something of interest in this course; likewise anyone interested in logical reasoning, literary history, and the use of evidence. It is pitched at a level suitable for foundation year undergraduates. Although it is structured as a 4-week course, you can do it at your own pace.

Anyone can register for this course, at no cost, at arn/shakespeare

Friday, February 2, 2018

Deepest condolence

Oberons extend deepest condolence to our dear friend Richard Joyrich on the death of his mother, Ida Joyrich, who passed away yesterday.

Ida Joyrich, 1931-2018
A remembrance of Mrs. Joyrich can be seen at: 

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb 4, at Hebrew Memorial Chapel, 26640 Greenfield Rd, Oak Park MI 48237.

Those who wish to honor the memory of Ida Joyrich, may do so by making a contribution to:
P.O. Box 33321, Drawer 43 
Detroit, MI 48232-5321  
866-GLEANER (453-2637)
2850 W. 11 Mile, Berkley, MI 48072
45 West 36th Street
New York, NY 10018