Monday, March 25, 2013

Important Observations from a "Crackpot"

by Richard Joyrich

I would like to direct everyone's attention to a new e-book published by Keir Cutler. As readers of this blog will be aware, Keir is a celebrated author and actor, whose one-man show Is Shakespeare Dead (an adaptation of the work by Mark Twain) has been performed all over Canada and at several places in the United States (including at two of the past Joint SOS/SF Authorship Conferences). This play is available to view on You Tube.

Keir is a spokesman for the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare ( and has made a wonderful five minute You Tube video about it, entitled "Why Was I Never Told This". This You Tube video is embedded at the very bottom of the Oberon blog page and I encourage everyone to check it out.

Now, Keir has collected information from various articles of his to produce his new e-book, The Shakespeare Authorship Question: A Crackpot's View. It is available for Kindle ( for $2.99.

In this book, Keir details his top ten reasons to doubt the traditional story about the authorship of the works of Shakespeare. He also has very harsh words about the failure of academia to take the question seriously and not allow students the ability to learn critical thinking and be exposed to the "questionable facts" about William Shakespeare.

In the book, Keir also offers some biting criticism of three recent books, Bill Bryson's Shakespeare: The World as Stage, Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World, and James Shapiro's Contested Will-Who Wrote Shakespeare?

Keir also offers a very good description about the rise of the "Shakespeare Industry", particularly as it relates to Stratford-Upon-Avon and the "shams" practiced by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust on unsuspecting tourists.

All in all, this is a book that everyone interested in Shakespeare and the real purpose of academic pursuit and teaching should be familiar with.

I cannot recommend it too highly.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

SARC conference April 11-14, 2013

The Richard Paul and Jane Roe Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre Director Daniel Wright, PhD of Concordia University in Portland, Oregon reminds us that the seventeen annual Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference will be held April 11-14 at Concordia University in Portland Oregon. At the conference Anonymous screenwriter John Orloff will be awarded the university's Vero Nihil Verius Award for Distinguished Achievements in the Shakespearean Arts. and Oxfordian scholar Ramon Jimenez and James Warren -- author of Index to Oxfordian Newsletter and Journal Articles -- will both receive the university's Vero Nihil Verius Distinguished Shakespearean Scholarship Award. All three will present at the conference. 

Wright said: "The program . . . will be highlighted by this year's keynote speaker, William Ray, on Friday, and John Orloff - scriptwriter of Anonymous (and other great works like the acclaimed HBO series, Band of Brothers) on Saturday."

A schedule of events is published below. Participants may register online at

Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference April 11-14, 2013 Concordia U/Portland OR
Thursday, 11 April
5:00pm - 6:00pm           Prof Daniel Wright, "Richard II's Stillborn Majesty"
6:00 - 6:15                       Welcome
6:15 - 7:00                       Hank Whittemore, "The 'Rival Poet' Series"
7:00 - 8:00                       Ramon Jimenez, "The 50-Play Canon and When It Was Written"
8:00 - 9:00                       A forum on responding to the forthcoming book, Shakespeare Beyond Doubt -panel led by Patricia Urquhart (chair), James Gaynor and William Boyle

Friday, 12 April
9:00 - 9:45                       Katherine Chiljan, "Shakespeare: Favorite Dramatist of Queen Elizabeth and the Courtiers"
9:45 - 10:00                    Break
10:00 - 11:00                 Ian Haste, "Richard the Second, Henry the Fourth, and Robert the Last"
11:00  - 12:00                 Prof Michael Delahoyde, "Edward de Vere's The Two Noble Kinsmen Unwrapped"
12:00 - 1:00                    Lunch
1:00 - 2:30                       Keynote Address: William Ray, "The Factual Desert of Stanley Wells"
2:30 - 3:00                       Break
3:00 - 4:00                       Prof Alan Nelson, "Hyphenating Shakespeare: New Evidence from Archival Sources"
4:00 - 5:30                       Prof Daniel Wright, ""I am I, howe'er I was begot": King John's Bastard Prince
Saturday, 13 April
9:00 - 10:00                    Ian Haste, ""Vere in Venice" - A Family's Capital Idea to Resurrect the True Bard
10:00 - 10:15                 Break
10:15 - 11:15                 James Warren, "The Overlooked But Critical Significance of the Two Dedications to Southampton"
11:15 - 12:00                 Prof Daniel Wright and Prof Alan Nelson, "Oxford's Indenture of 1585: Discovery and Transcription"
12:00 - 1:00                    Lunch
1:00 - 2:30                       John Orloff, "Writing History Like Shakespeare: Scripting Anonymous"
2:30 - 3:00                       Break
3:00 - 4:30                       Prof Michael Delahoyde, "Oxfordian Twelfth Night Epiphanies"
4:30 - 4:45                       Break
4:45 - 5:30                       17th Annual SARC Awards Ceremony
Sunday, 14 April
9:00 - 10:00                    Richard Whalen, "What Happens (or Doesn't Happen) in Macbeth: A Case Study"
10:00 - 10:15                 Break
10:15 - 12:00                 Film: Coriolanus
12:00 - 1:00                    Lunch
1:00 - 3:00                       A forum on the meaning of Coriolanus -panel led by Prof Roger Stritmatter (chair), William Boyle and Prof Michael Delahoyde
3:00 - 3:30                       Break
3:30 - 4:30                       Hank Whittemore, "The Implications of the Discovery of the Prison Poem of the 3rd Earl of Southampton"
4:30 - 5:00                       Closing of the Conference

Prof Daniel Wright, Ph.D.
Director, The Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre
Concordia University
Portland, OR 97211-6099

See also:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Was King Richard III a Control Freak?

Science News

... from universities, journals, and other research organizations
Mar. 4, 2013 — University of Leicester psychologists believe Richard III was not a psychopath -- but he may have had control freak tendencies.

University of Leicester psychologists have made an analysis of Richard III's character -- aiming to get to the man behind the bones.

Professor Mark Lansdale, Head of the University's School of Psychology, and forensic psychologist Dr Julian Boon have put together a psychological analysis of Richard III based on the consensus among historians relating to Richard's experiences and actions.

They found that, while there was no evidence for Shakespeare's depiction of Richard III as a psychopath, he may have had "intolerance to uncertainty syndrome" -- which may have manifested in control freak tendencies.

The academics presented their findings on Saturday, March 2 at the University of Leicester.

Their analysis aims to humanise Richard -- to flesh out the bones and get to the character of the man who became one of the most controversial kings in English history.

Firstly, they examined one of the most persistent and critical depictions of Richard's personality -- the suggestion that he was a murdering psychopath. This reputation -- portrayed most famously in Shakespeare's play -- does not seem to have any basis in the facts we have about his life.

He showed little signs of the traits psychologists would use to identify psychopaths today -- including narcissism, deviousness, callousness, recklessness and lack of empathy in close relationships.

However, the academics speculate that Richard may have exhibited a common psychological syndrome know as an intolerance to uncertainty.

Professor Mark Lansdale said: "This syndrome is associated with a need to seek security following an insecure childhood, as Richard had. In varying degrees, it is associated with a number of positive aspects of personality including a strong sense of right and wrong, piety, loyalty to trusted colleagues, and a belief in legal processes -- all exhibited by Richard.

"On the negative side it is also associated with fatalism, a tendency to disproportionate responses when loyalty is betrayed and a general sense of 'control freakery' that can, in extreme cases, emerge as very authoritarian or possibly priggish. We believe this is an interesting perspective on Richard's character."
In addition, the pair examined how his disability -- evident in the curvature of the spine of the King's remains -- may have had an impact on his character -- and specifically on the way he interacted with people who he did not know well.

In medieval times, deformation was often taken as a visible indication of a twisted soul. As a result, it is possible that this would have made him cautious in all his interactions with others.
Professor Lansdale added: "Overall, we recognise the difficulty of drawing conclusions about people who lived 500 years ago and about whom relatively little is reliably recorded; especially when psychology is a science that is so reliant upon observation.

"However, noting that this is the problem historians work with as a matter of routine, we argue that a psychological approach provides a distinct and novel perspective: one which offers a different way of thinking about the human being behind the bones."

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University of Leicester (2013, March 4). Was King Richard III a control freak?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from­ /releases/2013/03/130304105201.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fmind_brain+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Mind+%26+Brain+News%29

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