Thursday, May 30, 2013

Director Jim Jarmusch and actor John Hurt proclaim anti-Stratfordian views at Cannes Film Festival

Cheryl Eagan Donovan of Controversy Films reported in her May 26, 2013 "Shakespeare News" on an interview conducted May 25 at the Cannes Film Festival with Only Lovers Left Alive director Jim Jarmusch and film actors Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, and John Hurt in which Jarmusch and Hurt celebrate their anti-Stratfordian viewpoint. Hurt plays an immortal Christopher Marlowe in the upcoming film.

Jim Jarmusch (4:17 on video): "I think one of the biggest scandals in literary history that someday may be divulged, to me, is that William Shakespeare didn't write anything. And there are a lot of us so-called anti-Stratfordians that don't believe this . They included Orson Wells and Sigmund Freud and Ralph Waldo Emerson and and John Gielgud. (John Hurt says, “And John Hurt!”) And now John Hurt as well.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Barber and Price demolish Wells and Edmondson

After mopping the floor with Stanley Wells and Paul Edmondson on the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s “Proving Shakespeare” web-based seminar lastweek, Marlovian Ros Barber has emerged as a passionate and compelling advocate for the anti-Stratfordian viewpoint.

The May 1, 2013 seminar was held to celebrate the launch of the Trust’s refinement of the Stratfordian viewpoint, Shakespeare Beyond Doubt, that will be published by Cambridge University Press this month. The book is part of the trust’s ongoing response to Roland Emmerich’s 2010 anti-Stratfordian film, Anonymous – a response that began with their online “Sixty Minutes with Shakespeare” one-minute refutations of various complaints against the attribution of Shakespeare’s works to the man from Stratford.

At the online seminar, Barber appeared to astound Wells and Edmondson with her articulate defense of the anti-Stratfordian position. Although she authored The Marlowe Papers -- due out May 24 by Sceptre -- a fictional work proposing Christopher Marlowe as the author of the pseudononymous Shakespeare works; and wrote her doctoral thesis defending Marlowe’s candidacy, they seemed genuinely flummoxed by her willingness to defend the anti-Stratfordian heresy. From the transcript of the seminar:
Edmondson: But all of this argument, really, is, you’re wanting to gainsay these references to Shakespeare in his lifetime, to say that he’s not the William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon, and why, why do you want to do that? Why don’t you want it to be Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon?
Barber: This is an interesting thing about your approach, and I know James Shapiro’s as well, that’s you’re ‘why don’t you want it to be’ and what is it about my psychology, or even, my pathology, that makes me doubt Shakespeare, you’re always looking at that. I mean there’s two chapters devoted to Delia Bacon in your book, and looking at the psychology of Delia Bacon, and why does she doubt, because I’m pretty sure this is something you don’t understand. But I have to tell you, the answer is, that the evidence isn’t sufficient, that the evidence doesn’t add up, that there isn’t the evidence for Shakespeare as a writer, Shakespeare of Stratford as a writer, that there is for other writers of the period -
Wells: There is, for example, the, there is the fact that people visited Stratford soon after Shakespeare died, to look at his monument, because they knew he was a writer. There is the manuscript on William Basse’s elegy on William Shakespeare, which is headed ‘William Shakespeare died in Stratford-upon-Avon, the time of his birth, 1616’, and that is an elegy that refers specifically to Shakespeare as a great tragedian, it uses the word tragedian, which might mean either an actor or a writer -
Edmondson: So you see the alternative scenario is that all of the evidence, and we’ve only just touched on a little bit of it, the mostly likely outcome of that evidence is that the plays were written by Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon. Now if, if, if you want to rewrite history, if you want to rewrite evidence, if you want to pitch in and say actually let’s look again, let’s tell a different story, that is something you can do, but please don’t expect people who are interested in truth of history, and what the past tells us through documentation, to go along with it.
Barber: Well actually I have to say the people that you call anti-Shakespeareans, who are actually non-Stratfordians in my book, they’re very interested in the truth, they’re very interested in the evidence, and it’s not about rewriting the evidence, it’s about looking at it in a different perspective.
A full-text of “Proving Shakespeare” web-based seminar held May 1, 2013 is available at 

In one of the exchanges during the seminar, Barber referenced work by Diana Price in her Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography (Greenwood Press, 2001):
Barber: Why, why can’t we account for extraordinary – and it is extraordinary, Price has shown that – extraordinary lack of evidence? She compares 24 other writers of the period who all do have a literary paper trail, and he – he has none.
Edmondson: Well Shakespeare does actually, and Diana Price is wrong.
Barber: On which points?
Edmondson: And Stanley can we, I’m sorry, can we hear from Stanley Wells, co-editor of the book, . . . (changes subject)
On May 8, Stanley Wells responded to Barber's question by posting an article "An unorthodox and non-definitive biography" on the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's web-log wherein Wells describes the "fatal weaknesses" in Price's argument. Price responded with her signature clarity in a long comment appended to the post by Price's husband Pat Dooley. She said, in part:
In his review on Blogging Shakespeare (May 8, 2013), Prof. Wells takes issue with any number of details in my book, but he does not directly confront the single strongest argument I offer: the comparative analysis of documentary evidence supporting the biographies of Shakespeare and two dozen of his contemporaries. That analysis demonstrates that the literary activities of the two dozen other writers are documented in varying degrees. However, none of the evidence that survives for Shakespeare can support the statement that he was a writer by vocation.
Price's comments are also available on her website at: May 13, 2013, Wells responded to Price's comments in a post on the SBT site titled "Beyond Doubt for All Time". Diana Price's Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography is now available in a paperback edition with corrections and additions, published this year by and available on Amazon. 

On May 8, 2013, Roz Barber posted her review of the SBT compendium, Shakespeare Beyond Doubt, titled “Scholarship orpropaganda?” of Shakespeare Beyond Doubt on the comments page of The Guardian’s book review where she iterates her concerns about the book’s usefulness and closes with this comment:
Throughout the volume [Shakespeare Beyond Doubt], and despite significant developments in non-Stratfordian research in the last fifteen years, only arguments advanced prior to 1960 are acknowledged. Paul Edmondson claims that those he perceives as his ‘antagonists’ ignore evidence, yet himself presides over a volume of essays that demolishes straw men while skilfully eliding the more challenging work of contemporary researchers. Weighing this approach against the accepted principles of academic argument, one must ask whether Shakespeare Beyond Doubt is genuinely a work of scholarship, or simply a skilful piece of propaganda.
Another version of Barber's review is available on her website at:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Anti-Stratfordian Robin Fox named to National Academy of Sciences April 20, 2013

Anthropologist Robin Fox -- who wrote the book on Shakespeare’s Education (Laugwitz Verlag, 2012) from an Oxfordian perspective -- was named to the National Academy of Sciences on April 20, 2013. Fox's anti-Stratfordian book is available from Amazon at Read more about Fox on his website at

Australian Peter McIntosh, PhD publishes new work on sonnet authorship

by Linda Theil

Australian geologist Peter McIntosh, PhD, has published Every word doth almost tell my name: The Authorship of Shakespeare's Sonnets (McFarland, 2013) a full-length treatment of his thesis of Shakespeare authorship. 

McIntosh said:
[I present] evidence to show that Queen Elizabeth I is the most likely author of the Sonnets. There is not only an impeccable correlation of the subject matter of the Sonnets with the known history of the relationship between Elizabeth and her favorite, the second Earl of Essex, but also many indicators of her authorship in other sources, including the Sonnets' dedication and the signature SS on a poem written in her own hand.
McIntosh also wrote Who Wrote Shakespeare's Sonnets? (Ginninderra, 2011). The new work is available in softcover and Kindle edition from Amazon at and McFarland at

McIntosh sent the following information about his book:
Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day? With these immortal lines Shakespeare begins his most famous sonnet and perhaps the most famous love poem of all time. But this poem, and more than 100 others, first published 400 years ago in a slim volume entitled Shakespeare’s Sonnets, was written by Shakespeare not about a beautiful young woman, but about a beautiful young man, whom Shakespeare addresses as "my lovely boy." If Shakespeare was infatuated with a lovely boy, who was he? If he was a rich aristocrat, as the sonnets seem to suggest, how did Shakespeare make his acquaintance? Who was the Dark Lady described in the later sonnets? And what is the meaning of the Sonnets’ enigmatic dedication that refers to the mysterious Mr.W.H.? These questions and innumerable others have perplexed scholars for centuries. No comprehensive answers to the immensely puzzling questions raised by the poems have ever been presented. This book takes a fresh approach to the difficult issues presented by the Sonnets and upsets many cherished assumptions about the handsome young man, the Dark Lady, Mr.W.H. and Shakespeare himself.
About the Author: Peter McIntosh has published widely in the scientific literature and has previously written two short books on Shakespeare’s sonnets as well as publishing articles on the dates and sources of Coriolanus and The Tempest. He lives in Hobart, Australia.  

See also:

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Peter Sturrock approaches authorship question mathematically with book, AKA Shakespeare

by Linda Theil

The anti-Stratfordian faction of Shakespeare lovers is replete with those who have been trained to study evidence: lawyers, doctors, and scientists of all fields. Peter A. Sturrock, PhD -- emeritus professor of applied physics and emeritus director of the Center for Space Science and Astrophysics at Stanford University -- has brought his mathematical genius to bear on the topic of the Shakespeare authorship with his self-published book, AKA Shakespeare: a Scientific Approach to the Authorship Question (EXO Science, 2013).

Even though I sat through a calculus course in high school, this reader must confess that the mathematics involved in Professor Sturrock’s thesis eluded my understanding, so I cannot comment on its value as ammunition in the authorship battle. I can attest, however, to the lucidity of Sturrock’s prose and the freshness of his approach.

In an article titled “Who wrote Shakespeare's plays? Stanford professor lets you decide” by Stanford news intern Paul Gabrielsen in the March 18, 2013 Stanford Report, Gabrielsen said:
In his new book, AKA Shakespeare: A Scientific Approach to the Authorship Question, Sturrock explores the argument through the eyes of four fictional characters, each with a different perspective on the debate. They voice their opinions on 25 pieces of evidence, but Sturrock invites readers to weigh in as well and arrive at their own conclusion. . . .  Years before, while studying pulsars, Sturrock devised a new method to process information using statistics. His method was based on a statistical concept known as Bayes' theorem, which states that probabilities change depending on the information you have.Sturrock describes the concept in his book: If you reach into a bag with 99 white balls and 1 black ball, you would say that the odds of picking the black ball are 1 in 100. But if you know the black ball is cracked, you have new information, and your odds improve dramatically. Using Bayesian statistics, Sturrock can incorporate information from both theory and data in his analysis. . . .
 As his book progresses, Sturrock's characters weigh in on 25 questions surrounding the authorship controversy. Was the writer of the plays educated or not? Could Shakespeare write legibly, given the quality of his known signatures? Is there a secret message on a monument in the Holy Trinity Church at Stratford-upon-Avon? Each response is factored into the character's "degree of belief" in each of the three candidates. Sturrock invites readers to tabulate their own responses and beliefs into charts in the book. An online tool, "Prospero," connected to the book's website, allows readers to calculate their final degrees of belief. (Ed.:The website is located at
Sturrock, 88, who lives in Palo Alto, says he has had positive response from colleagues about his book and he anticipates publishing the data from readers in six to eight months. The book is available in a $9.99 Kindle version as well as paperback from Amazon at The book was preceded by a 2008 article titled “Shakespeare: the Authorship Question, a Bayesian Approach” published by Sturrock in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 529-537. The article is available at Shakespeare: the Authorship Question, a Bayesian Approach by P.A. Sturrock in Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 529–537, 2008

Peter A. Sturrock, PhD, is emeritus professor of applied physics and emeritus director of the Center for Space Science and Astrophysics at Stanford University. He has received numerous awards, including prizes from the American Astronomical Society, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Cambridge University, the Gravity Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences. His other publications include five edited volumes, three monographs, and three hundred scientific articles and reports.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Showerman says teach authorship at local universities lifelong learning programs

by Linda Theil

Shakespeare Fellowship trustee and immediate past president Earl Showerman  kicked off his fourth year teaching the Shakespeare authorship question at Southern Oregon University’s Osher Lifelong LearningInstitute with a class titled, titled, "The Shakespeare Authorship Challenge: State of the Debate 2013". Following the first day of class on April 17, 2013, Showerman said:
I have about 20 in class, half-of-whom are already converts. Not exactly preaching to the converted, but it is fun to see how people really light up when they get an idea about what is at stake and the terms of the discussion. . . . The SBT (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust) polemic, “Shakespeare Bites Back” was discussed yesterday as a way [of] showing them how threatened and vitriolic are our critics. We'll use Steve McClarran's second edition of  I Come to BuryShaksper, (2011) (available later this month I understand) as a primary text.  
Showerman also intends to discuss the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s refutation of arguments against Stratfordian authorship, ShakespeareBeyond Doubt, to be published this month (May 31, 2013) by Cambridge University Press. The weekly class runs until May 29, 2013. For those who are not fortunate to attend, a comprehensive and fascinating syllabus of Showerman’s class including an extensive bibliography and links to Showerman’s published research on Greek influences in Shakespeare is available on the SOU site at: The weekly class runs until May 29. Showerman encourages other authorship researchers to investigate teaching this topic as a lifelong learning class at their local universities:
Oxfordians who have a repertoire of teaching experience, or simply an avid interest in the argument over the Shakespeare attribution, should get involved with the university or college lifelong learning programs in their area. Volunteer to teach a course and use what is already available in print and on-line to help support the effort. Open-minded elders, who love Shakespeare and have a cultivated skepticism, are ideal targets for our enterprise.
Earl Showerman is a retired emergency physician -- a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Michigan Medical School. Over the past decade, he has published and presented a number of papers on the topic of Shakespeare’s Greek literary sources and on the playwright’s medical knowledge. This past November, he gave the keynote address at the Shakespearean Authorship Trust Conference at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. His most recent publication is a letter published in Brief Chronicles, Vol. IV explicating a point in his article, “Shakespeare’s Greater Greek” published in the previous volume of Brief Chronicles. This work is available online at:
Letter by Earl Showerman in Brief Chronicles Vol. IV (2012-13) 137
"Shakespeare’s Greater Greek: Macbeth and Aeschylus’Oresteia", Earl Showerman 37-70 Brief Chronicles Vol. III (2011)

Course description from the SOU/OLLI website:
LANG102 The Shakespeare Authorship Challenge: State of the Debate 2013
7 Sessions Ashland: Wed, 1-3:00, Room E April 17-May 29 Earl Showerman
This spring both the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition are publishing competing books, one intended to defend and the other to deconstruct the traditional attribution of the Shakespeare canon. The course will examine these and other recent publications and projects that address the Shakespeare authorship question. The course will include Power
Point presentations, videos, and discussions based on the recently published critical polemic, Come to Bury Shaksper (2011). Optional Material: I Come to Bury Shakesper by Steven McClarren (2011), ISBN: 9781469956527. This is available as an e-book or by print-on-demand. . . . 

See also on this topic: