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Contest with Will in the middle...

SO Olivier wasn’t a doubter then, not like Gielgud.

If Shakespeare Authorship were a cake.
Doubters make up the icing on the cake. The foundation of the cake is the world of scholars, pejoratively known as Orthodox Stratfordians. It’s a solid base but crumbly.

The filling is the rest of the world. All those people who know Shakespeare and his works but don’t hold any opinion on who he is. All the ingredients anyone ever needs are in the mix known as the Plays and poems. It’s a Shakespeare cake after all.

The icing is very sweet and perfect and higly decorated but it’s not the whole cake and too much of it will make you sick. if you want the full Shakespeare you need to have your cake and eat it too.

Imagine this cake as you read these reviews, and even more pertinent the comments where available. Get to know the vociferous ‘sane’ voices of Heward the Therapist and Peter the Marlovian. Look for the lost boy trying to defend his burrow.

Do you really need so much icing? You might be sick if you eat too much and not enough cake. Go on take a whole piece. It’s good for you!
Salon Review
Actual interview with Shapiro
Bill’s Ben in the Inedependent
The Economist
Comments from the Economist
Financial Times

This last week has been about the reviews for the ‘Contested Will’, which is James Shapiro’s book on the authorship question. James wrote 1599, a tremendous read and year for our Will Shhh!

Richard Whalen over at the Orksfordian site has reviewed it and typically embraces it as a non-threat, and actually believes it enhances the Big Boar’s cause.

And the movie being made in Babelsberg, yikes! They’ll be attacking the Stratfrodian burrows from all angles soon.

A new generation of actors will weigh in yea or nea. the battlelines are being drawn. Will Paris make Oxford her new BFF?

Real world response to it all?
F–k it, just recite another sonnet or read a play.
Or go back to the poems again.

Who cares about the guy who wrote it,
if it’s compulsive reading for so many reasons?

The Orksfordians are always whining about the same old tired issues:
his name and how it’s spelt.
his lack of education and travel,
his stupidity in his craft of acting,
his gullibile friends and fellowes for not knowing,
his keeping the secret for 10 years after Oxford’s death.

No one noticed or said anything? Really?
A mediocre actor in their midst passing off plays written by a Nobleman, who everyone knows as having a vested interest in players, theatre and writing.

Oxford indeed supported other writers, owned a couple of companies of adult and boy actors. He had written poetry and comedies, Francis Meres says, in the same list, same page, he says Shakespeare was known for writing comedies and tragedies.

So where’s the stigma in this much being known about Oxford?

Of course the name of writers was slightly better than actors, whose name was equivalent to that of whores. But even if an actor is a whore, it still doesn’t stop him paying tribute to the Muses, who are there for everyman.

All Shakespeare’s playwright contemporaries came from similar backgrounds: middle-class and lower. But the Aristocracy had the handle on poesy, high art and belles lettres.

Shakespeare’s art imitates these letters and suddenly it’s inconceivable a yoik could have written them. Stratters on Avon being Yoiksville for Warwickshire.

Besides every commentary we have from the time in marginalia identifies themes and copia. Nobody cared about the author. But the author would have cared.

SO either Will Shagsbirds of Stratters on Avon is a porcine mendacious chap, who deceived the London Public whilst being part of one of the best troupes of players in London, cusping Eliza’s demise and James nascence.

Or X, (lest we forget the Orks aren’t alone) wrote them and this goodly business man type was waiting to fulfill his fall-guy destiny by passing off X’s plays as his own.

Oh yes and cashing in on this enterprise, which brought profit to him and his fellow players.

Must have been awfully embarassing at the awards ceremonies that inevitably appear when thesps are involved.

“And the award for best tragedy goes once again to William Shake-hyphen-speare. And here to accept the award on his behalf is no-one less than the Earl of … , no sorry it’s just Will.

Here you go mate. Another one for your collection. not that you care you’ll have pawned it in a week to pay your tavern bill and gambling debts. Schmuck!

So what’ve you got left in the chest of manuscripts the Earl left you when he died? He died like 6 years ago didn’t he? Or is he not dead yet? Marlowe’s still alive kicking round Italy I hear.

I see you’re teaming up with Fletcher and Beaumont too, bless. Those lads really look up to you. Especially Beaumont coz he’s dead now innit.

I hear the Derby family is feeding them manuscripts, which the Earls have got lying around. Yes he might have quite a career, if someone finds those encrypted messages a hundred years from now saying he wrote them.

What? Make Folios of them? Ridiculous idea, would never work. God, don’t let Ben Jonson hear that.

Though you know Will these plays of “yours”, they do read pretty damn good AND they play awfully well on the stage.

Well why not print ’em all so we can have a read? There’s tons of your poetry out there already, as well as about 16 Quartos.

Why not a Folio? Look Thomas Heywood is already talking about it. He’s done hundreds of plays and acted in ’em.

The earl of X and his sister would love you for it. They might even arrange it. Take it all out of your hands. You just need to put your name to it. That’s it. They say she’s pretty good with the blank verse you know.

No risk, no paydirt. Hear what am saying? But hey, what’s the risk? You get the box office split with the other guys, you get recognised and bought drinks and tell everyone about your next play, which will be a tale of romans and old britons by the way.

Then you can bore everyone with the day you met old black-toothed Eliza and she threw that ‘gimme another play with Falstaff in it’ at you. And your earl had to write it in 3 weeks! Sorry you had to write it. What? No one heard me!”

Seriously though, la raison d’etre for public theatres is making money. Oxford’s companies, like everything he touched, bled money. He was the unluckiest last heir to waste a fortune through his own wilful behaviour.

He lived in style and grace, I’ll grant him that. (yes grant, hedgehogs) Aesthete, way before the dandies and Lord bloody Byron who found Shakes a bore. Genius btw. De Vere, read everything, expert in Law, but obviously not Property and Inheritance Law. No Portia’s miracles in Court procedure in his real life.

Oxford’s influence in the world of public theatre is unproven and unlikely. He has no place in it. Except as a punter.

It’s funny how many lawyers and Chief Justice’s are drawn to the authorship debate. The difference being they have to win and convert me to see the sense of Oxfordianism, whereas i don’t need to win.

I have won already.

My candidate is already the acknowledged author of shakespeare’s histories, comedies, and tragedies, plus all that other stuff.

OK sometimes he had help…but AMEST I BOVVEREST?

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