…so they take a visit to Babelsberg to see the film in production. And sensation it’s going to be. No explosions but implosions of the mind.
“Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the murky streets of Elizabethan London. I’ll show you something that’ll make you change your mind”.
They are going to try and make it credible to a large audience that Queen Elizabeth 1st, the Virgin Queen gave birth to Edward De Vere the 17th Earl of Oxenforde. (don’t laugh at the back. this is serious)!
(His historical mum, Marjory Golding being used to supply the connection to Arthur Golding the translator of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which would so influence SH’s works)
For Elizabeth so loved her child, she had sex with him when he was a teenager, and duly had his baby, Henry Wriosthesley, the 3rd Earl of Southampton. (Southampton’s historical mum, a Catholic, had to swallow this Protestant monarch’s will)
All this makes Edward De vere now:
a son to his mom,
a father to his child,
a brother to his brother who he had by his mother.
And makes Elizabeth now:
his sister by his father,
his mother and mistress,
and grandmother to their son .
And she, is the Queen of England!
(Please use the Chopper Read accent for that last line)
Constantly attended by servants and maids of honour and receiving a steady flow of diplomatic traffic whilst entertaining a Court Life, more than the equivalent of a modern day well-run film set junket to keep up appearances that all is normal and no need to panic. I, the Virgin Queen, am in control.
And like Oprah’s reality, she flucutates up and down the weight of babies, creating her own sexed up family tree. Elizabeth then, not Oprah! Don’t forget Elizabeth too was traumatised at an early age. (mom beheaded etc etc. Like the little girl in any horror film/reality soap you care to imagine, you can identify with her pain).
So once again for clarity’s sake:
Queen Elizabeth has sex with De Vere’s dad the 16th Earl of Oxenforde and gives birth to Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl. (Correction: having just taken possession of a signed copy of Beauclerk’s book ‘Sh’s Lost Kingdom’ I must amend this grievous miscarriage of the facts. Actually Elizabeth had Lord Admiral Thomas Seymour’s bastard child. The details are outlined in the blighted rose chapter. Summed up by the phrase, ‘incest is best’
So far the book reads like a VC Andrews novel).
Technically this (still) makes him a bastard son. He can never by right of law inherit what is his birthright as first born male heir of the Queen of the Realm. In turn he will have his own bastard children. (think Lear, my de veres! Never never never never never)
Dad (not real dad) leaves young De Vere swathes of property and land and buckets of incomes. Elizabeth slaps Oxenforde (her son) into wardship; under the tutelage of William Cecil/Polonius, her trusty Igor sidekick. Now no one can say anything about this weird set of circumstances but hey Cecil also has other wards like the young Manners, Earl of Rutland. (cue the Rutles singing Rut a lot)!
Many years later on the level of scuttlebutt:
Edward Oxenforde (as his name is mostly spelt) reputedly farted when bowing to the queen, which so embarassed him he went to the continent. On his return Elizabeth reputedly said,
‘My lord i had forgot the fart’.
Don’t you love how mother’s tease their sons. Medea-like on a social lampooning level. Letting him know who’s in charge. Who’s your mommy then? Coz she had her concerns you know our Eliza.
She whose history, as well as Shakespeare’s, is being destroyed here. How will the Elizabeth scholars react to the upcoming film. Will the Romance writers be up in arms, or precisely wetting their knicks at this potentially best selling Hist-Rom-Com-mind-flock fiction novel filmscript.
Anyhoo back to conspiracy.
They decide to pluck the fruits of young Eddie’s fortune and tie him up in legal frameworks and limited revenue until his coming of age when most of his interests are in turn tied up in legal battles and his own profligate 1st earl of the kingdom bish bosh Captain Flash behaviour is wowing the ladies and pissing off the guys.
‘ i killed my undercook coz he was spying on me. he ran onto my sword and committed suicide. se defendendo! auto da fe kind of thing, without the fire. His widow and babies screwed out of their legacy and thrown out of their positions to fend for themselves.’
(As lurid a prose as graced any miami newspaper. Eddie has his own rent boy story: bringing back a young soprano from Venice to be his catamite in London).
All part of growing up. Important people have important life changing decisions. Others can just barely scrape through Grammar school, whilst Some get the bestest tutelage the peerage has to offer.
So our young Eddie grew up to be the Life of the party, jousting, falconrying, putting it about. Tennis too, and unlike McEnroe calling out the refs mainly, Eddie went for the other player, young SIr Phillip Sidney, who was prettier and smarter and younger and a better writer.
But of course Oxenforde’s tentacles retched, sorry reached into the theatrical world, which he created nonetheless. Especially with Fisher’s Folly, that literary club of greats from the 1570’s, which had to be sold to the crown as payment his mum kept extracting from him.
Eddie hangs out the prodigal earl (Prince Hal and pals of course being soaked up for the future immortal pages) and slobbers and slurps his way though refined living; quarreling at court; refusing the military post offered in the Armada.
Oxford-enforde loved the theatre and lived close to London’s first theatre district. There where the first public theatre named the Theatre rose from joiner hands of James Burbage. A man whose son is destined to sell out poor Willy Shagsbeardes as a foil for our Eddie.
And wouldn’t rumour have it that Oxenforde is also the father of the 3rd Earl of Southampton, to whom he dedicates Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. Yes, he of the Essex rebellion fame, wherein Elizabeth has her son/grandson incarcerated in the tower on pain of death.
The play they watched, these ineffectual effetes and would-be warriors before they started the rebellion? Richard 2nd from WIlliam Shake-speare. And i assume they did it for the deposition scene, which obviously had been excised from its premiere run I’ll bet.
But of course no one spoke about it. Outside of it happening to you. And it could happen to you. The line of social power rose gradually from foreigner, to immigrant, to citizen, to tradesman, to gentleman, to Lord and Lady, to your counts and dukes and earls and finally the King or Queen. And each brought another level of diplomacy.
‘ Know ye not, that I am Richard?’ Elizabeth reputedly said to
Camden (sorry that should be) William Lambarde the warden of scrolls (keeper of the records) at the tower. Many a novel and history was writ in an Elizabethan prison, especially the Tower. Perhaps a monument written in Sonnets by a pining Father to his condemned son/brother knowing the little bastard could never have his patrimony/matrimony, to whit the throne of England? (Not a whit, I defy augury). Poor lambikins!
So this new history of Elizabethan England brought to you by Anonymous is a brand new interpretation of the mythical literary 3 in 1, 2 in 1, 1 in 1 philosophy, which the sonnets constantly carp upon.
Think of the symbolism in that incestuous viper-pit. Well worthy of Greek Tragedy and well, you’d think in all fairness somebody would have noticed this state of affairs. Oxenforde’s enemies perhaps? A letter or two disclosing this sluttish behaviour on the part of the monarch? By anyone?
Because being a Queen requires being the captain of the State. Elizabeth embodied her England and was very likely a high level diplomat on the level of our very own, Elizabeth 2nd. Of course this version couldava shouldava wouldava happened. And conventional history will be now re-written because the Truth is out there, and will out!
Will Rafe the one unknown actor playing Shakespeare in this film, be vilifed, or praised as courageous for taking on this role? Or will the portrayal of Shakspere be like Little Nicky in the Brill film. We remember our Rhys with chuckles in that one. (‘Think all but one, and me in that one, Will’).
Good luck selling this one to the cognescenti as anything other than historical fiction. Who knows the masses of groundlings may go for it?
Again, Good luck!
Or as Shakespeare’s mum, Marie Ardenne would say,
‘ Bonne chance, mes amis!’