Stritmatter v. Sheppard

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Terry Ross

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Jan 2, 2003, 10:40:39 AM1/2/03
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The following is the last part of Roger's dissertation (from pages
395-96).

========================

The figure of Shakespeare as Prospero, craving from his audience "the
freedom to continue his history beyond the limits of the stage and the
text" -- enters into criticism at a very early date, although its history
has been virtually ignored by the dominant orthodoxy. Consider the
testimony of Samuel Sheppard, writing in 1651, which appears in no
Shakespearean allusion books and which has never been reprinted.

Shakespeare trod on English earth,
His Muse doth merit more rewards
Then all the Greek, or Latine Bards.
.......
He that his worth would truely sing,
Must quaffe the whole Pierian spring.
And now---(be gone ye gastfull feares
Alas I cannot speak for teares)
There is a Shepherd cag'd in stone
Destin'd unto destruction,
Worthy of all before him were,
Apollo him doth first preferre,
Renowned Lawreate be comtent,
Thy workes are thine own Monument.

(Bentley 1945: II.82)

The image of Shakespeare as a "Shepherd cag'd in stone" vividly recalls
the purgatorial condition of Prospero at the close of the *Tempest*, caged
within his own magic circle and making [a] heartfelt appeal to readers to
heed his words and free him. But what sense can this possibly make from
an orthodox biographical perspective? Why should Sheppard need to console
the "poet Lawreate" Shakespeare, echoing Milton's verses from the 1632 2nd
Folio, with the news that his works are "his own monument"? [Roger's note:
"Writes Milton of Shakespeare in verses prefixed to the second 1632 folio:
'Thou in our wonder and astonishment/Hast built thyself a live-long
monument."] Ostensibly the lines refer to the dispute over the creation of
a monument for Shakespeare in Westminster Cathedral which seems to have
erupted not long after the publication of the first folio. In Sheppard's
poem, however, the issue over the monument is clearly emblematic of a more
fundamental problem over the posthumous disposition of the author's
remains, one in which the author is, like Prospero in his magic circle at
the close of the play, or Ariel before him pinned in the cloven pine,
"caged" by the fates.

Contemplating Shakespeare's condition, Sheppard is struck mute ("alas I
cannot speak for teares") and can only communicate by means of innuendo,
invoking those "community-founding" powers of language which "plumb the
paleosymbolic depths of equivocal expressions" of which Sue Curry Jansen
writes so eloquently. Like Prospero, Sheppard's Shakespeare is one who
has been condemned to purgatory unless rescued by the posthumous "prayers"
of knowing readers who can heed "what silent love hath writ" and [are]
able, in turn, to write what they now know -- "between the lines."

=====================================

The reader familiar with Roger's style will note several familiar
characteristics, such as the scolding of "orthodoxy"; the non-sequitur
(how can he complain that the lines from Sheppard have "never been
reprinted" when he is quoting the 1651 lines as they appeared reprinted in
a 1945 text); the conversion of literature into "testimony"; the
implausible reading asserted as evidence ("The image of Shakespeare as a
"Shepherd cag'd in stone" vividly recalls the purgatorial condition of
Prospero at the close of the *Tempest*, caged within his own magic circle
and making heartfelt appeal to readers to heed his words and free him");
the awkward prose (I had to add the bracketed "are" in the last sentence);
the deficient documentation (there is no citation for the quotation from
Jansen).

What is most impressive is that the entire conclusion to Roger's
dissertation is built upon an egregious misreading: the "shepherd caged in
stone" is NOT Shakespeare at all. The "poet laureate" in Sheppard's poem
is NOT Shakespeare. The poet whose works are his own monument is NOT
Shakespeare.

The identification of Sheppard's "shepherd caged in stone" will appear in
my next post.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Terry Ross Visit the SHAKESPEARE AUTHORSHIP home page
http://ShakespeareAuthorship.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Terry Ross

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Jan 2, 2003, 10:56:44 AM1/2/03
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In the last chapter of his dissertation, Roger Stritmatter identified
Shakespeare as the "Shepheard cag'd in stone" in Samuel Sheppard's "Third
Pastoral" (published 1651). If he had looked more closely at Sheppard's
poem and the context in which it appeared, Stritmatter would have known
that Shakespeare was NOT the "Shepheard cag'd in stone," because EVERY
part of the description fits another poet much more closely. It is not
that Shakespeare is one of a number of plausible candidates; if one wishes
to argue for someone other than the poet I will name, that alternative
poet may be a contemporary of the poet I name, but it will not be
Shakespeare.

Here is part of Sheppard's poem in which a character named Linus praises
some recent English poets:

Yes Coridon, Ile tell thee then,
Not long agoe liv'd learned Ben,
He whose songs, they say, out-vie
All Greek and Latine Poesie,
Who chanted on his pipe Divine,
The overthrow of Cataline,
Both Kings and Princesses of might,
To heare his Layes did take delight,
The Arcadian Shepheards wonder all,
To heare him sing Sejanus fall,
O thou renowned Shepheard, we
Shall ne're have one againe like thee,
With him contemporary then,
(As Naso, and fam'd Maro, when
Our sole Redeemer took his birth)


Shakespeare trod on English earth,
His Muse doth merit more rewards

Then all the Greek, or Latine Bards,
What flowd from him, was purely rare,
As born to blesse the Theater,
He first refin'd the Commick Lyre,
His Wit all do, and shall admire,
The chiefest glory of the Stage,
Or when he sung of war and Strage,
Melpomene soon viewd the globe,
Invelop'd in her sanguine Robe,


He that his worth would truely sing,
Must quaffe the whole Pierian spring.
And now---(be gone ye gastfull feares
Alas I cannot speak for teares)

There is a Shepheard cag'd in stone


Destin'd unto destruction,
Worthy of all before him were,
Apollo him doth first preferre,
Renowned Lawreate be comtent,
Thy workes are thine own Monument.

The most obvious disqualification of Shakespeare is that the "Shepheard
cag'd in stone" is alive at the time of Sheppard's Third Pastoral, while
Shakespeare is not. Shakespeare belongs with Ben Jonson to an earlier
generation of poets. After praising Ben Jonson, Sheppard's Linus
introduces Shakespeare:

With him [Jonson] contemporary then,
(As Naso, and fam'd Maro, when
Our sole Redeemer took his birth)


Shakespeare trod on English earth,

"Naso" is Ovid and "Maro" is Virgil; both lived near the time Jesus was
born; like the Roman poets, Jonson and Shakespeare were contemporaries.
For some reason, Stritmatter did not quote the lines where Sheppard said
Shakespeare was contemporary with Jonson.

Unlike Jonson and Shakespeare, the "Shepheard cag'd in stone" is alive at
the time Sheppard writes. While Shakespeare and Jonson lived in the
"then," the "Shepheard cag'd in stone" lives in the "now":

And now---(be gone ye gastfull feares
Alas I cannot speak for teares)

There is a Shepheard cag'd in stone


Destin'd unto destruction,
Worthy of all before him were,
Apollo him doth first preferre,
Renowned Lawreate be comtent,
Thy workes are thine own Monument.


The "Shepheard cag'd in stone" is not only Samuel Sheppard's contemporary;
he is at the time Sheppard writes
1. caged in stone
2. destinerd unto destruction
3. a renowned "laureate"
4. a poet whose works are his monument

Let us take these factors one at a time.

Stritmatter takes "caged in stone" metaphorically, but it may have a more
literal meaning than he has imagined. Sheppard's Third Pastoral was
published in 1651, two years after King Charles had been executed, and
includes a carefully cautious and cautioning poem to Cromwell. Sheppard's
1648 tract *The Faerie Leveller* was a remarkable appropriation of Spenser
to the England of the 1640s; Sheppard attacks Cromwell in very strong
terms, welcoming reports of his death, comparing him to Judas, and
identifying him with the egalitarian giant (or "Gyant Leveller" in
Sheppard's words) of *The Faerie Queene*, while King Charles is identified
as Spenser's Artegall.

A number of poets who supported the royalist cause in the 1640s spent time
in prison. Richard Lovelace's most famous poem, "To Althea, from Prison,"
includes these lines, which will be familiar to most readers:

Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;

This poem was published in Lovelace's *Lucasta* in 1549, two years before
Sheppard's Third Pastoral was published. Lovelace's support for King
Charles had led to his imprisonment in early 1642 (his poem is generally
dated to this time) and again in 1648-49. It would be tempting to think
that Sheppard's description of the "Shepheard cag'd in stone" owes
something to Lovelace, especially if one considers the possibility that
while the Third Pastoral was printed in 1651, it could have been written
earlier.

So is Lovelace the "Shepheard cag'd in stone"? I don't think so, but the
grounds for Lovelace are stronger than they are for Shakespeare; we're on
the right track with Lovelace, but the poet we are seeking is not merely a
contemporary of Sheppard (as Lovelace was and as Shakespeare was not), not
merely a loyalist who was imprisoned (as Lovelace was and Shakespeare was
not), but probably one who was still in prison in 1651, one who in 1651
was "destined unto destruction," one who in 1651 was a poet Sheppard would
have called a "laureate," and one whose own works would, according to
Sheppard, be his "monument."

The one contemporary poet who best satisfies all these conditions is
William Davenant. Davenant had been awarded an annual stipend of 100
pounds from King Charles in 1638, and he was considered the successor to
Jonson as poet laureate (Jonson had died in 1637). Sheppard himself
referred to Davenant in those terms in a poem that appeared in the same
1651 volume as his Third Pastoral:

To the most excellent Poet, Sir William Davenant

VVhat though some shallow Sciolists dare prate,
And scoffing thee; Apollo nauseate:
What Venus hath snatch'd from thee, cruelly,
Minerva, with advantage doth supply:
Johnson is dead, let Sherly stoope to Fate,
And thou alone, art Poet Lawreate.

Although Sheppard praised Shakespeare in a number of poems, he never
refers to him as poet laureate.

In 1641, Davenant had been charged by Parliament with treasonable conduct,
and was threatened with execution. He served with Royalist forces in
1642-43, and was knighted by the king in 1643. After the execution of
Charles I in 1649, Davenant served his exiled son, who commissioned
Davenant Governor of Maryland. Davenant set off for America, but was
captured by forces friendly to Parliament and was imprisoned on the Isle
of Wight, and later held in the Tower of London. He remained a prisoner
until 1652, when he was released on bail (John Milton may have interceded
for him).

Thus, in 1651, at the time Sheppard's Third Pastoral appeared, Davenant
was indeed "caged in stone" and "threatened with destruction" as a
prisoner awaiting trial for his crimes against the current government.

Sheppard seems to have anticipated the possible execution of the
"Shepheard cag'd in stone" (and if Parliament could execute the king, it
could execute anybody), but he said to the poet, "be content, / Thy works
are thine own Monument." As Stritmatter notes, this sounds like an
allusion to John Milton's poem on Shakespeare, but indeed the thought that
a poet's works were his or her true monument was a conventional one that
Sheppard himself used elsewhere -- although never of Shakespeare. Here,
for example, is the conclusion of Sheppard's poem "On Mr. Spencers
inimitable Poem, the Faerie Queen":

Niggardly Nation be asham'd of this,
A Tombe for thy great Poet wanting is,
While fooles, not worth the naming, seated high
On Sepulchers of Marble God-like lie:
The learned in obscurity are thrust,
But yet their Names shall long out-live their dust:
Although Great Spencer they did thee interre,
Not Rearing to thy name a Sepulcher,
Yet thou hast one shall last to the last day,
Thy Faerie Queen, which never shall decay:
This is a Poets Priviledge, although
His person among sordid dolts do goe
Unto the Grave, his Name shall ever live,
And spite of Time, or Malice shall survive.

By contrast, in the poem "In Memory of our Famous Shakespeare", Sheppard
promises to honor Shakespeare by visiting his actual grave:

Where thy honoured bones do lie
(As Statius once to Maro's Urne)
Thither every year will I
Slowly tread, and sadly mourn.

Would Sheppard have considered Davenant's works his monument? He would
indeed; here a Sheppard poem that appeared in the same 1651 volume as his
Third Pastoral:

On Mr. Davenants most excellent Tragedy of Albovinek of Lombards

Shakespeares Othello, Johnsons Cataline,
Would lose the their luster, were thy Albovine
Placed betwixt them, and as when the Sunne,
Doth whirling in his fiery Chariot runne,
All other lights burn dim, so this thy play,
Shall be accepted as the Sun-shine day:
While other witts (like Tapers) onely seems
Good in the want of thy Refulgent beames.
This Tragedy (let who list dare dissent)
Shall be thy everlasting Monument.


By way of recapitulation, let's look once more at Sheppard's lines on the
"Shepheard cag'd in stone":

And now---(be gone ye gastfull feares
Alas I cannot speak for teares)

There is a Shepheard cag'd in stone


Destin'd unto destruction,
Worthy of all before him were,
Apollo him doth first preferre,
Renowned Lawreate be comtent,
Thy workes are thine own Monument.


The "Shepheard cag'd in stone" was Sheppard's contemporary ("now" in
1651), belonging, like Davenant, to a later generation than Jonson and
Shakespeare ("then"). In 1651, Davenant was in prison ("cag'd in stone")
awaiting trial ("Destin'd unto destruction") for actions against a regime
that Sheppard had opposed in his own writings. Sheppard addressed the
"Shepheard cag'd in stone" as "renowned Laureate"; in another poem
published in 1651 he says of Davenant, "thou alone, art Poet Lawreate."
Sheppard says of the "Shepheard cag'd in stone," Thy workes are thine own
Monument"; he said of Davenant in another poem published in 1651, "This
Tragedy ... Shall be thy everlasting Monument."

While Sheppard greatly admired Shakespeare, every detail of his
description of the "Shepheard cag'd in stone" points to William Davenant.

Stritmatter in his dissertation asserts rather than supporting his belief
that Shakespeare was the "Shepheard cag'd in stone." He refers to
Sheppard's "testimony," but he does not appear to have made the effort to
look at the volume in which Sheppard's poem appears; it is not even clear
that he has read the entire poem. Stritmatter complains that the passage
"appears in no Shakespearean allusion books and ... has never been
reprinted" [395]. Actually, the part of Sheppard's Third Pastoral that
DOES concern Shakespeare may be found in *The Shakespeare Allusion Book*.
Sheppard's lines about the "Shepheard cag'd in stone" would more properly
appear in a collection of allusions to Davenant, if such a thing were to
be produced.

Pakshre

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Jan 2, 2003, 12:57:38 PM1/2/03
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>Stritmatter in his dissertation asserts rather than supporting his belief
>that Shakespeare was the "Shepheard cag'd in stone." He refers to
>Sheppard's "testimony," but he does not appear to have made the effort to
>look at the volume in which Sheppard's poem appears; it is not even clear
>that he has read the entire poem. Stritmatter complains that the passage
>"appears in no Shakespearean allusion books and ... has never been
>reprinted" [395]. Actually, the part of Sheppard's Third Pastoral that
>DOES concern Shakespeare may be found in *The Shakespeare Allusion Book*.
>Sheppard's lines about the "Shepheard cag'd in stone" would more properly
>appear in a collection of allusions to Davenant, if such a thing were to
>be produced.
>

And I am so happy that I did not take a degree from UMass!


Bob Grumman

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Jan 2, 2003, 3:06:30 PM1/2/03
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Great job, Terry--fun to see more Stritmatter errors exposed, and yet
another example of the way Shakespeare-Rejecters interpret texts, but also
good to learn of another minor poet, Sheppard, and his interesting times.
So chalk up another victory for The Authorship Controversy's ability to open
up areas of literary history to the general public that would otherwise
likely darken into unread scholarly theses at best.

--Bob G.

"Terry Ross" <tr...@bcpl.net> wrote in message
news:Pine.GSO.4.50.0301021042030.18010-100000@mail...

David Kathman

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Jan 2, 2003, 9:58:27 PM1/2/03
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In article <Pine.GSO.4.50.0301020933100.8664-100000@mail>, Terry Ross
<tr...@bcpl.net> wrote:

He also refers to a nonexistent "dispute over the creation of


a monument for Shakespeare in Westminster Cathedral which seems
to have erupted not long after the publication of the first folio."

The poems by Basse and Jonson might be characterized by the
excessively charitable as a "dispute", but the issue there
was Shakespeare's potential interrment in Westminster *Abbey*;
Westminster *Cathedral* is a completely different building
about half a mile away, not built until nearly 300 years after
Shakespeare's death. I expect such howlers from Roger, whose
astonishing ignorance I have come to take for granted, but
where was his committee in all this? Shouldn't they have
caught at least a few of the gaffes which literally pepper
every page? I can't imagine that they actually read this
dissertation, at least not if they wanted to avoid having
ridicule heaped on UMass Amherst.

Dave Kathman
dj...@ix.netcom.com

Tom Veal

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Jan 3, 2003, 8:37:30 AM1/3/03
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There has to be a story behind UMass's willingness to award a
doctorate for work that would be unacceptable from a sophomore. If
the world at large cared about the authorship "controversy", Dr.
Stritmatter's dissertation would be as huge a scandal as Michael
Bellesiles' "Arming America" - or huger, for "Arming America" is on
its face sober and scholarly, while the Stritmatter opus is replete
with obvious errors, up to and including misquotations of Shakespeare!

Perhaps Dr. Stritmatter makes a much better impression in person than
he does on paper, or perhaps I have the wrong impression of what it
takes to obtain a Ph.D. Is the degree simply an award for taking the
proper courses and turning in the required number of pages of vaguely
literate prose?

"David Kathman" <dj...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message news:<av2uad$i4c$1...@slb6.atl.mindspring.net>...

Terry Ross

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Jan 3, 2003, 4:37:45 PM1/3/03
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On Fri, 3 Jan 2003, Tom Veal wrote:

> There has to be a story behind UMass's willingness to award a doctorate
> for work that would be unacceptable from a sophomore. If the world at
> large cared about the authorship "controversy", Dr. Stritmatter's
> dissertation would be as huge a scandal as Michael Bellesiles' "Arming
> America" - or huger, for "Arming America" is on its face sober and
> scholarly, while the Stritmatter opus is replete with obvious errors, up
> to and including misquotations of Shakespeare!

It would take a work far longer than Roger's dissertation to list all that
is wrong with it. Interested readers can find some of Tom Veal's
observations at

http://members.tripod.com/stromata/id288.htm

Thomas Larque's series of posts on what Roger calls Shakespeare
"diagnostics" are available via google, as are comments I, David Webb,
and others have made.

>
> Perhaps Dr. Stritmatter makes a much better impression in person than he
> does on paper, or perhaps I have the wrong impression of what it takes
> to obtain a Ph.D. Is the degree simply an award for taking the proper
> courses and turning in the required number of pages of vaguely literate
> prose?

I believe universities generally trust their departments; if the
Comparative Literature department accepts the dissertation, the university
is not going to second-guess that decision.

Roger's may not be the worst dissertation ever accepted by U Mass, but I'd
hate to have to sift through the other contenders. I don't know whether
the Bellesiles case is comparable. Bellesiles was a historian who was
found to have deliberately falsified evidence; if he had merely been
careless or sloppy, he might not have been forced to quit.

Does Roger misrepresent evidence? Even if one decides that the answer is
probably "yes," Roger is not a historian, and his work is so sloppy in so
many different ways that it would be very difficult to show that he
deliberately violated whatever standards of scholarship U Mass expects its
graduate students to live up to. He probably did his level best.

Bellesiles's book was widely (and, in the most influential organs,
favorably) reviewed. It won the Bancroft Prize (a few weeks ago, Columbia
University, which awards the Bancroft, rescinded the prize and asked
Bellesiles to return the money he had received). Bellesiles's book became
a target for libertarians, gun-lovers, and right-wingers in general, and
he was lionized by many on the left or who favored gun control.

By contrast, Roger's dissertation is only of interest to a few small
groups of readers (Oxfordians and those who bother with them). There is
no political angle here, nothing to pit right wing against left wing, no
particular reason to make Roger a notable target or ally. My own guess is
that Roger had been a graduate student at U Mass long enough and had been
working on his project long enough for him to get a pass, although it
probably didn't feel like a pass to Roger. If the members of his
dissertation panel actually read the thing, they could not have done so
with much care. They may have thought he had earned his Ph.D. by doing
his time, and it didn't much matter what was in his dissertation.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Terry Ross Visit the SHAKESPEARE AUTHORSHIP home page
http://ShakespeareAuthorship.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------


>

Clayton E. Cramer

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Jan 3, 2003, 6:12:54 PM1/3/03
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Tom...@ix.netcom.com (Tom Veal) wrote in message news:<c87247a2.03010...@posting.google.com>...

> There has to be a story behind UMass's willingness to award a
> doctorate for work that would be unacceptable from a sophomore. If
> the world at large cared about the authorship "controversy", Dr.
> Stritmatter's dissertation would be as huge a scandal as Michael
> Bellesiles' "Arming America" - or huger, for "Arming America" is on
> its face sober and scholarly, while the Stritmatter opus is replete
> with obvious errors, up to and including misquotations of Shakespeare!

_Arming America_ is also "replete with obvious errors." Many were
howlers so obvious that no serious historian of the colonial or
early Republic periods could have been taken in. (Alas, nearly all
were.)

Academic standards seem to have fallen quite dramatically in the
last 20 years, perhaps because standards imply dangerous binary
dichotomies such as truth vs. falsity. This could lead to the even
more dangerous idea that 2+2 can't equal whatever the Party says it does.

Richard Nathan

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Jan 3, 2003, 9:29:31 PM1/3/03
to
I'm suprised that no one else has pointed out that Stritmatter has
also got Prospero and THE TEMPEST wrong.

(snip) Terry Ross
> <tr...@bcpl.net> wrote quoted as follows:



The following is the last part of Roger's dissertation (from pages
395-96).

(snip)

>The image of Shakespeare as a "Shepherd cag'd in stone" vividly
recalls
>the purgatorial condition of Prospero at the close of the *Tempest*,
caged
>within his own magic circle and making [a] heartfelt appeal to
readers to
>heed his words and free him.


Prospero is not caged "within his own magic circle." Prospero has
given up his magic. To the extent he is caged, it is by the
audience's spell - NOT Prospero's own magic. It is the audience that
has Propsero under its power and it is the audience that may free
Prospero.

Saying Prospero is caged within his own magic circle is flat out
wrong.

David Kathman

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Jan 3, 2003, 10:24:37 PM1/3/03
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In article <fe178efa.03010...@posting.google.com>,
richard...@att.net (Richard Nathan) wrote:

You're right, and I noticed Stritmatter's bizarre reading of the
end of The Tempest, but I chose to post about the more
factual error regarding Westminster "Cathedral". Correcting
all of Stritmatter's errors and misreadings, even for a short
passage, would be like cleansing the Augean stables. Although
Tom Veal does make an excellent attempt for one 750-word passge
from the dissertation, in which correcting the errors takes
more than twice as long as the passage itself:

http://members.tripod.com/stromata/id288.htm

(Scroll down to March 16, 2002.)

Dave Kathman
dj...@ix.netcom.com

David Kathman

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Jan 3, 2003, 10:27:14 PM1/3/03
to
In article <Pine.GSO.4.50.0301030926310.10227-100000@mail>, Terry Ross
<tr...@bcpl.net> wrote:

>On Fri, 3 Jan 2003, Tom Veal wrote:
>
>> There has to be a story behind UMass's willingness to award a doctorate
>> for work that would be unacceptable from a sophomore. If the world at
>> large cared about the authorship "controversy", Dr. Stritmatter's
>> dissertation would be as huge a scandal as Michael Bellesiles' "Arming
>> America" - or huger, for "Arming America" is on its face sober and
>> scholarly, while the Stritmatter opus is replete with obvious errors, up
>> to and including misquotations of Shakespeare!
>
>It would take a work far longer than Roger's dissertation to list all that
>is wrong with it. Interested readers can find some of Tom Veal's
>observations at
>
> http://members.tripod.com/stromata/id288.htm

Sorry; I just posted this URL elsewhere in this thread before
I had read this post.

Dave Kathman
dj...@ix.netcom.com

richard kennedy

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Jan 4, 2003, 11:38:12 AM1/4/03
to
Welcome to Cramer and this nice observation:

"Academic standards seem to have fallen quite
dramatically in the last 20 years, perhaps because
standards imply dangerous binary dichotomies such
as truth vs. falsity. This could lead to the even
more dangerous idea that 2+2 can't equal whatever
the Party says it does."

That's right, "lies are truth" or we'll turn the
machine up another notch. Not a single American
academic put up any resistance against Foster and
the Funeral Elegy. Tenure is more precious than
study, just follow the goat and everything will be
fine.

Terry Ross

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Jan 4, 2003, 4:09:38 PM1/4/03
to
On Sat, 4 Jan 2003, richard kennedy wrote:

> Welcome to Cramer and this nice observation:
>
>
> "Academic standards seem to have fallen quite dramatically in the last
> 20 years, perhaps because standards imply dangerous binary dichotomies
> such as truth vs. falsity. This could lead to the even more dangerous
> idea that 2+2 can't equal whatever the Party says it does."

One of the strongest and ultimately most effective critics of Bellesiles
was Clayton Cramer, whose home page is http://www.claytoncramer.com

The Investigative Committee Report commissioned by Bellesiles's former
employer Emory University is here:
http://www.emory.edu/central/NEWS/Releases/Final_Report.pdf

Bellesiles's reaction to the Report is here:
http://www.emory.edu/central/NEWS/Releases/B_statement.pdf

I don't know whether the Bellesiles matter supports Cramer's general
conclusion. His work was evaluated both within and without the academy,
and he ultimately lost his job at Emory for failing to live up to the
professional standards expected of Emory historians. I don't know (I hope
I don't know) what Cramer means by "the Party," but whatever influence he
imagines it (or should I say "It") possesses did not protect Bellesiles
from his own unprofessionalism.

Much of what was said both in favor and against Bellesiles seemed a
reflection of the speakers' views about guns rather than about historical
inquiry. I don't know that the opinions of any particular "Party" are at
issue here. Historians must be free to explore unpopular ideas, but when
they flout the accepted standards of their profession, they should be held
accountable. They should not be bound by any Party's preconceptions of
the truth, even if that Party is one that Cramer belongs to.

>
> That's right, "lies are truth" or we'll turn the machine up another
> notch. Not a single American academic put up any resistance against
> Foster and the Funeral Elegy. Tenure is more precious than study, just
> follow the goat and everything will be fine.
>

You're drawing the wrong conclusion, and not merely because you're
operating on the basis of incorrect information; the story of how the
attribution of the *Funeral Elegy* shifted from possibly by Shakespeare to
(for many but by no means all scholars in the field) probably by
Shakespeare to probably by Ford could form the basis of a case study
showing the value of professional scholarship. One of the reasons
antistratfordiansims does not deserve to be taken seriously is that is is
not practiced seriously. There is no professionalism, and almost nothing
that merits the term "scholarship."

Thus, for example, Oxfordian attempts to attribute the works of Golding or
Gascoigne to Oxford cannot be answered within the normal scholarly
procedures of Oxfordianism because there are no normal scholarly
procedures of Oxfordianism. On the other hand, Foster's arguments in
favor of Shakespeare's authorship of the *Funeral Elegy* were
substantially made in terms that scholars could not only understand but
evaluate, and the shift of the attribution to Ford was similarly done on
the basis of scholarly methods that were meaningful to literary
historians. Of course the set of methods used by scholars in a field
changes over time, and one effect of the *Funeral Elegy* matter is that
computer-assisted stylometric attribution studies may generally be
regarded with more skepticism for a time.

That Roger Stritmatter's dissertation was accepted is one more sign of the
imperfection of the scholarly procedures in place today, but that hardly
invalidates the entire system. As for whether academic standards have
fallen in the last 20 years -- well, there were those 20 years ago who
lamented the great falling off they thought had occurred since the
previous generation, and no doubt similar complaints were heard in the
generations before that. It may be that some generations of scholars are
weaker than others, but time has a way of gleaning much of the better from
any era.

With Oxfordians, no such gleaning seems possible. Each generation repeats
many of the same inanities that beclouded its elders; its enthusiasms are
not subject to the correction that professional scholarship can provide,
and has provided in the cases of Bellesiles and *Funeral Elegy*, because,
as David Kathman has noted,

"Oxfordians typically ignore or rationalize away the external evidence,
relying instead on notoriously subjective internal evidence; they apply a
sometimes radical double standard in order to make Shakespeare look bad in
comparison to other playwrights, and to make Oxford look good; they
confidently interpret texts without looking at the context those texts
appeared in; they are distressingly reluctant to criticize previous
Oxfordian writers, even when those writers are clearly wrong."

http://ShakespeareAuthorship.com/whynot.html

Tom Veal

unread,
Jan 4, 2003, 5:58:26 PM1/4/03
to
So the "Stratford Establishment" is omnipotent in America but not in
England? Does that mean that scores of English academics have
produced anti-Stratfordian scholarship that the Establishment has kept
from crossing to this side of the Atlantic?

BTW, should I ever offer a conjecture about the authorship of a
Jacobean work and should that conjecture subsequently become the
consensus of scholarly opinion, I shall bow gracefully and accept the
world's plaudits, not rage bitterly at the fact that those who
disagreed with me (and now acknowledge that I was right) haven't been
burnt at the stake.

stai...@charter.net (richard kennedy) wrote in message news:<32b2d000.03010...@posting.google.com>...

Ken Kaplan

unread,
Jan 4, 2003, 10:27:38 PM1/4/03
to
The problem ,dear Terry, from my perspective is that as much as there
is some truth to what you say, the same monstous double standard you
and Sir David propound for Oxfordians is rampant in the field of
Shakespearean biography. Even the "best" of them are propped up by
mountains of air. As much as I often admire your good work, I can not
abide your constant ignoring of the deep problematic issues within
your own community, the denial you engage in when confronted by a
strong arhument, and your refusal to accept the shoddiness in your own
work when it appears.

Furthermore, it would be useful in the future to stop catagorizing
"all Oxfordians" as a singular bunch. Folks like Bob Brazil, John
Rollet, Christopher Paul, and many others have done fine work, are
very serious in their investigations, and quite rigorous. One of your
great weaknessness in this debate (and mostly on this forum) is to
find the most critical stance possible without acknowledging the
strengths others may also bring.

Kathman reamed Kennedy for years, but who was right on the "Elegy"
issue? And Kennedy is an Oxfordian. You and Kathman are Stratfordians.
Where is the superior scholarship on that issue?

Your refusal to see the areas of gray diminishes you in my view.

Ken Kaplan


Terry Ross <tr...@bcpl.net> wrote in message news:<Pine.GSO.4.50.0301041221300.138-100000@mail>...

richard kennedy

unread,
Jan 5, 2003, 4:15:24 AM1/5/03
to
Ross made a long post for something that can be briefly
said. It has just happened that all the correct
scholarly procedure was laid on the Funeral Elegy
and everybody was wrong, and Ross wants to make it plain
that they were all wrong according to the rules of
"professional scholarship", which makes it okay. Ross
said it like this:

"...the story of how the attribution of the *Funeral

Elegy* shifted from possibly by Shakespeare to(for
many but by no means all scholars in the field) probably
by Shakespeare to probably by Ford could form the basis
of a case study showing the value of professional
scholarship."

This is goofy. Commenting on such a "value" would be
like complimenting yourself for being blind, deaf, dumb,
crippled, and stupid. The rest of the post wanders,
dreary, trying to get us to go to sleep again.

Bob Grumman

unread,
Jan 5, 2003, 8:14:56 AM1/5/03
to
> The problem ,dear Terry, from my perspective is that as much as there
> is some truth to what you say, the same monstous double standard you
> and Sir David propound for Oxfordians is rampant in the field of
> Shakespearean biography.

Wrong, wack. Most Shakespearean biographers tell us where they are
speculating, and their guesses are PLAUSIBLE (i.e., not dependent on hugely
complex conspiracies or non-conspiracies that work just like conspiracies).
More important, biographers are not out to make attributions but to
entertainingly tell life stories. Terry and David are comparing the double
standards of Shakespeare-rejecters in the field of attribution studies to
the practice of real scholars in that field. Writers of biographies have
NOTHING to do with their comparison.

--Bob G.


Bob Grumman

unread,
Jan 5, 2003, 8:17:47 AM1/5/03
to
> Kathman reamed Kennedy for years, but who was right on the "Elegy"
> issue? And Kennedy is an Oxfordian. You and Kathman are Stratfordians.
> Where is the superior scholarship on that issue?

With Foster, Ross and Kathman. Kennedy made a guess based on the stupidity
that Shakespeare could not write lines Kennedy didn't like; some real
scholars think his guess was correct--for saner reasons.

--Bob G.


Terry Ross

unread,
Jan 5, 2003, 9:02:32 AM1/5/03
to
On Sat, 4 Jan 2003, Ken Kaplan wrote:

> The problem ,dear Terry, from my perspective is that as much as there is
> some truth to what you say, the same monstous double standard you and
> Sir David propound for Oxfordians is rampant in the field of
> Shakespearean biography. Even the "best" of them are propped up by
> mountains of air.

As you said, you are writing from your own perspective. That is a
perspective that is demonstrably susceptible to falling for all sorts of
Oxfordian blather -- you won't like the word "blather," but you must know
how often you have been powerfully swayed by an Oxfordian claim that you
only believed because it was advanced by an Oxfordian, and how often that
claim has been revealed to be completely without merit.

And yet you never seem to question whether there might not be something
wrong with your "perspective." If I had been misled as often as
Oxfordians have misled you (I do not say they mean to mislead you;
typically in such cases they know not whereof they speak), I would no
longer trust the "perspective" that had so often betrayed me.

> As much as I often admire your good work, I can not abide your constant
> ignoring of the deep problematic issues within your own community, the
> denial you engage in when confronted by a strong arhument, and your
> refusal to accept the shoddiness in your own work when it appears.

I have NEVER seen a strong argument that Shakespeare did not and Oxford
did write the works of Shakespeare. I have repeatedly asked Oxfordians to
tell me what their strongest arguments were, so that I might confront
them. The Shakespeare Authorship page that Dave Kathman and I run deals
with a great many arguments that antistratfordians have said were
"strong," and counters to many other antistratfordian arguments have been
posted on hlas. We have often received the backhanded compliment that
while some of our criticisms may have some force, we have only taken on
the "weak" arguments, but it often seems that what makes an argument
"weak" is that Dave or I have countered it, and before we took it on, it
had still been classed as "strong."

I have always welcomed correction of any errors in my own work. I hope I
have generally avoided "shoddiness," but we are all imperfect beings, and
when my mistakes are corrected, my work is the better for it. If you have
specific corrections, please send them along. On the other hand, if all
you have is a general whine about my blindness or unfairness -- well, you
can send that along as well, if you must, but it's not something I'll feel
obliged to act on.

So tell me, what is the "strong argument" you have in mind? Show me your
STRONGEST argument that Oxford did and Shakespeare did not write the works
(or any particular work) of Shakespeare.

I will expect you to post that STRONGEST Oxfordian argument here. I will
expect you to tell us that you consider this argument among the STRONGEST
establishing that Oxford did and Shakespeare did not write the works.

One difference between you and Roger Stritmatter (with whom I have
disagreed from time to time) is that Roger stands behind his beliefs. I
have had occasion to tell Roger he's wrong about this matter or that, and
sometimes he agrees with me (he has also on occasion told me that I was
wrong, if you can imagine such nerve). You, Ken, seem reluctant to put
yourself on the line as Roger does. That is why I would welcome your
telling us all what you think is among the STRONGEST arguments that Oxford
did and Shakespeare did not write the works of Shakespeare. Surely there
is SOME reason why you stick to your "perspective."

So when I said "I will expect you" to post that STRONGEST argument here, I
didn't really mean it. I don't expect you to stand behind your beliefs as
Roger stands behind his. So why not surprise me and tell us all what you
think is one of the STRONGEST arguments that Oxford did and Shakespeare
did not write the works? Put yourself on the line.

>
> Furthermore, it would be useful in the future to stop catagorizing "all
> Oxfordians" as a singular bunch. Folks like Bob Brazil, John Rollet,
> Christopher Paul, and many others have done fine work, are very serious
> in their investigations, and quite rigorous. One of your great
> weaknessness in this debate (and mostly on this forum) is to find the
> most critical stance possible without acknowledging the strengths others
> may also bring.

I looked to see if I had ever used the phrase "all Oxfordians" in the way
Ken objects to. I did once, almost two years ago -- January 6, 2001:

"All Oxfordians are contaminated by the mistakes and laziness of Looney,
Ward, Clark, Miller, and generations of Ogburns."

The fact that I have NOT used "all Oxfordians" in a way Ken would object
two for almost two years should show Ken that his complaint is a very weak
one. As for my statement of two years ago, I will retract or modify it if
Ken can name ONE Oxfordian to whom it does not apply.


Here is a sample of Brazil's "very serious" prose based on what Ken calls
his "investigations," which appear to consist of the "rigorous"
transcribing of the sometimes unjustified beliefs of earlier Oxfordians:

================

Polonius, the statesman, and Hamlet's keeper, is the mirror of Lord
Burghley, who was young Oxford's master and then his father-in-law. In the
first edition of Hamlet, 1603, the Polonius character is called Corambis.
Burghley's family motto was "Cor Unum Una Via" which means "One Heart, One
Way." Thus "Cor-ambis" would mean "Wandering Heart". Lord Burghley was
even referred to in his time as Polus, as in the Pole-Star around which
everything else revolves. Polonius' famous admonitions to Hamlet consist
of near verbatim expressions from Burghley's own private writings! We have
this "smoking gun" of evidence because Burghley's advice, written before
the 1590's to counsel his son Robert Cecil, were published in 1618, long
after both father and son were dead. Hamlet first appeared in print in
1603. Shaksper-of-Stratford, who died in 1616, could not have had access
to the Burghley's manuscript, published or unpublished. But Oxford, the
real author of Hamlet, knew the Cecil family as well as anyone, having
grown up in it, and married into it. The bulk of the surviving letters in
Oxford's hand were addressed to either William or Robert Cecil.

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Thebes/4260/book1.html

=========

How many errors can YOU find in the above passage, Ken? How many can you
find throughout Brazil's writings? Why do admire such stuff as this?

Rollett's claims to have found valid ciphers in the dedication to
*Shakespeare's Sonnets* is neither "fine" work nor "rigorous." I will
give Rollett credit for finding the reference to the queen while she was
still alive as "our ever-living empress" and for his debunking the notion
that the Bulbeck arms in Oxford's day showed a lion with a broken spear,
but neither of those discoveries has advanced the claim that Oxford did
and Shakespeare did not write the works of Shakespeare. Despite Rollett's
discoveries. other Oxfordians continue to repeat what Rollett has
debunked, which reaffirms that Oxfordianism is not a self-correcting
process.

I haven't seen much of Christopher Paul's writings; I must have missed all
the good stuff.

>
> Kathman reamed Kennedy for years, but who was right on the "Elegy"
> issue? And Kennedy is an Oxfordian. You and Kathman are Stratfordians.
> Where is the superior scholarship on that issue?

I have repeatedly given Kennedy full credit for being the first to name
Ford; that he had also named Chapman and had also suggested an unnamed
member of "a stable of elegy writers" should not be held against him.
Kennedy's posts did not constitute a better case for Ford's authorship
than for Shakespeare's authorship of the *Funeral Elegy*, but they were
instrumental in the process that led to the work by Monsarrat and Vickers
that HAS produced a stronger case for Ford than exists for Shakespeare.
As you will recall, Don Foster and Richard Abrams, who had been the
staunchest advocates of Shakespeare's authorship of the *Funeral Elegy*,
publicly announced that they now thought the case for Ford was superior,
but what persuaded them was the weight of superior scholarship, and their
own fresh looks at the evidence in light of the growing case for Ford.

Gee, does this mean scholars may change their minds and yet still be
scholars?

Vickers's attribution of the *Funeral Elegy* to Simon Wastell was
mistaken, but his current arguments in favor of Ford are very powerful.
I recommend his book to anybody interested in the question or in
attribution studies generally. I do not say that since he was wrong about
Wastell, he should be drummed out of the ranks of scholars.

I have already explained why I believe the shifting attributions of the
*Funeral Elegy* and the Bellesiles affair demonstrate the power of
professional scholarship, and why antistratfordianism is typically
incapable of the kind of corrective process that is built into the system
of professional scholarship that has evolved in the last century.

>
> Your refusal to see the areas of gray diminishes you in my view.

I'll get over it.

As for your continued enslavement to your Oxfordian perspective -- despite
all you now know about its weaknesses -- you will be happy to know that it
does not diminish you one angstrom in my view.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Terry Ross Visit the SHAKESPEARE AUTHORSHIP home page
http://ShakespeareAuthorship.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------


>
> Ken Kaplan

[snip my earlier post]

richard kennedy

unread,
Jan 5, 2003, 8:23:23 PM1/5/03
to
Terry Ross says:

"I have repeatedly asked Oxfordians to
tell me what their strongest arguments
were, so that I might confront
them."

The strongest argument the Stratfordians have,
correct me if I'm wrong, is that the name
"Shakespeare" is on some title pages.

The strongest argument the anti-Stratfordians
have, Oxford included, is that the above is a
very foolish way to decide authorship.

The most recent example is Don Foster's
identification of the Funeral Elegy, based, so
he said, on the initials "W.S." on the title
page. Evidently this is also what fooled you
and Kathman.

Art Neuendorffer

unread,
Jan 5, 2003, 10:04:01 PM1/5/03
to
Terry Ross wrote:

> I have repeatedly asked Oxfordians to tell me what their
> strongest arguments were, so that I might confront them.

It's been a long time since
you mustered up enough courage to confront me, Terry.
---------------------------------------------------------------
"I admit that some of them are not very important . . .
but look at the number of them" - Sam Spade in Maltese Falcon
---------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------

Walt Whitman's basic evaluation seems quite compelling:
-------------------------------------------------------------
<<only one of the "WOLFISH earls" so plenteous in the plays
themselves, or some born descendant and knower, might seem to
be the TRUE author of those amazing works >> --WALT WHITMAN
--------------------------------------------------------------
The only question then is just which "WOLFISH earl":

--------------------------------------------------------------
*1* It would probably be someone whose life history
was hidden in the works of Shake-speare:
[Read the Ogburns]
--------------------------------------------------------------
*2* It might very well be someone whose life history
was hidden in "the very facts" of Shakspere's life:
----------------------------------------------------------------------
<<I have heard that Mr. Shakspeare...supplied the stage with two plays
EVER year, and for itt had an allowance so large, that hee spent att
the rate of £1,000 a-year.>> - *REVEREND (john) WARD* , Diary 1661-63
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
*REVEREND WARD*

E D W A R D V E R E
R
N

Oxford earned £1,000 a-year: [June 26, 1586 - June 24, 1604]
[i.e., two plays EVERy year for 18 years]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
BAILIFF: Mining Officer who directs & lays out the MERES:
------------------------------------------------------------------
BAILIFF ______________________
GLOVEmaker- / \
BUTCHER John --------- MARY MARgerY
[could write | [could write [d. St.Adrian's Day]
his 'marke'] | her 'marke']
[bur. St.Adrian's Day] | [d. St.Adrian's Day]
___|___________
/ \ [illiterate]
MARgerY Shakspere ------------- Anne
[BROOK House] | [b. 1556]
[Shaxpere's Boys] |
[Shakspere GLOVES] |
[Golding's 'OVID'] |
[Stratford upon Avon] |
[God's 'I am that I am'] |
[1586 DEER Park poacher] |
[£1,000/year for 18 years] |
[MERES' Top 10 in comedy (1598)] |
[1608 Lessor of Blackfriars Th.] |
|
Hall M.D. -- SUSANna
[b. May 26]
[could write name]
-------------------------------------------------------------------
John ----------- MARgerY
|
______|____
/ \ m. OPALIA(1571) [Sonneteer]
MARY Oxford --------------- Anne
[BROOKE House] | [b. 1556]
[Oxford's Boys] |
[Oxford GLOVES] |
[Golding's 'OVID'] |
[Stratford atte Bowe] |
[God's 'I am that I am'] |
[1604 DEER Park warden] |
[£1,000/year for 18 years] |
[MERES' Top 10 in comedy (1598)] |
[1583 Lessor of Blackfriars Th.] |
|
Herbert (Philip) ----- SUSAN
[Folio dedicatee] [b. May 26]
[Jaggard dedicatee]
-------------------------------------------------------------------

*3* In any event, it would certainly be someone whose name
was carefully hidden in the works of Shake-speare:
------------------------------------------------------------------
UNO.VERE-VIRGIL. POET.
OUR.EVER-LIVING. POET.
NIL.VERO-VERIU(S). POET.
------------------------------------------------------------------
NIHIL.VERO-VERIUS.

. . . HIS EVER-LIVIN(G V)VOR. . .
GLORY to the DESERVED author in these his poems.

Shakespeare's _Poems_(1640) -- I. B.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
_The History of Troylus and Cresseida_ (1609)
A nEVER writer, to an EVER reader.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~lgboyd/chapter5.htm

<<The DE VERES were an ancient dynastic family seated at their ancestral
village of VER (from which they took their name), near Bayeaux and
the River VIRE, in MANCHE on the Normandy coast of present-day northern
France. The name of the town itself came from the "VER," a Norse word
meaning *FISHDAM* that the Vikings had introduced into Normandy.>>
-------------------------------------------------------------------
<<Hee [Shakespeare] was (indeed) honest, and of an open & free nature
had an excellent Phantsie ; brave notions & gentle expressions
wherein hee *FLOW'D* with that facility,
that sometime it was necessary he should be *STOP'd* :>>
---------------------------------------------------------------------
T O T H E O [N] L i E B E G E T T E R O
F T H E S E [I] n s U I N G S O N N E T
S M *r* W h a [L] L h a] P P I [N] E S S E A
N D *t* h a t [E] T [E|r] N I T [I] E P R O M
I S *E* D B Y O U [R|e] V E R [L] I V I N G
P O *E* t W i s h [E|t] H T H [E] W E L L W
I S *h* I N G A [d V e] N T U R E R I N S
E t *T* I N G
----------------------------------------------------------------------
<<[SOCRATES to Hermogenes]: *ARETE* signifying in the 1st place
ease of motion, then that the STREAM of the good soul is UNIMPEDED,
and has therefore the attribute of *EVER FLOWING* without
let or hindrance, and is therefore called *ARETE*,
or, more correctly, aeireite (EVER-FLOWING)>> - CRATYLUS by Plato
---------------------------------------------------------------------
It is *extremely* difficult to find the 28 letters of
a basic "VERONILVERIUS/THOMAS BRINCKNELL" cross:

V E R O N I L V E R I U S
L
E
N
K
C
N
I
R
B
S
A
M
O
H
T

in a string of less than 39 letters:

My 3 Million letter literary data base
contains just one 38 letter string with the
"VERONILVERIUS/THOMAS BRINCKNELL" cross:

1) "va lives that bluediorn and storridge can mak" (Finnegans Wake)
----------------------------------------------------------------
And yet, a *single Act* of _Hamlet_ (Q2 Act 4) has not one
but TWO such strings with less than 36 letters!

"CLAMBRING TO HANG, AN ENVIOUS SLIVER BROKE" 35 letters
"BLIVION, OR SOME CRAVEN SCRUPLE OF THINK" 33 letters
----------------------------------------------------------------
Estimated probability of finding the
"VERONILVERIUS/THOMAS BRINCKNELL" cross
in a given string of:

35 letters {"CLAMBRING TO HANG, AN ENVIOUS SLIVER BROKE"}

~ 1 / 50,000,000

33 letters { *BLIVION, OR SOM[E-CRAVEN-S]CRUPLE OF THINK* }

~ 1 / 1,000,000,000
------------------------------------------------------------------
Estimated probability of finding two such strings
IN A SINGLE ACT of Shakespeare :

~ 1 / 3,000,000
---------------------------------------------------------------
Art Neuendorffer

Art Neuendorffer

unread,
Jan 5, 2003, 10:28:18 PM1/5/03
to
> Terry Ross says:
>
> "I have repeatedly asked Oxfordians to
> tell me what their strongest arguments
> were, so that I might confront
> them."

richard kennedy wrote:

> The strongest argument the Stratfordians have,
> correct me if I'm wrong, is that the name
> "Shakespeare" is on some title pages.

The strongest argument the Stratfordians have,
is that many (if not most) important
& respected Shakespearean scholars claim:
-------------------------------------------------
"There's solid documentary evidence of his life
at Stratford, and of his acting life,"

"There's a clear record. The conspiracy theorists
deny him his life's work-- they see what
they want to see. They don't use the canons
of evidence that literary scholarship uses."
-------------------------------------------------
So long as there is a critical mass of such "scholars" who support
each other enough so as not to feel isolated or foolish in their
mythology Stratfordianism will continue to dominate.

AntiStrats are too unorganized and old to present a real threat.

Art Neuendorffer

Greg Reynolds

unread,
Jan 5, 2003, 11:42:56 PM1/5/03
to

Art Neuendorffer wrote:

> AntiStrats are too unorganized and old to present a real threat.
>
> Art Neuendorffer

Yes, their case is powerful and their evidence is
unquestionable but it's the disorganization and
lack of time that makes antiStrats look like total
fools who have no business even discussing the man.

Art Neuendorffer

unread,
Jan 6, 2003, 4:44:40 AM1/6/03
to
> Art Neuendorffer wrote:
>
>> AntiStrats are too unorganized and old to present a real threat.

Greg Reynolds wrote:
>
> Yes, their case is powerful and their evidence is
> unquestionable but it's the disorganization and
> lack of time that makes antiStrats look like total
> fools who have no business even discussing the man.

Strats look like total fools
who have no business even discussing the man.

It's the disorganization and lack of time
that prevents Anti-Strats from taking over.

Art Neuendorffer

Bob Grumman

unread,
Jan 6, 2003, 7:04:50 AM1/6/03
to
> Terry Ross says:
>
> "I have repeatedly asked Oxfordians to
> tell me what their strongest arguments
> were, so that I might confront
> them."
>
> The strongest argument the Stratfordians have,
> correct me if I'm wrong, is that the name
> "Shakespeare" is on some title pages.

Our strongest argument is a matter of opinion. I opt for the monument in
Shakespeare's hometown that describes him as a writer with the art of
Virgil, who is now on Mount Oympus.

> The strongest argument the anti-Stratfordians
> have, Oxford included, is that the above is a
> very foolish way to decide authorship.

Not if there is no evidence whatever against the argument and much
supporting evidence, like the monument mentioned, and the picture of the
author in a book of his works. In any case, it is no argument whatever for
Oxford, which--you may remember, was what was requested.

--Bob G.


Art Neuendorffer

unread,
Jan 6, 2003, 9:03:13 AM1/6/03
to
>>Terry Ross says:
>>
>>"I have repeatedly asked Oxfordians to
>>tell me what their strongest arguments
>>were, so that I might confront
>>them."

R.K. wrote:

>>The strongest argument the Stratfordians have,
>>correct me if I'm wrong, is that the name
>>"Shakespeare" is on some title pages.

Bob Grumman wrote:

> Our strongest argument is a matter of opinion. I opt for the monument in
> Shakespeare's hometown that describes him as a writer with the art of
> Virgil, who is now on Mount Oympus.

Is that where the illiterate boob went!

(Maybe he was Jewish after all.)

Art Neuendorffer

Bob Grumman

unread,
Jan 6, 2003, 10:16:59 AM1/6/03
to
> Bob Grumman wrote:
>
> > Our strongest argument is a matter of opinion. I opt for the monument
in
> > Shakespeare's hometown that describes him as a writer with the art of
> > Virgil, who is now on Mount Oympus.
>
> Is that where the illiterate boob went!
>
> (Maybe he was Jewish after all.)
>
> Art Neuendorffer

Virgil wasn't an illiterate boob. (Couldn't resist being an Art, even
though the joke's on me as well as him.) S.B. "and whom Mount Olympus is
said to possess." By the way, Art, Mount Olympus is in Peoria, New Dakota,
not in Jerusalem, Kansas.

--Bob G.


David L. Webb

unread,
Jan 6, 2003, 10:10:03 AM1/6/03
to
In article <3E18F7D2...@comcast.net>, Art Neuendorffer
<aneuendor...@comcast.net> (aneuendor...@comicass.nut)
wrote:

[...]


> So long as there is a critical mass of such "scholars" who support
> each other enough so as not to feel isolated or foolish in their
> mythology Stratfordianism will continue to dominate.
>
> AntiStrats are too unorganized and old to present a real threat.

Besides, anti-Stratfordians have other important pursuits that
doubtless distract them from the task at hand: exposing the NASA lunar
landing hoax, refuting special relativity, unraveling the global
Gemstone conspiracy, debunking the Bernoulli principle, proving that
AIDS is "a hoax," establishing the identity of the Lost Tribes of
Israel, proving Fermat's Last Theorem, propagadizing on behalf of
aquatic apes, decrypting Masonic ciphers, showing that John Edwards
really does talk to dead people, fabricating nonexistent doctorates,
eulogizing Peter Gay, etc. And if all this were not enough, there's
always the Franck Organ Symphony to listen to in their spare time.

Art Neuendorffer

unread,
Jan 6, 2003, 5:41:34 PM1/6/03
to
>>Terry Ross wrote:

>>>I have repeatedly asked Oxfordians to tell me what their
>>>strongest arguments were, so that I might confront them.

> Art Neuendorffer wrote:
>
>> It's been a long time since
>> you mustered up enough courage to confront me, Terry.
>>---------------------------------------------------------------
>> "I admit that some of them are not very important . . .
>> but look at the number of them" - Sam Spade in Maltese Falcon
>>---------------------------------------------------------------

David L. Webb wrote:

> "I admit that some of them are not very important . . .
> but look at the number of them"

>>---------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> Walt Whitman's basic evaluation seems quite compelling:
>>-------------------------------------------------------------
>> <<only one of the "WOLFISH earls" so plenteous in the plays
>>themselves, or some born descendant and knower, might seem to
>> be the TRUE author of those amazing works >> --WALT WHITMAN
>>--------------------------------------------------------------
>> The only question then is just which "WOLFISH earl":
>>
>>--------------------------------------------------------------
>>*1* It would probably be someone whose life history
>> was hidden in the works of Shake-speare:
>> [Read the Ogburns]

David L. Webb wrote:

> *Definitely* read the Ogburns . . . preferably the
> elder Ogburns'


>>--------------------------------------------------------------
>>*2* It might very well be someone whose life history
>> was hidden in "the very facts" of Shakspere's life:

David L. Webb wrote:

> If so, Oxford would be eliminated pretty conclusively.

If so, Oxford would be identified pretty conclusively.

>>----------------------------------------------------------------------
>><<I have heard that Mr. Shakspeare...supplied the stage with two plays
>> EVER year, and for itt had an allowance so large, that hee spent att
>> the rate of £1,000 a-year.>> - *REVEREND (john) WARD* , Diary 1661-63
>>-----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> *REVEREND WARD*
>>
>> E D W A R D V E R E
>> R
>> N

David L. Webb wrote:

> "Ern" as a VERb means to flow like a riVER, Art.

Is that a fact!

>> Oxford earned £1,000 a-year: [June 26, 1586 - June 24, 1604]
>> [i.e., two plays EVERy year for 18 years]

David L. Webb wrote:

> Do you have any evidence that he was payed for his plays, Art?

It seems more than likely.

>>-------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>>*3* In any event, it would certainly be someone whose name
>> was carefully hidden in the works of Shake-speare:
>>------------------------------------------------------------------
>> UNO.VERE-VIRGIL. POET.
>> OUR.EVER-LIVING. POET.
>> NIL.VERO-VERIU(S). POET.
>

David L. Webb wrote:

> This is a little too "carefully hidden" -
> - there is no "s" in the string "our ever-living poet,"

One must PLUCK A "G" from OUR.EVER-LIVING.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
King Richard III Act 1, Scene 1

CLARENCE Yea, Richard, when I know; for I protest

[A]s yet I do not: but, as I can learn,
[H]e hearkens after prophecies and dreams;
[A]nd from the cross-row plucks the letter G.


-----------------------------------------------------------------
>><<Hee [Shakespeare] was (indeed) honest, and of an open & free nature
>> had an excellent Phantsie ; brave notions & gentle expressions
>> wherein hee *FLOW'D* with that facility,
>> that sometime it was necessary he should be *STOP'd* :>>

David L. Webb wrote:

> Are you sure he wasn't discussing aneuendor...@comicass.nut

It's true that I am (indeed) honest, and of an open & free nature

have an excellent Phantsie ; brave notions & gentle expressions.

Art Neuendorffer

Art Neuendorffer

unread,
Jan 6, 2003, 5:41:39 PM1/6/03
to
> Art Neuendorffer wrote:

>> So long as there is a critical mass of such "scholars" who support
>> each other enough so as not to feel isolated or foolish in their
>> mythology Stratfordianism will continue to dominate.
>>
>> AntiStrats are too unorganized and old to present a real threat.

David L. Webb wrote:

> Besides, anti-Stratfordians have other important pursuits that
> doubtless distract them from the task at hand: exposing the NASA lunar
> landing hoax, refuting special relativity, unraveling the global
> Gemstone conspiracy, debunking the Bernoulli principle, proving that
> AIDS is "a hoax," establishing the identity of the Lost Tribes of
> Israel, proving Fermat's Last Theorem, propagadizing on behalf of
> aquatic apes, decrypting Masonic ciphers, showing that John Edwards
> really does talk to dead people, fabricating nonexistent doctorates,
> eulogizing Peter Gay, etc. And if all this were not enough, there's
> always the Franck Organ Symphony to listen to in their spare time.

I'll pick: "decrypting Masonic ciphers" , thank you.

Art Neuendorffer

Ken Kaplan

unread,
Jan 6, 2003, 7:19:12 PM1/6/03
to
Let's start here, from your Polus essay,
"Anyone who wishes to argue that the works we know as Shakespeare's
were actually written by Edward de Vere, the seventeenth Earl of
Oxford, faces the problem that no contemporary ever credited Oxford
with writing so much as a line that is now generally credited to
Shakespeare. Oxfordians must look elsewhere for evidence, and they
have sought it in verbal parallels between the works of Shakespeare
and Oxford, or in the fact that some of the verse forms used by one
were also used by the other; they have even argued that Oxford's
reputation as a poet was so great that he must have been Shakespeare.
Unfortunately for the Oxfordians, the alleged evidence for their
arguments cannot stand up under scrutiny. The most common argument is
that Shakespeare's works are somehow "about" Oxford's life. One point
that Oxfordians raise repeatedly is that since some critics have
suggested that the character of Polonius in Hamlet may owe something
to Lord Burghley, Hamlet himself must have been Oxford's
self-portrait. In an op-ed piece that appeared in the Washington Post
on March 21, 1999, David Ignatius embraced a hoary Oxfordian myth when
he said, "The officious, advice-giving character Polonius may have
been based on Lord Burghley (whose nickname, it happens, was
'Polus')."

Well there are "Oxfordians...Oxfordians...Oxfordians..." all over the
place in your introduction , aren't there? I think a normal
insinuation would be that you are including _all_ Oxfordians in
statements that are a lead in to the indictment of any and all (since
you NEVER differentiate as to anything that might have value)
Oxfordian scholarship.

Aside from the criticism that constantly has been given you regarding
this piece that the detailed deconstruction of the Polus issue _does
not_ address the Polonius as Burghley issue in its complexity and by
itself is not an indictment of everything Oxfordians have written
("Unfortunately for the Oxfordians, the alleged evidence for their
argument*s*-this means ALL- cannot stand up under scrutiny.") This
sweping assertion of your belief that the debunking of the Polus
attrubution undermines an entire argument is sheer nonsense and a
fiction of your mind. It is also evidence of one of your worst
weaknesses, that a defect in detail denies the entire position, one
you use quite a bit.

The tone of your web page and nearly all your writings here convey the
message of "all Oxfordians". At least David Kathman has the
graciousness to admit that he has seen good work from several who do
not share his view and has named them.

As to your other questions, I will be brief.

Diana Price's arguments and Pat Dooley's defense of them here
constitute the strongest evidence concerning the doubt that
Shakespeare of Stratford is the true, sole author of the Shakespearean
canon. I have a standing $100 bet that of 10 intelligent people who
know nothing aforehand of this issue read those threads, 6 out of 10
at least (more like 7-9) will side with Dooley. Since from the
perspective of nearly everyone on this NG, Anti Stratfordians are
similar to "creationists" and "other sub reality group" deniers of
truth,including Holocaust deniers, a viewpoint you expressly agreed
with here a few years ago, even two who agree with Dooley, by the
Stratfordian standards would be a victory
for him and Diana. But I will take a simple majority. That's the
answer to your first question.

Second, as I have often said here and elsewhere, but apparently not
listened to, the authorship issue appears to me to be complex and
intricate. I believe as I have stated above, that there is authentic
room for doubt and question of traditional attribution. I belive that
orthodox scholarship regarding the biography is a sham and I will
address it specifically in Portland. I Believe that a great amount of
circumstantial evidence leads me to believe that Edward Devere has a
greater role in this than has been historically accepted. Whether he
was the sole author I can not say. This mirrors the stance of a
Shakespeare Fellowship member who said, that it seemed to him that
whoever wrote Shakespeare had Devere on his mind.
One example: a major Statfordian biographer posits in 20 pages that
the exalting of George Stanley's role at the end of Richard III
constitutes a credible piece of evidence that Ferdinando Stanley was a
hitherto unknown patron
of the author ignores the fact that a similar exaltation happens
concerning Devere's ancestors. Many might say Wilson's bio is weak, I
don't hear cries that he is whacko. Therefore something is missing or
deliberately left out in the analysis. If Wilson is discredited by
you, as Rowse was by Kathman, does this demonstrate a uniformity of
excellence and "standards" among Stratfordian biographers?

Strong arguments therefore that put Devere near the canon and for me
ask for more investigation. Some of which you have avoided.

The manipulation of Dervere history in the early history plays.
Compelling evidence for an early dating of Hamlet (a key piece of
which is Nashe's epistle to "Christ's Tears" in ripping Gabriel
Harvey.)
The Polonius as Burghley issue and the entire emotional tone of the
Hamlet-Polonius-Ophelia triangle.
The relationship of Devere to Cardanus Comforte and its significance
in Hamlet, a position you debunked and were at caught red handed by
Mark Alexander and to which you never replied.
Specific references to Devere's life that have no need to be included
(Sr. Baptiste, rich in crowns), falling out at tennis)
The lament of the Sonnets of the motif of disgrace, loss of name,
shame.

I don't need to go on. No there is no certifiable document that puts
Devere as Shakespeare. There is also no certifiable document during
the Stratford man's lifetime that demonstrates he was a writer.

I am not as strong or as certain as Stritmatter that Devere wrote
Shakespeare. It is indicative to me of your refusal to see shades of
gray that there might be room for other thoughts on the matter. Or
that disgust with orthodox biography and the mismatch between life and
art is so great as to cause enormous implausibility. Park Honan wrote
that Shakespeare was so ingrained with a deep courtesy, a courtesy
that _could not_ come from attending a ceremony or association with
nobility ( a position contraty to many on this NG)that it demonstrated
, among other things, a concern for the common good. What the hell is
he talking about? Not only is he doing what Looney did, attempting to
profile the author through his writing, but the extant evidence gives
not _one shred of fact_ to support such a claim. In fact, it
contradicts it (Wayte lawsuit, hoarding of grain, not one charitable
act demonstrated even though waelthy. Is this evidence of the
standards you profess?

We've been through this time and time again and its a "caucus race".
Yes I am dissapponted by many assertions. Others, such as Bob Brazil's
work on the publishers of Shakespeare's quarto's and Devere, Detobel
on authorial rights, Jimanez on the relationship of "Famous Victories"
and Henry IV Iand II and Henry V are quite provocative.

Nothrup Frye said that not one character in Shakespeare is meant to
stand or refer to anything or anyone outside the plays. He is (and
rightly so) considered one of the greatest critics who ever lived. I
believe that his thinking relects much of what is assumed in
orthodoxy. I believe he is wrong on this issue and it was an Oxfordian
association that led me there, even though Stratfordians like
Patterson and Hamilton ploughed the ground. Therein lies value and it
doesn't have to be associated with asbsolutism.


Ken Kaplan

Terry Ross <tr...@bcpl.net> wrote in message news:<Pine.GSO.4.50.0301050717140.25523-100000@mail>...

Greg Reynolds

unread,
Jan 6, 2003, 9:52:57 PM1/6/03
to

Ken Kaplan wrote:

> ><
>
> As to your other questions, I will be brief.
>
> Diana Price's arguments and Pat Dooley's defense of them here
> constitute the strongest evidence concerning the doubt that
> Shakespeare of Stratford is the true, sole author of the Shakespearean
> canon.

Pat Dooley fell FLAT on his face on several issues before he split HLAS.

1. He proclaims Susanna and Judith illiterate and refuses
to admit he cannot justify it. He ignores the fact that
Susanna shows variety in writing the letter "a" which
shows that she did not "draw" the letters. Pat stands
dumbstruck and adamantly insists they are illiterate.
It is Pat Dooley who has the reading deficiency.

2. He pretends that an eyewitness account is not the
contemporary personal literary evidence, as if that
is some holy status we must all worship. Ben
Jonson says that Shakespeare wrote Julius Caesar.
Who needs Dooley to reinterpret that?

3. Pat painfully reinterprets Jonson to mean that William
Shakespeare did not write *Julius Caesar* but only
portrayed Julius Caesar as a player. Yet when pressed
to then simply confirm that he, Pat Dooley, is the first
modern-day observant to believe that Shakespeare
played the role of Julius Caesar, Pat turned tail and
ignored the question. He can't have it both ways and
he can't verify his version, and he can't accept the
consequences. So he just escaped the argument. He is
wrong and wants to not admit it. Did you really read
Dooley's posts here and admire his argument? I found
him childishly deceptive. Reread my interfaces with him.
He did not faithfully defend his arguments, and he
stubbornly refused to retract them. So they stand there,
wrong and indefensible, with Pat Dooley's name on them

4. Pat painfully interprets Jonson's words about Haterius
as evidence that Shakespeare was an orator, not a writer,
but Pat refuses to name an orator who is not a writer.
He has a tiny little fragile way of arranging rare meanings
of words and phrases, and I guess you are capable of
believing his conclusions, but I am not.

> I have a standing $100 bet that of 10 intelligent people who
> know nothing aforehand of this issue read those threads, 6 out of 10
> at least (more like 7-9) will side with Dooley.

You deserve to lose your money making crackpot bets like that.
When are you going to conduct the survey? (I know, never.)
Pat is thoroughly unconvincing and changed no minds here.
He has a monetary incentive to promote his wife's book, and I
respect that, but he can't leave arguments unanswered. That he
blatantly invents his own versions of Susanna, Julius Caesar,
Haterius, and Jonson is my reason for discounting his conclusions.
I don't expect him back here now that his backlog is so great.
(I wrote this quickly without reading archives, but I could find
many more holes in his story if it was really worth the time. What
antiStrats don't seem to recognize is that their so-called findings
are all based on following their pre-ordained conclusions. It is
rather obvious.)

As for that being the strongest antiStrat evidence, well...
b w a - ha-ha - HA!

Greg Reynolds


Paul Crowley

unread,
Jan 6, 2003, 10:14:32 PM1/6/03
to
"Terry Ross" <tr...@bcpl.net> wrote in message news:Pine.GSO.4.50.0301050717140.25523-100000@mail...

> I have NEVER seen a strong argument that Shakespeare did not and Oxford
> did write the works of Shakespeare.

The arguments against the Stratman are overwhelming,
and have been stated here thousands of times. His
wholly inappropriate background for any kind of literary
activity; the absence of any comment on what would
have been an extraordinary and astonishing career; the
absence of any confirmation that he did, in fact, engage
upon one, and so on and on and on . . .

> I have repeatedly asked Oxfordians to
> tell me what their strongest arguments were, so that I might confront
> them.

You request seems reasonable, but is mistaken.
There is no 'set of strongest arguments'; there
are thousands of circumstantial ones. It is their
sheer weight that counts. No one else comes close.
The author himself, and the authorities of his day
(and later) sought to remove all direct evidence, so
it is foolish to request it.

> The Shakespeare Authorship page that Dave Kathman and I run deals
> with a great many arguments that antistratfordians have said were
> "strong," and counters to many other antistratfordian arguments have been
> posted on hlas. We have often received the backhanded compliment that
> while some of our criticisms may have some force, we have only taken on
> the "weak" arguments, but it often seems that what makes an argument
> "weak" is that Dave or I have countered it, and before we took it on, it
> had still been classed as "strong."

The threads which you (and Dave) initiate, or to
which you contribute, is evidence enough. This
one is as good an example as any. You may
not create 'strawmen' but you go out of your way
to find 'men of straw'.

[..]


> I will expect you to post that STRONGEST Oxfordian argument here. I will
> expect you to tell us that you consider this argument among the STRONGEST
> establishing that Oxford did and Shakespeare did not write the works.

See what I mean? The Oxfordian case is that
there was a government-originated and controlled
cover-up of the authorship. So your request is
misconceived. We have to look at the whole
context of the plays and the poems. For whom
were they written? Who would have enjoyed them
most? Who would have been most sensitive to
imputations that could have been read into them?
For whom were Elizabethan sonnets written?
Did the authors expect to make money by selling
copies to the public? If not, what would the
Stratman have been doing writing them in the
1590s?

Are many of the female characters based on
Queen Elizabeth? If so, how could the Stratman
have created them? Or dealt with the political
repercussions. To take one example, is Olivia in
Twelfth Night meant to suggest her? (Or _could_
the audience have thought it might?) If so, how
could the Stratman have been making jokes
about her CUT and her great Pees? Is that
remotely conceivable if we take the play as being
written after 1600 (when she was 67)?

In this instance -- as in thousands of others -- we
have a set of circumstances that make not the
slightest sense within the Stratfordian scenario,
but which perfectly fit an Oxfordian one.

[..]


> I have already explained why I believe the shifting attributions of the
> *Funeral Elegy* and the Bellesiles affair demonstrate the power of
> professional scholarship, and why antistratfordianism is typically
> incapable of the kind of corrective process that is built into the system
> of professional scholarship that has evolved in the last century.

The *Funerat Elegy* saga was a close shave and
should be seen as showing up major defects
within the 'industry'. Foster's appalling work was
taken seriously by all (or virtually all) American
'scholars'. Without a slightly different tradition in
Britain, and the rivalry that engenders, it could so
easily have become established as 'good
scholarship'. Nevertheless, it is wonderful to see
that there are still one or two Stratfordians left with
a tinge of honesty, and Brian Vickers is a shining
example. But we have no right to expect that such
a body of 'scholars' would deal correctly with the
next *Funeral Elegy* case; and only a total fool
would think that it could treat seriously any anti-
Stratfordian challenges to its core tradition.


Paul.


John W. Kennedy

unread,
Jan 6, 2003, 11:34:08 PM1/6/03
to
Paul Crowley wrote:
> The arguments against the Stratman are overwhelming,
> and have been stated here thousands of times. His
> wholly inappropriate background for any kind of literary
> activity;

That's a lie.

> the absence of any comment on what would
> have been an extraordinary and astonishing career;

Another lie.

> the
> absence of any confirmation that he did,

And another.

God! You really make me want to vomit! What is this sickness in your
mind that gives you this uncontrollable urge to smear your feces all
over William Shakespeare? Is it only your insane jealousy over his
ability to make a success of his life, even though he had none of the
fictional "unfair advantages" you need to ascribe to others as excuses
for your own poor showing, or is it something more profound?

About 20 years ago, J. Michael Straczynski rang up Harlan Ellison at
home, and asked for his help. "I want to be a writer," he said, "but I
can't sell my stories."

"You can't sell your stories because they're crap," was Ellison's
advice. "Stop writing crap, and you'll start selling." *

Paul, stop writing crap.

* They are very good friends now, and take turns telling this story.

--
John W. Kennedy
"The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly;
the rich have always objected to being governed at all."
-- G. K. Chesterton, "The Man Who Was Thursday"

David Kathman

unread,
Jan 7, 2003, 12:04:28 AM1/7/03
to
In article <060120031026376920%David....@Dartmouth.edu>, "David L. Webb"
<David....@Dartmouth.edu> wrote:

>In article <3E18F221...@comcast.net>, Art Neuendorffer
><aneuendor...@comcast.net> (aneuendor...@comicass.nut)
>wrote:

>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------


>> <<I have heard that Mr. Shakspeare...supplied the stage with two plays
>> EVER year, and for itt had an allowance so large, that hee spent att
>> the rate of £1,000 a-year.>> - *REVEREND (john) WARD* , Diary 1661-63
>> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> *REVEREND WARD*
>>
>> E D W A R D V E R E
>> R
>> N
>

> "Ern" as a VERb means to flow like a riVER, Art.

It can also mean "earn", if you work for Kellogg:

http://eetandern.yahoo.com/

Dave Kathman
dj...@ix.netcom.com

Bob Grumman

unread,
Jan 7, 2003, 6:47:51 AM1/7/03
to
> > I have NEVER seen a strong argument that Shakespeare did not and Oxford
> > did write the works of Shakespeare.

Nor have I, nor has Paul Crowley, so he says:

> The arguments against the Stratman are overwhelming,
> and have been stated here thousands of times. His
> wholly inappropriate background for any kind of literary
> activity

Okay, Paul, let's start there. We'll assume for the sake of the
argument that Shakespeare's occupation as a actor was a "wholly
inappropriate background for any kind of literary activity,"
including play-writing. What is your strongest piece of evidence
that Shakespeare's background was inappropriate for a literary
background?

> the absence of any comment on what would
> have been an extraordinary and astonishing career;

Hmmm, I seem to recall a recent Crowley post that corrected
someone for an error like the one he has just made. It's the
"absence of any PUBLISHED comment THAT HAS COME DOWN TO US on
(his) . . . career." His error here is much worse than that,
though, for he's really citing the "absence of any PUBLISHED comment
THAT GIVES HIS ADDRESS OR SOMETHING ELSE THAT ASSURES US THAT THE
PERSON BEING DISCUSSED IS SHAKESPEARE OF STRATFORD (even though
Shakespeare of Stratford was the only Shakespeare active in the
London theatre at the time, and was a known record--see his monument)
THAT HAS COME DOWN TO US on (his) . . . career."

> the absence of any confirmation that he did, in fact, engage
> upon one, and so on and on and on . . .
>
> > I have repeatedly asked Oxfordians to
> > tell me what their strongest arguments were, so that I might confront
> > them.
>
> You request seems reasonable, but is mistaken.
> There is no 'set of strongest arguments'; there
> are thousands of circumstantial ones. It is their
> sheer weight that counts. No one else comes close.
> The author himself, and the authorities of his day
> (and later) sought to remove all direct evidence, so
> it is foolish to request it.

You're now in the realm of unfalsifiable bullshit, Paul. To
be taken seriously, you HAVE to provide some evidence of fraud.
Maintaining that the people perpetrating the fraud made no
mistakes is straining, but if you can't provide some evidence of
fraud, how about some evidence that human beings could carry out
so complex a fraud without leaving any evidence that they did so.



> > The Shakespeare Authorship page that Dave Kathman and I run deals
> > with a great many arguments that antistratfordians have said were
> > "strong," and counters to many other antistratfordian arguments have been
> > posted on hlas. We have often received the backhanded compliment that
> > while some of our criticisms may have some force, we have only taken on
> > the "weak" arguments, but it often seems that what makes an argument
> > "weak" is that Dave or I have countered it, and before we took it on, it
> > had still been classed as "strong."
>
> The threads which you (and Dave) initiate, or to
> which you contribute, is evidence enough. This
> one is as good an example as any. You may
> not create 'strawmen' but you go out of your way
> to find 'men of straw'.

Right, Paul: in asking for a argument that is not a strawman,
Terry and Dave are creating a strawman. I'm curious. How would you
go about trying to refute Oxfordianism? Or, so you'll be comfortable,
to refute the theory that Marlowe wrote Shakespeare? Would you ask for
the strongest argument for him and see if you could refute it? What
WOULD you do?



> [..]
> > I will expect you to post that STRONGEST Oxfordian argument here. I will
> > expect you to tell us that you consider this argument among the STRONGEST
> > establishing that Oxford did and Shakespeare did not write the works.
>
> See what I mean? The Oxfordian case is that
> there was a government-originated and controlled
> cover-up of the authorship. So your request is
> misconceived. We have to look at the whole
> context of the plays and the poems.
> For whom
> were they written? Who would have enjoyed them
> most? Who would have been most sensitive to
> imputations that could have been read into them?

What's your strongest argument for supposing the plays
were not written for the usual reasons plays are written?

> For whom were Elizabethan sonnets written?
> Did the authors expect to make money by selling
> copies to the public? If not, what would the
> Stratman have been doing writing them in the
> 1590s?

Here you are, for the first time, slightly reasonable. A
problem for you, though, is that people are variable. I
believe Shakespeare wrote sonnets for the same reasons others
of his time, and before and after, did. But even if he did not,
so what? There's no reason he couldn't have had unique personal
reasons for anything he did.

> Are many of the female characters based on
> Queen Elizabeth? If so, how could the Stratman
> have created them? Or dealt with the political
> repercussions. To take one example, is Olivia in
> Twelfth Night meant to suggest her? (Or _could_
> the audience have thought it might?) If so, how
> could the Stratman have been making jokes
> about her CUT and her great Pees? Is that
> remotely conceivable if we take the play as being
> written after 1600 (when she was 67)?

Yes, Paul, it is remotely conceivable. Unless you're channeling
Elizabeth and know the opposite. But none of Shakespeare's
characters was based on Elizabeth.

> In this instance -- as in thousands of others -- we
> have a set of circumstances that make not the
> slightest sense within the Stratfordian scenario,
> but which perfectly fit an Oxfordian one.

What hard evidence do you have to support ANY of your
suppositions about Shakespeare and Elizabeth?

> [..]
> > I have already explained why I believe the shifting attributions of the
> > *Funeral Elegy* and the Bellesiles affair demonstrate the power of
> > professional scholarship, and why antistratfordianism is typically
> > incapable of the kind of corrective process that is built into the system
> > of professional scholarship that has evolved in the last century.
>
> The *Funerat Elegy* saga was a close shave and
> should be seen as showing up major defects
> within the 'industry'. Foster's appalling work was
> taken seriously by all (or virtually all) American
> 'scholars'.

It is still taken seriously, wack. That it may have been wrong
does not make it "appalling." Foster presented a number of good
arguments for his case, some of which have yet to be refuted.

> Without a slightly different tradition in
> Britain, and the rivalry that engenders, it could so
> easily have become established as 'good
> scholarship'. Nevertheless, it is wonderful to see
> that there are still one or two Stratfordians left with
> a tinge of honesty, and Brian Vickers is a shining
> example. But we have no right to expect that such
> a body of 'scholars' would deal correctly with the
> next *Funeral Elegy* case; and only a total fool
> would think that it could treat seriously any anti-
> Stratfordian challenges to its core tradition.
>
> Paul.

Stick with Vickers, Paul. I'm sure he'll come out in
favor of Oxford any day, now.

--Bob G.

Bob Grumman

unread,
Jan 7, 2003, 7:01:21 AM1/7/03
to
> Ken Kaplan wrote:
>
> > ><
> >
> > As to your other questions, I will be brief.
> >
> > Diana Price's arguments and Pat Dooley's defense of them here
> > constitute the strongest evidence concerning the doubt that
> > Shakespeare of Stratford is the true, sole author of the Shakespearean
> > canon.

I think Ken is right. What DO the wacks have against Shakespeare's
authorship but the distorted view of one rigidnik and her husband that
Shakespeare doesn't have sufficient documentation from his lifetime
(if we leave out all the documentation from that time that names him
as a writer but fails to give his address) and that that, for some
reason, outweighs all the documentation we DO have for Shakespeare's
authorship?

--Bob G.

Art Neuendorffer

unread,
Jan 7, 2003, 8:28:29 AM1/7/03
to
>>Art Neuendorffer wrote:
>>>----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>><<I have heard that Mr. Shakspeare...supplied the stage with two plays
>>> EVER year, and for itt had an allowance so large, that hee spent att
>>> the rate of £1,000 a-year.>> - *REVEREND (john) WARD* , Diary 1661-63
>>>-----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> *REVEREND WARD*
>>>
>>> E D W A R D V E R E
>>> R
>>> N

> David L. Webb wrote:

>> "Ern" as a VERb means to flow like a riVER, Art.

David Kathman wrote:

> It can also mean "earn", if you work for Kellogg:
> http://eetandern.yahoo.com/

--------------------------------------------------
Reverend Edwar-DeVere-TT Hale
---------------------------------------------------------------------
<<Reverend Edward Everett Hale discussed the origin of the name
California in a paper he read before the American Antiquarian Society
in Boston on April 30, 1862.
It is interesting that he based his conclusions
on the romance Las Sergas de ESPLANDIAN discussed above.>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------
<<Edwar-DeVere-TT played a key role in Americas' Greek Revival. Harvard
established its new chair of ancient Greek studies for him. He had sped
through Harvard at the top of his class, completed his divinity studies,
and been appointed to the prestigious Brattle Street pulpit before he
was twenty. His promise as a scholar made Harvard call him back from the
pulpit to the classroom. But first the university subsidized his studies
in Germany, where he was the first American to earn his doctorate at a
center of new philology. While Everett was abroad, he traveled widely
and met the leaders ofthe romantic age, from Goethe to Byron.>>
-- _Lincoln at Gettysburg_ by Gary Wills
---------------------------------------------------------------------
April 11, 1794, Massachusetts governor Edwar-DeVere-TT born.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.ntin.net/McDaniel/0411.htm

April 11, 714, The hermit/saint Guthl[AC CROW]land dies.
April 11, 1079, St. Stanislaus dies at [CRACOW].
April 11, 1689, William III & Mary II [CROW]ned.

April 11, 1533, [Good Friday] Holbein's _The Ambassadors_
<<At the bottom is an anamorphic skull.>>
http://webserver1.oneonta.edu/faculty/farberas/arth/ARTH214/Conclusion.html

April 11, 1707, Gulliver arrives at Fort St. George, India.

April 11, 1713, Treaty of Utrecht ends War of Spanish Succession.

April 11, 1722, Kit ?For I will consider my cat Jeffrey? Smart born.
Some of his religious poems, such as Jubilate Agno, are famous.
Dr. Johnson knew him: ?I do not think that he ought to be shut up.
His infirmities were not noxious to society. He insisted on people
praying with him, and I?d as lief pray with Kit Smart as anyone else.?
Smart was confined in lunatic asylums for seven years.

April 11, 1783, U.S. proclaims end to the Revolutionary War.

April 11, 1794, Massachusetts governor Edward Everett born.

April 11, 1814, Napoleon was forced to abdicate his throne. He was
banished to the island of Elba. But he would return.

April 11, 1960 - First weather satellite launched (Tiros 1)
April 11, 1970 - Apollo 13 launched to Moon (13:13 CST)
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Art Neuendorffer

Art Neuendorffer

unread,
Jan 7, 2003, 12:14:57 PM1/7/03
to
>>> Art Neuendorffer wrote:
>>>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> <<I have heard that Mr. Shakspeare...supplied the stage with two plays
>>>> EVER year, and for itt had an allowance so large, that hee spent att
>>>> the rate of £1,000 a-year.>> - *REVEREND (john) WARD* , Diary 1661-63
>>>> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> *REVEREND WARD*
>>>>
>>>> E D W A R D V E R E
>>>> R
>>>> N
>>>
>> David L. Webb wrote:
>
>>> "Ern" as a VERb means to flow like a riVER, Art.

<<[E]uropean [R]ivers [N]etwork is supported S.O.S. Loire Vivante.>>
http://www.rivernet.org/ern.htm

> David Kathman wrote:
>
>> It can also mean "earn", if you work for Kellogg:
>> http://eetandern.yahoo.com/

----------------------------------------------------------------
CANCER (June 22-July 23)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Three Wise Men (AC) feast day July 23.
http://users.erols.com/saintpat/ss/0723.htm#brid

<< The bodies of the magi are in the Cologne Cathedral where they
are venerated as saints and called the "Three Kings of Cologne."
They became the patron saints of travelers.>>
----------------------------------------------------------------
<<On 23 July 1567, while practicing fencing with Edward Baynam,
a TAILOR, in the backyard of Cecil's house in the Strand, the
seventeen-year-old Oxford killed an unarmed undercook named
THOMAS BRINCKNELL with a thrust to the thigh.>>
------------------------------------------------------------------
<<On 23 July 1567, at Lochleven, Mary Queen of Scots was forced
to sign an act of withdrawal in favor of her one-year-old son,
who was crowned as James VI five days afterward at Scone.>>
---------------------------------------------------------------------
<<On 23 July 1847, Brigham Young recorded: "The spirit of light
rested upon me and moved over the [Great Salt Lake] valley, and
I felt that there the Saints would find protection and safety.">>
--------------------------------------------------------------------
On 23 July 1943, ERN Malley dies in Sydney 'Grave's Disease.'
--------------------------------------------------------------------
_The Ern Malley Poetry Hoax_ - by David Lehman
http://jacketmagazine.com/17/ern-dl.html

<<The greatest literary hoax of the twentieth century was concocted by a
couple of Australian soldiers at their desks in the offices of the
Victoria Barracks in Melbourne, land headquarters of the Australian
army, on a quiet Saturday in October 1943. The uniformed noncombatants,
Lieutenant James McAuley and Corporal Harold Stewart, were a pair of
Sydney poets with a shared animus toward modern poetry in general and a
particular hatred of the surrealist stuff championed by Adelaide
wunderkind Max Harris, the twenty-two-year-old editor of Angry Penguins,
a well-heeled journal devoted to the spread of modernism down under.

In a single rollicking afternoon McAuley and Stewart cooked up the
collected works of Ernest Lalor Malley. Imitating the modern poets they
most despised ('not Max Harris in particular, but the whole literary
fashion as we knew it from the works of Dylan Thomas, Henry Treece, and
others'), they rapidly wrote the sixteen poems that constitute Ern
Malley's 'tragic lifework.' They lifted lines at random from the books
and papers on their desks (Shakespeare, a dictionary of quotations, an
American report on the breeding grounds of mosquitoes, etc.). They mixed
in false allusions and misquotations, dropped 'confused and inconsistent
hints at a meaning' in place of a coherent theme, and deliberately
produced what they thought was bad verse. They called their creation
Malley because mal in French means bad. He was Ernest because they were not.

Later, the hoaxers added a high-sounding 'preface and statement,'
outfitted Malley with a tearjerking biography, and created his suburban
sister Ethel. The invention of Ethel was a masterstroke. It was she who
sent Malley's posthumous opus, 'The Darkening Ecliptic', to Max Harris
along with a cover letter tinged with her disapproval of her brother's
bohemian ways and proclaiming her own ignorance of poetry.

Ern (she wrote) had been born in England in 1918, was taken to Australia
after his father's death two years later, and was left in Ethel's care
after their mother died when he was fifteen. Having dropped out of
school, the young man worked as a garage mechanic in Sydney and later as
an insurance salesman and part-time watch repairman in Melbourne. In
1943 he returned to Sydney, where he died of 'Grave's Disease.'

Artless Ethel, the bourgeois philistine, had the effect of
authenticating Ern's poignant existence. The simplicity of her account
inspired Harris to construct the poignant life-story of a poet who
burned Keats-like in a flame snuffed out before its time. 'The weeks
before he died were terrible,' Ethel wrote. 'Sometimes he would be all
right and he would talk to me. From things he said I gathered he had
been fond of a girl in Melbourne, but had some sort of difference with
her. I didn't want to ask him too much because he was nervy and
irritable. The crisis came suddenly, and he passed away on Friday the
23rd of July. As he wished, he was cremated at Rookwood.'

Ern Malley was just what the avant-garde ordered: a tragic hero. His
poems were charged with the premonition of an early death and the
conviction that poetic greatness would be his if he could but live five
more winters. McAuley and Stewart saw to it that Malley had, like Keats,
died at the age of twenty-five. 'Now in your honour Keats, I spin / The
loaded Zodiac with my left hand / As the man at the fair revolves / His
coloured deceitful board,' Malley writes in 'Colloquy with John Keats.'
And, Like you I sought at first for Beauty

And then, in disgust, returned
As did you to the locus of sensation
And not till then did my voice build crenellated towers
Of an enteric substance in the air.

Amid the red herrings scattered in the poems, McAuley and Stewart did
sprinkle a few genuine clues to the mystery of Ern Malley. From
'Sybilline,' for example, these splendid lines hint at Malley's ghostly
nature:

It is necessary to understand
That a poet may not exist, that his writings
Are the incomplete circle and straight drop
Of a question mark
And yet I know I shall be raised up
On the vertical banners of praise.

It was, however, possible to take these lines metaphorically as the
dying man's vision of impending oblivion and posthumous applause.

Malley is a comedian of the spirit, who wards off self-pity with defiant
irony. But he also has a prophetic voice and a grave historical vision,
as in these haunting lines from 'Petit Testament': 'But where I have
lived / Spain weeps in the gutters of Footscray / Guernica is the
ticking of a clock / The nightmare has become real, not as belief / But
in the scrub-typhus of Mubo.' And he is capable of the pure lyric
outcry. Here is the second stanza of 'Sweet William':

One moment of daylight let me have
Like a white arm thrust
Out of a dark and self-denying wave
And in the one moment
I Shall irremediably attest
How (though with sobs, and torn cries bleeding)
My white swan of quietness lies
Sanctified on my black swan's breast.

Harris fell for Malley hook, line and sinker. So did his patrons and
chums, including the painter Sidney Nolan, who would become the most
celebrated Australian painter of his generation. They devoted the next
issue of Angry Penguins to their excited discovery -- and were promptly
ambushed by the hoax's exposure in the press in June 1944. Although this
was scarcely a slow news summer -- the Normandy invasion took place in
June, the liberation of France in August -- the story spread rapidly to
England and America, and everywhere the reaction was the same: high
hilarity at the expense of the Angry Penguins, the humiliation of Max
Harris, a colossal setback for modernism in Australia. The hoax was, as
Michael Heyward points out in The Ern Malley Affair (London: Faber &
Faber, 1993), a decisive act of literary criticism, brilliant parody in
the service of fierce polemic. If, as McAuley and Stewart insisted, the
poems had no merit, then Malley's champions had convicted themselves of
unsound judgment and corrupt taste.

But the story doesn't end there. Stranger turns were to follow. The
South Australian police impounded the issue of Angry Penguins devoted to
"The Darkening Ecliptic" on the grounds that Malley's poems were
obscene, though in fact their erotic content was negligible when
compared with, say, Tropic of Cancer or Ulysses. The court case that
September featured some inadvertently hilarious testimony from a
dunderhead police detective (named Vogelsang) who didn't know the
meaning of the words he thought were indecent.

The wondrous twist in the Ern Malley story was the surprising, and
actually quite heroic, intransigence of Max Harris and his cohorts, who
maintained in the face of all ridicule their belief in Malley's genius.
'The myth is sometimes greater than its creator,' said Harris (p. 152).
Sir Herbert Read, tireless in his advocacy of vanguard art, wired his
support from England. It seemed to him that the hoaxers had been
'hoisted on their own petard' (p. 156). It was, Read reasoned, possible
to arrive at genuine art by spurious means -- even if the motive of the
writer was to perpetrate a travesty. In time others have come to share
this view, and it is clear that the tide in Australia has turned in
their favor. The editors of the new Penguin Book of Modern Australian
Poetry (1992) elected to include all of Malley's poems in their anthology.

Ern Malley has always had an honored place among the poets of the New
York School. Kenneth Koch printed two Malley poems, 'Boult to Marina'
and 'Sybilline,' in the 'collaborations' issue of Locus Solus, the
avant-garde literary magazine, in 1961. At Columbia University in 1968,
Koch introduced his writing students to Malley's poetry, suggesting that
the hoaxer's antics were well worth imitating not for purposes of
polemic but for legitimate poetic ends. In 1976 John Ashbery asked his
MFA students at Brooklyn College to compare Malley's 'Sweet William' to
one of Geoffrey Hill's Mercian Hymns. Which did they think was the
genuine article? (The students were divided.) Ashbery's point -- and it
seems to be Malley's point -- is that intentions may be irrelevant to
results, that genuineness in literature may not depend on authorial
sincerity, and that our ideas about good and bad, real and fake, are, or
ought to be, in flux.

One half of Ern Malley was still alive until recently. I visited Harold
Stewart in Kyoto in 1990. A septuagenarian in a shabby genteel gray
suit, he had lived in Kyoto for a quarter of a century. He died there in
1995. He was a Buddhist and an autodidact, i