To Thine Own Self Be True

EO signatures in Italian and Latin - Venice 1575 - SHAKE-SPEARE'S HANDWRITINGMy signature in Italian and Latin, which I doodled in Venice, June 1575. (details)

Edward de Vere
born 12 April 1550 – died 24 June 1604

  • • 17th Earl of Oxford
  • • Lord Great Chamberlain of England
  • • Viscount Bolebec (or Bulbeck), until my son was born in 1593
  • • Baron Scales and Badlesmere
  • • Lord Sanford

I wrote all of it. Honestly, it’s so obvious.

If you want my case bounded in a nutshell, or at least bounded in fourteen pages, start with this summation online at The Atlantic, written by Tom Bethell in 1991. Or download it as a PDF. If you’re up for a bit more, Nina Green has written my life in a manageable 45 page PDF. For a dive into the deep end, my library page Learned Books lists several published biographies and other related works.

Of course you should read the new things I’ve written for this blog, and (re-)read my old things too. My life is in that work, the only life that makes Shakespeare make sense.

I am not here to be tetchytetchy adj. Easily annoyed or irritated, peevish, irascible. “Perhaps coined by Shakespeare.” Perhaps my pudding. I gave the word first to Juliet’s nurse, but the Duchess of York has the better quote. Troilus got one also. [Richard III.IV.4] Tetchy or disputatious concerning my identity and literary legacy. There are Oxfordian books and societies and websites covering most of what is known about me, and grateful I am for all of them. I leave the disputation to the academics. They enjoy it much more than I do, and they get paid for it.

I know the truth of my life, but you have to come to your own conclusions. If I could prove a fraction of what I know, we’d all have a happy Christmas. But that’s not the way life, or postlife, works. My aim is to put things in front of you, things I’d like you to enjoy while you also think seriously about them. The rest is up to you.

Re-think everything you think you know about Shakespeare. Challenge yourself to open your mind and start over. Common sense will take you a long way. Don’t blindly believe anything as gospel just because it’s popular, or you learned it in school, or it has a huge budget funded by soaking the credulous tourism, or some erudite fellow wants you to buy his books and let him do your thinking for you.

There’s so much out there that you were not taught. Teach yourself.

Question everything
Do your homework thoroughly
Make up your own mind

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