I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll b-b-b-blow your house in!

On the Date, Sources and Design of Shakespeare's The Tempest

Roger A. Stritmatter & Lynne Kositsky


Shrovetide Football
English Shrovetide Customs

This book is not about The Tempest.  Not a word of it.  It’s all about Stritmatter and Kositsky’s desperate need to claim the great prize of its authorship for the god of their idolatry:   a tragic, unacknowledged genius whose apotheosis their book will bring about.  His name?  Roger Stritmatter, Lord of Coppin.  

Oops!   Sorry.  Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford.

Whose name is demurely absent from their text, save once.  Not in their own words but in Gail Kern Paster’s:  which are by far the best thing in the book:

For well-schooled professionals ... the authorship question ranks as bardolatry inverted, bardolatry for paranoids, with one object of false worship (Shakespeare) replaced by another (Marlowe, Bacon, Edward de Vere). To ask me about the authorship question, as I’ve remarked on more than one occasion, is like asking a paleontologist to debate a creationist’s account of the fossil record.... For much worse than professional disclaimers of interest in Shakespeare’s life is the ugly social denial at the heart of the Oxfordian pursuit ... a ferociously snobbish and ultimately anachronistic celebration of birthright privilege.<--break->

The Painful Predicament of Pericles (for Oxfordians)

geraldine mcewan - marinaPericles is often seen as the runt of Shakespeare's litter. Although apparently popular with contemporary audiences, for reasons unknown it was not deemed worthy of a reprint in the First Folio and exists only in a textually flawed Quarto version, to which editors have often been forced to interpolate material from other sources to try and arrive at a cohesive whole.

Perhaps one reason for its poor reputation is the fact that it is almost certainly beyond doubt a collaborative work. In 1709 Nicholas Rowe wrote that "there is good Reason to believe that the greatest part of that Play was not written by him; tho' it is own'd, some part of it certainly was, particularly the last Act". Of all the possible collaborators; the most convincing (indeed probably the only convincing) candidate is George Willkins whose own novel "The Painful Adventures of Pericles" was published in 1608 claims to have been based on the play.

Writing on the Wall

writingOne of the features of a number of martial arts is that they rely, not on ones own strength but on turning one's opponents strength against them. Similarly, it is always a pleasure when one can turn anti-Stratfordian arguments against them. 

It is a matter of faith among anti-Strats that the surviving signatures of Shakespeare somehow prove he was not a writer. "Look at that indistinct scrawl" they call out. "How could such a man possibly be a great writer". The possibilities that the signatures are in secretary hand which differs from modern notions of what good handwriting looks like, or that one would put less care into scrawling a signature as a legal formality as one would to writing a play manuscript for performance or that the surviving signatures are from a later period of Shakespeare's life when for all anyone knows, he could have been suffering from a degenerative illness or even that handwriting (as any sufferer from Dyslexia or Dyspraxia would tell you) has any bearing on artistic ability are all to be discounted as mere speculation. Oxfordians don't find the handwriting aesthetically pleasing, therefore Shakespeare didn't write the plays

Exit, pursued by a bear

twinsIn the English theatre, 1610-1611 was the Year of the Bear.

As this tale is a late romance, it begins with an earlier tragedy. In Purchas his Pilgrimes, a mariner called Jonas Poole recounts his seventh voyage to the Arctic.  On 30 May 1609, he writes:

“We slue 26 Seales, and espied three white 
Bears; wee went aboord for Shot and Powder,
and coming to the Ice againe, we found 
a shee-Beare and two young ones: Master 
Thomas Welden shot and killed her; after 
shee was slayne, wee got the young ones, and 
brought them home into England, where 
they are alive in Paris Garden.” 

A Factual Desert: Prince Tudor and the Sonnets

Oxford Prince Tudor Theory

Biographical and autobiographical readings of Shakespeare’s sonnets feature on both sides of the authorship debate. In order to give meaning beyond a literal reading, a narrative is sought. Since the only named person in the sonnets is Will, with the possible additions of Penelope Rich and Anne Hathaway through the use of punning, any narrative relies upon linking a contextual history to the poems, and postulating why such conjecture is true.   

The search for explanatory power, enlightening the reader, has taken many forms. But none took place at the time the sonnets were published. Why could this be? Being closer to events of the 1590’s and early 1600’s, it might reasonably be thought that a contemporary reader didn’t require extraneous explanation, because none was needed. In our febrile times, any assertion is open to debate, but all that can be said is that there are absolutely no indications of people attributing theories of meaning or speculating as to the identity of the ‘fair youth’, ‘dark lady’ and 'rival poet' at the time of publication and for centuries thereafter.


corncobsWhile flicking through my pictures of the Mid-West, I came across the bright colours you see here on a very dull day. In Mitchell, South Dakota, there is a palace built of corn cobs. A large temple with ornate freizes done in coloured cobs of corn, a sort of Parthenon of the Plains.

It's a perfect analogy for Oxfordian ideas on the chronology of the plays. Their attempts to create a consistent, overall chronology seem like those of architects and builders trying to construct a cathedral out of Weetabix. However magnificent the structure looks on a sunny Oxfordian day, one good shower will turn the whole lot into mush.

Canon Fodder

Edwards Extinguisher
Is that an authorship candidate who just bit the dust? 

The smoking gun, proving who did and who didn’t write Shakespeare, has been found in the hand of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.

Ironically, it is de Vere himself who administers the fatal shot to Oxfordian claims he was the secret and hidden true author.

Exclusive use of the transcripts of de Vere’s original letters, without adding any extraneous words, proves beyond doubt that:- 

  • He was aware of his own literary ineptitude
  • He admired and respected superior talent
  • He received help from a better educated and successful writer
  • He couldn’t afford to pay for the lessons1 but wanted more
  • He confirms recognition of his mentor’s achievement
  • He defended his idol against slurs and invented the secret code which identifies him


Subscribe to The man who wasn't Hamlet RSS