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I know very little of this matter and so do not offer an opinion; but still I would ask whether there were not explanations for De Vere's biography showing up in the Shakespearean plays other than his authorship of them. Did Shakespeare have some association with De Vere which would have him familiar with his lordship's life, and which might have either inclined or obliged him to put incidents from that life into his work?

Michael,

You'll find another installment of this story at my new blog, Shake-speare's Bible.com.

Thanks for continuing to cover the story. In answer to Shrewsbury, the short answer -- sorry to be so blunt -- is "no." The connections between the Shakespearean oeuvre and de Vere's life are far to intimate, detailed, and far reaching to be explained on any other rational basis than his authorship. The works do not just describe and respond to incidents in de Vere's life, but are in fact a literary apologia for it.

Check out Mark Anderson's biography for some details substantiating this conclusion.

Thanks very much for commenting, Roger. (Roger Stritmatter is one of the more prominent figures in contemporary Oxfordianism; he has done extensive work evaluating a Geneva Bible owned by de Vere, which contains many underlined phrases corresponding to lines in the Shakespeare canon.)

A good, short summary of the Oxfordian position can be read here:

http://tiny.cc/Confq

This summary reminded me that it was de Vere's men, but not necessarily de Vere himself, who waylaid Burghley's servants at Gad's Hill. At the very least, the men were acting on de Vere's instructions, and he may have been with them in disguise, but he was not specifically accused by the victims. Of course, it was a lot safer to accuse the Earl's men of misconduct than to accuse the Earl personally, especially if the accusers were not absolutely sure.

Michael,

Famous Victories is only the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps the greatest secret of English renaissance studies is that the second best Elizabethan dramatist was "anonymous."

While one can hardly think that de Vere wrote all the anonymous plays of the 1570s, 1580s and 1590s, its a good bet he wrote some of them, in addition to Famous Victories, mostly during the two former decades. These anomalies need to be addressed through a systematic forensic linguistics project incorporating innovations in method such as those employed by Alias technologies at the Institute for Linguistic evidence.

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