Longtime readers know that among my numerous other eccentricities, I think Edward de Vere, the seventeenth Earl of Oxford, is the true author of the plays and poems attributed to "William Shakespeare."
The overwhelming majority of Shakespeare scholars reject this idea, though I have not been very impressed with their arguments.
Now comes word that one of the foremost "orthodox" Shakespeare scholars in the world has made a rather interesting public statement on this question.
The blog of the Shakespeare Oxford Society reports on a recent "orthodox" gathering in which the various biographies of William Shakespeare were discussed. In the midst of much learned talk about the many bios that have followed Nicholas Rowe's pioneering 1709 effort, the editor of the peer-viewed journal Critical Survey slipped in a few intriguing words.
Quoth the SOS blog:
From an Oxfordian point of view, most startling of all was the declaration made by Professor Graham Holderness, University of Herefordshire. In the middle of a discussion re the questionable facticity of tales of deer-poaching, calf-killing and horse-holding, he stated baldly – without further comment:If you were to construct a biography which ticked all the boxes – if you were to read Shakespeare’s plays and infer a biography from it – it wouldn’t be Rowe’s, it would actually be the Earl of Oxford’s.