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Hi Michael, fascinating post! I agree with you that the extended allusion to the 1575 Kenilworth festivities in A Midsummer Night's Dream is an important point in the authorship debate. I don't know Dennis McCarthy's source for placing Thomas North at the Kenilworth festivities of 1575; my own preferred candidate, Thomas Sackville (, is listed as a Kenilworth attendee in The Progresses, Pageants, and Entertainments of Queen Elizabeth I. I've long found this to be a significant argument in Sackville's favor (as it would be for Thomas North, too). All best, Sabrina

I've searched my Kindle version for Kenilworth. There are passages or mentions starting t eight Kindle locations. But there is no documentation supporting McCarthy's claim that North was present. He merely assumes and asserts it. (It's a fairly reasonable assumption, of course.) Here are the locations:

799, 3777, 5955, 6368 North was there to witness the event. (Part of a summary-of-evidence list.)

1084, 1552 Shakespeare was 11 and didn't see the event.

6670 Short endnote mentions.

"I realize that most readers of this blog aren't too interested in the Shakespeare authorship question. But it's been on my mind lately." - Michael Prescott

Man, that's a long post! LOL! You definitely know a lot about Shakespeare. Quite impressive. You could teach a college course on him you know so much.

It's good to have an interest besides just life after death stuff. I guess it makes us more rounded people. Just having one thing to obsess on is kind of weird. Mine is paleoanthropology. I've been reading articles and books about it since I was in High School. My friends used to call them "Art's Ape Books."

I also like hunting and fishing and guns and outdoor stuff quite a bit along with boats and trucks and other redneck things. I guess it has to do with living in the South where it's sort of a way of life.

And right now I'm also obsessing on the Powerball Jackpot of $500 Million and what I'd do if I win? That's fun to think about. I see a great big fancy house in Florida in my future! {grin!}

PS to my comment above: McCarthy should have toned down his claims a bit. He's going to alienate people he might have won over with a more circumspect tone and claims. His case is so strong it doesn't need "boosting."

Thanks, Roger, for combing through the ebook for all mentions of Kenilworth, something I admit I didn't bother to do. I think McCarthy sometimes overstates his case. Still, I'm finding his book more plausible on a second reading. It's amazing how many Shakespearean turns of phrase originated in North. "Remembrance of things past," to give just one example.

Also, thanks, Sabrina. Your book, The Apocryphal William Shakespeare, is more cautious than McCarthy's, as well as being better organized and more meticulously presented. McCarthy's book has its strong points, though. I like the original research he did on the Longleat manuscript. One thing that irks me a little about McCarthy is that he insists that his theory requires no cover-ups or conspiracies, yet it seems clear that the First Folio, at least, would have been something of a conspiracy even in his scenario. Ben Jonson knew that Shakespeare was only the play broker and adapter, not the originator; if he said otherwise in the Folio (and he did), then he was part of a cover-up. I don't see how anyone can get around that. I think the most McCarthy can say is that his theory requires *less* of a cover-up than the alternatives.

BTW, somebody in Shakespeare's era once said that the poet's name was bounded by a single letter. Oxfordians take this as a reference to Edward de Vere, since his name begins and ends with e. But in those days, the letters th were often represented by a single character, the thorn, so the same would be true of THomas NorTH. The word thorn is an anagram of north, which could give a double meaning to the statement, inasmuch as the letters of North's last name are "bounded" (encapsulated) by the word thorn. Or maybe I am "considering too closely" ...

Art, those sound like good outside interests to have. I used to be interested in paleoanthropology. I even considered majoring in anthro in college, though I'm not sure I was very serious about it.

MP said: "Ben Jonson knew that Shakespeare was only the play broker and adapter, not the originator; if he said otherwise in the Folio (and he did), then he was part of a cover-up. I don't see how anyone can get around that."

You're correct--this is another instance where McCarthy would have been wiser to tone it down. (Incidentally, on my Safari/Mac browser, his website is a mess, with lots of line breaks and overlapping text. It also contains a typo, where, in a pair of compared phrases containing the word "heart," one is misspelled "hear.")

But the video below contains a deconstruction of Ben Jonson's poem in the Folio as secretly indicating that Shakespeare wasn't the author. (And also that the portrait was another double entendre.)

Here's a 75-minute online documentary on the authorship question from the Oxfordian side, although there is some balance. It makes some good points. It's on Amazon--I think there's a fee of $3 or so:

"I even considered majoring in anthro in college, though I'm not sure I was very serious about it." - Michael Prescott

I chose to major in Animal Science because it was in the College of Agriculture at the University of Georgia and there were no language requirements to get a degree in Agriculture. Anthropology is in the College of Arts and Sciences and there is a language requirement attached to it. I also chose to major in Animal Science because I thought there'd be more jobs in that field. I ended up working as a manager of the animal facilities at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine for most of my life. I've taken care of just about every kind of animal you can imagine, including monkeys, bears, a young cougar, parrots, snakes, etc.

I like animals, so that kind of work would appeal to me, Art.

I haven't got an animal science degree Art but I have always been surrounded by animals, particularly since living in Thailand.

We have a soi ( street) cat who the maid fed when it wandered onto the section one day. Who quickly learnt that my dog wouldn't chase her if she hung around my legs. The monsoon came and she rushed inside out of the rain and that was it, she became our cat. She now has diabetes and is injected each day, so she is one expensive animal!

We have had hamsters, one of which decided to go absailing from the 7th floor to the 1st. I used to give her the run of the apartment and she had a nest in my bathroom, and the children were told not to leave the doors open. One day on losing her, my husband said "she must have gone over the side as she is not here". So I called her as I usually do "here Gin Gin". And who popped out from the plants on the bottom floor, and none worse for wear?

We lived for some 5 years on a quarter acre section with 12 mature mango trees, in the middle of Bangkok. We had plenty of tree snakes, frogs, lizards and squirrels. And the squirrels became quite friendly and would come up to the house and screech if there was a snake about, or one them had died.

What was wonderful, was that the trees formed a large canopy and many birds settled there on passing through. It amused me one year after a heavy storm, a rail decided to stay for a while. And another time, why I don't know, an egret decided to build a nest high up on the canopy, till he realized he was a little off course.

My cat unfortunately loved the frilled lizards a bit too much, and I came home one day to find one holed up with her frill out as wide as her mouth and backed into a corner. Picking it up I plonked it in a shoe and deposited it up the back of the section.

We always had turtles, who would start 2 inches wide, and who eventually out grew there ceramic pots. One male was quite adventurous and If I heard barking, I would know my shitsu was rounding her up to prevent her from going out the gate.

My cat regularly brought in scorpian's and tree frogs, one of which I found swimming in the cats drink bowl one morning. In Thailand they have a lizard called a tukgare, named so because it makes the sound "tukgare". And Thais think it is bad luck if they call less than 7 or is it 10 times? When small they are bright orange with purple spots, and very pretty. As an adult, they can reach up to half a metre and be quite fierce. I found one living in my kitchen and decided to try and tame it. So I called it each night from behind my cupboards and fed it on dogfood. About a year later he disappeared. And sure enough, as my father had told me, he had gone and found a mate and lived thereafter just outside my back door.

Now not my best idea, but one day I found a hornets nest by our gate. And I thought, you know, I am sure I can get rid of it unscathed.
Sooo, I lit a bit of heavy cardboard and placed it at the bottom of the shrub beneath the nest and ran inside. Now it had been raining and the shrub was green, and the cardboard only a small piece so I thought it probably wouldn't light. And indeed it worked really well, smoking the nest and stupifying the hornets. But unfortunately it began to work its way up the tree to the lagging phone cables draped through it. So I had to run out quickly with a bucket, and was back a little too late. I can attest that Asian hornets are indeed about three inches long ----

a:Their sting has a higher concentration of the pain-causing chemical called Acetylcholine than any other stinging insect.
b: An enzyme in its venom can dissolve human tissue.
c: Containing at least eight distinctly different chemicals, the venom itself produces one such that actually attracts others of its kind to the victim.
d: Like all other hornets, it can sting repeatedly.

The driver couldn't get over the fact that madam had taken on a hornets nest, and rang all his friends in disbelief. H m m.

Ahh, well we are all off course these days. Lyn x.

Greetings! I am actually excited to find out one thing, could you be so kind and please tell us where you grew up?

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