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Michael if it's any consolation when you get to heaven you can know for sure who exactly wrote Shakespeare's plays. It's because of that "all knowledge" connectedness and oneness thing and time and space existing all at once. All you will have to do is focus your attention on the question and it will be answered.

Excerpt from Mark Horton's NDE,
"I had to merely think of a place and time and I was there, experiencing everything about the place and time and people present."

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more." surely?

Henry V, Act III :)

Michael, I am way out of my depth here, especially when discussing Shakespeare with someone as well informed as you, however at the risk of showing my stupidity and being 'run out of town' might I suggest that perhaps another source for the Shakespeare plays could be considered. This may be most appropriate especially on a blog site such as this where people are at least open to the idea of alternate realities and spirits.

It is not uncommon for authors, some of them well known and famous to claim that they had guidance from their 'muse' in writing their works. Some even go so far as to claim that they were guided by spirits in composing their novels, poems etc---a few names still in my memory include, Nathanial Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, James Merrill, William Yeats, Jane Roberts and of course the one with whom I am most familiar, Pearl Curran. These writers all claimed that they received inspiration if not direct communication from spirits.

In the case of Pearl Curran, she too had an education limited to grade school, was somewhat crude in her social demeanor at times and had no direct experience with places outside of her limited personal space living in Illinois, Missouri and Texas in the USA. Yet with limited knowledge of geography and history she was able to write historical novels of other places and times which received unexpected acclaim from academicians of history, and literature.

When one reads Currans 'The Sorry Tale' one might be inclined to echo your sentiments about Shakespeare when you said that, "Personally, I don't think Shakespeare's knowledge looks like book learning. It has the feel, the immediacy, of personal experience --".

I and others have made similar comments about Pearl Curran's work. When one reads 'The Sorry Tale', 'Telka', and 'Hope Trueblood' one gets the feeling that whoever wrote the story actually lived in those times. Curran exhibited knowledge about Rome of 2,000 years ago, Medieval England and Victorian England that few if any scholars have been able to know without years of study.

I see that you have stated in one of your links that Shakespeare had a fascination with magic, alchemy, and the occult. I know that he included spirits in one or more of his plays but I wonder if he might have a greater interest than is acknowledged by his fans in academia and perhaps received his inspiration and knowledge from a group of spirit writers similar to the Imperator Band that spoke through Leonora Piper.

Just a thought! - AOD

"Michael if it's any consolation when you get to heaven you can know for sure who exactly wrote Shakespeare's plays. It's because of that "all knowledge" connectedness and oneness thing and time and space existing all at once. All you will have to do is focus your attention on the question and it will be answered."

Perhaps he could do that here on earth Art i.e. focus his attention on the question and it will be answered. Although over there knowledge is all encompassing, it seems we just have to concentrate a little harder over here to do the same :)

Lyn x.

I am *so* not knowledgeable about this subject!

That said, here's a blurb I had lying around from way back. Michael, here it is, for what it's worth. It may well be old hat for you:

"William Shakespeare lacked the education and factual information needed to write at least parts of the plays he gets the credit for. However, with Sir Henry Neville (1562?-1615) it would be different.

"Sir Henry Neville (1562?-1615) was put forward as a candidate for the authorship of Shakespeare's works, after scholars for centuries had asked how a boy who grew up in Stratford-on-Avon could have gathered the breadth of learning displayed in the Shakespeare plays. Authors Brenda James and Professor William Rubinstein, professor of history at Aberystwyth University, find an exact correlation between the subject of the plays and where Neville was at any given time. The chronology of Neville's life and the chronology of the plays always match up, asserts Professor Rubinstein.

"Further, Neville, unlike Shakespeare, had access to a detailed story of the Bermuda shipwreck of 1609, which seems to be the basis of The Tempest. There are also striking similarities of style and vocabulary between Neville's private and diplomatic letters and the Shakespeare plays and poems. Word frequency analysis also reveals a statistical correlation. Besides, some scenes of Henry V are written in French, which Neville spoke, but Shakespeare did not, and so on.

"New documents known to have been written by Neville while in the Tower of London, contain detailed notes which later ended up in Henry VIII."

What about North as a candidate? I thought he was a slam dunk.

If Stanley were the author, and if he outlived Shaksper by quite a while, is it plausible that he would have have refrained from writing any more poems of plays after Shaksper's death, that is, aside from a few edits and additions to his old works? Or was there a bunch of previously "unpublished" Shasksper work that continued to come out after his death and, coincidentally, until Stanley's death?

The whole authorship thing doesn't work with my epistemological stance. For I say, "Expect the unexpected."

We use a lot of fuzzy logic in life, expecting things generally to follow certain rules. But there are always exceptions to those rules.

There are things that happened that one would think, there's no way that would happen! As an example, I've been reading a lot about WWII over the past year or so. There is so much stuff that would make your head spin. The Soviet Union was at one point negotiating to join the Axis powers. The negotiations were still ongoing up until Operation Barbarossa. Hermann Goering's right-hand man, Erhard Milch, was half-Jewish (a known fact about him, not something he hid). I could go on and on.

So the argument that the author of the works had to be this person because he knew that or didn't know that don't mean a lot to me. Maybe the facts of William of Stratford's life are incongruous but happened that way anyway. Or maybe there was a hidden author. Or maybe Shakespeare co-wrote everything with someone else. It's a person about whom we know very little in the first place. Unless we can look back in time, we can't "know." To me, the elaborate theories are a bit bizarre. I can see speculating as a bit of fun, but taking them seriously seems, again, like bad epistemology.

This whodunit sounds like a job for an Elizabethan gumshoe. Maybe not novel worthy, but there’s a story in there with the secretive aristocrat, the crime boss, the roguish playwright Will, and maybe a witch thrown in for good measure.

Thanks for the interesting comments! Some replies ...

"I see that you have stated in one of your links that Shakespeare had a fascination with magic, alchemy, and the occult." - AOD

Yes, the author of the works was clearly sympathetic to such things. There's no evidence tying Shaksper of Stratford to such interests, though. Quite the opposite - from everything we know of him, he was a hard-nosed skinflint who cared nothing for impracticalities and mystical claptrap, as he would have called it. I like to think of him as roughly equivalent to the movie moguls of the Golden Age of Hollywood - a Harry Cohn or Louis B. Mayer type. "Cut out all that speechifying and give me another swordfight and a good clown! That's what the public wants!"

"Sir Henry Neville ..." - James Oeming

I read the Neville book, but I didn't think it offered much good evidence.

"What about North as a candidate?" - Roger Knights

Sir Thomas North is an interesting figure. His translation of Plutarch features heavily in Shakespeare's ancient history plays. The only person I know of to push North as a candidate is Dennis McCarthy in "North of Shakespeare." I like the book (with reservations) and have read it twice. He does an excellent job of analyzing "Titus Andronicus," among other things. But until he can bring out his long-promised follow-up bio of North, I think we just don't know enough to render a judgment.

"If Stanley were the author, and if he outlived Shaksper by quite a while, is it plausible that he would have have refrained from writing any more poems of plays after Shaksper's death, that is, aside from a few edits and additions to his old works?" - David

Hard to say. Sometimes authors do retire. J.D. Salinger stopped writing decades ago. Margaret Mitchell never wrote anything after "Gone with the Wind," and Harper Lee never wrote anything after "To Kill a Mockingbird." Even prolific authors retire sometimes; they burn out. Though he lived for decades, Tolstoy wrote only short pieces after "Anna Karenina." Screenwriters, who are perhaps the modern equivalent of Jacobean playwrights, retire quite often, usually saying that the movies are a young person's game. So ... who knows?

"I can see speculating as a bit of fun, but taking them seriously seems, again, like bad epistemology." - Matt Rouge

There's a lot of bad epistemology (and bad logic) in the authorship question (on all sides, including the orthodox side). It's a muddled, messy area, and I doubt we'll ever know the truth unless a cache of original Shakespearean manuscripts turns up. To me, it is mainly fun - like reading Agatha Christie novels and trying to figure out whodunit. Speaking of which ...

"This whodunit sounds like a job for an Elizabethan gumshoe. Maybe not novel worthy, but there’s a story in there with the secretive aristocrat, the crime boss, the roguish playwright Will, and maybe a witch thrown in for good measure." - David Chilstrom

It's been done. Maybe not exactly that way (which sounds fun), but there are lots of novels that try to imagine an alternative history in which Oxford or some other candidate is the Bard. There was even a movie, "Anonymous," which I didn't like very much (it took too many historical liberties and was hard to follow) ... though I did like some of the performances and the art design.

Another interesting historical novel is Josephine Tey's "The Daughter of time,: which depicts a bedridden detective trying to find the truth behind the life and reign of Richard III. It's a minor classic of its type. Nothing to do with Shakespeare, except in so far as he depicted Richard in the most unflattering light for propagandistic purposes.

I have no absolutely no clue on this subject, although, strangely, in my high-school English class, my teacher was highly impressed with my ability to mimic the Shakesperian writing style.

Here's an interesting article for anyone who's had an ADE:

A surprising 85 percent of respondents, most of whom were very attached to their deceased pets, said that at least for a split second, they thought they saw or heard their pet.

As this is a research article, the idea that these people DID see or hear their pets is completely ruled out of course. The round-about explanation seems to be that these types of experiences are part of the grief experiences, and can be explained by an evolutionary instinct to search for missing companions, as opposed to the simpler explanation: that they did see their pets.

Somewhat related but really off-topic and granted again that I know little or nothing about Shakespeare and the ‘Shake-Spear’ plays, I have always thought that the snooty productions of the plays usually produced here in the Midwest probably were nothing like the plays when seen in Shakespeare’s time, especially the comedies. For instance, Titania, Queen of the Fairies in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ seems to always be seriously portrayed by a beautiful, delicate, usually blond woman dressed in gossamer gowns of flowing chiffon.

I have a picture in my mind that in Shakespeare’s time Titania would have been played by a large grossly obese (Titania!) hairy bearded man, perhaps also dressed in a flowing gossamer gown and that her husband Oberon, King of the Fairies would have been played by a small short somewhat effeminate man. Disney did this effectively in the movie cartoon version of Alice in Wonderland where the Queen of Hearts was drawn as a very large dominating overbearing woman while her husband the King, was portrayed as a very small, thin ineffectual man.

Now wouldn’t that casting be bawdily funnier, especially to an audience full of men who probably were great friends with their drinking buddy up there on the stage playing Titania Queen of the Fairies! What a rousing good laugh that would be! - AOD

"As this is a research article, the idea that these people DID see or hear their pets is completely ruled out of course".

Don't you just love it Kathleen. I think I posted the experience I had with my dog when I was a teenager some time ago now.

I was about 16 and had been on a camping trip with two of my closest friends when our family dog died. One of the parents picked us up to take us home and she must have found it odd, as not knowing, all the way back I was talking about if my dog died. Which I realised when I got home, as he didn't come running to greet me.

In the past if I was upset, my dog, even though perhaps upstairs, seemed to know, and would always come down and jump on the bed and snuggle up beside me to comfort me.

Some months later I was lying on my bed, tearful about something or other, and i wasn't even thinking about him. next thing I felt something jump up on the bed, footprints coming across the bed and a body snuggle up beside me. And without thinking, I reached down to pat him. Only to remember he had gone.

Did I imagine it? I don't think so, in fact I wasn't even thinking of him at the time. I adored that dog though, and I know he loved me.

Lyn x.

Here's another idea about the life and works of Shakespeare:

Thanks for the link, Kathleen to the article about the evolution of grieving. I don’t agree with the theories offered however; just sounds like a way to avoid considering a spiritual explanation. I do have to agree with the sentiments of the man who had to put down his dog. I feel the same about my dog ‘Woody’ i.e., “I still think about him every day. I loved him more than I’ve loved any person in the world.“ ---my sentiments exactly.

Here is my experience with Woody after he had died.

“When I had my dog Woody euthanized, I was driving home with tears streaming down my face, when I noticed the car in front of me had a license plate that said “Woody3″. For the rest of the year I looked for signs from Woody but nothing else appeared. On the first anniversary of his death—May 1st, I was hoping to see another license plate with “Woody” on it, perhaps”Woody4″ would be nice since a year had passed. But even though I looked for some message from him all day, nothing showed-up. With great disappointment, I gave up looking and as it was early evening, after work, I had gone to Lowes hardware store for something and had forgotten all about looking for a license plate with “Woody” on it. But, as I was leaving the store and had exited the main doors, I turned around for some reason and there on the wall behind the exit door was a large poster, perhaps 5 feet by 5 feet advertising “Woody’s Hot Dogs” with the word “Woody” printed at least 9 times on the poster as well as the word “Dog”. As I walked to my car, somewhat overwhelmed by the sight of the large poster, the tears began again and I had a feeling of reassurance that perhaps Woody or someone else had sent me a message that day."

Some might say that this was coincidence. Jung might say it was meaningful synchronicity. I might say it was wonder-full. - AOD

It was definitely a meaningful coincidence, Amos.

I've had many similar in my life and the timing never ceases to astonish me. Even so . . . . . .

Glad you liked that link. It did seem a very-round-about explanation to me. You know if I lose something inanimate that I'm very attached to, such as a ring, I don't see it out of the corner of my eye (unless it really is there). But I have seen things out of the corner of my eye that defy the researcher's idea that I'm hallucinating it, or that it's some biological, evolutionary quirk of my brain.

I'm with you, AOD, on signs such as you've experienced. Experiences like yours, and I've read a lot of them, just seems to have happen too often for coincidence.

Thanks for sharing that story, Amos. Skeptics could of course explain it away, but the emotional power of such episodes is undeniable for those who experience them.

Some years ago, I was worried about my finances. I reassured myself by saying, "God will provide." I repeated this mantra to myself several times. Then, on a whim, I went to a local shop to get an ice cream cone. I rarely went there, so this was an unusual thing to do. Eating the ice cream, I walked down a side street that was unfamiliar to me. Up ahead I saw a homemade banner hanging from someone's porch. As I got closer, I read the words on the banner: "God Provides."

I found this so significant that I came back later with a camera and took a photo of the banner, which I displayed on my fridge for some years afterward.

I too took a picture of the poster. To see it go to:

and scroll down toward the bottom of the page. - AOD

And did She, Michael? :)

As we are already somewhat off topic: have you seen this, Michael?

Thanks for that Julie, although I knew some of what was documented, seeing the full history as outlined, I wasn't aware of. Lyn x.

I too was/am already aware of all that was contained within the documentary, Lynn. But it was so refreshing to have it all presented so clearly, in what I call 'Colin Wilson' fashion, that it quite put me back on a positive track. And when the piles of book appeared (I have just about every one that I could see there) I realised that there's enough intelligent literature out ther on the subject to sink the proverbial ship! How can anyone doubt the validity of this material?

What say you, Amos?

Yes Julie, I have seen this YouTube video before. Nothing new for me. It did hit the high points of the history of the paranormal somewhat. Of course there is so much more that most people don't want to take the time to read and study.

I am currently reading Tanner and Hall's 'expose' of Leonora Piper. As you may know this 'scientific investigation' is frequently used by Skeptics to debunk Piper. I can't believe that anyone who has really read Tanner and Hall's report could in their wildest dreams believe that anything Tanner and Hall said had any validity. I hope to do a critique of it soon but the volume of stupid opinions in Tanner and Hall's report is overwhelming and for me, laughable and it will take a lot of time and paper to comment on them.

Tanner and Hall are NOT scientists just because they put a little camphor and salt in Mrs. Piper's mouth or that they poked her hand repeatedly with the point of a pencil. They apparently had their own egotistic religious, sexist and poetic agendas they wanted to promote!

It is disgusting to me how their report has taken on a life of it's own and is used as 'evidence' against Piper. Please, please, read it. Don't let them get away with this! - AOD

A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest? Also, wasn't it Shakespeare who said something along the lines of, 'Convince a man against his will he's of the same opinion still'?

That aside, I find taking the time to revisit such documentaries and reread some of the books by writers such as Colin Wilson is very refreshing. Life is far too short for arguing with people who really aren't looking to find the truth. 'Where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to be wise'. Remember Atticus Finch's closing speech at the trial in which he defended the obviously-innocent Negro? (BTW, Atticus is my all-time fictional hero.)

I could go on like this forever but, fortunately, I have too much else to do. I admire the patience of people such as you, Amos. I could never find the good grace to suffer fools gladly. I hope you manage to write a critique so nonsense-tight that even the most slippery of fancy-footwork merchants can't get a lever under it . . . . . . if that's not too many mixed metaphors.

Good Luck! :)

Ps. Given that the documentary was only published on YouTube on the 20th of June 2015, might I ask where you saw it previously, Amos? Has it been broadcast on TV, or something?

Yes Julie,
Michael Tymn of White Crow Books linked that video a day or two before you did. I saw it there. - AOD

Ah! That explains it, Amos. :) I do hope it gets a wide audience. And I do miss Colin Wilson. (Just thinking out loud.)

Victor Zammit has the video on his Friday Report today. - AOD

If he were there and a participant in the court of Henri of Navarre it might explain why he might have written as bad a play as Love's Labors Lost, as an inside joke. It's a pretty bad play, though the jocular repartee might make a lot more sense to someone who knew who was being satirized by it.

I don't know who wrote them but I'm pretty sure I know one person who didn't write them, the bogus bard.

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