Talk:Shakespeare's sonnets

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Shortening the article[edit]

I think it's time to shorten this article, (as per WP:SIZE), as it has grown to well over 60 kb. We can start by (and feel free to add your ideas):

  1. Shortening info on alternative candidates (most already have their own articles)
  2. Shortening the enormous introduction
  3. Can anything else warrant its own article?

AdamBiswanger1 17:46, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Relevant policies (for general reference): WP:CFORK, WP:SS, WP:SIZE. AdamBiswanger1 17:49, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I'd say cut all but one selected sonnet. Probably leave sonnet 18. Wrad 17:56, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Sorry! I meant to post that here AdamBiswanger1 17:58, 18 September 2007 (UTC)


Why does the bottom half of the page seem extra indented? Like, 1/8 inch more white space on the left before the menu bar? —ScouterSig 03:50, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I think I fixed it.Smatprt (talk) 04:58, 5 December 2007 (UTC)he was the best writer ever so then nobody have not been later on.


I noticed that sonnet 29 is not the only sonnet to repeat a rhyme word ('state'). Immediately before it in the sequence, sonnet 28 repeats 'night' (lines 3, 11). I mention it because the uniqueness of 29 is emphasised in the article. Untilangry (talk) 05:46, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I do not see that the uniqueness is emphasised in the current version: perhaps this has been edited out. Nevertheless, the article certainly seems to imply that it is unique: I shall edit it to make it clear it is not unique. However, I am not happy about this part of the article in other ways. (1)"Shakespeare must have been well aware . . . " reads to me like an opinion, not a fact. (2) To what extent is this a deviation from the standard structure? Each quatrain has the standard rhyme scheme, but the second rhyme in quatrain 3 happens to be the same as that in quatrain 1. This may be a more liberal interpretation of the structure than was made by earlier poets, but is it to be seen as a deviation from the structure? (3) If it IS an exception then it should be included in the list headed "The only exceptions . . . ". (4) There are hundreds of textual and critical remarks about the various sonnets one could make: a wikipedia page should cover only the principle issues concerning the sonnets as a whole, and it seems to me that this is a detail about one or two sonnets which does not merit inclusion.

I suggest that this section needs more significant editing, or perhaps even removal.

JamesBWatson (talk) 11:03, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Why not move the analysis of this sonnet from the main page to the page particular to sonnet 29 to solve the perceived problem? Trixi72 (talk) 04:40, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Individual pages[edit]

I'm planning to do some work on the individual Sonnets' articles, mainly standardising them to start with. If anyone wants to comment or help, please do so here. Olaf Davis | Talk 19:21, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Question about title of article[edit]

Why is the "sonnets" part of the title uncapitalized? C H, Random Middle School Student (talk) 00:53, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

WP:CAPS says "For page titles, always use lowercase after the first word, and do not capitalize second and subsequent words, unless: the title is a proper noun." I don't think this is a proper noun, although if it's usually used as one capitalization could well be appropriate. Olaf Davis | Talk 11:05, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

of "periods" and "full stops" ...[edit]

NOTE: I have reverted the change from "periods" to "full stops." Surely "full stop" is familiar in British English (and yes, Shakespeare is British yada yada yada), however ... given:

  1. the word "periods" is from the book referenced
  2. "full stop" will totally confuse Americans (and many Canadians)
  3. its use clearly does not imply a true "full stop" in the course of reading if it appears after every word

THEREFORE: I have restored the word "periods." Comments? Questions? Proofreader77 (talk) 00:13, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

"Atheism" in the lede; bisexuality in dedication[edit]

According to the lede, the sonnets "deal with such themes as...atheism". If the lede is meant to summarize what follows, this shouldn't be here as it is the only mention.

Lower down, regarding "Mr. W. H.": "The reality, identity and age of this person remain a mystery and have caused a great deal of speculation as to Shakespeare's implicit bisexuality" Apart from the wording ("reality of this person") the reason why it "cause[s] a great deal of speculation as to Shakespeare's implicit bisexuality" isn't made clear to this reader. Is it Southampton, perhaps?. --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:37, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Reverted:thanks User:Smatprt. I'm now looking for sources for doubting the "reality" of the dedicatee, but everything I've found so far suggests the opposite: It would have been against Thorpe's nature to waste the opportunity of flattering someone who could do him advantage. Any objections if this were removed as well?--Old Moonraker (talk) 10:27, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
While (personally) I agree with you on this point as well, I suppose the "reality" reference refers to this line in the article: "In his 2002 Oxford Shakespeare edition of the sonnets, Colin Burrow argues that the dedication is deliberately mysterious and ambiguous, possibly standing for "Who He", a conceit also used in a contemporary pamphlet. He suggests that it may have been created by Thorpe simply to encourage speculation and discussion (and hence, sales of the text)." Also, I do think the "bisexuality" aspect has been commented on by more than one researcher, although it does make some scholars uneasy. I removed it due to a lack of reference, but would not oppose a section on the topic if accompanied by a reliable source. I certainly don't agree with its former placement, as most of the "speculation" is about the identity of the dedicatee and the circumstances surrounding the publication itself.Smatprt (talk) 14:56, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
OK, I won't make any changes in the lede without some meaningful and well-sourced addition in the body. Not soon, so if anyone else wants to take this up, please do! --Old Moonraker (talk) 15:20, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
The possible fictional character the dedicatee has been commented upon, so that should probably stay (though the theory seems far-fetched to me too). The bisexuality theory is derived from the content of the sonnets, not the dedication. Including that in the description of the wording of the dedication would, I'd suggest, just confuse matters. I guess the atheism claim derives from the oft-noted fact that sonnets imply that the only real immortality is to be had from children and literature, and the absence of pious sentiment, but that's a big extrapolation. Paul B (talk) 15:23, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Though this may surprise everyone, after looking at the article again (thanks Moonraker), it was apparent that the authorship stuff in the lede was too long and not reflected in the article itself. I believe I fixed this by moving most of it to its own section, and leaving a single line reference in the lede. Smatprt (talk) 15:39, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

"...sacred images to Freemasons and Rosicrucians"[edit]

This recent addition identifies "Pillars of Solomon's Temple,...sacred images to Freemasons and Rosicrucians" in the dedication. Although it is referenced to a web page maintained by the Rosicrucian Order, is this too far outside mainstream scholarly discussion to be included? --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:55, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

I would think so. If there were more references that showed this theory actually being discussed by other scholars, that would be helpful. But it appears to rely exclusively on a single source. Smatprt (talk) 07:09, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) Thank you, Moonraker, for highlighting this. My first thought is that you are right, although my second thought is, hmmm, my first thoughts are not always right. For example there is a copy of a PhD thesis a friend sent me (she is not a Freemason:) which became a book from Ashgate publishing which gave me different perspective on such things ... i.e, again, thanks... I'll be looking into this. But surely other[s] have more solid footing already. Proofreader77 (talk) 07:14, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
It looks like loopylalaland theory to me, and what do we know about this 'electronic journal'? Proofreader77, could you be less eliptical about this book and its relevance. A title might not go amis. Paul B (talk) 09:10, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Excuse parabolic response ^^ ... My comment meant only that I used to dismiss all such things out of hand ... but a very smart person chose to devote a great deal of time to such things (which included getting special access to archives) and a resulting PhD thesis. While that particular (Keatsian) document will not answer the Shakespearean question here, I thought she might have some insight on the question (or whom to ask) ... and so I've sent an email to current university email (but it is Thanksgiving). Proofreader77 (talk) 16:35, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Ah Keats, well I guess you mean this book. The historical difference is that Fremasonry certainly existed as an organised movement with established social networks and beliefs in Keats' day. We know it was significant in Mozart's career for example (Mozart and Freemasonry). The problem is that we have no good evidence of this for Shakespeare's day, only the self-crerated myth of ancient continuity that Masons and Rosicrucians asserted for themselves, which is barely more respectable than the Priory of Sion. Paul B (talk) 18:44, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Many thanks, Paul B. - As I said, "But surely other[s] have more solid footing already." Such are your well-planted feet. (re Priory of Sion - Do you mean Audrey Tautou will never walk on water?!?! ^^) Cheers. Proofreader77 (talk) 20:18, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

"Authorship Questions" Get Top Billing?[edit]

How disappointing that "authorship question" take virtual top billing in an article about some of world literature's most glorious poetry.

It must be noted that the "hyphen-equals-pseudonym" claim of the anti-Stratfordians should not be presented in this piece as though it is fact.

It has been eviscerated, e.g. at (..."there is no evidence whatsoever that hyphenation in Elizabethan times was ever thought to indicate a pseudonym, and other proper names of real people were also sometimes hyphenated.) HedgeFundBob (talk) 11:53, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

That's a good point: there seems no reason why the "authorship question" shouldn't be moved down the page—be WP:BOLD. Is there a single citation that puts the "hyphen-equals-pseudonym" issue into context, thereby guarding against any suggestion of original thinking? --Old Moonraker (talk) 12:05, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
The sentence is actually nonsensical. The phrase "authorship proponents" makes no sense (as opposed to those who argue that the sonnets are natural phenomena perhaps?). The word "notes" implies that this is undisputed fact rather than a theory (or rather made up fantasy as HFB notes). Paul B (talk) 18:40, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
More skirmishing has broken out over evidence in the sonnets demonstrating the author was dead when they were published. WP:ONEWAY would permit this extended coverage of a fringe theory "only if independent reliable sources connect the topics in a serious and prominent way" but at present the two refs for the section fall far short of this requirement. As the section stands at the time of posting it seems liable to deletion. --Old Moonraker (talk) 16:51, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Shakespeare’s Sonnets section titled “Principal Audio and Audio-Visual Interpretations"[edit]

Limoux, France, 27/3/10

Dear Mr Barlow,

I have been asked to contact you and hope for some guidance on a section that was included in Shakespeare’s Sonnets in Wikipedia a short while ago. Many people have said the section added greatly to the entry and we would like to see it returned in the correct and acceptable way, I am writing to ask your help in helping me see its return in due course .

Mr Willby has many citations and appreciation of his work in bringing the sonnets to greater light and understanding for worldly figures as HRH Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales as President of the Royal Shakespeare Company, President Bill Clinton and many more as well as Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Yours sincerely

Steffan Scurfield

Dear Steffan

Shakespeare’s Sonnets section titled “Principal Audio and Audio-Visual Interpretations”.

I am having a great deal of communications from academic colleagues about the loss of this section in Wikipedia. They have been using it to aide teaching and further understanding of the works to students whose first language is not always English or to help other students articulate, hear the rises and falls, pauses and enunciation, etc. of English at time in the language’s history when it was in a far different form than it is today.

I cannot think of any other way of doing this entry other than by giving the reader a guide to the principal audio and audio-visual interpretations that are available to them.

Perhaps Mr Barlow knows a better way?

I believe this entry to be valid for this reason and also as in Elizabethan times, literacy was limited and the oral/aural tradition was far stronger than it is today: the only way for the majority of people to accede to the Sonnets would have been by the spoken word. Even today many people, including the elderly and the blind can only experience this great body of verse through recordings. The purpose of this entry is to serve as a guide to some of the main source material.

Kind regards

Jonathan Willby

Copy of revised entry for Wikipedia, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, please advise.. (Mr Barlow, please do not worry that this is not shown as the correct way of showing links, people, for Wikipedia, I will do that, this i just for content SS)

Principal Audio and Audio-Visual Interpretations

Complete audio recordings of all the 154 Sonnets by individual readers are quite scarce. Probably the best-known purely audio interpretation of a near-complete collection is that by the legendary British actor, Sir John Gielgud (Caedmon 1963). Another memorable version is that by the English-born screen actor Ronald Colman(multi LP set, date unreported). More recent unabridged recordings have been made by the British actor Simon Callow (HighBridge Co. Oct 2005). The American film actor Stacy Keach has also recently offered his interpretation in a 2 cd set (label unspecified). Other individual complete readings include those by Jack Edwards (Helios/Hyperion, 1988-1991), and by David Butler (In Audio 2005) and Alex Jennings (Naxos 2006). Audio versions of selected Sonnets by individual readers has been recorded by the actor Anthony Quayle 24 Sonnets, (1956) and by Dame Edith Evans, 20 Sonnets (EMI, early 1960s). The best known "combined cast" audio versions of all the 154 Sonnets are those made by Dame Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Michael Williams, Peter Egan, Peter Orrand Bob Peck (Penguin Classics 1995), and by Patrick Stewart, Natasha Richardson, Ossie Davis, Al Pacino, Claire Bloom, Kathleen Turner, Alfred Molina, Eli Wallach and others (AirplayAudio Publishing 2000). Another complete version exists by a cast of various mainly North American readers, emphasized as being 'in the public domain'. (Librivox 2005/6). An impressive cast of some 40 former alumni, young and old, of London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts perform on an audio rendition of 47 Sonnets, entitled 'When Love Speaks'. (EMI, released 4 February 2003). The British actor Alan Rickman has recorded his version of Sonnet 130. An interesting offering for linguists is a disc entitled 'Accents for Actors--Accents of Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England which provides "A Shakespeare Sonnet read in 20 different accents of the British Isles" (Clo-lar-Chonnachta, Eire: SAC 1027). Complete audio-visual interpretations are also scarce and include a version with musical preludes by Jonathan Willby (2006). Filmed readings of selected Sonnets include a video film entitled: "Shakespeare on Screen: selected Sonnets by Shakespeare" and described as "an educational program that gives an in-depth analysis of fifteen of Shakespeare's Sonnets". The cast of readers comprises the actors Ben Kingsley, Roger Rees, Claire Bloom andJane Lapotaire with critical commentaries by A. L. Rowse, Leslie Fiedler, Stephen Spender, Gore Vidal, Arnold Wesker, Nicholas Humphrey and Roy Strong. (Kenneth S Rothwell and Annabelle Henkin Melzer, 1984). A video version of 29 of the Sonnets was made, with a commentary, in various pastoral settings: at the breakfast table, over the telephone and as a standup comedy routine (Princeton, N.J-Films for the Humanities and Sciences, 2000) In the arthouse drama film 'The Angelic Conversion', directed by Derek Jarman, Dame Judi Dench recites a number of the Sonnets (1985). Musical settings of the sonnets are rare. Igor Stravinsky set Sonnet 8, "Music to hear", in his Three Songs From William Shakespeare. Benjamin Britten also set only one sonnet by Shakespeare, Sonnet 43, as the last part of his Nocturne. Andrzej Czajkowski set seven sonnets. Maurice Johnston set Sonnet 75 "So are you to my thoughts". In 2007 the RSC ran Nothing Like the Sun, a project to set the sonnets to music.[20] Zehnder recorded Sonnet 30 on their CD Broken Train of Thought listed in the liner notes as '30'.

Hi, the only way to have the section restored is to build consensus on the talk page of the article. I have not contributed to wikipedia over the last month as I am in rural Brittany without internet access; I am currently writing from a library. I will not be able to communicate much over the next week, but I suggest that you shorten the section. I do believe that it is worthwhile. Paul B (talk) 15:20, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Hello Paul, Jonathan who wrote the section lives in Midi Pyrénées so it's a pity you couldn't have met up over a "petit noir" to discuss your proposal of shortening the section. I know he spent absolutely ages paring it down to the bare minimum in order not to waste valuable Wikipedia space. Half the trouble seems to be that other people have 'hitched a ride' on his original wording! Any guidance please as to what you think could be chopped without losing useful reader-information. Have a great séjour in Brittany Kind regards StephenJwssbarlow (talk) 09:45, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

SAQ in Sonnets article[edit]

Smatprt, your continued POV pushing is becoming tiresome and disruptive. I thought we were past all this but apparently not.

According to WP:ONEWAY, “Fringe theories should be mentioned in the text of other articles only if independent reliable sources connect the topics in a serious and prominent way.” ScienceApologist explains this quite thoroughly on his user page. Note also that he discusses false claims of consensus, in which fringe promoters “might insist that there is ‘no consensus’ for changes that bring an article's text more closely in line with the rules for dealing with pseudoscience”, which is an apt description of your objections. He goes on to say “false claims of consensus are rightly ignored as disruption of the encyclopedia. If you want to have this material restored to the article, then you need to build consensus on the talk page of the article. Until that happens, my reverting to enforce certain overriding policies is not considered edit warring. Tom Reedy (talk) 19:33, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Spark Notes as sources[edit]

Really, in an article on Shakespeare? The passage the source supports runs:

the sonnets, Shakespeare often declares that the sonnets will outlast such earthly things as stone monuments and inscriptions.

Happens to be untrue, whatever the Bright Spark behind the Spark Notes asserts. Sonnet 55 does indeed deploy the Horatian topos, but he grows less confident, with 64,65 and 124. The Spark note improperly generalises Sonnet 55 in short, and should be removed and the passage rewritten by reference to a proper RS on the point. I.e., John Kerrigan, 'Shakespeare's Poems,' in Margreta De Grazia, Stanley W. Wells (eds.) The Cambridge companion to Shakespeare,pp.65-80, p.77 (here), for example.Nishidani (talk) 20:24, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Removal of reference to book[edit]

removed text: Petter Amundsen argues in "Oak Island & the Treasure Map in Shakespeare" (2012) that W. and H. are letters to be read in Greek, once mastered, they make the dedication's acrostic legible: TT MAP BOWTH - Boötes - a map of constellations. The letters BOWTH are also an acrostic anagram in the First Folio's "To the Reader"-poem. T.T. could indicate The Tempest, which begins with the word: BOTESWAINE. Then follow: "Here, Master, What..." perhaps indicating Mr. W.H.

(copied redacted from my talk page and email) Why did you cut my Mr. W.H. contribution? ...Best wishes, Petter Amundsen — Preceding unsigned comment added by Boteswaine (talkcontribs) 13:19, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Hi, I reverted the edit because there is no evidence that this theory is notable, and it appears to be promotional – designed to draw attention to the book. Are there any reviews of this book? Has it been discussed by Shakespeare scholars? Paul B (talk) 16:02, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
This is debated in Norway. A film about is scheduled to premiere in June in London. Yes, the book is for sale, but its prequel is called Organsten (Cappelen, 2006) and is published in seven countries. I co-wrote it with noted author, Erlend Loe. I think my theory deserves to be mentioned in that list, with or without mentioning the source. P Boteswaine (talkcontribs)
Well, it does not matter that the book is for sale – what matters is that the edit seems to be promoting the book, which is otherwise not notable within Shakespeare scholarship. We should be discussing this on the talk page, in public not in private, as all editors should be able to contribute. I will cut and paste my comments and your reply to the talk page of the article, unless you have objections. Paul B (talk) 16:07, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Literally thousands of interesting observations have been made regarding Shakespeare and his works, and many of those have been described in books. Material at Wikipedia needs to satisfy WP:DUE with independent reliable sources showing that an idea is a significant part of the associated scholarship. Johnuniq (talk) 00:46, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I see that I may have overstepped the threshold of weight. What if I make the statement very short and do not refer to any books? This theory has been published on paper in seven countries by publishers like: Cappelen Damm (Norway), Alfabeta (Sweden), Gyldendal (DK), Replika (PL), Johnny Kniga (Fin), Azbooka (Rus) and De Geus (Hol). My suggested text: "The letters W. and H. may refer to the greek letters, Omega and Eta, being the key to a cipher method." Would this pass? Best, P. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Boteswaine (talkcontribs) 14:27, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Elizabethan Review 'not reliable source'[edit]

Paul. Please can you state why the Elizabethan Review is not a RS.

Where available, academic and peer-reviewed publications are usually the most reliable sources, such as in history, medicine, and science. It was peer-reviewed with a majority of the board members apparently academics.

Thanks for your help on this. Sceptic1954 (talk) 19:41, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

It's in one of those guidelines you're too busy to read. I strongly, strongly urge you to read those arbitration links I placed on your talk page before proceeding further in your campaign "to give a balanced picture" to the Shakespeare articles you think are being censored. Tom Reedy (talk) 21:05, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Tom, you wrote of my alleged >campaign "to give a balanced picture" to the Shakespeare articles you think are being censored.< I have no campaign. I never search wikipedia for articles to edit. I read what interests me and offer my contributions which are very rarely reverted. I think that referring to Rollett fills the picture out by showing one of the many sorts of 'speculations' that's all. Sceptic1954 (talk) 05:23, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Tom/Paul It's not mentioned by name. Is it covered by

>Inclusion and exclusion of content related to fringe theories and criticism of fringe theories may be done by means of a rough parity of sources. However, if an article is written about a well-known topic, it should not include fringe theories that may seem relevant but are only sourced by obscure texts that lack peer review. Note that fringe journals exist, some of which claim peer review. Only a very few of these actually have any meaningful peer review outside of promoters of the fringe theories, and should generally be considered unreliable. Examples of unreliable journals include, but are not limited to: The Creation Research Society Quarterly, Homeopathy, and the Journal of Frontier Science (which uses blog comments[6] as its supposed peer review).< ?

and particularly the italicised sentence, which is not at all clear - what precisely is the subject of 'should'? The addition I made did not refer to the authorship at all, it was simply another piece and type of evidence put forward in favour of Southampton as dedicatee and as I recall was featured in the Times newpaper when the article appeared.

If it is covered by this guideline please can you explain precisely how. The home page of the journal contains the following

>As the first peer-reviewed journal to focus on the Shakespeare Authorship Issue, an increasingly relevant subject to scholars, the journal was cited in the most recent edition of The Winter's Tale published by Oxford University Press. Moreover, Gale Publishing has selected two articles which originally appeared in The Elizabethan Review for reprinting in their library textbook, English Literature 1300-1800 (April 2011). The articles are "Edward de Vere and the Psychology of Feudalism" by Charles Beauclerk (Autumn 1995) and "An Alternative Theory to the Oxford Cover-Up" by Richard Lester (Spring 1999).

The contents of the Elizabethan Review are indexed by the three leading bibliographies in the humanities: the MLA International Bibliography; the Bibliography of English Language and Literature by Cambridge University; and the World Shakespeare Bibliography by the Folger Shakespeare Library.<

so if articles which appear there are considered suitable to be cited, reprinted or indexed by these presumably reputable publications why can't they be cited in wikipedia particularly where the citation does not refer to something which has been designated as 'fringe'?

I couldn't find anything relevant in the arbitration link which you sent me. Sceptic1954 (talk) 04:24, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

I don't have time to mess with this today. I suggest you actually read some policies (especially WP:FRINGE), guidelines, and archived discussions, not only for these and related talk pages, but also at the various noticeboards. You also might want to look up the meanings of some words, such as "meaningful", as in "meaningful peer review". Here is the editor of your "peer-reviewed" journal. While the use of ER is perfectly fine in certain cases for articles relating to the Shakespeare authorship question (see J. Thomas Looney for example]], it is proscribed as a source for non-SAQ pages. Tom Reedy (talk) 13:25, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Who has proscribed it? is there a list of proscribed sources? This question I am only asking you to give specific references for your assertion in your last sentence - standard wiki practice. It shouldn't take very long for either you or Paul to answer that. If you are going to revert my edit and talk about RS then I think you have a responsibility to do that. If you don't have time I respectfully suggest that you may be over-committing yourself on Wiki. Sceptic1954 (talk) 15:50, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
There are some sources that indeed "proscribed", but they are rare. In general this is a matter of discussion following policy. The Elizabethan Review was a depositry for fringe authors and theories. Using it would seriously distort pages on Elizabethan culture by filling therm with fringe-cruft. But if you wish to address the matter you can take to to the relevant policy pages or boards. Paul B (talk) 15:56, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
If it would set a unfortunate precedent in using I can appreciate this. There may be one difference here that the article was mentioned in the Times newspaper, which is where I learned of it. Also there is absolutely nothing of itself anti-Stratfordian in Rollett finding 'Henry Wriothesley' encrypted in the dedication. It's a shame if it has to be omitted because it is one more example of the variety of approaches to the dedication.
Look: if you are going to edit pages that are under Arbitration sanctions you cannot just shrug off educating yourself about them. Wikipedia is not a debate forum or a free speech zone, nor is it a place to lead society to a new awareness or break new ground. It is an encyclopedia that is meant to reflect the scholastic consensus, period. It is not our responsibility to quote you chapter and verse of policies when you're given the page link and an example, as I did this morning. It would take you the same amount of time to find and read it and you need the practice, so do your own homework.
I told you above that the reference is fine in certain contexts and on certain pages, but not this one. Find another source if you want to add to the "dank pit of speculation". Tom Reedy (talk) 21:36, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
You speal like you are the ultimate arbiter of everything that goes on on this and quite a few other pages. Who says this page is under arbitration sanctions? It's not about the authorship. Sceptic1954 (talk) 05:24, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
So then why are you trying to bring in an authorship journal as a ref? (Did you mean to type "speak" or "spiel", or is it a neologism for "squeal" and "speak"? The typo, if that is what it is, is almost Shakespearean in its multiple connotations.) Tom Reedy (talk) 13:21, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes K sits next to L on the keyboard. I was unaware that it was an authorship journal when I made the edit. I am still not clear that it can be classified as such now. Is it acceptable if the Times report that it is in the Elizabethan Review? Sceptic1954 (talk) 19:36, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I suppose that lends credence to the million monkey theory. As to your source, its acceptability depends upon the context. Don't be shy and provide a link or a cite. And since you provided the link to the home page above, it's hard to see how you missed this: "As the first peer-reviewed journal to focus on the Shakespeare Authorship Issue ... And in fact you quoted it. Tom Reedy (talk) 21:02, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

The first link, the ER was rejected. The only other is the Times but I do not have access to their archive from Russia, but will search for the article on my return to Britain. A million monkeys typing random groups of 144 characters at one per minute may well come up with something less oblique than the sonnets' dedication within a year or two.(I'm guessing)Sceptic1954 (talk) 21:15, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Fifth pillar of Wikipedia here - Rollet's claim to have identified Henry Wriothesley in the Sonnets' inscription may have been made in somewhat Oxfordian context, from which context I believe Rollet retreated to the disappointment of Oxfordians. It may have been made in a journal which featured Oxfordian claims amongst a range of other things. However there is nothing intrinsically anti-Stratfordian about this claim, and it was featured in the Times. Let's invoke the fifth pillar and lighten up: to add it here enriches the article. And if all the Oxfordians have left editing these pages for one reason or another why not welcome an authorship agnostic like me to see minority views get just a little bit of space? Sceptic1954 (talk) 12:09, 29 June 2013 (UTC)


The first sentence of the following is IMO not well written.

> Given its obliquity, since the 19th century the dedication has become, in Colin Burrow's words, a "dank pit in which speculation wallows and founders".[2] Don Foster concludes that the result of all the speculation has yielded only two "facts," which themselves have been the object of much debate: First, that the form of address (Mr.) suggests that W.H. was an untitled gentleman, and second, that W.H., whoever he was, is identified as "the only begetter" of Shakespeare's Sonnets (whatever the word "begetter" is taken to mean).[3] <

The second sentence is presented as entirely Don Foster's view which is fine. The first, quoted in whole in many places, is a mixture of Burrow's view and seemingly Burrow's view being presented as objective fact. If it began 'Colin Burrows has written that...' that would be better. However I don't have Burrows to hand to suggest an alternative. Sceptic1954 (talk) 05:31, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

It is a great shame that I feel it necessary to point out that there is nothing intrinsically anti-Stratfordian about my change. All the speculations listed appear to be Stratfordian, quite likely most the speculators would accept Burrows description whilst at the same time thinkin their speculation was the right one. Sceptic1954 (talk) 08:44, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Indeed the entire page is wretched IMO and could use a rewrite.
As to your comment "It is a great shame...", I looked but saw no such response to your changes. Tom Reedy (talk) 13:58, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
This page is utter sh*t. It's been like thast for a while, so regular Shakespeare editors are to "blame" for not improving things. I've been meaning to give it a go for a while, but it's one of those tasks that seems too daunting to just dive into when other things are more pressing. There are so many things, far more important than who "W.H." was, that barely get touched upon: the structure of the collection as a whole; the language of the sonnets; the dating. There is one short, trite, paragraph on "themes" after endless blather about W.H., the Dark Lady etc. Paul B (talk) 14:38, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
The Burrow line has often been quoted. David Ellis quotes it and so does Don Paterson in Reading Shakespeare's Sonnets, so it's not just an isolated opinion. It's a well-known one. Technically you are right that it's presented as fact, but really I don't see why there should be any issue with this. It's not a contested point, is it? The current wording is just a readble and engaging way of introducing the reference to Burrow. I don't understand why you need Burrow "to hand" to suggest an "alternative", but what is it want to know about Burrow? Paul B (talk) 15:23, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
I made my edit after the comment and felt it would be okay without my having seen Burrow. I am glad that you agree here with me 'technically'. It's not that important but if it reads just as well it is closer to an encycopaedic neutral tone.


If anyone wants to make this a project for a few weeks, by all means have a go and I'll pitch in. My incomplete rewrite of the The Passionate Pilgrim basically just stripped it down to the bare bones and corrected the many errors. I don't have the time I used to have, so I haven't been able to get back to it, but at least the information is accurate, a marked improvement over the previous state of the page. This page could do with a general decluttering also, along with a rational organization. The Shakespeare pages in general need some major rewriting, but there are more things in life than editing Wikipedia. Tom Reedy (talk) 16:04, 28 June 2013 (UTC)