Talk:Shakespeare authorship question/Archive 4

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I'm stumped. Trying to improve this article but can't. It states Ben Jonson complains about Shakespeare and his writing, but which one? (I've no doubt who is who, but does the writer know what he/she is writing?) If the Stratford man is illiterate, how can he write anything for Jonson to comment on? Mandel 22:17, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Generic claims of that kind without specification or substantiation should not be allowed on the page, whether they seem to support orthodox or unorthodox conclusions. The claim should require not only a citation (what document of Jonson's is being referred to), but a direct quotation. "Complains" is simply nonsense. Ben Jonson did say, "I loved the man--this side idolatry," and that deserves to be quoted (no, I don't know the source without checking), for it goes to the point at issue of Jonson's state of mind.
  • Your problem arises from the fact that there have been a great many anti-Stratfordians with a great many different anti-Stratfordian theories. There's therefore not one anti-Stratfordian orthodoxy, as it were, to compare with the accepted position. The anti-Stratfordians who use Ben Jonson's criticisms of Shakespeare's writing as telling evidence are different anti-Stratfordians, and making a fundamentally different case, from those who think Shakespeare wasn't literate at all (who presumably believe Jonson was commenting on the true writer). I think you'll find the page easier to edit if you don't seek for coherence, but handle each argument separately. AndyJones 07:10, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Nor is there one *orthodox* position on most of these things (see, for example, Leah Marcus' very orthodox but honest analysis of the folio frontespiece on this discussion board). One of the problems with this discussion is that while it is necessary to sometimes to employ terms like orthodox (or "Stratfordian") and "anti-Stratfordian," the same terms can be used in highly misleading ways. Increasingly, as the controversy proceeds, the terms will be come more and more hazardous. For example, Professor William Leahy, who started the new MA program in authorship studies at Brunel University is an academician who only a couple of years ago would have labelled himself orthodox. He is now "anti-Stratfordian" in the sense that he believes the question is a legitimate and important one for academic inquiry. That said, I think I can shed some light on the Ben Jonson question, because I think Andy Jone's distinction is neither necessary nor particularly helpful. Would it possible for an anti-Stratfordian to speak for the position? It is an axiom of the anti-Stratfordian position that Ben Jonson's statements about Shakespeare cannot be taken at face value, but instead invite careful analysis in light of what is known about Jonson's methods and commitments. This has been the position ever since Canon Gerald Rendall and Sir George Greenwood set it forth in the 1920s.Wrote Greenwood:

"Here the indignant critic will doubtless interpose. "What! Jonson wrote thus, though knowing the facts. Then, according to you, Ben Jonson was a liar!" Wherat we of the 'heretical persuasion can afford to smile. For we see no reason to suppose that Jonson might not have taken the course we attribute to him, and considered himself quite justified in doing so...."

I agree with both of you that the quoted section of the page is awkwardly worded and should be amended. But something like what I just wrote, or a judicious quote from Greenwood, can be put in its place without doing an injustice to anyone on any side of the issue.--BenJonson 02:17, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Moving 1604 Section

The 1604 "question" rightly belongs to the Oxfordian theory, not here. I'm doing this because Oxfordians postulate the 1604 "problem", but it need not necessarily be accepted by Marlowians or Baconians, and hence that is not an anti-Stratfordian orthodox position. Hence, I'm axing it, in a bid to make this less like contradictory patchwork. The Raleigh case goes to Baconian theory. Mandel 22:40, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Pls note. This article is for the case against the Stratford man, not case for any one specific candidates. In-fighting amongst non-Stratfordians would make their supposedly unified case even more fragmentary than it now is. Mandel 13:41, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm not taking sides yet on the question of moving "The 1604 Problem" to Oxfordian Theory. However, I do strongly disagree with your general conclusion here. This page isn't just about the case against Shakespeare. It is meant to be an overview of the authorship issue as a whole. And if the case is, in your view, fragmentary, then this page should reflect that. AndyJones 13:52, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Generally the cases against W.S. and not skewed in favor of one opponent, I mean. There are perplexing arguments throughout here which leaps from candidate to candidate. Argument A is A and if Argument B doesn't support Argument A, they should not be lumped together and it certainly doesn't mean C is incorrect. Note if every Anti-Stratford argument is included, including clearly fallacious ones, we would need at least a few megabytes. The 1604 problem is very detailedly expoused in Oxfordian Theory. Mandel 14:05, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
It is meant to be an overview of the authorship issue as a whole. Isn't this the case against Shakespeare at large? While it summarizes proposed candidates, it doesn't take sides, not in favor of, say, Bacon over Oxford, does it? Mandel 14:10, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

I too disagree with your general conclusion, as well as your whole premise. You have defined the page on your own terms, nothing more. Andy is right in saying that this is an overview of the whole issue. Also, the page is hardly taking sides. If laying out an overview reflects that Oxford has a strong case, that only make sense as he has, indeed, achieved front runner status among the anti-Strats. However, removing the 1604 section goes further than that. First, it is entirely Anti-Strat. In fact, I think it is one of the most compellling of the Anti-strat arguments - if "Shakespeare" was dead by 1604 then the Stratford Man could not be the writer. What on earth is more anti-Strat than that? Regarding duplication between pages, that is to be expected. Simply look at the sections on Shakespeare himself with links to various "main articles" and you will see plenty of duplication. In the case of Oxford it makes complete sense too - First, we have an overview paragraph on the Shakespeare page, authorship section. If readers want more it takes them to Shakespeare Authorship, which gives them a few more paragraphs on Oxford. Then if you want more you can go to the Oxford page for a complete bio, or the Oxfordian theory page to get the complete theory. It's a natural progression from a mention, to a summary, to fuller articles. And it's what makes Wikipedia so cool.Smatprt 14:55, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

I also agree with Andy Jones and Smatprt on both points. The 1604 date is significant for generic as well as specific reasons. In fact, rather than removing the section, it should be improved. One of the strongest arguments in Looney's 1920 book on Oxford is his demonstration that the pattern of production of play quartos strongly suggests the occurence of some anomolous event in 1604. Before 1604, approximately 17 new plays were published in quarto form (I have to consult my notes for an exact number, but that is correct to within a small margin of error). From 1604 until 1621, only three new plays -- Lear, Pericles, Troilus and Cressida-- were published (all in 1608-9). In 1622, Othello was published in quarto, right before the folio. Thus, at what should have been the height of the author's productive career, the flow of new publications almost ceases. This is a significant fact pattern that should be acknowledged in this article. I think its appropriate that an enlarged discussion of the 1604 question should be subordinated to the Oxford page, but the idea of eliminating it here is no more appropriate than was the earlier (and now, thank God, forgotten) attempt to eliminate the graphic of the Sonnet's title page.--BenJonson 02:36, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

We have a size limit for articles, and we cannot afford to make circular arguments. The 1604 problem is an Oxfordian position, not Baconian or Marlowian. This page is heavily skewed in favor of Oxford over Bacon and Marlowe, and as such is not NPOV.Mandel 15:03, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
As the Oxfordian position is more widely held than the Baconian or Marlovian, it is not a violation of NPOV to discuss it at more length than the others. (At the same time, the basic premises of the Stratfordian position, as being more widely held yet, ought to be discussed at some length, as well - this article should not be simply about anti-Stratfordian arguments). john k 01:10, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Sorry - your statements are not making sense. As I mentioned, the possibility of "Shakespeare" dying in 1604 is completely anti-strat. I see no sense in arguing that point further. Circular arguments? Editing for size? You are making POV edits, not size cuts. Please.Smatprt 15:24, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

As can be seen above, your arguments are very POV. When Charton Ogburn adds it, it is vital, when AL Rowse adds it, it becomes "unnecessary". Mandel 15:32, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Mandel, you're outvoted here. If you want to discuss reducing the size of the article, let's discuss that. But your attempts to predetermine what will be cut are inappropriate. Let's start with some discussion of what length the article should be. Then, if we can agree on that, then we can discuss what should or could be cut. Much can be done with judicious editing without excising content.--BenJonson 02:36, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Well...Yah! POV is all over the talk pages. Yours, mine, everyones. It's what makes it onto the articles that is supposed to be NPOV. But you know this.Smatprt 15:34, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

This page is 74 kilobytes long. It may be appropriate to split this article into smaller, more specific articles. See Wikipedia:Article size. This article has no scope to expand. If you want this article to grow fruitfully, the two section - hardly summmaries - must go. They are already in Wikipedia; why'd would you want to read something just to repeat itself over and over elsewhere? Mandel 15:42, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Sorry - but insisting on adding the Kathman/Rowse stuff about "wll gee, maybe some of Sh's source books were on sale by a local printer he knew" - sounds like grasping for straws. But leave it in - it adds more "maybes", "possiblys" and "suggests" into the Stratfordian arguments, which is fine with me. And expands the article furtherSmatprt 15:46, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

It is not maybe. Most of Sh's source books were on sale by a local printer he knew. Whether he read it is open to speculation. Mandel 15:58, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes - more "maybes" for Stratford. Maybe he read them, maybe he didn't. Good work. Strong positve proof of nothing.Smatprt 16:03, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

"the treasurer’s accounts show that “Wil. Kempe,” “Wil. Shakespeare” and “Rich. Burbage” received payment for two comedies played at court on 26 and 28 December, 1594." Mandel 15:58, 28 April 2007 (UTC)[1]

I think this illustrates your agenda pretty well, Mandel: you want to remove things you don't like and replace them with things you do like. Contrary to what you may think, most anti-Stratfordians are quite familiar with such facts. We just don't find them, in the context of the entire fact pattern, to be very significant. Most of us will gladly concede that Mr. Shakespeare, howevever you spell his name, was a theatrical personality. That doesn't, ipso facto, make him the author. In fact, it makes him a pretty good candidate for a viable front.--BenJonson 02:36, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

As it does NOT say "Shakespeare of Stratford", I'm afraid your quote adds nothing to this debate.Smatprt 16:03, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Are you saying Oxford became an actor with the Chamberlain's Men? Make up your mind. Mandel 16:18, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

My mistake - now I am mixing up topics, as well. My response on this is in the edit summary - payment for two comedies is distinctly different than acquiring patronage as per Jonson reference.Smatprt 17:17, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Needless Puns

I think we should delete that hilarous "ann hate" pun because I see it as pointless to the debate. Is it there as a response to some anti-strat statement I am not seeing? Do we really want to start listing all the puns that various scholars see in the plays and poems. We could have Bacon and Vere puns all over the place - even leading to another article! :)

Paul B - Please don't tell me what I know. You say without doubt that I have been told about this paragraph's info and this source before. You have me confused with someone else. Maybe BenJonson. If I am wrong than please show me where. Smatprt 23:47, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

here's where you were told [2]. Your opinions about the views of a distinguished professor are of no interest. The passage is of obvious relevance. Your POV deletionism is outrageous. Paul B 23:58, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

I did not offer an opinion on BenJonson. And, as usual, you avoid the question and refer to a pointless issue. My only edit back were you refered me to was the request of a source for the POV statement on the sentence I marked - "more compatible...than an anonymous nobleman...etc." You instead mistakenly sourced the Anne pun which I did not tag. Also, I expected to be shown a discussion we had - not an edit summary that didn't answer the right fact tag. Sorry, it was your bad.Smatprt 00:32, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Don't be so dishonest. The revert was to your previous edit here and referred to it as anyone can tell. [3]. You used similar tactics over the Hammersley portrait. Paul B 06:38, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

No dishonesty here. Just your intrepretation of events, as influenced by your own POV, just like everyone else. In the future, please include your discussion on the TALK page, not in edit summary. "Dishonest", "tactics", "deletionism" - wow, and I thought I was paranoid. As others have said to me, "Lighten up!" Smatprt 16:37, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

The comment on the edit summary was not written by me, if you bother to even look. Paul B 07:23, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

History Section

No doubt I have thoroughly annoyed some contributors to this page with my frequent insistence of the importance of viewing this topic historically. I thought I would stop preaching and do a bit of editing, so I have revised the history section with these concerns in mind:

1) I added a sentence or two about Sir George Greenwood. It is impossible to do justice to the history of the authorship question without mentioning this prolific writer and controversialist, a liberal MP who regularly contributed to the London Times and wrote twelve books on authorship, many of which directly engaged Sir Sidney Lee or J.M. Robertson in debates that were very public and are well documented in the newspapers and journals of the time;

2) I added reference to the Shakespeare fellowship, the organization founded by Looney, Greenwood, and supporters in 1922.

3) I edited the timeline indicating that Oxford had become the favored 20c candidate in the 1980s. This is misleading. Without wishing to diminish the importance of Ogburn's 1984 book, which indeed has had considerable impact, Oxford he was already identified as the leading alternative to the orthodox view by 1975 in Encyclopedia Britannica. Sorry I don't have the reference immediately to hand, but I will find and provide it.

4) I then edited the paragraph for coherence which involved a some tightening of sentences and rearrangments of the development of the paragraph necessitated by these three changes to the content.

These were the only changes I made. Thank you to everyone for reviewing and either approving or recommending edits to these changes.

best wishes to all.--BenJonson 05:12, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

First Folio frontispiece

Hello, All.

I wonder what other editors think of the following issue, and which Wikipedia article is the best place in which to mention it.

In the mid 1990s in England, I saw a documentary about the debates over the authorship of Shakespeare's works, including the interesting features of the portrait in the First Folio's frontispiece. It seemed that the best conclusion to draw about the portrait from the information in the documentary was as follows:

• The Shakespeare portrait is highly similar to a certain painted portrait of Queen Elizabeth I.

• A standard 'template' of the Queen's face had been distributed throughout the kingdom to be used by those who, for whatever reason, needed/wanted to create likenesses of her. This template is highly similar to both the engraving of Shakespeare and the Elizabeth portrait whose similarity to the Shakespeare engraving is noted.

• The creator of the portrait almost certainly used the Elizabeth template as the basis of a human face, which he then modified in dress, hair, and moustache.

• The 'mask' line corresponds to a line in the Elizabeth template.

I don't spend much time at Wikipedia these days, and am avoiding the temptation to check my watchlist and be drawn too deeply into things. But, if anyone has a constructive response, it would be nice to know of through a message at my Talk page.


President Lethe 19:31, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Yes, this is a tricky one, in that it's probably notable enough to be mentioned on Wikipedia somewhere, but it's hard to see where it would fit. It's only tangentially connected to the authorship debate, although this is the page where we already have the external link giving the "anti" position, namely this one AndyJones 09:16, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for replying, AndyJones.

One of the first things I noticed when I came across this article was the First Folio portrait at the top right, and its long caption, and the caption's presentation of the typical "Some say the portrait is soooo mysterious, because of the mask line, (and point to this as a clue that Shakespeare didn't write Shakespeare), while others say there's nothing odd about the portrait at all" dichotomy. If there isn't a Wikipedia article or section about the portrait specifically, then at least that long caption would seem to be a place to bring up the issue.

Part of why I decided to ask about it here before putting such information into the caption was not only that I wasn't sure that the caption was the best place, but also that I have never seen the template information about the portrait presented anywhere but in that documentary. Now, this topic is not one that I pursue very often or very deeply, so it's possible that it is mentioned elsewhere. But the fact that I've never seen it elsewhere, while I've seen other information about the Shakespeare debate (information that I'd consider much ... let's say 'sillier', and I don't mean any malice by that) presented much more often, in more places, by more persons—the fact that I'd seen it so rarely in comparison to other information made me wonder whether perhaps it had been thoroughly discredited.

Still, every piece of true, useful information in the universe started out being known obscurely before it was widely recognized. Also, although it was more than a decade ago, I still have a fairly vivid recollection that, when the documentary overlapped transparent versions of the Shakespeare engraving and the Elizabeth painting, there was exact correspondence in the placement and shape of the eyes, nose, mouth, and chin, which seemed highly compelling support for the template theory. (As I recall, the result was significantly different from that presented at the webpage that you linked me to, which I soon will read in full. But, even if my recollection is inaccurate, the images at the webpage still fail to prove that no Elizabeth portrait could have been, or was, used to aid in the Shakespeare engraving.)

So, (1) I still wonder whether anyone else here is aware of the template explanation (and perhaps has a firmer source than my decade-old recollection of a documentary I saw once (although I saw several instances of the advertisement for it that included the overlaying of the two portraits)), and (2) I get the impression that, so far, the portrait caption in this article is the best already existent place at Wikipedia to mention the template explanation.


President Lethe 15:33, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

It's a load of utter drivel devised by Lillian Schwarz. It's nonsense to say that there was a "template" of Elizabeth - there were several portraits and copies of the better known ones over the years, all slightly diffed from one another of course because they were created by hand. I think it's discussed somewhere on the Kathman site. One reason it's not discussed here is that it does not in any way advance the Oxfordian cause. We can create a page on the engraving, of course. At the moment any discussion should go on the Martin Droeshout page. Paul B 15:47, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your reply, too, Paul B, and your note at my talk page. A few points that may be useful if I present them, even if they're not necessarily in response to anything anyone here has written to me:

1. While I have never delved deep into this topic, I so far haven't been convinced that anyone other than Shakespeare wrote his works.

2. I don't view the Droeshout engraving as support for the various anti-Stratfordian theories.

3. As I've said, I'm relying only on my memory of something I saw once, more than 10 years ago; but I don't know either way whether the information presented in that British documentary was specifically the Lillian Schwarz stuff, or just related to, or inspired by, it. The Elizabeth painting in that documentary may even be a different one from the one discussed at (hereinafter "the external page").

4. I've read the external page. Withholding full judgement because I haven't seen the Scientific American article to which it responds, I can say it seems to refute successfully some of the claims that, it says, Schwarz made in the Scientific American article.

5. Why/how is it nonsense to say that there was a template of Elizabeth? Do we know that there never was? I ask these questions regardless of the connections that some may draw between the existence of such a portrait and the Droeshout portrait.

6. If this article already has a link to the external page, perhaps it would also be appropriate to include that link in, or move it to, the long caption about the Droeshout portrait that appears at the top of the article.

7. I make my living drawing portraits from two-dimensional sources. While the external page certainly very easily refutes the contention that any features of the Shakespeare portrait are a perfect match for the Elizabeth portrait in question, it fails to do what just about any treatment of the subject would fail to do: proving a negative—proving that that portrait of Elizabeth had zero direct or indirect influence on the production of that engraving of Shakespeare. I personally have used tracings of the facial features of one image of one person to produce drawings that are intended to be viewed as depicting someone (real or imaginary) other than the first person; this process can indeed involve tracing separate features in new relative positions and then further altering them. Yesterday, having read the external page, I was curious to see what it would take to make the Shakespeare portrait more closely resemble the Elizabeth one, with this result, which I share just because others may be curious.

8. Before I produced the image to which I linked above, I also tried simply laying the Shakespeare portrait on top of the Elizabeth one and giving it varying degrees of transparency. In this process, I observed a phenomenon that, as I recall, was not addressed in the speech in that documentary, even though the phenomenon was definitely part of the visuals of that documentary: it is simply that the viewer can be tricked easily, when viewing two overlapped transparencies, into believing that features of one of the layers are also present in the other, simply because, when two layers occupy the same space simultaneously and both visibly, it's hard to tell which elements belongs to which layer. This trick can result in the impression that the two images are more similar than they really are.

9. It seems that several facts about this portrait issue are worthy of being reported in Wikipedia, and that they may be good candidates for inclusion in articles about the Shakespeare authorship controversy (because some persons arguing the controversy do point to the portrait as evidence in support of one viewpoint or another about the authorship). Some of these facts are reported in the caption to the portrait at the top of this article. Among the facts that I consider worth reporting are these:

A. Some persons use various ideas about the portrait in support of various sides in the authorship argument.

B. It has been suggested that the Shakespeare portrait does have points of "exact" match to the Elizabeth portrait; and this suggestion has been successfully refuted.

C. Similarities between the Droeshout portrait and the Shakespeare grave bust appear to be greater and more numerous than those between the Droeshout portrait and the Elizabeth portrait.

D. (I'm not sure this one should be included. I may be mixing up stories of other historical figures. But I was under the impression that Droeshout was unlikely to have seen Shakespeare in person, especially to have had him sit for a portrait, and that it seems likelier that Droeshout was simply informed of some features to include (such as moustache, high forehead, masculine clothing, &c.) in creating a depiction of Shakespeare.)

E. There are indeed notable similarities between various elements of the Shakespeare and Elizabeth portraits. But the same elements have similar counterparts in other portraits of other persons; some of them, such as the shapes of the eyelids and nose, were simply very common in European portraiture of that period.

F. We have difficulty in entirely proving that some other, already existing portrait of a real or imaginary, famous or unknown, male or female, human being was in no way used at any stage of the production of the Droeshout portrait.

Sorry if this is too long-winded for some.

President Lethe 18:49, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

"We have difficulty in entirely proving that some other, already existing portrait of a real or imaginary, famous or unknown, male or female, human being was in no way used at any stage of the production of the Droeshout portrait." It would be virtually imposible to prove that for any portrait, so I don't really understand what you are trying to imply. Further discussion should be on the Martin Droushout page. Paul B 09:46, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

"It would be virtually impossible to prove that for any portrait". Well, a much stronger case would be made for such a contention about, for example, a drawn or painted portrait that was almost identical to a single photograph of a single person.

But I suppose the 'implication' is that contentions that Droeshout almost certainly looked at nothing but the actual Shakespeare sitting in front of him, or an accurate two-dimensional portrait—and especially that he almost certainly did not draw some fairly direct influence from a portrait of some other person, possibly Elizabeth I—are fairly illogical.

We have two extreme camps in this argument—those who say that the Droeshout portrait is a sneaky, clandestine clue in the supposedly gigantic pile of evidence that Shakespeare didn't write Shakespeare, and those who say that the Droeshout portrait bears zero resemblance to any portrait of anyone but Shakespeare himself—, and each side seems, to me, to be stepping beyond reason.

I do see the point in having this discussion at the talk page for the article on Droeshout. But I also see the case for having it here, because, as this article points out in its uppermost illustration, a prominent one displayed at fairly large size and with an extensive caption, the portrait does feature in arguments about the authorship of Shakespeare's works.

Anyway, I'm heading away from the online world in several hours and won't be back for several days; I may also not return to this discussion. But I hope I've presented some information and ideas that considerers of this issue, and workers on this article, may find useful.

President Lethe 20:08, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

PS: Perhaps part of my 'implication' about the difficulty in proving the nonexistence, or noninfluence, of something was, along with my yet unanswered question (number 5), a response to your suggestion that what I was describing was "a load of utter drivel" and that I was talking specifically about something "devised by Lillian Schwarz"—a suggestion that seems to be contradicted by (1) my non-anti-Stratfordianism, (2) my explicit statement that my recollection of the documentary had significant differences from what was presented at the external page about specifically Lillian Schwarz's argument, (3) the external page's failure to mention the template theory, (4) my expressed agreement that the external page easily refutes what, it says, Schwarz presented, and (5) my point numbered 8. — President Lethe 20:17, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

P-PS: Paul B, you may also have noticed that my text that you quote in your most recent reply was an item in a list of points that I suggested be included in Wikipedia's presentation of this topic. More than an 'implication', point 9:F was simply one of the items that, I figured, Wikipedia should present to readers. Sometimes, it's a good idea for Wikipedia to present logic that may be already evident to some. The reason for that, in this case, is to counteract the tendency of various persons to feel, and say, that they know exactly what was, or exactly what was not, happening about 400 years ago. — President Lethe 20:33, 15 May 2007 (UTC)


It seems as though this article is not neautral it barely bothers to explain the views preferring to debunk them. I am especcially worried about phrases like "percieved ambiguities" The article also continously reminds you that it is "outside of the mainstream" Also iut could be alot shorter66.176.172.119 00:04, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Bohemia on the Adriatic

The article states:

One explanation given for Bohemia having a coastline is the author's awareness that the kingdom of Bohemia at one time stretched to the Adriatic.[64] Oxfordians find it significant that the Earl of Oxford was travelling in the Adriatic region during the brief span of time in which Bohemia did in fact have a coastline.

So I'm curious -- when exactly did Bohemia have any coastline anywhere, and especially on the Adriatic? The country has always been landlocked in Central Europe, separated from the Adriatic by the provinces of Austria, Styria, Carynthia and Carniola, as well as Hungary and Croatia. The only period in the history when its borders could have approached the Adriatic was at the height of the Greater Moravia, but that was some 800 years before.

At the times of Shakespeare and Earl of Oxford (just before the Thirty-years War) Bohemia was a part of the Habsburg Monarchy, which did stretch to the Adriatic by the virtue of its constituent lands, but that doesn't mean that Bohemia did as well.

Bacon's Leisure Time

The argument about whether or not Bacon had the time for substantial literary projects is settled by Lord Campbell. In the Lives of the Lord Chancellors, The Life of Bacon, Vol. 2, Chapter 1 (1845) he reports that Bacon had "abundant leisure". (Puzzle Master 23:16, 12 June 2007 (UTC))

Standard for Shakespeare Authorship article

If this article is confined to only citing "academic sources" there would be no article. It is, by its very nature, a controversy. Contributors to the controversy are not usually in academic institutions but this does nor mean they are too stupid to assemble a cogent argument. Neither does it mean their standards of investigation are necessarily lower than those in academia. Usually, Wikipedia does not attempt to evaluate arguments, it being sufficient that they originated from a scholarly source. That will not work here. These controversial arguments must be evaluated and, of course, they must rely on cited evidence (which is different from citing academic opinion). The best one can hope for is a balance of conflicting views, and space must be allowed to state the arguments of all sides. The danger is that a supporter of one of these controversial viewpoints might attempt to force a particular point of view (bias the article). In this case, I recommend issuing a warning and possibly a ban because this behaviour destroys the efforts of the group to balance the article. One might even consider freezing the article for a week or two to prevent further attack. (Puzzle Master 13:52, 5 July 2007 (UTC))

If you are creating the counter-argument yourself then it is "OR" and not acceptable. Thems the rules. Who or what exactly are you proposing to "ban"? Paul B 15:25, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Paul's question, please explain. Anyway, this article has to adhere to the WP:RS rule, the same as everything else. This isn't some abstruse piece of wikilawyering: WP:V is at the absolute core of what Wikipedia aspires to be. Much of Barry's argument falls at that hurdle. If this were a topic that we could not evaluate from reliable sources then it would have to be deleted. Fortunately, we can do so: although the article falls sadly short of that ideal in its current state. AndyJones 16:45, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
"If you are creating the counter-argument yourself then it is "OR" and not acceptable." Paul, I don't understand this statement. Andy, can you name a single book in support of the Oxfordian, Baconian or Marlovian theories that has been published by one of the University Presses. These are the publishers with the most rigorous standards and which demand academic peer review. These are the publishers that constitute reliable (academic) sources. (They also happen to all be Stratfordians.) If not, why haven't the sections on these theories in the article been deleted? If not, why do we have this article? Taking the argument further, why do we have articles explaining the tenets of spiritualism, witchcraft, and UFO theorists when none of these ideas has academic status? Rules are fine but they were not delivered to us in stone by Moses, sometimes they need adjusting. (Puzzle Master 11:24, 6 July 2007 (UTC))
No, I cannot name any such books because so far as I am aware there aren't any. Anti-Stratfordianism is not considered credible by academia, and that is because anti-Stratfordianism is not credible. And WP:V is not negotiable. I will remove mercilessly any and all edits made to this (or any other) page based on the premise that it "needs adjusting". And I won't be alone. AndyJones 12:29, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Not only do you sound like you believe you ARE Wikipedia but you also appear to believe you have a hotline to God about what truth is! (Puzzle Master 16:58, 6 July 2007 (UTC))
"OR" stands for Original Research, as you should know by now. Paul B 15:07, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Don't be patronising. At least show some basic human respect. (Puzzle Master 16:58, 6 July 2007 (UTC))
Don't be absurd. Basic human respect is something of which you seem to know nothing. However the answer was straightforward. Paul B 14:41, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Well...Barry has certainly returned to these pages with quite a flourish! Did anyone call "en garde"? I think Barry does, however, raise an important issue. What are RS and V and who settles the grey areas? To quote a few WP policy pages:

  • (from WP:V) "In general, the most reliable sources are peer-reviewed journals and books published in university presses; university-level textbooks; magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses; and mainstream newspapers."
  • (from WP:V) "Self-published material may, in some circumstances, be acceptable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications. However, caution should be exercised when using such sources: if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else is likely to have done so."
  • (from WP:RS - and one of my favorites. It certainly applies here) - "This page is considered a content guideline on Wikipedia. It is generally accepted among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow. However, it is not set in stone and should be treated with common sense and the occasional exception."

So what I learn from these policies is that while academic journals from University Presses are the BEST sources, they are not the ONLY sources allowed on WP. Magazines, books from respected publisheing houses and mainstream newspapers are completely fair game. I think it greatly depends on the topic. On the WS page, due to its status and universal importance only the best sources were "allowed" by the editors. And in every case, an academic source was avaivable - even the Authorship Question is heavily covered by academia - it just took a little searching. Heck, even Wells/Kathman cover the issue and candidates pretty darn well, in spite of a few whopping errors by Kathman. Also, the authorship casebook Shakespeare and His Rivals covers each claimant very well. These sources don't have to support a candidate in order to give a fair reading of each claim, which they do pretty well - especially Shakespeare and His Rivals. Hey Barry - even the Group Theory with Oxford, Bacon, Shaksper & others is covered. Naturally, if academic sources can be found for any particular statement, than that source certianly trumps any other source. But, where no in-depth academic source is avaialble to reference a particular statement, then "books published by respected publishing houses; and mainstream newspapers" are certainly allowed as RS. And for the most part, personal websites and blogs are simply not appropriate unless they conform to the self-published material rules above.

I believe this a reasonably understanding of the policies stated above. I would love to hear comments from the regular editors of these pages. Smatprt 00:53, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
To Smatprt. You're wasting your time. There is no prospect of you hanging your own aggressive behaviour on me. When I was here months ago you were trying to skew this article towards Oxford and I see that you've now progressed to skewing the main Shakespeare article too. You've been asked not to by others but you've simply ignored these requests. Clearly, you are the one who is at war with everyone else here. You evidently have no interest in working with others and seem obsessed with fashioning these articles towards promoting Oxford. I have experienced your aggression first hand. I added a perfectly acceptable referenced addition about Bacon to the header in the interests of balance. However, you changed the name incorrectly from "Michell" to "Mitchell" and the date incorrectly from "2000" (which is on my copy) to "1996". Then, presumably because it didn't suit your cause, you removed my reference altogether and rewrote the header to favour your candidate. You appear not to have the slightest concern as to whether or not the reader obtains a balanced view. Sadly, I don't see anyone in authority on these forums who is attempting to restrain your cancerous destruction. People just quote rules at each other without any attempt at enforcing them. I think you should identify yourself instead of hiding behind a pseudonym and your sockpuppet Ben Jonson so that we can all see who you really are. I, personally, would like to see you banned from this forum. (Puzzle Master 22:55, 8 July 2007 (UTC))

To: Senator McCarthy. I am not, and never have been, a sock puppet of Smatprt, or of PuzzleMaster, or any other contributor to these forums.--BenJonson 17:22, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Just found this on my talk page written by Smatprt from April. "Thought you might like to know that the Strats are quickly building a concensus to cut down the section on authorship on the main William Shakespeare page. These cuts include the summary on Bacon (as well as Oxford and Marlowe). The discussion is at While we are on opposite sides (officially) of a three sided question, I have always thought that Bacon and Oxford were more connected than most will even consider.Smatprt 02:12, 24 April 2007 (UTC)". I thought editors were not supposed to covertly elicit support from others. (Puzzle Master 23:08, 8 July 2007 (UTC))
Forgive me for trying to keep you informed. FYI - I have never heard of such a rule and if it exists, then just about every editor of the William Shakespeare page is also guilty. Regarding my edits to your material - I am doing my best ot keep to academic sources (where possible). When they differ from your Bacon Theorists, there is really no question as to which source can be used. Your insistance on inserting material written by non-experts or taken from personal websites show you have no comprehension of WP:RS or WP:V. REgarding your accusation that I am a sock puppet for BenJonson, I suggest you do your research. I am no academian like BenJonson, who obviously has been editing alot longer and is way more knowledgible than I am. Thanks for the compliment, though. (Your insistance that I identify myslef is truly strange. Are you planning on attacking me personally?) Seriously, I have given so many clues as to my identity, I am surprised the PuzzleMaster appears to be stumped! Smatprt 04:59, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

I know who you are! I've even heard a rumor you can act. :)--BenJonson 17:22, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Article Balance

Edited article for balance. I think this article should not be a platform for an obsessive to propagate Oxfordian views and I happily offer my services to maintain the balance with inexhaustible patience. (Puzzle Master 23:29, 8 July 2007 (UTC))

The whole article's crazy if you ask me. It needs cutting by half at least. (Hangemhigh 00:07, 9 July 2007 (UTC))

Who is this guy?

I made two edits here and this guy changes it all in hours! Is this a fascist regime or do we have democracy? (Hangemhigh 09:34, 9 July 2007 (UTC))

  • This is a wiki. Anyone can (and will!) mess around with your edits in any way they think fit. Some of those changes will be good and some will be annoyingly bad. It's neither fascism nor democracy (see WP:NOT, which discusses the issue). Do you want to discuss your changes here? AndyJones 12:23, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
    • Hangemhigh - I explained why I restored your cuts on the subject bars - something you failed to do. Deletion of properly referenced material, without any discussion, it the same as vandalism. Especially deleting entire sections. Why not try rewriting or editing a section instead of simply hitting delete?Smatprt 14:47, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
An attack on Smatprt's behaviour, not on Smatprt. To Hangemhigh. Let me give you some advice. Don't get involved in an edit war. If Smatprt can revert your edits (and those of three other editors) in just four hours the elevator obviously doesn't go to the top floor. The difference between the contributions of most editors here and Smatprt's is that Smatprt feels he controls this article and only his version is permissible. This involves the obligatory insertion of propaganda (see WP:SOAP) to the effect that Oxford is the most popular candidate. He does this under the pretence of conducting himself in a 'proper' manner, quoting which Wiki guidelines he is following, and the fact that Oxford is mentioned (albeit negatively) in a host of scholarly books. He is oblivious to the amount of bias he is creating but then Smatprt has no difficulty deluding himself. The scale of denial he needs to muster to believe in Oxford is enormous (to you and me but not to him) involving the repudiation of all scholarly dating of plays after 1604 (with any topical allusions thereafter inserted by actors) and the fact that there is not a single piece of hard evidence connecting Oxford with a Shakespeare play (at least Bacon is connected to The Comedy of Errors through the Gesta Grayorum). Rest assured that those who read this article will not be so easily deluded. The general public can recognise an evangelist when they see one. As for you and me, despite the work of many editors, we will have to resign ourselves to the fact that this article will remain poor and leave Smatprt in his own private world of goodies and baddies where Oxford emerges as the hero to save the day. For me, it's sad he uses this article to act out his personal issues, one of which is obviously the demand to be heard, when hiring a therapist could save us and him a whole lot of grief. (Puzzle Master 12:50, 9 July 2007 (UTC))
Reverted article to get rid of anti-Stratfordian POV. (Felsommerfeld 14:44, 9 July 2007 (UTC))
And in doing so, you edited out "Although all alternative candidates are rejected in most academic circles, popular interest in the subject has continued into the 21st century", making the article even more POV. I have restored. To repeat - mass deletion of propely referenced material is highly controversial and should be discussed first at talk.Smatprt 15:02, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Frankly, my dear anti-Stratfordian, I don't give a damn. (Felsommerfeld 22:24, 9 July 2007 (UTC))
Nice. Very professional.Smatprt 01:19, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, academians react to Oxford negatively - JUST LIKE ALL THE CANDIDATES! But the fact remains that the academic community has labled Oxford as "the leading candidate", "the most popular candidate", "the leading theory", etc., cannot be disputed. And can we be honest - if I was supportive of Bacon, instead of Oxford, Barry would not be making this ruckus.Smatprt 14:47, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't think that the "academic community" has labelled him any such thing. It's a fact that he's currently the most popular, but the phrase 'leading candidate' implies that the academic community has given his supporters some sort of approval. Paul B 16:40, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I would generally agree with that, Paul. "Popular" is the word that is used by academics far more than "leading", although "leading" is used as well.Smatprt 01:19, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
"Hangemhigh", "Tolerancebelowzero" - where are you guys suddenly appearing from and is the reappearence of Tom Reedy under his own name related? Is there a code somewhere? Paul B 23:40, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes - interesting that all 3 were created as "new users" on July 8th & 9th. Sockpuppets?Smatprt 00:57, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Sockpuppet, huh? You sure know how to make enemies here. (Hangemhigh 11:58, 10 July 2007 (UTC))
If not, then I apologize. Seeing 3 new editors appear on the same page on the same day led me to assume something I should not have.Smatprt 14:50, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Ok, so Stephen Moorer. You altered my edit which corrected the reversion to alphabetical order of the candidates. Anyway, my real question is about your comment "the candidate order is not alpha - it details the top candidates based on current knolwdge and research". Which Wiki guideline says that candidates must be in order of popularity and not alpha order? Or is this something you have unilaterally decided? (Bodleyman 08:55, 10 July 2007 (UTC))
No wiki guideline dictates any order in a case like this. No unilateral decision - much discussion and a consensus built by another editor - Singing Badger, I believe. FYI - the candidates were never alpha - just haphazardly added over the years. BTW - if alpha, why would Marlowe be before DeVere? More to the point - the history of alternative candidate section ended with DeVere acknowledged as the most popular current candidate, then went on to his bio. In terms of flow, this makes for better readability.Smatprt 14:50, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
So Oxford suddenly loses his title and becomes DeVere (and that rather than SOS's preferred spelling "de Vere" too) so he can go up the alphabet list. Do you have to be so unrelentingly one sided? Paul B 14:54, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Paul, if it's the title, it would be Earl of Oxford. Is it DeVere or De Vere? Oxford or Earl of Oxford? But this alpha debate is silly. If the consensus wants this alpha, so be it, but that discussion has never appeared on this page, as you know.Smatprt 15:03, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Of course it wouldn't be E for "Earl". That's not how encyclopedias and directories arrange names. Wikipedia is unusual in that you'd look for Frank Zappa by typing F first rather than Z, but that's because it's not a book. Paul B 15:10, 10 July 2007 (UTC)


Why are unfounded accusations of sockpuppetry so rife on this page? Will people please read WP:AGF, and then either hold their tongues, or present some actual evidence, if they want to allege that I am Alabamaboy or that Smatprt is BenJonson or that a newbie is TomReedy or that the Earl of Oxford is Shakespeare. AndyJones 07:48, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

My mission. To rid the world of conspiracy theories. (Suckpipette 14:06, 10 July 2007 (UTC))

Good question. Its also a bit ironic, isn't it, that so many of these accusations stem from parties who are rather vehemently defending a traditionalist perspective on Shakespearean authorship? Your mission is a touching one, Suckpipette, but if that is really your mission, you ought to try some other wiki entry. Because the more deeply orthodox folk like yourself dig your heels in on this, the more it is going to rebound in the favor of all sorts of "conspiracy" theories when the house of cards that is the orthodoxy on this subject begins to crumble. Shakespeare believed that conspiracies do exist. They are one of his favorite themes. Hmmm...--BenJonson (talk) 00:16, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Reversion to consensus

The reversion I'm defending was agreed upon over 9 months ago. Smatprt or Stephen Moorer has simply made it POV Earl of Oxford (re. Paul B.'s discussion above, the original alpha candidate order was altered by Moorer without discussion).

Actually, there was considerable discussion and consensus brokered by Singing Badger about 6 months ago. Barry participated in those discussions as well as many other editors. Check the archive. Smatprt 04:08, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

He has also been warned by the administrator Alabamaboy about his behaviour on his user page as follows. On 21 June: "Smatprt, please don't start an edit war on the article over that authorship section. A large number of us have worked really hard on the article and doing an edit war at this point would doom the FAC. Please do not make any more edits to that section. Also, Awadewit and qp10qp have said the authorship section won't be a deal breaker, so please don't start that discussion again on the FAC page. Most everyone has signed onto a compromise I brokered to leave the final decision on whether that section should or should not be in the article until after the FAC is finished. I am also e-mailing you something, so please check your in-box." and on 23 June "Again, please don't simply revert edits back and forth on the article. First discuss any controversial changes on the article's talk page." Moorer who is trying to boss everyone else about what goes in this article must not succeed. (Felsommerfeld 16:43, 10 July 2007 (UTC))

Unfortunately, you are refering to a discussion from another page so you are mixing apples and oranges. Alabamaboy brokered a compromise on the William Shakespeare page - not this one. FYI - Alabamaboy has since left that page because of what he percieved as higher standards being set for that page than others during the FA process. I defended the article against editors who wanted to remove the section IN WHOLE - what alabamaboy described as an attempt to "whitewash" the authorship issue. I supported his consensus and his request that I not edit war (made because several editors continued to dicker with the paragraph in question) was honored.Smatprt 04:08, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Following a suggestion by Mandel (Archive 4, 27 April) I've moved the Raleigh argument to the Baconian Theory article. Mandel also argues that the 1604 section belongs in the Oxfordian Theory article and I agree. It's primarily a defence of Oxford and only indirectly an anti-Stratfordian argument (just as Raleigh's execution is primarily an argument for Bacon). I think in structuring the article we should consider the reader and put aside our own personal wishes. I don't care which candidate appears first in the article. Let Smatprt have Oxford first if it means a lot to him. However, I think that however much we believe our own candidate did it, the balance of the article should be paramount. I hope Smatprt can manage to stop being so defensive about Oxford. There's a whole article on him for Christ's sake! I can't believe that you want to monopolise the main article as well! Sadly, in the anarchic Wikipedia where the rules have no executive force behind them, unless people have self-awareness and can compromise then it just comes down to a battle of wills. I'd like to see everyone win here but as I said, it demands a minimum level of self-awareness as to the fairness of what one is asking for. (Puzzle Master 20:44, 10 July 2007 (UTC))
In general, I agree with your statement. I do not agree about the 1604 issue for the following reason - it is one of the strongest anti-stratfordian arguments in the article. What, after all, could be a stronger issue? If Shakespeare was dead by 1604, then the Stratford lad is out. I am sorry that the issue is problematic for the Bacon candidacy (at least a sole-Bacon candidacy), but anti-baconism is not the intent - anti-stratfordianism is. With the 1609 "ever-living poet" reference, as well as the unexplained stoppage of regular Shakespeare publication in 1604, plus the questions raised by the Heminge/Ostler case, where a witness testified that Shakespeare was deceased - they all add up to a legitimate question. It is most damaging to the Stratfordian theory. That is why I believe it should stay. The fact that it was deleted without any discussion (like the hypen issue) is a greater cause of concern.Smatprt 05:14, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

I restored the material in question and am happy to discuss potential major edits. I find it disturbing that during these recent edits, numerous edits were made without even an explanation in the comment bar, or a cryptic "Is this needed" or somesuch. Instead of good editing or attempts at re-writes, entire sections were simply cut. Moreover, the cuts were properly referenced material, citations for which were requested by previous editors and provided. There were also some curious edits - substituting a line about Oxford with one about Marlowe for instance; eliminating a line in the geography section that shows that Shakespeare was merely follwing his source when he makes the Bohemia coastline reference; and surprisingly, eliiminating the purely Stratfordian statement that most acadmics dismiss all the theories! The common thread in each of these cuts is that the sentences in question dare to mention the name "Oxford". It seems that even a properly cited reference to Oxford's name must be cut at all costs, even if that means cutting valuable information. Is this really what you guys want? If that is the case, then I imagine that we will have a hard time reaching consensus.Smatprt 05:14, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Barry - this is what you wrote on Dec 18, 2006: "Having left this article for some time and only recently read it again I think it now has a fair representation of all views. I read objections to arguments for which further evidence exists to develop the original thesis (e.g. Rayleigh's execution in Macbeth, the play also appears to refer to Rayleigh's trial) but in respect of the length of the article, I am loath to include it. So, well done to those who have worked on this page. (Puzzle Master 14:08, 18 December 2006 (UTC)) And here is the article on that date: [4]. Hyphen para, 1604, etc., - all in. You called it a "fair representation of all views". The only difference now is that the lead para has been slashed down to one of the smallest and most underdeveloped lead paragraphs I've ever seen. Aside from that, and given your earlier statement, I truly fail to understand why you raised all these issues in the first place. What happened?Smatprt 05:55, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Wait. How are you going to show that the writer was dead by 1604? The words "ever-living" in the Sonnets can be taken both ways. Surely, it's more likely to mean alive than dead. In fact, it actually says "living"! Also, I don’t follow the logic that if the author stopped writing in 1604 then this would eliminate Shakspere from being the author. You claim "there would be no reason for him [Shakspere] to give up a lucrative career at the height of his (alleged) fame". Why not? Nobody knows why Shakspere might retire. The Workes of Ben Jonson (1616) inform us that he stopped appearing in Jonson's plays after Sejanus in 1603 so he evidently had a reason for that. There is also “in 1604, Shake-speare fell silent.” He did? There are at least 10 plays dated by scholars to be after 1604. No doubt you reject all this as biased research. This brings me to the problem I have with you. It’s the extreme lengths you’re willing to go to in order to establish your thesis. It’s a complete loss of perspective. It’s selectively speculative, illogical, and contains no evidence (apart from references which share your outlook). Here's some evidence. In The Tempest we have Stephano and Trinculo. In 1609, there was a court rumour that the King's first cousin Arabella Stuart was intending to marry Stephano Janiculo, a man of dubious character who was masquerading as the Prince of Moldavia (see Riggs, David, Ben Jonson, A Life, Harvard University Press: 1989, p.156). Ben Jonson used this topical allusion in Act 5, Scene 3 of Epicoene (1610): "... the Prince of Moldavia, and his mistris, mistris Epicoene". So it was a big talking point. Of course, the two characters Stephano and Trinculo (which appear to be drawn from Stephano Janiculo's name) also have dubious intent in The Tempest in plotting to kill Prospero. So there is evidence that the author Shakespeare was inserting topical allusions and was still alive in 1609. This also supports the idea that it was the topical Strachey letter that sourced The Tempest. So I still don’t care for this 1604/1609 section and still maintain that it’s an Oxfordian argument. If it was kept in, Oxford would receive a much higher profile than any other alternative candidate. What I’d really appreciate though is for you to sit down quietly, have a long hard think about what you’re doing, then recognise as most editors do here (and they're not out to get you) that what you’re really trying to do in this article is sell the Oxfordian cause. I don't think it's malicious. In fact, I don't think you have any control over it. To me, your lack of self-awareness is a symptom of a low level of mental health (hence my suggestion of therapy which I sincerely hope you take up). (Puzzle Master 10:19, 11 July 2007 (UTC))
You might be wasting your time trying to discuss this rationally with Stephen Moorer. Most other people here myself included have already come to that conclusion. (Felsommerfeld 15:27, 11 July 2007 (UTC))

Barry - you must have missed this - this is what you wrote on Dec 18, 2006: "Having left this article for some time and only recently read it again I think it now has a fair representation of all views. I read objections to arguments for which further evidence exists to develop the original thesis (e.g. Rayleigh's execution in Macbeth, the play also appears to refer to Rayleigh's trial) but in respect of the length of the article, I am loath to include it. So, well done to those who have worked on this page. So what happened to you? And why the personal attack?Smatprt 14:53, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Oh - and the Stephano Janiculo connection is interpretation, not evidence. And the Strachey myth has been thoroughly discounted by modern researchers (at least you called it "the idea" and not "proof". In any case, are you saying that your interpretations are the only ones that count? Lack of true evidence be damned?Smatprt 14:53, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

I know that you are trying to smear my name by leaving comments against me on the talk pages of administrators. Thanks for the extra incentive to oppose your ridiculous ownership of this article. [5] May I cordially invite you to examine my own list of contributions which I haven't quite finished. [6] In case you're wondering, they're all administrators. (Felsommerfeld 16:21, 11 July 2007 (UTC))
"Guys, That one re-organization edit and the hyphenation edit have been reverted and re-reverted way over three times. Please discuss it here and reach a consensus first before changing. I would also suggest breaking down huge edits into a series of smaller ones. AdamBiswanger1 21:44, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Ah, the joys of having an admin account in the "A"s. I completely agree with AB: when I counted, it looked like people were just about keeping their reversions slightly slower than 3/day, but frankly that's no excuse: given the rapid deterioration in any attempt at civil and constructive discussion of these edits, if people keep reverting and trading insults, or if "new" accounts appear to mysteriously appear to do the same thing, they'll find their "right to revert" will be construed as disruptive editing, and hence blockable. Alai 04:07, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

File on Felsommerfeld

User:Felsommerfeld appears to be operating a "Disruptive throwaway account" used only for a few mass deletions and accusations. Out of a total 62 edits, 55 were used making false accusations against myself. The other 7 were making mass deletions of long-standing material to the Shakespeare Authorship Question article. The reasons seem to be as follows: 1) User is a staunch Stratfordian who has stated that the article in question shouldn't even exist. He has made several mass deletions of well referenced material.[7], [8], [9], [10] 2) Because I restored this material, the user has made personal attacks, false accusations and went so far as to make erroneous reports to over a dozen administrators.[11], [12], [13] For full disclosure I have allowed myself to be dragged into 2 edit wars/3Rs, for which I have great regret. In each case it was because staunch stratdordians were making mass deletions of properly referenced materials. I believe this user is again trying to draw me into a 3R revert. Instead, I am keeping my edits light and I have coming here for help.

I have requested this user be blocked or bannedSmatprt 14:04, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Interesting facts, Smatprt. While I haven't looked into Felsommerfeld to the degree you have, I did notice that he has rather dimished credibility based on his outlandish accusation that I am your sockpuppet. You didn't know that you had a PhD, did you!?e Notice that I have asked him to produce proof. If he has not been banned, then his failure to offer any should be rather telling. Cheers. --BenJonson (talk) 00:31, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Aw, poor innocent you! Never something you've said or done. Looking through all this trash, this looks like the way you think about life. Keep facts you like and pretend those you don't like don't exist. Not very scientific (and this is supposed to be an encyclopedia!!!). And all this garbage about sockpuppets, Stephen Moorer (if that's you) has gotten himself a sockpuppet called Smatprt. No one is called Smatprt in the real world. Just like Dukeofrutland is a sockpuppet for me. There IS no Duke of Rutland out there! But who gives a damn who we are. Just be more reasonable. (Dukeofrutland 17:41, 12 July 2007 (UTC))
David Manners, 11th Duke of Rutland might disagree with you.
—wwoods 18:52, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

FruitDuke, do you have a point here? You're very quick to categorize the discussions on this forum as "trash" (some of it is, some of it isn't), but from what I can tell, you have added nothing germane to the real issues at stake and have instead come on merely for the purposes of insulting Smrtprt. Smrprt's post is a factual one, documenting a behavior on the part of Felsommerfeld -- who, if he indeed has stated that this article should not exist, clearly has no business editing it. --BenJonson (talk) 00:31, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

The future of this article

Okay, I read the article in full last night, from knowing nothing about the subject, and came to the conclusion that it is:-

  1. an interesting and largely well-written article.
  2. remarkably balanced from both (all) sides, especially for an obviously contentious topic. In evidence for this, I submit that having read the article, I am still open to both the Stratfordian and Oxfordian arguments.

So my advice to all parties involved is to take a break from this article for a few days, safe in the knowledge that your viewpoint is at least getting a reasonably fair representation. With a few days to clear your head, take a look at the article and work out any remaining details by discussing them as much as necessary - there's probably not as much under dispute here as either side imagines. Ideally this would resolve the dispute without taking it any further. Request For Comment should be a last resort if this is not possible.

Finally, to address the sockpuppet issue, I should say first that I have myself twice been accused of using sockpuppets, and have also been involved in votes where it was clear that the other side was using sockpuppets. Both are frustrating because there it is hard to prove and impossible to disprove such accusations, so they lingers and generally make for distrustfulness. My suggestion here is that the dispute is resolved by discussion rather than voting. In this way, there is no advantage or disadvantage to the use of sockpuppets. It seems especially appropriate here because, by its nature, the article is dealing with a minority viewpoint. Soo 12:28, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Yeah. Why not work together and try and get this to GA, rather than worrying about sockpuppets, whether it be creating them, accusing, or otherwise? I think it's pretty close, especially since there are so many editors working on it. Wrad 18:37, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm a Baconian (sort of halfway between Stratfordian and Oxfordian) and I agree with these two administrators that the current version is "pretty close" and should be the consensus/balanced version. I know Smatprt wants the Shake-speare hyphen argument in, where the hyphen in the Shake-speare is supposed to be evidence of a pseudonym. This is actually a pro-Baconian argument as well as a pro-Oxfordian one but I have always objected to it because, although interesting, I think it is weak and it's the weak arguments that allow people to reject our cases so easily. I've also come to think (whatever I previously thought) that the 1604 argument which Smatprt also wants in is purely pro-Oxfordian, the argument being that Oxford died in 1604 and over 10 plays which 'scholars' have dated to be after that time have been erroneously judged to be so. I really think that as soon as this goes in the article it takes on an Oxfordian slant. I know he feels strongly about this so here's my compromise idea. Let Smatprt write 100 words on it in section 3 then refer the reader to the main Oxfordian article for greater detail. Otherwise, I think the article should stay as it is at present. Right, now I'm getting out the way before the rockets go off again! (Puzzle Master 18:44, 12 July 2007 (UTC))

Barry - thanks for the effort at a compromise. As I understand it, you are suggesting keeping the deleted hyphen paragraph out, but allowing me to cut the 1604 section down to 100 words so it does not swing the article too Oxfordian. Is that correct? Certainly not what I would wish in an ideal world, but in the spirit of compromise, I would reluctantly accept.Smatprt 01:44, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Ok, I'll back this idea too. Also, two independent editors have testified that BenJonson was not Smatprt so I accept this and apologise to Stephen for doubting his integrity. Reading through various archives I can see BenJonson cautioning Smatprt against over-interpretation in places. Right, let's move on. (Felsommerfeld 08:53, 13 July 2007 (UTC))
I'll back the idea but I want to ask editors here what to do with Smatprt? Judging by the response on the Administrator's forum [[14]] there are several editors who think Smatprt is skewing the Shakespeare-related articles then single-mindedly defending his changes. In my view, this war of attrition cannot continue. (Felsommerfeld 11:16, 14 July 2007 (UTC))

(undent) I think this article will languish in its current state until editors realise that the way to improve an article is to add content and not delete material they disagree with. If a viewpoint has well sourced references then it should stay, and so should any other viewpoint similarly cited. If folk are really interested in improving the article they should list the matter at WP:RfC and take advice how to improve the contributions. LessHeard vanU 16:24, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, but I disagree. Firstly, the article isn't languishing: whatever its other failings it is well-written and interesting. (Surprisingly so: I read it in full for the first time a few days ago, and was amazed how well it hangs together, when you consider its contentious nature.) As for removing sourced content (and absolutely without supporting either side in the current edit war) removing content is part of the be bold rule. If a user sees information on wikipedia that a great encyclopedia would be better without, that person should delete it. AndyJones 19:43, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps this article is languishing in merely excellent class rather than best possiblestatus... ;~) It's stasis is perhaps due to parties expending energy on removing material they believe Wikipeida would be better without (every POV warrior believes the best WP is the one that reflects their interpretation!) rather than expanding it. If an editor concentrates in providing the best references they are able to find for their viewpoint, rather than simply removing those which counter it, then the article is better served. If all parties follow this policy then you are likely to have an excellent article well served by quality citations. If you are a Wikipedian then this is the very best result. LessHeard vanU 23:21, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't think you recognise the central problem here. All articles require that material be added and removed, based on coherence, readability, notability of argument and so forth. The problem with this article is the definition of "best references". Almost all anti-Stratfordian arguments come from amateurs, so could be excluded on the grounds that they are not from reliable sources. Likewise, almost all mainstream writers do not even respond to their arguments, so many mainstream responses are not published by a reliable process either. What you say sounds straightforward, but in practice can't work straightforwardly in this case. If we included every anti-Statfordian argument we would soon be drowning in absurd conspiracy theories and 'coded messages'. If we included every piece of evidence for Shakespeare we could fill books with every possible link that's ever been suggested between his writing and his life. Paul B 23:40, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Paul, I think you are mistaken about Reliable Sources, which were raised to ridiculous extremes during the FA process for the WS page. Alabamaboy certainly recognized this, mentioning these raised standards in his exit speech. On this point, before HE left this page, administrator SingingBadger left this messege for all the editors: "Oh yeah, you can certainly use anti-Stratfordian writers; Ogburn is most definitely 'classic' (I don't know anything about Cairncross). Maybe 'classic' is misleading. That sentence is simply making the point that Wikipedia isn't a venue for introducing new ideas and theories that haven't been properly published. So any properly published anti-Stratfordian text is an acceptable source.' – SingingBadger
Badger then clarified: "The requirement is only for properly published sources. Charlton Ogburn is a valid source. Delia Bacon is a valid source. A. D Wraight is a valid source. The Henry Neville book is a valid source. I don't agree with the conclusions of those authors, but their ideas are worth including in the article because they submitted their work to publishers and went through an editing and checking process of some description. The only sources we try to keep out of Wikipedia are self-published books and self-published websites by people who have never been properly published in the field of Elizabethan literature. There are tons of valid anti-Stratfordian sources out there. Go and cite them. With page references please. Ditto Stratfordian sources. Finis. The Singing Badger 00:22, 3 October 2006.
Also Administrator AdamBiswanger1 recently added Stratfordain arguments from, of all places, Mark Anderson's Shakespeare by Another Name, thus giving us another valid source for both sides of the debate. There are really plenty of sources for the Strats that do indeed address each theory. Want a strictly scholary source? Try "Shakespeare and His Rivals: A Casebook on the Authorship Controversy", which gives each theory indepth coverage, then tears them apart. Smatprt 00:15, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Singing Badger was entitled to his opinion, but it is actually clearly contrary to policy, which nowhere states that a reliable source is any book that's been published, including ones dating from the 1850s. If that were true Christian fundamentalists would be reliable sources on Darwin and Adolf Hitler would be a reliable source on racial differences. There is no point going over this again. I was responding to LessHeard vanU's argument that more is always better. You haven't even addressed the main point. If we included every theory - including every theory from biographers of WS himself - the article would lose focus. Paul B 02:56, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't think we should worry - if someone wants to add the theory that the Queen wrote the plays, they are going to have to find "some" source, of which that would prove extremely difficult. There are plenty of sources out there, but they only address the candidates that are already represented, so I think the danger of "every theory" is probably not really there. And as you have noted, the number of biographers of WS who actually address authorship issues are far and few between, so the danger there is also relatively small. After all, I would think that most WS biographers avoid this page. Again - there are plenty of sources following WP:V - "In general, the most reliable sources are peer-reviewed journals and books published in university presses; university-level textbooks; magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses; and mainstream newspapers." Smatprt 04:23, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
I'd just like to add that it's not necessary to make every edit about sources into an authorship issue. Why the need to write "Oxfordians argue ..." everywhere? Just state the argument and sources and get the hell out of there! If I started writing "Baconians argue ..." all over the Shakespeare articles, all hell would be let loose. Also be careful because phrases like "seems to confirm" are dubious. Frame it as an alternative possibility. In my recent edits to The Tempest I accept that the Eden/Erasmus sources are a viable alternative but there's no need to talk about Oxford there. This is the reason why people here are angry. (Puzzle Master 12:25, 15 July 2007 (UTC))
Thank you for that, Barry. You make complete sense and your edits today were quite good. I think instead of "getting angry", if folks would just have done what you have done (rewriting instead of deleting), then all these arguments and edit wars could have been averted. Thanks again and I'll keep your advice in mind. In the future, please feel free to make the kinds of edits you did today.Smatprt 14:45, 15 July 2007 (UTC)


I find it puzzling that while much space has been devoted to discussing identity & chronology, very little has been given to style -- how these authors use language. Do they betray a common vocabulary, use of metaphors, etc.? I bring this up because Caroline Spurgeon, Shakespeare's Imagery (Boston: Beacon, 1958) is an example of research, admittedly from an earlier generation, that examines Shakespeare use of images, and compares it to his contemporaries -- as well as to Marlowe & Bacon -- & finds that the several authors show distinct preferences for certain varieties of imagery. Shakespeare's most common source of images is from sports and games (riding, bird-snaring, falconry as well as archery); Marlowe draws from "bookish" topics (as befits a University man) and frequently uses personification, while Bacon draws from sceens of home life ("everything touching the house and daily life indoors") which Spurgeon believes is that this includes "many images drawn from light and darkness".

My point in mentioning this is not to convince anyone (although this book settled the question for me long ago), but that without discussing Spurgeon's research no advocate for a non-Stratfordian position would be adequately prepared to defend their belief. And I feel without a discussion of this text & its implications, this article does not qualify FA status. -- llywrch 21:58, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Excellent point, Llywrch. There should be a sentence or two added to the section about William Plumer Fowler's 1986 book, *Shakespeare Identified in Oxford's Letters.* This massive book goes through 37 of Oxford's extant letters to show the close affinity, in terms of vocabulary and phraseology, between these letters and the works of Shakespeare. Fowler's work has not recieved the attention it deserves. While not beyond criticism, the book goes very far to demonstrate the plausibility, on stylistic grounds, of Oxford's authorship. Decades ago J.M. Robertson argued, persuasively in my opinion, that Bacon could be ruled out of consideration on stylistic grounds (and there are those today, like Ward Elliott, who think the same can be said of Oxford). --BenJonson 17:32, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I read somewhere that Bacon was more of a prose writer than the more poetic Shakespeare. Wrad 22:39, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
AFAIK, Bacon never wrote a line of poetry in his life. However, Spurgeon selected him to compare against Shakespeare because at the time she wrote "the claim that Bacon is in truth Shakespeare and wrote his plays is still held to be a serious and well-foudned one by a lage number of people. It is natural, therefore, that one should be eager to ask, 'What does an examination of their images tell us?'" (p. 16) -- llywrch 05:04, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
Mmm ... Bacon certainly wrote poetry and published it in The Translation of Certain Psalms (1625) where he renders various psalms into verse form. From these, the barrister Nigel Cockburn (The Bacon-Shakespeare Question 1998) has rooted out certain metaphorical parallels with Shakespeare's work. I'm amused that Spurgeon could believe that Bacon might use the same imagery in his work on natural philosophy as in his conjectured plays and poetry. Also I can't help thinking that it's rather lazy forming an opinion on the basis of one dubious test. It is better to make a complete study of the arguments for all candidates (including Shakspere) ... then decide. (Puzzle Master 16:53, 16 July 2007 (UTC))

Bacon also seems to have written some masques.--BenJonson 17:32, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Maybe. But Spurgeon's study is a well-known one, & was the most comprehensive until that time. Until her book was published, no one had looked at Shakespeare's imagery in such a systematic way, let alone included a comparison to a number of his contemporaries. -- llywrch 19:23, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Spurgeon's book is a good place to begin such an inquiry; among other merits, the book reveals how central the authorship question has been to Shakespearean studies (although often denied its true role) for many decades, since Spurgeon specifically set out to test the Baconian theory through the examination of Shakespearean imagery. She concluded that there were significant discrepancies between the uses of imagery by the two writers. Corter Pole, in his Oxford University PhD dissertation, later did the same for Shakespeare's Bible allusions, and demonstrated that there was an almost complete misfit between the Bible allusions cited by Bacon and those found in the Shakespearean ouevre.--BenJonson 17:32, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Yahoo article

Interesting article here - which discusses some of the more basic hypotheses.

A couple of extracts -

"Acclaimed actor Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance, the former artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe Theater in London, unveiled a "Declaration of Reasonable Doubt" on the authorship of Shakespeare's work Saturday, following the final matinee of "I am Shakespeare," a play investigating the bard's identity, in Chichester, southern England."...
"The declaration names 20 prominent doubters of the past, including Mark Twain, Orson Welles, Sir John Gielgud and Charlie Chaplin."

Jacobi subscribes to the group theory. It is not unlikely that Shakespeare's works have some element of collaboration. This is common in acting companies. --MacRusgail 13:55, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Fulke Greville

Is this a legitimate addition? All of the material seems to have been added by the same person, and a google search yields sparse information about Greville as a candidate for Shakespeare's works. Any thoughts? AdamBiswanger1 00:00, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I think it may deserve a few sentences or a paragraph. But we've definitely got some undue weight going on... Wrad 00:23, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
The whole thing is a copyright violation from this site:, and needs to be summarized and reworded drastically. Wrad 00:31, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Hmm... I'm thinking about deleting it... maybe throwing a sentence in the "other candidates" section... AdamBiswanger1 02:05, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
I've done just that. And removed the link to the plagerised SPAM cite. Kept the picture though - but under "other candidates"Smatprt 07:30, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Shortening the article

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)

Shakespeare's ignorance

May I suggest a new section, on Shakepeare's ignorance, to balance the usual 'anti-Stratfordian' argument that the author of Shakespeare was too learned to be the man from Stratford?

It seems to me, on the contrary, that the author of Shakespeare was a rather ignorant and poorly educated man (by the standards of his time), especially in matters of history and geography. He seems to have believed that there were striking clocks in Roman times (Julius Caesar), that Milan was on or near a sea-coast (Tempest), that the kingdoms of France and Burgundy existed contemporaneously with the ancient Britons (Lear), that there were lions in France (As You Like It), and that there was a Duke of Athens in classical Greek times (Midsummer Night's Dream). [Added: Theseus was of course a legendary ruler of Athens, but Shakespeare's use of the term 'Duke' suggests an anachronistic confusion with the Duchy of Athens established after the Crusades.]

These are not mistakes that would have been made by a man like Bacon or Oxford. Maybe the anti-Stratfordians can provide an explanation. Perhaps the mistakes were a cunning plan to put people off the scent. But the point ought at least to be made. 19:51, 25 September 2007 (UTC)DavidB

You might consider "dramatic licence", but aside from that, consider that in one case (at least) - the famous "seacoast of Bohemia" reference that stratfordians make such a big deal out of, well - that material was extant in his source, which Shakespeare merely adapted!
Shakespeare's use of anachronism, his blending of fiction and truth, is part of his brilliance, as many a fan of the plays themselves will tell you. So this "ignorance" issue breaks down for me. It's such a non-starter. But if it must be made, then it should probably be under the "objections" catagory, and, of course, referenced just like everything else. Smatprt 21:21, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Name change

After searching many websites and publications, I found that the debate is rarely called "Shakespearean". It's almost always "Shakespeare", which makes sense, since it's about the man and not the larger catagorie known as Shakespearean. I therefore made this minor change to the name of the article. I hope no one has a problem with this. Smatprt 22:06, 5 October 2007 (UTC)


It says that there are no detailed records of Shakespeare's attendance in any school, but there aren't detailed records of anybody's attendance. Seems like whoever wrote this was a bit biased. Please correct this posthaste. Magicallydajesus 06:44, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Oops! I didn't mean to start an edit war!

Sorry, I didn't mean my edits to start an edit war. When I saw all the [citation needed] markers, and thought I could help by supplying some citations. As for WP:RS, it does say: "A reliable source is a published work regarded as trustworthy or authoritative in relation to the subject at hand. Evaluation of reliability will depend on the credibility of the author and the publication, along with consideration of the context." And considering the context of statements like "Mainstream scholars assume that..." or "Stratfordians claim that..." you can't get much more authoritative than a website where a mainstream Stratfordian scholar actually makes those claims! If we can't cite any Stratfordian webpages in that context, then what can we cite? P Ingerson (talk) 13:29, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

David Kathman is not an acknowledged expert in Authorship studies. It is his personal hobby horse. As best as can be ascertained, he has been published once on the subject, in a collection of Wells, I believe. That is indeed reliable, as he had (some) oversite and peer review. His personal website, on the other hand, has no oversite and is certainly not reviewed for content or accuracy. Given the meaness and anger exhibited on the site, I wonder why anyone would want to hold it up as an example of a "reliable source". Previous discussion on this pointed up that his printed article was fine, but his personal website was not. Just read thru a fe of his posted articles and you will see a lot of name calling, but not alot of verifiable statements and even fewer references. As mentioned above RS relys on the credibility of the publication - Kathman's personal website simply isn't credible.Smatprt 14:09, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

"David Kathman is not an acknowledged expert in Authorship studies". Since most 'Statfordians' (i.e. Shakespeare scholars) do not accept that 'authorship studies' is a legitimate field, that's rather like excluding the opinions of an evolutionary scientist from an article on Creationism on the grounds that he is "not an expert of creationist studies". However, Smatprt knows very well that David Kathman wrote the chapter on Authorship in the Shakespeare: An Oxford Guide, edited by Stanley Wells. That means he's accepted as an expert on Authorship studies by Oxford University Press and by a Professor of Shakespeare Studies and Director of the Shakespeare Institute. You don't get much more authoritative than that! Paul B 16:06, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely. DK clearly an acknowledged expert on the subject. AndyJones 11:20, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
  • I notice you didn't answer my question, "If we can't cite any Stratfordian webpages in that context, then what can we cite?" I also notice that in this edit you state that "Much better sources are available." What are these better sources, and why haven't you cited them? If your sources rally are that much better, they might be a good compromise that everyone can agree on? P Ingerson (talk) 14:24, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
For starters, here is a source for much of the information you seek - It's called "Shakespeare and his Rivals: A Casebook on the Authorship Controversy" by George McMichael and Edgar M. Glenn, a pair of college professors. It is copyright 1962, and published by The Odyssey Press, in NY. lib of congess card #62-11942. It is strictly informative, providing source documents, contemp. reference, first signs of doubt, etc. It makes it clear on the first page that "most academic scholars aceept that Shakespeare was Shakespeare", and in presenting each theory, pretty much dismisses them - although without all the anger and name-calling and wild theories that Kathman advances. I do agree that better sources would be the best compromise and appreciate P Ingerson for a civility that is often lacking on this page.Smatprt 07:24, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Dunno. A book published 45 years ago is all very well, but the article often needs to cite refutations of Oxfordian claims made more recently. AndyJones 11:20, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
And another: The Authorship of Shakespeare. James G. McManaway. Publisher: Folger Shakespeare Library. Cornell University Pres, Ithaca, NY. 1962.Smatprt 07:51, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

It hasn't been established that David Kathman's views are representative of the generally-accepted Stratfordian contentions. If this is not the case, we are essentially grafting original research into the article. Often Kathman merely cites primary sources from which he bases what seems to be just that, original research. Essentially, we can only include citations that support the generally-accepted Stratfordian contentions, unless note otherwise ("David Kathman contends that...") As it stands now, claiming that most experts believe something by citing one of them isn't logical. If Mark Anderson, an Oxfordian, were to posit an unorthodox, unique claim, I would certainly not preface it with "Oxfordians hold that_______________<ref>Mark Anderson, etc.</ref> So, guys, we need to either:
  1. Establish that Kathman and Stratfordians are one in the same,
  2. Mention in the article that these claims are unique to Kathman, or
  3. Replace this citation with a secondary source or a peer-reviewed journal. AdamBiswanger1 15:09, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
You seem to have misunderstood the concept of original research when used in the context of Wikipedia. Experts are allowed to do original research. We - Wikipedia editors - are not. Kathman is an expert, as is established by his many scholarly publications. We report the views of experts. 16:06, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
You seem to have misunderstood my comment. We do report the research of experts, but if we report what one possibly dissenting expert thinks, we do not purport it to represent all experts, and we do not support a phenomenon (Stratfordian thought) by providing an example (One Stratfordian), unless we are certain that the example is indicative of the phenomenon. However we are not quite in a position to do that because it is impractical, so our only solution is to use a neutral publication that surveys the arguments on both sides, or to provide numerous examples of expert Stratfordians advancing the same claim. Also, in WP:OR, we are reminded that editors cannot use a synthesis of sources to advance a new position. So, listing all of the minute, and often conflicting contentions of various Stratfordian experts would assert an idea of Stratfordian that we ourselves have created. AdamBiswanger1 17:16, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
There is no such thing as "Stratfordian thought". Very few academics respond in detail to specific Oxfordian arguments. I think your interpretation of WP:OR is rather off the mark. There is and never can be some metaphysical concept of 'Statfordians' or 'Oxfordians'. There are only a relatively few individual authors. Saying 'Strafordians say..' is just to say this is a Stratfordian argument. There is no 'new synthesis' involved at all. However it would be no big deal to write that Kathman says this. It's not a big policy related issue. You are making a mountain of a molehill. Paul B 20:19, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Regarding Kathman - he is not a professional scholar - he is a mutual fund analyst. He has done some decent research on apprentices and boy acting companies but has also advanced a number of unsupported theories about the authorship. He has contributed ONE essay to a collection by Wells - and it contains at least one whopping error. This does not an excerpt make. However, because its in the Wells book, with its peer review and well-respected editors, Wiki rules seem to say that that ONE essay can be quoted. However, his personal website, more of a blog, is full of ridiculous assertions that have no support among mainstream scholars (who dare not make such claims for fear of ridicule). Kathman's website cites very few references and is chock full of OR. His website is also so mean-spirited that I am surprised that anyone who cares about Wikipedia would want it linked. It drags down Wikipedia in general and this article in particular.Smatprt 07:40, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

OR isn't a problem in this context, it's an internal wikipedia rule: researchers doing original research is normal. AndyJones 11:20, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
The fact that Kathman does not work in academia is irrelevant. Mutual fund analysis is rather more remunerative. The fact that he is accepted as an expert by journals, editors and academic publishers is the important point. The 'ridiculous assertions' are only ridiculous in your fantasy world. Provide evidence that they are considered ridiculous by anyone outside Oxfordianism. What you consider to be ridiculous is of no more weight than PuzzleMaster's narcissistic pronouncements about the stupidity of Stanley Wells and Jonathan Bate in comparison to his glorious self. Paul B 09:26, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Of all the people I have encountered here, Mr Barlow, your pronouncements exhibit the least evidence of both intellectual depth and of having researched these matters. You are but a sponge that uncritically soaks up anything that anyone who carries the name of academic tells you, not only because you lack the intellectual capacity for critical thinking but because you also lack the imagination to recognise the range of possibilities available. All you can offer is invective in the mistaken hope that those who have done enough research to embarrass your shallow point of view will go way. But I will be here for years to come, if only to celebrate the day, if it ever comes, when you manage to cobble together a worthwhile argument. (Puzzle Master 22:45, 5 November 2007 (UTC))
It's Dr Barlow to you, you silly, silly little man. Paul B 22:48, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
That only demonstrates how easy it is to get a PhD. (Puzzle Master 00:40, 6 November 2007 (UTC))
Let's be clear. Smatprt is a POV pusher, as defined in Wikipedia:Information suppression. He wishes to suppress any material that will contradict his preferred POV and push any material that will support it. His main reason for wishing to keep out the Kathman pages is that they contain very very detailed anti-Oxfordian arguments which are not to be found elsewhere because Shakespeare scholars do not on the whole publish on paper detailed refutations of Oxfordiansm. The majority of Oxfordian books are published by commercial publishers and have no more status as RS than the writings of Erik von Danekin. This is a clear double standard. Paul B 10:54, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. Specifically, I think is the best available citation for the "Shake-speare" vs. "Shaksper" claim, so I'll restore it, alongside the print citation already there. AndyJones 11:20, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

On the question of how Kathman & Ross's The Shakespeare Authorship Page is regarded, Michael Best of the University of Victoria (in a section headed "Checking on the credibility of a site" in his chapter "Internet and CD-ROM Resources" in the Oxford Guide) describes it as "one of the most informative and scholarly sites on Shakespeare". AndyJones 16:15, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes - let's do be clear Paul, while you and your gang of bullies may call me a POV pusher, in actuality I am a POV defender. If it were not for me and the other "heretics" (to use a name we have been called on these pages), you and your gang of bullies would have been successful in completely deleting the authorship issue from all of Wikipedia. Efforts by the most overzealous of you would have been successful and the many deletions that I have fought to restore would have been gone forever. You all keep accusing me of deleting information that I disagree with, but you have yet to show examples in any sufficient quantity to make that charge stick. But keep making it, everyone - it makes is sooooo easy to defend. Do I go overboard with the reverts? - sure, sometimes I do, but quite frankly, I see it as a valid response to the rudeness, nastiness and ongoing bullying exhibited by you and your buddies. I think what really upsets you is that neither I, nor Barry for that matter, are ever going to go away. And yes, I will continue to defend a POV that you and others want censored from the site.Smatprt 04:14, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
This is fairly typical of your lies. Long long before you came along I did my best to maintain balance on this page according to the Wikipedia rules, and even bending them in favour of anti-Strafordian claims - precisely because Oxfordian and other arguments do not typically come from reliable sources according to WP:RS.
  • Wrong again - there are plenty of RS our there that cover these issues.

I have never argued that they be excluded. What I have done is point out to you that you that most Oxfordian argument could be excluded if we applied your double standards. You will use any argument you can think of to exclude arguments in favour of the mainstream position

  • Wrong again. I have no record of deletionism - unlike you and your gang of bullies.Smatprt (talk) 17:53, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

and you will include even your own OR in favour of your position if you think you can get away with it.

  • Nope - I don't do OR - I report the work of others. Of course, you know that. You just like to repeat your lies and accusations, and keep bullying others.Smatprt (talk) 17:53, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

I've seen you do it time and time again. You have no interest at all in balance. The great majority of of the vicious vituperative language comes from you and Barry. Barry drove away Singing Badger, one of the most constructive contributors here, with his aggressive personal abuse.

  • So now you are speaking for Singing Badger? One would think he could speak for himself. BTW it was the Badger that said that Ogburn was RS, among others.Smatprt (talk) 17:53, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

If I now seem to be angry it is because of long experience of you and Barry - the same Barry that your saint-like self has just accused of making himself look like a "moron". You also just competely misrepresented WP policy again by referring to Jacobi as "notable", which is wholly irrelevant since that means nothing more than the fact that he is worthy of his own article, not that his view on Shakespeare carry any weight. Nontheless, mrention of his name does not bother me and never has. Paul B 07:54, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Hey "Dr." Paul- try reading the entire rule next time. "Notability criteria also must be met for a person to be included in a list or general article; in this case, however, the criteria are less stringent." So which of us was "completely misrepresented WP policy"? That would be You. Smatprt (talk) 17:53, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
OK, Dr Barlow (where's the PhD from Walmart? Just joking!) There you go again, attacking with the accusation "his aggressive personal absuse" - the spelling is yours. You evidently lack the awareness you're doing this. I don't agree with Smatprt's authorship candidate and I think his reverting is obsessive but I don't feel bullied by him as I do by you. You are a typical forum bully whose success depends on the majority giving him free reign as they do here. If you presented counter-arguments that would be fine, but all your contributions that I have seen are personal attacks ("silly, silly man" and "narcissistic pronouncements") so it's ironic that that's what you accuse me of. In contrast, my reasoned position is sprinkled throughout the archives here if you care to do the research (which I doubt). As Smatprt says, we are NEVER going to go away. (Puzzle Master 00:24, 8 November 2007 (UTC))
The utter childishness your your abuse should be evident to all. When one resorts to sneering at typos one may as well give up. I only called you a silly man after you resorted to the infantile tactics we see here, and after you personally abused Bates and Wells. Paul B 08:41, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
It's incredible that someone can question the research ability of Stanley Wells and Jonathan Bate. These guys are professors! And why does this article exist? If Shakespeare didn't write it then half of England would have known. It's a conspiracy theory and all conspiracy theories are propagated by the mentally unbalanced. QED (Felsommerfeld 12:31, 8 November 2007 (UTC))
My advice: go and talk to PaulB. You are wonderfully suited for each other! I reiterate my earlier comment that Wells and Bates have not sufficiently researched the Shakespeare authorship issue (certainly not the Baconian case). (Puzzle Master 14:16, 8 November 2007 (UTC))
Barry is right on this - Wells and Bates have not researched the authorship in depth and admit to it, because they deem it unworthy of their time. As a result Wells even allowed Kathman to repeat his own POV/mistakes in the ONE book that Kathman has actually contributed to.Smatprt (talk) 17:53, 22 December 2007 (UTC)


I have blocked one user in this dispute for excessive reverting. Excessive reverting is disruptive, being disruptive is being blockable. Please do not revert more then one time a day on this article for the next while, and discuss your differences on the talk page (here). If you guys need assistance sorting out the dispute, see dispute resolution. Thank you. —— Eagle101Need help? 08:47, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Oxfordian Slant

No doubt Smatprt will revert my changes yet again. I've deleted the mention of Derek Jacobi's support for Oxfordianism and the trivially silly "ever-living" solution to the Sonnets puzzle (in the Sonnets graphic) which is supposed to be a De Vere anagram of some kind. It's obvious, even to a moron that, whatever the solution to the Sonnets puzzles is, because there is a point between each word, it involves ALL the words not one small phrase conveniently selected. I know these things: puzzles is my speciality! The Jacobi deletion was carried out because Smatprt tries to insert an Oxfordian reference at EVERY opportunity. He hasn't the slightest interest in balance. For him, this article is merely a vehicle to promote his views. But we've been here before ... many times ... haven't we? And despite MANY warnings he has obviously NO INTENTION of changing his crusading style. Sigh! (Puzzle Master 01:03, 6 November 2007 (UTC))

Barry, Barry, Barry - at least get the argument right so YOU don't look like a moron - the "ever-living poet" reference has nothing to do with anagrams or other puzzles. The issue is that the term "ever-living" usually refers to a DEAD person! Shakespeare himself gives us the best example in H6 - refering to the DEAD Henry V, we have "ever-living man of memory". I know that this offends you because the "he was dead prior to 1609" argument makes things hard for the Bacon candidacy, which is your POV. But none-the-less, it cannot be argued that if it can be proved that the author was dead by 1609, thus knocking Stratford off his pedestal, then the Authorship Question would be drastically affected. You accuse me of POV pushing, but then you delete material that conflicts with YOUR POV. Isn't that the pot calling the kettle...Smatprt 03:35, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
First, I know that John Michell author of Who Wrote Shakespeare? (who I like) claims that "our ever-living" is an anagram of "Nil Vero Verius" (apart from one letter) which was Oxford's motto. Second, where is the proof that "ever-living" does not mean ... ever-living?! In other words, he lives for ever in his writing. You would like it to mean a dead person because Oxford was dead by 1609 when the Sonnets was registered but the truth is no one knows what was meant in which case there's no issue and it doesn't deserve mention. My third point is that I see a major obstacle to Oxford's candidacy ... he was dead before 11 of the plays were written! I don't have to reject the dating of 11 plays to give Bacon a fighting chance but you have no choice for Oxford. So now it's all about probabilities. What is the chance that independent researchers have got maybe one, two, three datings wrong (we're still in the realm of the probable), four, five (I'm getting doubtful), six, seven (wait a minute), eight ... ELEVEN!!! It's your estimation of what is probable that I think is faulty. If I had come to the authorship problem knowing nothing about it and someone had said "Oxford is a candidate and by the way a lot of research shows he was dead before 11 Shake-speare plays were written" I wouldn't have bothered with him. But you desperately want him to be Shakespeare and you would be prepared to accept the utterly improbable to keep him as Shakespeare. That's the difference between you and me. I don't think the case for Bacon is anywhere near as improbable as it is for Oxford. A psychological point: I think both you and BenJonson are identifying with and using Oxford to make sense of your own lives which is why you obsessively revert changes here even when the probability of you being right is against you (in other words, you're defending you). The point is, Oxford doesn't make sense of Shake-speare the author's life. The whole case for Oxford rests on autobiographical interpretations but I don't see why the plays are necessarily autobiographical. I mean, Harry Potter's parents were murdered by a wizard ... this did not happen to J.K.Rowling! And even if aspects of Oxford's life are represented in Hamlet what precludes someone who knew Oxford from writing about him? The Oxford case is making gratuitous assumptions. (Puzzle Master 23:30, 7 November 2007 (UTC))
And Derek Jacobi is NOTABLE WP:NOTE just as Mark Twain (who was no researcher) is NOTABLE. BTW - it is my understanding that Jacobi's belief in a group includes Bacon as a major player in that group, as do many other group theories. Bacon and Oxford were knows, maybe we are both right!Smatprt 03:35, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
The evidence at my disposal suggests otherwise. I think Bacon wrote the Shake-speare work alone as the political and moral Histories for his Great Instauration project. To understand this we need to appreciate that Bacon (described by some as the finest mind for 500 years) was trying to revise the entire teaching of Aristotle (which was heavily ingrained in the culture) and put human knowledge on a more secure footing. However, if you like, we can agree that Stratfordianism is a propaganda machine that rejects all reasonable attempts to investigate it. I'd like to see the end of this brainwashing of our students (and some of the brainwashed are right here at Wikipedia defending these Shakespeare pages). (Puzzle Master 23:30, 7 November 2007 (UTC))

Mark Anderson's Oxfordian Book

I've just bought Shakespeare By Another Name from amazon. I gave up at page 25. It's painful, tediously painful, to read! I wanted the book to tell me what the case for Oxford was. But what kind of historical investigation starts at page 1 with the assumption that Oxford is Shake-speare then, without any attempt to construct an argument, spends page after page gratuitously assigning lines from Shake-speare to aspects of de Vere's life? It's pure evangelism! It's crammed with irrelevant biographical detail and a simple browse discovered an error of fact too (like the assumption on page 403 that it was Strachey who delivered Strachey's letter to England and so it would have arrived too late to source the first known performance of The Tempest when, in fact, it was Gates who brought it to England much earlier). I'm annoyed with myself for wasting an evening on it. No wonder the Stratfordians are thriving! (Puzzle Master 22:15, 6 November 2007 (UTC))

I don't mean to argue with you, but I don't think it's as bad as you say, although alot of the interpretations are sketchy, like when he contends that such-and-such a friend of de Vere's was the inspiration for such-and-such a character. But some evidence is downright convincing, like Hamlet's irrelevant mentioning of his abduction by pirates who left him naked on the shore, but spared him his life when he revealed he was a noble. The story matches remarkably with de Vere's. And, as far as the method of assuming that de Vere was Shakespeare, that just makes writing and reading the book easier, getting rid of the need for "could have" and "might have been" at every sentence. AdamBiswanger1 21:40, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm mystified why you are so careful to convey the impression that you're not attacking me. As to the issue at hand, what if the pirates story does match the details of de Vere's life? Why does that necessarily mean that he wrote Hamlet? In Twelfth Night there are good parallels with Sir Toby Belch and Sir Posthumus Hoby with regard to an incident that went to Star Chamber in 1601 involving the disorderly conduct of William Eure in Hoby's house. Toby also refers to Sir Edward Coke's conduct of "thouing" Raleigh three times (an insult) at his trial in 1603 with "if thou thou'st him thrice, it shall not be amisse". The Comedy of Errors, in making use of a gold chain (which is not in the Plautine version), alludes to a real incident involving Sir Roger Manswood's theft of a gold chain which went to Star Chamber in 1591. Macbeth refers to witches and King James wrote a notable treatise on witchcraft. The Shakespeare work is littered with topical references to personalities. No one claims these personalities wrote the play they appeared in. But Oxfordians claim that Oxford wrote Hamlet. It's an unwarranted leap from the improbable to the definite. (Puzzle Master 23:51, 7 November 2007 (UTC))
I'm trying to "convey the impression" that I'm not "attacking" you for two reasons: One, this is an article talk page and not a place to discuss the relative merits of a book. Secondly, I don't profess to be an expert on the subject, and my only interest was to defend the basic integrity of the book without summarily dismissing it after reading, say, 25 pages of it. The New York Times Review of Books, one of the premier book-review publications in the US, said that the book "deserves serious attention", and that's really all I'm trying to say as well. AdamBiswanger1 20:14, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree it deserves serious attention, even if you remain unconvinced. It deserves attention if only for the reason that it was written by "an outsider, a stranger to the field" (author's note, p. 411), who until 1993 had never even heard of any such thing as a doubt about the authorship of Shakespeare, let alone had had any biases about it. With regard to Hamlet, pages 190-191 might be of interest if you want to read more about de Vere's knowledge of Denmark. His brother-in-law Peregrine Bertie was Ambassador there: Bertie paid an extended visit to Elsinore, he met Tycho Brahe (whose observation of a supernova was mirrored in the "bright star that's westward from the pole"), and he met actual Danish courtiers named Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. He would have relayed these facts to de Vere, his wife's brother. Did the Stratford guy have such experiences or know of such people? (Btw, I can see no attack on you coming from AdamBiswanger. He might be disagreeing with your opinions, but it's all been done civilly, certainly involving no attack on you personally). -- JackofOz 00:44, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
My meaning was simply this: I didn't expect an attack and I didn't perceive anything that Adam wrote as an attack. Perhaps you should study the Bacon theory and then form a view as to which case has the greater merit (Puzzle Master 13:16, 9 November 2007 (UTC))
Thanks. I had a quick browse and it seems well written. I'll read it fully when I have some time. -- JackofOz 13:54, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Liam Nuinseann/ William Nugent

I see William Nugent/Liam Nuinseann is mentioned in this article. There is a fascinating article on Indymedia that should attract the attention of all people interested in this topic. Liam Nuinseann was an Oxford educated Irish language poet, who was also a brother of one of Ireland's most powerful Norman nobles, the Baron Delvin. He was also a rebel. But anyway the guy on Indymedia has done a very well researched article arguing that Nugent is Shakespeare. Indeed, it's so good I'm only left to wonder who the guy who wrote it really is as I'm very familiar with historians of sixteenth-century Ireland. Here it is: (it should really be on a Shakespeare website as I'd love to hear arguments against it). 11:17, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

The Tempest: Stritmatter-Kositsky research

I read on page 403 of Mark Anderson's Shakespeare by Another Name that Stritmatter and Kositsky have "new evidence" that "demolishes the case" that William Strachey's letter was the source for The Tempest. It runs as follows:

(1) Unavailability of letter. "It is conventionally assumed that the play was written soon before its first recorded performance, at Whitehall Palace on November 1 1611. But Strachey only returned from the New World on a ship that landed in England in late October or early November of 1611. His manuscript, it now appears, did not precede him."

Response. Sir Thomas Gates, the colony governor whom Strachey had accompanied, returned to England in September 1610. So the possibility that the manuscript did not precede Strachey is not excluded.

(2) Letter still incomplete by November 1611. "Another Strachey book from 1612 (Laws, Morals, and Martial) refers to a work he hasn't yet completed about the Bermudas. If this is not the manuscript in question them Strachey describes a phantom."

Response. In fact, it is neither the manuscript in question nor a phantom. William Strachey later wrote The History of Travel into Virginia Britannica which avoided duplicating the details of the letter but remained unpublished until 1849. [A True Declaration of the state of the Colony in Virginia with a confutation of such scandalous reports as have tended to the disgrace of so worthy an enterprise in Wright, Louis B., A Voyage to Virginia 1609 (University Press of Virginia: 1904), p.xvii]

(3) Source. "The extensive nautical and New World imagery in The Tempest - what orthodox scholars believe originates in Strachey - actually comes from a 1523 dialogue written by the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus ("Naufragium") and a 1555 book by the English scholar Richard Eden (The Decades of the New World). Stritmatter and Kositsky demonstrate that Strachey, too, borrowed heavily from Erasmus and Eden."

Response. The advantage that the Strachey letter (1610) has over earlier sources is that it is topical and since King James had enormous interest in the Virginia Colony then allusions to it would have ensured his interest in the play. The shortness of the play suggests that it was intended for a private performance (perhaps especially written for King James) and the mention of "revels" at the end appears to confirm this. Anyone who checks the Erasmus, Eden, and Strachey documents against The Tempest will realise that the assertion that "The Tempest ... actually comes from" the Erasmus and Eden documents is an over-interpretation of the evidence.

There is a possible topical allusion in The Tempest that argues against a pre-1609 dating. There was a rumour circulating King James’s court in December 1609, that Arabella Stuart, a first cousin of the King’s and a member of the Queen’s household, was secretly planning to wed Stephano Janiculo, a man of dubious character who was posing as the Prince of Moldavia. Two years later, The Tempest was performed before King James with two characters Stephano and Trinculo who form a double-act as servants to Alonso, the King of Naples. Joined together, these two names exhibit a remarkable similarity to Stephano Janiculo. One dramatist who certainly made use of the incident was Ben Jonson:

the Prince of Moldavia, and of his mistris, mistris Epicoene
(1610 Epicoene, Act 5, Scene 1)

There are several circumstances that conspire to make this a reasonable Shake-speare allusion. Stephano evidently sees himself as an aristocrat:

Stephano. Monster, I will kill this man [Prospero]: his daughter and I will be king and queen ... (III.ii.104-5)

Caliban addresses Stephano as such with "Prithee, my King, be quiet"(IV.i.215), and Prospero engages Stephano with:

Prospero. You'ld be King o' the isle, sirrah?
Stephano. I should have been a sore one, then. (V.i.287-8)

It is clear that Trinculo believes that Stephano does not deserve such a title:

Trinculo. ... They say there's but five upon this island: we are three of them; if th'other two be brained like us, the state totters. (II.ii.4-6)

Like Stephano Janiculo, Stephano has awarded himself an aristocratic title above his rank. The connection between Stephano Janiculo and Stephano and Trinculo would only register with an audience if the two names were mentioned in dialogue together and this actually occurs:

Trinculo. Stephano! If thou beest Stephano, touch me, and speak to me; for I am Trinculo ... (II.ii.101-102)

Within the space of two years we have this possible allusion, the Strachey letter, and the first known performance of The Tempest, so this weighs in favour of a 1610-11 dating.

One needs to convincingly redate 11 Shake-speare plays to before 1604 (when Oxford died) in order to sustain the Earl of Oxford as a candidate. The case for Sir Francis Bacon has no such difficulty and perhaps the best way to demolish Stratfordianism is to unite behind a much stronger candidate. The case for Bacon is clearly set out here: (Puzzle Master 00:42, 10 November 2007 (UTC))

Well, first off, half that number were co-authored after 1604. Can you tell me why on earth Bacon (or Stratford, Neville, Derby), after writing 25 plays on his own, would allow Macbeth, Pericles, Timon, Henry VIII, and 2 Noble Kinsman, to be finished or revised (badly) by other writers (like Middleton undoubtedly did with Macbeth?) If the author died in 1604, losing control of his unfinished works, then the scenario makes complete sense. BTW - Stratfordians are silent on this question as well.
Excepting Tempest, all the other "later plays" have been dated widely - some as early as 1594. The Winter's Tale is a prime example - According to Dr. Samuel A. Tannenbaum in Shaksperian Scraps, chapter: "The Forman Notes" (1933), "scholars had been disputing for considerably more than half a century whether The Winter's Tale was one of Shakespeare's earliest plays or one of his latest." Tannenbaum reports that "Malone had at first decided that it was written in 1594; subsequently he seems to have assigned it to 1604; later still, to 1613; and finally he settled on 1610-11. Hunter assigned it to about 1605." When even traditional scholars are of such opposite opionion, stating that these plays can be dated with certainty is impossible. And disqualifying any candidate on these grounds is equally impossible. Smatprt 01:19, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh - and King Lear - Muir dates it pre-1603 based on speeches which may derive from Samuel Harsnett's Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures (1603), and Kermode concludes that "1604-5 seems the best compromise". Frank Kermode, 'King Lear', The Riverside Shakespeare (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974), 1249.Smatprt 01:35, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Antony and Cleo = well, for starters, Alfred Harbage Pelican/Viking editions of Shakespeare 1969/1977, preface, dates the play to 1603.
And what is your take on W.R. Chetwood, who said in Memoirs of the Life and Times of Ben Jonson (1756) that on the basis of performance records that sometime in 1603–04, it was "supposed that (Shakespeare) took his leave of the stage, both as actor and author."? What on earth did he mean by actor AND author?Smatprt 01:41, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't have to defend anything! It's you that has to show that all 11 plays (including The Tempest) were written before 1604. The performance records alluded to come from Ben Jonson's Workes 1616 in which he lists the members of the King's Men who acted (and Shakspere is not mentioned) in his plays The Foxe 1605, The Alchemist 1610, and Cataline 1611. This has nothing to do with authorship and is yet more misinformation. By the way, an unbiased researcher would have accepted that Stritmatter and Kositsky (assuming they have been correctly quoted by Anderson) are in error. Smatprt, I know that you desperately want Oxford to have written the Shake-speare work but, sorry, he didn't! (Puzzle Master 10:03, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Barry, you do have to defend your positions, just like anyone else. Your self-published book, to which I provided a url above, puts you in the position, just like any other researcher, of having made a commitment to a certain perspective. Like any other published author, you are now in a position to either successfully defend your position, modify it if you come to alternative conclusions, or give up by insisting that you were right about everything and your critics are all idiots. Your construct of the "unbiased researcher" seems a bit skewed. On the contrary, it seems to me that the unbiased researcher would not have passed judgement on Stritmatter and Kositsky's work without first reading it. Mark Anderson at least had that advantage. You, on the other hand, freely espouse your conviction that the work is flawed without having read it; moreover you think that anyone else as unbiased as yourself, should render a similar ex cathedra judgement. This merely reveals your own bias. You say that Smatprt is "desperate" to prove that Oxford wrote the plays. Some may well include that the desperation, in this case, is in the eye of the beholder. --BenJonson 17:18, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Ben, I'm sorry, I don't get it. Are you Roger Stritmatter or not? And if you are, why do you talk about yourself third person? AndyJones 18:45, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
And is Mizelmouse (bit cheesy!) actually Ms Kositsky? (Bodleyman 22:03, 10 November 2007 (UTC))

I always find it amusing that people who use pseudonyms wish to find out the real names of others. Almost everyone involved in Shakespeare Authorship on the web knows who the Mouse and Ben Jonson are. I'm not ashamed to give my name. I have no reason to hide it. But Bodleyman, fair is fair. Tell me who you are first. Mizelmouse 03:08, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

And who on earth cares and why should it matter? Demanding names in this forum is a subtle form of bullying. Are you all going to make this personal??Smatprt 00:03, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Of course it matters if someone editing this page is someone who is also mentioned on it. And in what way me asking the question is "bullying" I do not know. Will someone just give me a straight answer and we can move on? AndyJones 09:06, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't have a problem with giving my name. I'm Lynne Kositsky, and so far I haven't so much as edited a single word anywhere on wiki, so you don't have to worry. I am simply responding to what Puzzle Master has said about our work without his even having read it. I presume that is allowed? Mizelmouse 22:30, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Apparently Lynne has more guts than Bodleyman (he of the 15 lifetime edits!). The mouse that roared! Good for you Lynne.Smatprt 09:54, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

I suggest that Puzzle Master read the articles of Lynne Kositsky and Roger Stritmatter carefully before responding to their work. After responding, he should be prepared to engage in a dialogue, which he has not done up until now. The first article, Shakespeare and the Voyagers Revisited, has been published by Review of English Studies. The next article to be published, A Movable Feast: The Tempest as Shrovetide Revelry, will be out in December in Shakespeare Yearbook. Four more articles will be appearing in various journals over the next year. Mizelmouse 16:35, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Well... it appears that there are (or will be) some highly reliable sources out there on Tempest dating after all! It will be exciting once these articles are published and can become part of the Wikipedia family!Smatprt 17:04, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Mizelmouse, to answer your question "I presume that is allowed?", this is a discussion page so lots of things get talked about here that never make it into the article proper. We can't prevent editors from criticising a work here without ever having read most if it. Others will see such criticism as flawed and biased, and naturally it won't advance the debate, but I suppose it doesn't do any actual harm. -- JackofOz 23:11, 11 November 2007 (UTC)