The Shakespeare Adventure is a site managed by supporters of the Oxfordian theory of the Shakespeare authorship — i.e. that the 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, was the true author of the Shakespeare Canon. In the coming months we will be providing content about the Shakespeare authorship debate as an on-going story with its own history, dating from Elizabethan England right up to today, a story about history and politics, true stories and official stories.

Over the past 25 years the authorship debate has gained many new adherents (advocates and agnostics), in part because of Charlton Ogburn’s 1984 The Mysterious William Shakespeare (a book that promoted Oxford as the true Shakespeare) and in part because of the awesome power of the Internet to disseminate information.

But while much progress has been made over these years, there is still a long way to go before the mainstream powers that be even acknowledge that there is an authorship problem, let alone seriously consider alternate theories of the authorship.

This site will be surveying the common ground among all those who have read and studied Shakespeare and the Elizabethan era —Stratfordian and anti-Sratfordian alike. The authorship debate involves everyone, whether they know it or not, or acknowledge it or not. Just ask Brian Vickers (the mainstream scholar who decided last year that  Shakespeare didn’t write A Lover’s Complaint — so much for the name on the title page meaning anything … thanks, Brian!).

We will be viewing this era through the lens of Oxford’s “being Shakespeare,” but we will also be viewing all the politics of the era, and the ways in which Shakespeare (whoever he was) was apparently up to his eyeballs in a political hothouse of power politics (and conspiracy) revolving around the Elizabethan endgame over the struggle for the succession following Elizabeth. It is a story with many related sub-stories under both Elizabeth I and her successor James I, and it is a story much written about over the centuries, but always from the point of view that Shakespeare was an “outsider” from Stratford who was observing it, not an “insider” who was living it (let alone even considering that the insider may have believed that he had a stake in it).

So, if you’d like some new adventures in your life, check out the search for the true Shakespeare and true story of how he did it and why he hid it (or rather, we should say, why he was forced to hide it). Join us in revisting and rethinking
centuries of history. We’re pretty sure that you’ll love it.

For openers, we have several essays available that demonstrate how history can be viewed when the “Shakespeare” piece of the puzzle is changed. Hank Whittemore’s essay “The politics of massacres, the need for intelligence” (which appeared in the premier issue (Fall 2001) of Shakespeare Matters (newsletter of The Shakespeare Fellowship), draws on some parallels between the 20th century and the 16th century. With a taking-off point of the September 11th World Trade Center attacks in NYC, Whittemore makes an intriguing case for how little things have changed in four centuries as he reviews the young Shakespeare’s reaction to similar religious/political turmoil in the 1570s.

Charles Boyle’s essay on the political nature of Twelfth Night (“Allowed Fools: Notes on an Elizabethan Twelfth Night (available on the archived copy of The Ever Reader hosted at the Internet Archive), presents this popular play as an insider’s “Saturday Night Live” view of Elizabeth’s court. William Boyle’s 1998 Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter article on the Jacobean politics surrounding the publication of the First Folio in 1623 (“Shakespeare’s Son on Death Row?” —available on The Ever Reader section of The Shakespeare Oxford Society Home Page) demonstrates how those involved in the Oxfordian theory of the Shakespeare authorship debate are answering questions Stratfordian scholars dare not ask.