• The reason for all this talk is that movie critics have been interviewing prominent Shakespeare people like Mr. Cimolini about the new Roland Emmerich movie Anonymous, which we’ve finally seen. Like Shakespeare in Love, the movie has plenty of historical characters, a few historical facts, and a number of historical inaccuracies, but its story is invented. When we first heard about the movie, we hoped that it might draw attention to the real case for the Earl of Oxford. Unfortunately, Anonymous — whatever its merits in strictly cinematic terms, on which we express no opinion — is downright counter-productive on the authorship question.
    • The movie has given Stratfordians a new pretext for piling ridicule on Oxfordians and for ignoring the real case for Oxford. It’s “snobbery,” says Stephen Marche in the New York Times, for Oxfordians to insist that a glovemaker’s son from Stratford with a grammar school education could never have become a brilliant writer. In the Toronto Globe and Mail, Mr. Cimolini piles on: “inherent snobbery.”
    • But (and I think I speak for most Oxfordians) this isn’t the Oxfordian argument at all.
    • Then there’s the “conspiracy” card.
    • As a class, we Oxfordians aren’t suckers for conspiracies. How exactly it happened that Oxford didn’t take credit for the Shakespeare plays and sonnets, we don’t know, but we doubt very much that it was anything like the elaborate conspiracies portrayed– very unhelpfully — in Anonymous.
    • There’s no historical evidence that the Virgin Queen was actually a promiscuous slut or ever had any children, but in any event why should the love life of Queen Elizabeth or the parentage of Henry Wriothsley, Earl of Southampton, have anything to do with the question of who wrote Hamlet?
    • True, there’s no “smoking gun,” no single, irrefutable document that conclusively proves the case for Oxford.  But there really is plenty of evidence, much of which is reviewed, very soberly, by such organizations as the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition (here’s its website) and the journal Brief Chronicles (here’s its website).  Viewing it as a whole, we find it persuasive.

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