The arts in 2012: the British blind spot | Culture | The Guardian

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    • A theatre director recently told me that he would not be applying for the currently vacant job of artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, because he wasn’t sure what any of the three words in the organisation’s name mean any more: monarchy, Elizabethan authorship and permanent acting troupes are all concepts currently in flux. In the same way, anyone seeking to promote “British culture” – a key marketing concept in the year of the 2012 London Olympics – faces the problem that the definition of the United Kingdom is contracting while the definition of culture is expanding.
    • Artistically, 2012 will be dominated by two veterans of our academies and libraries: William Shakespeare, chosen as the focus of the Cultural Olympiad, and Charles Dickens, whose bicentenary falls in February. These are undisputed British – or, at least, English – cultural icons of the kind you would expect to find on banknotes.
    • The worship of Shakespeare and Dickens is a heritage reflex; that the two writers will now double as symbols of Britain in an Olympic year is problematic for two reasons.
    • First, there is the problem of familiarity. For British artistic directors to announce their intention of exploring Shakespeare and Dickens is rather like the owner of a fish shop declaring that next year’s menus will focus on seafood.
    • their dominance has had the unintended but severe consequence of disenfranchising generations of non-white acting talent.
    • The World Shakespeare festival, running from April to September, will also approach the plays multiracially.
    • And it’s on this question – of which flag to put on the badge – that the sweat really starts to pour down the foreheads of the cultural commissioners. In a recent article, the outgoing head of the civil service, Gus O’Donnell, predicted that the breakup of the UK is now a real possibility – an issue largely ignored by politicians and newspapers protective of the Queen, or nervous of traditionalist voters. This potential fracturing has dramatic implications for the arts.
    • As actual or psychological independence accelerates in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, it may be that the concept of British culture is becoming an impossibility.
    • The economic crisis that has made Britain more politically insular and suspicious of Europe has left its culture ever more dependent on co-funding.

      It is also more divided. The idea of someone from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland all going into the same building at the same time used to be the classic structure of a joke. These days it could be culture department policy. The biggest arts festival the UK has seen in decades will struggle to disguise these divisions.

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The Shakespeare Oxford Spring Dinner, May 6th

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There will be a gathering of local Oxfordians in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
on May 6th at the Elephant Walk restaurant on Massachusetts Ave, just north of the Red Line stop in Porter Square.

Here’s a copy of the email notice for the dinner that’s making the rounds. Hope to see you there.

The Shakespeare Oxford Spring Dinner

When: Friday, May 6, 2011

Cocktails at 6:30; Dinner at 7:30

Where: The Elephant Walk, 2067 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Why: Much to talk about in 2011!

In the spring of 2009 and 2010, we enjoyed a day-long
seminar at the Watertown Free Public Library. This year we thought it
would be good to relaunch the evening dinner of years past. There is so
much news in the Oxfordian community this year, with the upcoming
premiere of Roland Emmerich’s blockbuster film Anonymous, the expected
completion of two documentaries, Cheryl Eagan-Donovan’s Nothing Truer
Than Truth and Laura and Lisa Wilson’s Last Will and Testament (working
title), as well as the long-awaited publication of Richard Roe’s The
Shakespeare Guide to Italy. Please join us for an evening of good food
and good company, in a private room that’s ours till 10 p.m.

Dinner will be $40 per person. This includes dinner,
taxes and gratuities and appetizers for the cocktail hour. The
three-course dinner includes a choice of appetizer, choice of entree and
choice of dessert from the “Tasting Menu,” a delightful way to
experience The Elephant Walk’s Cambodian and French cuisine. There will
be a cash bar for cocktails or other beverages.

Directions: The Elephant Walk (617-492-6900) is just
west of Porter Square, a short walk from the Red Line Porter Square
Station, and on the 77 bus line. The restaurant is located in the red
brick building across from Walden Street. There is free parking in a lot
behind the restaurant.

We will meet downstairs in the restaurant’s private party room. Wheelchair accessible through elevator.

RSVP by May 5, 2011. Please include your full name and number attending to: Alex@amcneil.com.

Payment may be made at the restaurant on the day of
the event by cash or check only; NO CREDIT CARDS PLEASE! Sorry, but the
restaurant cannot accommodate separate cards with a large group.If you’d
prefer to prepay, please make your check payable to Alex McNeil and
send it to 301 Islington Road, Auburndale MA 02466.

We hope to see you there!

Bill Boyle
Alex McNeil
Marie Merkel

Symposium: Shakespeare from the Oxfordian Perspective

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The two-day symposium recently held (May 29-30, 2009) in Watertown, Massachusetts, was a great success. About 50-60 people (many of them first timers) turned out for both the play on Friday night and the all-day session in Watertown Public Library on Saturday. There was coverage in the local media both before and after the event.

The program got under way Friday evening with a performance by Hank Whittemore of his one-man show on the Sonnets, Shake-speare’s Treason. The show is based on Whittemore’s theory of what the sonnets are all about, as expressed in his 2005 book on the sonnets, The Monument. The theory is, in brief, that the Fair Youth is the 3rd earl of Southampton, the Dark Lady is Queen Elizabeth, the Poet is Edward de Vere, 17th earl of Oxford, and the story being told is of the Essex Rebellion and Southampton’s crime in participating, his death sentence, and his reprieve. And the hidden story behind the known story of the Essex Rebellion is that Southampton could have been —should have been— Henry IX. Read all about it at The Monument site, or view this YouTube clip of the presentation given earlier this year in Winchester, Massachusetts (there are other clips at YouTube from this same performance).

The first talk on Saturday was given by Bonner Miller Cutting (daughter of Oxfordian stalwart Ruth Loyd Miller), who had come to town all the way from Houston (TX) to participate. Her talk expanded on one she had given at the Shakespeare Authorship Conference last October in White Plains (NY).

Bonner Miller Cutting answers questions after her presentation.

Cutting has been examining Shakespeare’s (i.e. of Stratford) will for several years now, and has come up with some insights that are noteworthy. She has looked at upwards of 2000 other wills from this same period to make comparisons with the Bard, and the results are not too flattering. For example, everyone knows about the bequest of the second-best bed to his wife, but Cutting’s research makes it unmistakable that this was at least a deliberate insult to his wife, if not an outright attempt to disinherit her by mentioning only the bed and nothing else (for example, he treated his sister Joan much more generously). The well-known absence in the will of books, manuscripts, etc. is accompanied by the glaring omission of any bequests to his daughters for their education in particular, or even to the town in general (e.g., how about something for that famous grammar school that taught him so well?). This is where Cutting’s diligent work over several years in comparing the Stratford will to many other wills of the period makes the point that our friend Stratman seemed to have had no literary interests during his life or after it, and furthermore (as some of us joked after the presentation), his will reveals him as, well, cold. Not generous. Cold. But you won’t find that in any mainstream discussions.

Mark Anderson spoke on the recent Cobbe portrait story (actually, controversy), and also expanded his comments to bring in the Ashbourne portrait (the one that graces the cover of his 2005 book Shakespeare By Another Name as a split image with the Welbeck portrait of Oxford). The Cobbe portrait is the one that was recently discovered by its owner to be identical to a putative portrait of Shakespeare owned by the Folger Shakespeare Library (the “Janssen“). It was unveiled with great fanfare by Stanley Wells and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust as being a “true likeness” of Shakespeare, painted in his lifetime (and most likely the model for the Droeshout engraving in the First Folio).

Mark Anderson, author of Shakespeare By Another Name.

Anderson has written about the Cobbe portrait on his blog several times since the story first broke a few months ago, and most of us in the audience were aware of it. He highlighted the story in the Times Literary Supplement by Katherine Duncan-Jones that dismisses the Birthplace Trust claim, and agreed with her that the portrait is most likely of Sir Thomas Overbury. The real story here is that Stratfordians are actually engaged in the authorship debate (sub rosa) when they reach out like this …anything to make Stratman more real is the name of the game. The second part of Anderson’s talk was on the authorship debate itself, including a point he has been making for several years now: that after 1604 no new sources or historical facts are ever used or alluded to in the Shakespeare canon. This is significant since 1604 is the date of Oxford’s death.

Marie Merkel led off the afternoon session with a provocative presentation in which she put forth the idea that perhaps The Tempest was actually written by Ben Jonson. This is a topic that Merkel has been pursuing for several years, and there’s no doubt that it is controversial, no matter where one stands on the authorship debate itself. But The Tempest is different from the rest of the Shakespeare canon in a number of ways, and the differences have been commented upon for a long time. Oxfordians understand this very well, since J.T. Looney in his 1920 Shakespeare Identified felt obliged to write an appendix in which he claimed that The Tempest was probably not by Shakespeare.

Marie Merkel creates a tempest.

Merkel quoted such mainstream scholars as Harold Bloom and David Lindley in support of the view that The Tempest is different from the rest of Shakespeare.
She also presented some interesting lists of textual analysis and word usage demonstrating that the play has many characteristics that are not characteristic of Shakespeare, and —most especially— that the play to most critics seems more like a Jacobean masque. As anyone involved in the authorship debate knows, The Tempest, its sources, and its actual date of composition are a hot topic in the debate, since any bona fide composition of a Shakespeare play after Oxford’s death in 1604 would knock him out of contention. But as Merkel’s presentation demonstrated, mainstream scholars themselves puzzle over this play as much as Oxfordians (for more information on The Tempest debate see the Oxfordian Stritmatter-Kositsky essay at the Shakespeare Fellowship website and the Stratfordian David Kathman essay at the Shakespeare Authorship Page).

The final speaker of the day was William Boyle (full disclosure: that’s me), reprising a talk he had given last fall at the Shakespeare Authorship Conference in White Plains (NY), and again (with some updates) at the Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference last April in Portland (OR). This presentation on “Shakespeare and the Succession Crisis of the 1590s” takes a closer look at some of the lesser known historical and publishing events that occurred during the same period that Shakespeare burst upon the scene, and considers that Shakespeare himself (aka Edward de Vere, 17th earl of Oxford) was keenly interested in the succession issue (i.e., who would succeed Elizabeth I) and that the Shakespeare plays and poems published during this period were written (or re-written) with the succession issue in mind.

Two publications were the focus of much of this talk: the political tract Conference about the Next Succession to the Crown of England (1594/95), in which a dedication to the earl of Essex claims that he and his followers will “settle the succession,” and Willobie His Avisa (1594), a notoriously enigmatic poem whose front matter contains the first reference to “Shake-speare” as an author (of Lucrece), and even alludes to Avisa and Lucrece as being the same person (both Lucrece and Avisa are “married chastity,” which is, Boyle noted, also an apt description for Queen Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen “married” to England). Boyle said that Willobie has been successfully “solved” by scholar B.N. De Luna in her 1970 book The Queen Declined. Her solution is that Avisa is Queen Elizabeth. He noted that in Harvard’s Riverside Shakespeare the editors concede De Luna’s work and say that Avisa is Queen Elizabeth; they then —wisely— say no more. This solution has great significance for understanding Shakespeare’s role in the succession crisis of the 1590s, and for understanding how the “Shakespeare authorship problem” may have had its roots in Elizabethan succession politics. The chief example here, of course, is Richard II and its well-known association with Essex and the succession, right up to the disastrous Essex Rebellion.

The day concluded with this final talk, and attendees hung out for a while, with ample time to meet and talk about what had been presented. This was a very well organized, fun event. Thanks to all those involved in putting together this two-day event: Lori DiLiddo, the symposium organizer, Chuck and Carole Berney of Watertown, Barbara Hansen, Anne Atheling, Judith Christianson, and Alex McNeil (president of the Shakespeare Fellowship). We should also note that right before lunch Cheryl Eagan-Donovan showed a clip of her upcoming documentary on the authorship (Nothing is Truer than Truth –information available at the Controversy Films website), which will be available soon and should add more fuel to the authorship fire. Several of those in attendance (i.e. Alex McNeil, Hank Whittemore, Mark Anderson) were featured in the clip shown.

Congratulations to all!

UPDATE: there are two articles available on the web about this event: Caldwell Titcomb at The Art’s Fuse, and Thomas Garvey at The Hub Review (Garvey didn’t attend, but he responds to Titcomb’s article and takes the opportunity to rail at the authorship debate in general and Oxfordians in particular).

UPDATE2: The blog Shakespeare Geek also responded to Titcomb’s article (“How did I miss this?”), and, like Thomas Garvey at The Hub Review, was disappointed to learn that a local Shakespeare event was presented by Oxfordians.

UPDATE3: We added a link to the Controversy Films website for more information about the upcoming documentary film, Nothing is Truer than Truth.

2009 Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference – Reporting from Portland (Part IV)

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With this post I will conclude my brief reports (plus pix) on papers and presenters at the 2009 SASC in Portland, Oregon, last week.

In the year of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s Sonnets there were several sonnet papers. Hank Whittemore, who led off the conference Thursday night performing his one-man show Shakespeare’s Treason (based on the sonnets) was also on hand Saturday afternoon to talk about Sonnets 40-42. As Whittemore explained at the start of his presentation, his intention was to respond to what Mark Anderson had said about these same sonnets in his 2005 book Shakespeare By Another Name.  In his book, while adopting some of what Whittemore had postulated about all the sonnets in his own 2005 book The  Monument, Anderson took exception to these three sonnets and said they were clearly about a love triangle; Whittemore had included them among the middle 100 sonnets (26-125) as being all about a family triangle. In his talk he made the case for the middle 100 sonnets being all about the same three people, with no room for either “additional” characters and/or “additional” stories.

Hank Whittemore explicates Sonnets 40-42

Also speaking on the Sonnets was Alex McNeil, who focused on Sonnets 153 and 154, the strange pair that concludes the entire sequence and have always seemed to many commentators to be tacked on at the end for some reason other than a logical conclusion to what immediately proceeds. McNeil noted how the two sonnets are really variations on the same theme, and how one (154) seems to be a later version of the first (153). McNeil, who was the editor of Whittemore’s The Monument, agrees that in the Oxfordian view of things these sonnets do make sense coming at the end, and that they most likely are meant to recall and then echo a much earlier time than the 1590s.

Alex McNeil speaking on sonnets 153 and 154.

While not directly about the sonnets themselves, presentations by William Boyle and Prof. Maurice Holland (both following Whittemore’s) were meant to expand on the basic premise of Whittemore’s “Monument” theory of what the Sonnets are all about, namely: The Essex Rebellion and its aftermath. Boyle (full disclosure: that’s me) continued on a theme he has covered over the past two years, that the succession crisis of the 1590s, Richard II, Essex, Southampton, and Shakespeare are all tightly interconnected, which explains much about how and why both the Essex Rebellion and the authorship problem came to be. Prof. Holland was on hand to talk specifically about the legal concept of “misprision of treason,” which is an integral part of the Monument Theory’s view of both the Rebellion and how the Sonnets are a record of the Rebellion (e.g., Sonnet 87 and line 12 “misprision”). Prof. Holland did not agree that Southampton had received misprision of treason as a plea bargain to save his life, saying there was no such thing as “plea bargains” in those days. He sided with those who said it was simply compassion that saved Southampton. All this is explained in much more detail on Whittemore’s Shakespeare’s Monument page.

For another view of the Sonnets we can turn to Prof. Sam Saunders (Washington State University, Kirkland WA), who used his mathematical expertise to ask, “Do Shake-speare’s Sonnets Exhibit Harmonic Balance?” His answer was yes, but it may be a bit complicated to try to explain it here. In brief, he demonstrated how some studies of word use can reveal “harmonic balance” for any particular author and his works by calculating the total number of words used, and then breaking that total down into the most-used single word as a percentage of the total and the least-used single word as a percentage of the total. If the percentages align in a more or less straight line slope on an X-Y axis, then there is a “harmonic balance” in the work. And the sonnets examined by Saunders did just that.

Professor of Mathematics Sam Saunders on the Sonnets

Award-winning author Lynne Kositsky (Toronto, Canada) was on hand to present a brief (15 minute) bit of satire in the form of a story called, “The Mouse and the Lion: Responses from an Orthodox Source.” A bit of background is needed here first to appreciate the story: Lynne and Prof. Roger Stritmatter have in recent years done research on The Tempest (e.g., Shakespeare and the Voyagers Revisited,” Review of English Studies, 2007) that has resulted in responses from such “Orthodoxy” as the Shakespeare Quarterly. Lynne’s story was a hit that hit home, and enjoyed by all. And furthermore, with this audience, all agreed with it wholeheartedly.

Finally, as is always the case at the SASC, proponents of other authorship theories were welcome to present their cases. This year attendees heard from three presenters arguing for three alternative claimants to both the Stratford actor and the Earl of Oxford: Lamberto Tassinari, an editor and author from Montreal, made the case for John Florio (“Shakespeare’s Poetry in the Words of John Florio”); Dr. Peter McIntosh, a senior scientist from the Forest Practice Services in Hobart, Tasmania, used the sonnets to make a case for Queen Elizabeth (“A Scientist Looks at Shakespeare’s Sonnets”); and Robin Williams, author of Mary Sidney: The Swan of Avon, gave a presentation based on her book.

We should note right off the bat that just a day after Tassinari made his case for Florio, his name appeared in the Wall St. Journal article about Oxford, with Justice Ruth Ginsberg citing Florio as her choice. Florio is certainly a minority position, but you’ve got to tip your hat to Tassinari for his timing! Meanwhile, Dr. Peter McIntosh traveled all the way from Australia to present his analysis of the sonnets, which concentrated on systematically identifying persons talked of within the verses and then trying like a detective to find the best fit among those most likely in London and the Court to be in “Shakespeare’s” circle. He comes down to the Queen herself as the most likely author, which like Florio (above) is definitely a minority position. Depending on one’s point of view, a case can certainly be made for both Florio and the Queen (along with others) being involved somehow in the Shakespeare works as ones who knew the author, knew the work, may have even been able to get their two pence worth in, etc. But when it comes to arguing the “fit” with Hamlet and Lear, the fit is demanding (IMHO).

Robin Williams, who also received the 2009 conference’s award for Excellence in Scholarship for her book Mary Sidney: Sweet Swan of Avon, gave an excellent PowerPoint presentation of her work. Of the three alternative candidates presented this year, Mary Sidney is probably the most interesting and probable candidate given her family history (sister of Sir Philip Sidney, mother of William Herbert —maybe the W.H. in the Sonnets— etc.), well-known literary traits, and various Shakespeare connections,
The SASC audience (overwhelmingly Oxfordian) foun
d her presentation quite informative, especially some of the more obscure biographical facts about Mary Sidney and her rich, literary life.

Robin Williams makes the case for Mary Sidney as Shakespeare

With this post we conclude our report on the 2009 SASC. These have been very brief notes, and given all that has been happening this year on the Shakespeare authorship front, we will return to some of these topics in more detail in the coming months.

2009 Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference – Reporting from Portland (Part III)

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Well, in truth, I’m no longer reporting from Portland, ’cause I’m back home in Boston (and recovering from jet lag … we got in after midnite).

Anyway, to continue with brief reports and accompanying pix about each presentation, let’s look at some poetry and songs. Prof. Michael Delahoyde of Washington State University (Pullman, WA) and one of his graduate students there, Jacob Hughes, both gave presentations on Shakespeare and Chaucer Saturday morning. There are a number of instances of parallels between Shakespeare and Chaucer (anyone surprised?), but what caught my eye during these presentations was the instances of “pilgrims” and “pilgrimages” in Chaucer (and especially how one of these instances matched up with Richard II). In working on my own presentation for Saturday afternoon I had decided to bring The Passionate Pilgrim (1599) into a discussion about the politics of the succession crisis (which includes Richard II) and had just been wondering why the title “The Passionate Pilgrim.” These presentations got me thinking, and I’ll have more on that next week.

Prof. Michael Delahoyde (center) and graduate student Jacob Hughes (right) after answering questions on their presentations Saturday morning (Conference Director Daniel Wright is on the left).

Dr. Earl Showerman’s presentation (“Bottom’s Dream: Herculean Farce as Political Allegory”) continued in the tradition of his presentations over the past several years at the SASC, concentrating on Shakespeare’s use of ancient Greek and Roman myths, legends, stories and plays. There is fertile ground for finding such connnections (since they are merely all over the place, and other scholars have written about them also). But the wealth of detail in Shakespeare’s use does raise that troubling question again …you know, the one about Shakespeare’s education and how he gained (and apparently became obsessed with) such knowledge. And for this blogger, it is interesting to see how often such use had a political agenda in it.

Dr. Earl Showerman presenting “Bottom’s Dream”

Prof. Ren Draya (Blackburn College, Calinville, IL) is another presenter who has become a regular at the SASC in recent years. She has done joint presentations with Prof. Delahoyde several times, focusing on Othello. This year Prof. Draya gave a talk on “Shakespeare’s Songs, with Special Attention to Othello.” Her talk focused on another well-know attribute of Shakespeare, i.e. that some of his poetry was meant to be song lyrics, and that those lyrics can sometimes be poetry just as pointed as any play dialogue.

Prof. Ren Draya of Blackburn College

I will continue with this report later today or tomorrow.

2009 Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference – Reporting from Portland (Part II)

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Picking up where I left off yesterday, here are several pix and brief notes on other presentations from the 2009 SASC in Portland.

Prof. Roger Stritmatter (Coppin State College, Baltimore, Maryland) presented the case for the island in The Tempest being an obscure little island in the Mediterranean (“Where in the World? Geogrpahy and Irony in The Tempest”). But even though obscure in one sense of the word, the island was well-documented in ancient days as a way station for sailors and pirates of the day. Stritmatter also made his case for this island based on parallels between Orlando Furioso and The Tempest.

Prof. Roger Stritmatter giving his presentation

Continuing on the theme of geography, Oxfordian author Richard Whalen presented a paper on connections between Othello and Cyprus (“Othello’s Harbingers on Cyprus Suggest in Their Dramatic Poetry that The Dramatist Had Been There.”). Whalen compared details from the play with maps of sections of Cyprus to make his case.

Richard Whalen on Othello and Cyprus

That’s all for today (got to get to the airport soon and back to Boston). I will pick up with my conference report in a few more days.

2009 Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference – Reporting from Portland

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It’s been a hectic —but also exciting and satisfying— four days for everyone here in Portland, Oregon, attending the 13th annual Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference on the campus of Concordia University. Of course the big news of the weekend turned out to be the front page story in the Wall Street Journal about the authorship debate and the US Supreme Court. Professor Daniel Wright (Conference Chair and Director of the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre at Concordia) read the story in full to start the Saturday afternoon session, and in the end had to be the one to sacrifice presenting a paper in order to keep everything on schedule. The sacrifice was, he said proudly, worth it.

There will undoubtedly be more to come, re: Justice Stevens and the Supreme Court. For now I want to report on the conference, beginning with this short post, and continuing later today and tomorrow; even with the conference over I have a meeting to get to by noon today about the formal opening of the brand new Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre which will take place in August as part of the dedication of the new George R. White Library on campus. Tours of the new facility were given on Sunday afternoon.

Here is one pix of some conference attendees touring the 3rd floor room that will be part of the new home of the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre come this August, 2009.

Touring the new Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre

Among presenters at this year’s conference were keynote speaker Ramon Jimenez of Berkeley, California, long-time Oxfordian researcher and author. Ramon spoke on the so-called “ur-texts” of Shakespeare (“The Ur-Hamlet and its Seven Siblings; Explorations in Shakespeare’s Dramatic Juvenilia”), by which is meant not only the “Ur-Hamlet” but other early play manuscripts and quartos that could be considered first drafts of Shakespeare plays, but must —to remain politically correct and all that in Strat-think— be considered stand alone early versions by someone else that Shakespeare merely “borrowed” from (i.e, stole from, or plagiarized):

Ramon Jimenez answers questions

Another featured speaker over the weekend was Prof. Michael Egan, author of the multi-volume Richard II, Part I (a study of the so-called Thomas of Woodstock play manuscript). Prof. Egan, who is also now the new editor of The Oxfordian (even though he remains —at this point at least— a Stratfordian!) presented a most interesting commentary (“Shakespeare’s authorship of The Tragedy of Richard II, Part One: Evidence and its Interpretation”) on how his fellow Stratfordians have received his work on Richard II, Part I. In short, they have not treated his Mellon-award winning work well, which is more shame on them than on Prof. Egan. But more to the point, some have been undoubtedly “unscholarly” in their own work and methodology on this subject, as Prof. Egan made abundantly clear:

Prof. Michael Egan’s presentation was a response to his Stratfordian colleagues

We will continue with our report later today.

Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference in Portland, Oregon, April 16-19.

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An update from Conference Chair Prof. Daniel Wright of Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, on the upcoming 13th Annual Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference. The complete agenda of papers, presenters and schedule, along with online registration forms, can be found on the Conference page of the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre website. Following are some highlights of added events for each day:


Thursday: On Thursday evening, instead of the usual opening night of papers, attendees will be treated to a performance of Hank Whittemore’s Shakespeare’s Treason, an astonishing dramatic work of revelation and creativity by Hank Whittemore and Ted Story. The show premiered in Portland last August, and has also been performed at Cambridge University and the Globe Theatre in London last fall. You won’t want to miss this “Monumental” performance on the CU stage. Bring friends. Admission for the night is $50 for non-conference registrants, and the play will be followed by a Q&A session with the playwright. Refreshments will be served. What are you doing on Thursday that could be more worth your while?

Friday: After the close of the day’s proceedings, Hank Whittemore, Bill Boyle and Dan Wright will, at 7:30pm, convene a panel at the world’s largest bookstore – Powell’s City of Books (at 10th and Burnside in Portland) where Hank will be presenting his revolutionary study of the Sonnets – The Monument – to the general public (always huge at Powell’s!) and Bill Boyle and  Dan Wright will be commenting on its significance. Hank’s presentation will be followed by Q&A and the opportunity for the public to purchase copies of The Monument. Hank will be signing copies of his book afterwards, too.

Saturday:  At the Awards Banquet (University Club, 1225 SW 6th Avenue, Portland) awards will be conferred on Renee Montagne of
National Public Radio, librarian Bill Boyle and author Robin Williams.
There is still time to sign up for this banquet, but it needs to be
done right away! The cash bar opens at 6:30pm; the dinner (with a choice of prime rib, cedar-smoked salmon, or a vegetarian dish) will follow at

Sunday: From 3:00 – 5:00pm, there will be hardhat tours of the now nearly-complete 78,000+ square-foot, three-story George White
Library and Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre.

Prof. Wright also reminds us about the annual summer seminars on campus (this summer will be the 11th!), which this year will be held on August 16th to 21st.
This will be the first seminar to be held in the new space for the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre, located on the 3rd floor of the brand new George White Library building. The theme for
the seminar (to be lead by Prof. Wright) is Shakespeare and
Religion. Registration for the week (on-campus breakfasts and lunches included!) is a mere four hundred and ninety-five dollars. For more
details, go to