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Let Shakspere Die!: Long Live the Merry Madcap Lord Roger Manner, 5th Earl of Rutland the REAL "Shakespeare" Paperback – 27 Mar 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 418 pages
  • Publisher: Rosedog Pr (27 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805988025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805988024
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,150,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Brian Dutton on 4 May 2014
Augment to John
By Brian Dutton, the author of the book awarded 5 stars (below) by John ("John 75222"). I have awarded myself 5 stars although - constrained by neglect to be my own advocate (more below) - I would accord it a galaxy of stars, for only I am au fait with its brilliance. and what it has cost me. But, no more of that. It is very good of John, whom I met recently, to be so appreciative. As my work has been ignored by literary critics, his enthusiasm for my book has lifted my gloom more than somewhat. Thank you John. My intention here is to provide you, the general reader - anterior to your possible purchase of my book (and, hopefully, the second volume) - with a conspectus of my evidential proofs of Lord Rutland's authorship of the literary canon mistakenly ascribed to William Shakspere, the Stratford ignoramus who was unable to produce a coherent signature. His father signed with a mark - that is, an `X' - and William's children were illiterate. Would the real writer of the canon (Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland, 1576-1612), one of the best-educated men of his time, have scanted the education of his children?
The gist of what you need to know of Lord Rutland's prime motivation for writing the Sonnets is that at puberty he discovered that he was afflicted with erectile disorder (he couldn't achieve a penile erection). Almost immediately, at age 13, his best friend, Henry Wriothesley (pronounced Rosely or Risley), 3rd Earl of Southampton (at the time bisexual), seduced him (LS, buck, our poet, LR, doe). Thus, in bewilderingly short time, LR travelled from despair to euphoria, realising that sexual pleasure was not completely denied him, even though he was still unable to experience a penile orgasm.
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By John TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 April 2014
Verified Purchase
I like a good mystery. I like the intrigue. I like alternative explanations for history, which cast a different perspective on events. I'm not so much a conspiracy theorist as one who tries to keep an open mind and accept that not everything is as black and white as is often made out, and that alternative explanations and interpretations that go against the establishment using the same information can be valid.

With Shakespeare, you have an establishment that generally condemns as apostasy or heretical any deviation from the view that Shakespeare wrote everything that is attributed to his name: From plays through to sonnets. Yet there still remain huge question marks over the authorship of most the entire canon of work currently attributed to that name. Over the years there have been high profile academic scholars who have tackled, what is euphemistically termed `The Shakespeare Authorship Problem' (SAP) and a number of candidates have been identified, yet still mainstream academia insist that Shakespeare wrote the lot despite a body of evidence that suggests otherwise.

I have to admit that I hated Shakespeare at school. Anything that kept me out of the laboratory, off the playing fields, off the chess board or reading Alexander Kent, John LeCarre and the start of the soon to be burgeoning historical mystery genre (Ellis Peters, et al) was anathema to me. I came across this book purely because of the chance meeting with a friend of the author's (mentioned in the dedication) who suggested that I'd like it. He was right!

I'd heard of Roger Manners. Anyone with an interest in English history, particularly of Elizabethan history will know the name and it's linkage with Earls Essex and Southampton, and various plots and rebellions toward the end of Elizabeth's reign.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The sonnets in a different light... 25 April 2014
By John - Published on Amazon.com
I bought this on the Amazon.uk site, but felt it was important to ensure the book received a review on the US site.

I like a good mystery, I like the intrigue. I like alternative explanations for history, which cast a different perspective on events. I'm not so much a conspiracy theorist as one who tries to keep an open mind and accept that not everything is as black and white as is often made out, and that alternative explanations and interpretations that go against the establishment using the same information can be valid.

With Shakespeare, you have an establishment that generally condemns as apostasy or heretical any deviation from the view that Shakespeare wrote everything that is attributed to his name: From plays through to sonnets. Yet there still remain huge question marks over the authorship of most the entire canon of work currently attributed to that name. Over the years there have been high profile academic scholars who have tackled, what is euphemistically termed `The Shakespeare Authorship Problem' (SAP) and a number of candidates have been identified, yet still mainstream academia insist that Shakespeare wrote the lot despite a body of evidence that suggests otherwise.

I have to admit that I hated Shakespeare at school. Anything that kept me out of the laboratory, off the playing fields, off the chess board or reading Alexander Kent, John LeCarre and the start of the soon to be burgeoning historical mystery genre (Ellis Peters, et al) was anathema to me. I came across this book purely because of the chance meeting with a friend of the author's (mentioned in the dedication) who suggested that I'd like it. He was right!

I'd heard of Roger Manners. Anyone with an interest in English history, particularly of Elizabethan history will know the name and it's linkage with Earls Essex and Southampton, and various plots and rebellions toward the end of Elizabeth's reign. Given the propensity of the time to lop off various appendages for treason (and there were an awful lot of things that word could apply to) his release from the Tower, albeit with a crippling debt of £30000 (which was greatly reduced by King James - more of that later), after being allegedly deeply involved in the Essex revolt of 1601 was astonishing. He appears to have been a child prodigy and somewhat of a rising star in the Elizabethan court until the Essex revolt. Manners was, after the death of his father when he was 11, made a Ward of Queen Elizabeth so he was no stranger to the higher echelons and machinations of the court. Educated at Cambridge, he graduated with an MA at age 17 in a lavish ceremony that was stage managed and choreographed by Robert Devereux (Essex). He was a great friend of the Earl of Southampton whom Mr Dutton contends is also a potential author of some of the sonnets.

So that's the background to the book with just one other piece of information that is relevant. The Elizabethan's (and the Tudors) liked codes. They put hidden meaning in just about everything - paintings, poems, plays; ordinary letters were not always what they seemed. Often they would use anagrams to further hide and confuse the meaning. This use of codes was often used amongst like-minded groups of friends who shared the key to decrypt such communications. Words or phrases took on special meaning if used in a particular context which to us may seem twee or nonsensical, but as stated above we can say that from the luxury of being able to be wrong (or hold an opinion opposite to the Crown) and remain in possession of all our limbs should our correspondence be intercepted, the Elizabethan's didn't. Some of these personal codes defy decryption because they alluded to ideas between groups of individuals that was personal - so the key to decryption may have just been shared between the participants in a group, and some defy decryption because there was no standard spelling in the 16th century.

Mr Dutton is a driven man. I've talked to him a couple of times and met him. That he believes that he has solved the problem of the authorship of some of the sonnets is without doubt and he provides copious detail and argument with the express aim of convincing you of that. Mr Dutton believes that the key to understanding the sonnets and why they were written is down to Rutland not being able to consummate the marriage with Elizabeth Sydney, and the number of homosexual encounters whereby Rutland is the recipient (doe) to: in several cases King James' buck, but numerous others as well. Dutton does not state that Rutland wrote all of the sonnets but he believes he has identified and can attribute those sonnets that Rutland did write. The Elizabethan's were certainly inventive at keeping themselves alive whilst expressing potentially treasonous or damaging confessions about their own sexuality or relationships, in poems, letters, paintings, etc. - the penalty for the commission of sodomy for example was execution by beheading for the nobility and that was considered the easy way out.

Dutton states that the Rutland sonnets were in effect autobiographical and also Rutland being mischievous poking fun at lovers, and that within the circle of friends for which these were written, the sonnets displayed a playful sense of humour with friends and lovers being pilloried. Mr Dutton is a chess player and crossword complier and solver therefore his observation on the use of complex anagrams within the sonnets is quite revealing, again, to me as a casual observer, this fits quite nicely with the Elizabethan propensity to code meaning into fairly innocuous sentences to avoid potential scandal and its consequences. Mr Dutton uses a number of examples he has identified of Rutland hiding scandalous and mischievous information within complex anagrams that reveal equally complex solutions. Also, as becomes clear, whomever wrote the sonnets was well educated, familiar with the intricate daily working of Court life in the reign of both Elizabeth and James, and liked codes; this simply doesn't describe the Stratfordian (of which little is known) but does describe a noble (Like Oxford or Rutland) or someone like Marlowe.

However, I would make the following observations. 1) Despite the omissions Mr Dutton describes (detailed below), this is a scholarly, well researched work that seeks through logical argument to address the issue of the authorship of some (A large bulk) of the sonnets currently attributed to the Stratfordian. 2) Like many arguments that currently exist around the `Shakespeare Authorship Problem' Mr Dutton does not claim that Rutland wrote everything in the canon but does put forward a strong and convincing argument for the sonnets he believes Rutland did write, why he wrote them and what their `hidden' meanings were. 3) With reference to (2) he also believes that he has identified Southampton as a potential author of a couple of the sonnets.

Mr Dutton is the first to admit, that there are flaws to the book. He states the reasons in the opening pages. He is no longer a young man and when this book was published he was extremely ill and was afraid that the work would not see the light of day. Hence a bit of a rush to publish. As a result there is no table of contents; there is no reference list or bibliography and no index. For the last few years he's been working to correct those omissions and is intending to publish a second edition that will contain those features and clear up the odd example of repetition. However, this book, even in an incomplete form, is an important examination of the authorship of the sonnets and Mr Dutton has put a convincing case that Roger Manners the 5th Earl of Rutland wrote a substantial number of them and his friend the Earl of Southampton also penned a couple.

I hope Mr Dutton manages to publish the 2nd Edition of this work and it finds its way into mainstream debate, in the meantime this edition should whet the appetite of people who wish to examine the sonnets in a more critical light and with an open mind as to who wrote them.
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