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artyvaughan@yahoo.co.uk (UK)

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Why Shakespeare WAS Shakespeare (Kindle Singles)
Why Shakespeare WAS Shakespeare (Kindle Singles)
Price: £1.74

13 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Wells Effect, 22 Feb. 2014
Interesting to note that the great British Actor, John Hurt, has declared himself to be an anti-Stratfordian in interviews this month, while a rising star among the younger Shakespearean actors, Tom Hiddleston, when asked whom he would like to meet if he could travel back in time replied 'Shakespeare or who ever wrote those plays.' American Film Director Jim Jarmusch has also declared in interviews this month that he is anti-Stratfordian. I hope they all sign the online 'Declaration of Reasonable Doubt about the Identity of William Shakespeare.'

This kindle book may have been the cause of their conversions. I was myself driven to doubt the Stratford story by orthodox biographies and I know people who have rejected Stratfordfordianism after reading Professor Wells's last goofy effort entitled 'Shakespeare Beyond Doubt' (2013). This one reproduces many of the same faults and fallacies of the last and given that it has already been criticised at length on this site, I shall confine myself to only one of its many grave mistakes. The author asserts, with what appears to be unshakeable confidence, that nobody ever suspected 'William Shakespeare' to be a pseudonym until 1848. May I suggest he looks into all the 'Labeo' references by Joseph Hall of 1597 & 8, and by John Marston in 'Pigmalion's Image' (1598); also that he asks himself why John Weever called the author of Venus and Adonis 'Spurious' in 1598 when, as we all know, 'spurious' means 'not proceeding from its reputed author'; and why Ben Jonson's friend and servant, Richard Brome, called Shakespeare 'that English Earle that loved a play and player' in 1638; and why John Warren accused the Stratford man of being re-born in a new guise, able to take all the glory despite the fact that the work - the labour - was some else's (see 'Of Mr William Shakespeare', 1640); and why William Davenant appeared to view the Stratford shrine as a mockery (1637); and why the Stratford monument was held in derision by Thomas Vincent (1626) and by the anonymous author of 'Modern Jests, Witty Jeeres and Pleasant Taunts' (1630); and why Ben Jonson, told his readers not to look at the joke picture of 'Shakespeare' in the First Folio of 1623; and why an anonymous poet invited his readers to laugh and weep at that same picture in 1632; and why that absurd picture was subtly mocked again in the 1640 edition of Shakespeare's Poems, and again in Brome's 'Five New Playes (1653). Wells has to ask himself why Ben Jonson began his eulogy to 'THE AUTHOR Mr William Shakespeare' with warnings against 'silliest ignorance', 'blind affection' and 'craftiest malice' in regard to Shakespeare's name, and ask himself if, in his ungrounded defence of Stratford Shakspere, he is not proving himself guilty of exactly those faults which Ben Jonson warned against. He must ask himself also why Ben Jonson appeared to be calling the Stratford man a 'poet ape' in his epigrams (published 1640) and why William Dugdale drew ludicrous apes faces on the Stratford monument in 1634.

If Professor Wells had been taking his task remotely seriously he would have looked carefully at all of this evidence and much more that piles up to show that Shakespeare's contemporaries knew a pseudonym when they saw one. But what does the professor do? He simply ignores the whole lot and starts his story nearly two hundred years later, in 1848. Picking out anti-Stratfordians that he feels he can safely ridicule. Goodness if we fished out all rubbish written over the years by Stratfordians we would have a ball!

If this counts as scholarship it is really substandard - Back to the drawing-board Professor!

as ever, Alexander Waugh
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 22, 2014 9:48 AM BST


The  Earl of Oxford and the Making of "Shakespeare: The Literary Life of Edward de Vere in Context
The Earl of Oxford and the Making of "Shakespeare: The Literary Life of Edward de Vere in Context
by Richard Malim
Edition: Paperback
Price: £35.95

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing!, 23 July 2013
The best, the most thorough and the most convincing Shakespearean scholarship comes, as always from those who are prepared to drop the primary school belief in Stratford up Avon and knuckle down to the serious business of working out how the poems and plays of William Shakespeare really came into being. Leading Oxfordian writer, Richard Malim, makes sense of a whole part of the Shakespeare story that has never been previously understood. How did Shakespeare come to be the writer that he was, what were his influences? who was influenced by him? What place did he play in the remarkable history of English drama in its burgeoning years the last three decades of the 16th century? How does he fit? Was he a miracle who sprang out of nowhere or an identifyable product of his times. Malim's clean persuasive book demonstrates that these plays and poems could not have been composed in the restricted time-frame allowed by the life-span of Shakspere of Stratford and offers a chance to reconsider the dating and significance of the Shakespeare canon in the time-frame allowed by the life-span of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. A magnificent achievement that will fascinate the first-timer while providing a whole heap of new and arresting evidence to even the most hardened of Oxfordian scholars. A strong recommendation from me...Alexander Waugh


Time: From Micro-seconds to Millennia - The Search for the Right Time
Time: From Micro-seconds to Millennia - The Search for the Right Time
by Alexander Waugh
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of those books you can read again and again!, 9 April 2002
...The sort of book you want to read again and again!
The is is an extraordinary book - not just because of all the fascinating things that it tells you about time, but because of the way the author plays the reader. He lets you suppose one thing and changes tack, telling you that what you had just learned was not in fact true. The reader needs to stay on his toes, not be fooled by this ingenious method, the author seems to be telling us not to take anythnng for granted. The style is witty and entertaining, but the book also manages to impart a huge amount of condensed information and makes this complicated subject extremely interesting in all of its cultural, historical and scientific dimensions. I was so impressed that I have read it now three times.
I have read twenty or so books on time but this one is by far and away the most appealing. Waugh's theory on the derivation of the seven-day week beats them all!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 17, 2014 12:56 PM BST


Time: From Micro-seconds to Millennia - the Search for the Right Time
Time: From Micro-seconds to Millennia - the Search for the Right Time
by Alexander Waugh
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sort of book you want to read again and again!, 9 April 2002
The is is an extraordinary book - not just because of all the fascinating things that it tells you about time, but because of the way the author plays the reader. He lets you suppose one thing and changes tack, telling you that what you had just learned was not in fact true. The reader needs to stay on his toes, not be fooled by this ingenious method, the author seems to be telling us not to take anythnng for granted. The style is witty and entertaining, but the book also manages to impart a huge amount of condensed information and makes this complicated subject extremely interesting in all of its cultural, historical and scientific dimensions. I was so impressed that I have read it now three times.
I have read twenty or so books on time but this one is by far and away the most appealing. Waugh's theory on the derivation of the seven-day week beats them all!


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