Shakespeare Enigma: Unravelling the Story of the Two Poets Paperback – 1 May 2004
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"An in-depth investigation with interesting background to the esoteric wisdom evident in Shakespeare's writings, drawn from both East and West." -- Yoga and Health
About the Author
Peter Dawkins practised as an architect for ten years in both England and Scotland before devoting himself full-time to research and educational work in connection with the world's wisdom traditions, mythology and earth mysteries. Since 1979 he has been giving seminars, lectures, workshops and summer schools in many countries, and leading wisdom tours and geomantic pilgrimages world-wide. He has given special Wisdom of Shakespeare seminars and workshops for over twenty years, and is an advisor to actors and directors, including the Shakespeare Globe Theatre in London where, since 1997, he has been giving Wisdom of Shakespeare events with Mark Rylance, the Globe's Artistic Director and leading actor. His many publications include an ongoing series on The Wisdom of Shakespeare in each Shakespeare play, a description of Francis Bacon's great but semi-secret 'Rosicrucian' scheme, entitled Building Paradise, and an introduction to Zoence, entitled Zoence, Science of Life. His latest book is The Shakespeare Enigma, an in-depth investigation of the extraordinary mystery associated with the authorship of the Shakespeare works.
Top customer reviews
How can this be?
The historical facts known of both the actor and author Shake(-)spe(a)re are diligently analysed and underlying questions brought to light.
Whether you agree with the answers given or not, whether being scholar or layman, it is tremendously interesting to follow the argumentation and to find out yourself what is plausible from the great amount of copies of original quotations, illustrations, fotos of monuments and places etc handed over to you with this book for inquiry.
A real treasure for all who love Shakespeare and his time!
The title of his book promises mystery and intrigue and it delivers both. I had no idea when I began reading it that I would end up learning more about the English polymath Sir Francis Bacon than William Shakespeare and that I would be entering the fascinating worlds of poets, playwrights, spies, ciphers, codes, political intrigue, rosicrucians, Minerva, and spiritual quests. And therein lays its fascination.
The core of the book is a careful and scholarly documentation of the evidence that proves, from the author's perspective, that William Shakespeare was a front for the writings of Francis Bacon. By the end of the book I was convinced that Peter Hawkins is correct in his conclusions. However, after talking to a number of modern poets and playwrights, I am less convinced on reflection. Part of this is due I am sure to a very human frailty of not wanting to see one of one's heroes supplanted by someone else. But, as I hope to show, it does not matter whether Peter Dawkins is correct or not for he has produced a cracking read reflecting the very spirit in which his own hero Francis Bacon approached life. Bacon was the inner or hidden whereas Shakespeare was the world, outer or mundane. However, I am consoled and enriched because I have a new hero to add to my own pantheon of heroes.
There are so many ideas covered in this book, and in such meticulous detail, that I scarcely know where to begin. At the heart of the book there is an unfolding of an idea that there seems to be an unbridgeable gulf between the life of the actor William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon and the life experience of the author than can be gleaned from his poems and plays. It is the vast breadth of knowledge, learning and life experience in these works as well as the literary skills, contacts, and required activity that appear to have nothing to do with the actor William Shakespeare. Peter Dawkins suggests that the `true' Shakespeare must have been an aristocrat, a scholar, constitutional lawyer, and have been privy to government and court life. He suggests that he best candidate for the real author, based on a detailed analysis of ciphers, codes and symbols in Shakespeare's works, and by reference from poets like Spencer and Steer, is Sir Francis Bacon.
Once one starts to explore the life of Francis Bacon one becomes drawn into a world of mystery, intrigue, hermeticism, masks, and betrayal. He and his brother Anthony both worked for Queen Elizabeth 1 as spies, and were supported and betrayed by Lord Essex. Both brothers were very religious and worked tirelessly for their Queen, King, and country with little real reward for Francis. Yet Francis went on to become one of the most influential Rosicrucians of his time and it is this hidden side of his life that is so intriguing.
There is some evidence to suggest that the collective works of `Shakespeare' may have been a group work involving a range of authors. Bacon himself was dedicated to creating his `great work' - the reformation of the world through the renewal of the arts and sciences. He dedicated most of his life to this goal in a project both hermetic and cabbalistic in design. His `renaissance' group, of which he was Master, was dealing with the accumulated wisdom of the ancients, adding to it, and hoping to leave a legacy to make the world a better place. Their collective artistic, dramatic, pageantry, poetic, literary, and scientific insight was the highpoint of the English Renaissance (c.1576-1626) and continues to impact modern science and culture. So why did they hide so much of their discoveries as clues, and ciphers? Peter Dawkins asks whether it was to teach us the art of discovery and the wisdom that waits to be discovered, and to inspire us to make the world a better place.
I end with a reminder to myself to re-read The Tempest - perhaps the most fully-expanded allegory of initiation on all the main levels of being. It has parallels with the cryptic initiation rites in Virgil's The Aeneid. So whether you believe that Shakespeare was who he is reputed to be or not is not really important. What is important is that Peter Dawkins has revealed that the writings of `Shakespeare' contain a multitude of hidden meanings and layers. The tragedy of our times is that just as these are being revealed the bard's works are either being expunged from the school curriculum or the very clues and meanings in the works are being stripped out or simplified into meaningless prose. Read this book to find out why. There is more to Shakespeare than the A-level summary booklets we all used to `understand' Shakespeare.
Well written and researched, this book added greatly to my understanding of what Shakespeare must have known and the authorship debate as a whole.
Not being a scholar of the subject is was refreshing to read an accessible account and taken through the life, the works and the history of this fascinating subject with such clarity and enthusiasm!
This excellent book cogently argues for a different author, or more correctly for a group of 'pens'.
One thing is crystal clear, the works were not authored by the glover's son from Stratford; this book explains why!
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