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Roger A. Stritmatter "Roger A. Stritmatter, PhD" (Baltimore, MD)

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Last Will and Testament : Uncovering the works of William Shakespeare / Who wrote the works of William Shakespeare? [DVD]
Last Will and Testament : Uncovering the works of William Shakespeare / Who wrote the works of William Shakespeare? [DVD]
Price: £14.99

21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Documentary Artistry on one of the Most Important Intellectual Debates of Our Day, 28 Sept. 2013
This film should be required viewing in every high school or college Shakespeare class.

Before Before explaining why, I should acknowledge being interviewed for the film. I generally shared, and do share, the perspectives that guided the producers and staff responsible for creating it.I was proud to participate in such a laudable educational enterprise. During the years in which the documentary was being produced, however, I had no idea what standards the final product would achieve. Would it be a good film? A not-so-good film? A superlative one?

The answer is now clear. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the case made in the film for the authorship of the plays and poems by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, there is no question that Last Will. and Testament is a superlative documentary, as was recognized by the International Sedona Film Festival in awarding the documentary the Bill Muller - Best Celebration of the Written Word Award at the 2013 festival (

In the words of Frontline journalist Al Austin,

Last Will. and Testament is the most beautiful, eloquent and almost mesmerizing film I have seen on this great subject: Who was Shakespeare? Not only is their case overwhelming, it's easy to follow and impossible to refute. The Stratfordians try their best and are given ample opportunity to do it but come across as almost pathetic, as though begging the audience to believe that it doesn't really matter who the author was. And that plea no longer works, because burgeoning new research now reveals that knowing the true author's identity profoundly changes the meaning of some of the plays as well as our understanding of that period of history.

I could not agree more.

Shakespeare Beyond Doubt: Evidence, Argument, Controversy
Shakespeare Beyond Doubt: Evidence, Argument, Controversy
by Paul Edmondson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.99

5 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An Expense of Spirit and a waste of shame, 27 Jun. 2013
This will be the first of several reviews I will post over the next few weeks of this book. This review comments only on the essays by Professor Nelson and Dr. Edmondson, and should be regarded more a preliminary comment than a completed review.

The essays included in this volume by Professor Nelson and the Dr. Reverend Edmondson read as if written for a not-very-bright third-grader who had yet to be told by his older brother that some people have legitimately questioned the identity of Shakespeare. Their methodology might perhaps best be compared to the modern critic of Simon and Garfunkle's "Homeward bound" who concluded that the line "my love lies silently waiting for me" was evidence of that the folk duo must have held the politically incorrect view that women should be seen but not heard. This, at any rate, is an apt summary of the procedure employed by Dr. Nelson in his chapter on the Earl of Oxford. Rarely have so many swerves in the road yielded such a harvest of irrelevant viewings of unimpressive intellectual scenery or provoked quite so many irritating reminders of the cost of the volume that contains it - not merely in dollars and pounds but also in the "expense of spirit" and "waste of shame" that went into producing it.

For there is no doubt much good sense here if it can be found out in such an unwholesome packaging as that given the volume by the Reverend Edmondson, who starts by assuring us - as if this had anything to do with anything beyond the reverend's own over-great sense of self-importance,that "Shakespeare has enemies" who want to "kill" Shakespeare, and it is surely a pity that those comprising the fine assemblage of academic knowledge and skill gathered in this book should each and every one be constrained to march in step with such anti-intellectual dogmas, whether those of the editors or Professor Nelson's own. Of the latter it must be noted that the editors presumably rely with an implicit if undeserved confidence in his critical acumen, at least assuming we define the term "critical acumen" in relation to its presumed fiduciary concomitant to pursue the truth even when it contradicts the un-examined and untested beliefs of the investigator, let alone a powerful majority, with as much need to placate as to be placated.

For these reasons alone, and in consideration of the preposterous title, and not counting many more reasons(and in greater detail) to follow, I cannot recommend this book and instead suggest Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? -- Exposing an Industry in Denial
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 23, 2013 9:03 PM BST

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