Thursday, November 25, 2010

"Shakespeare" shut down in 1604, ctd.

It has long been a contention of this blogger that one of the stronger pieces of evidence for Edward de Vere's authorship of the "Shakespeare" canon is the fact that he died in 1604.

(The strongest remain the phenomenal connections between his life and the works, the contemporary rumors (cited in "Shakespeare" By Another Name) of his involvement with the Shakespeare enterprise, the manifold ways the annotations in de Vere's Geneva Bible appear as biblical references in the canon, and the astonishing overlap between the settings of Shakespeare's Italian plays and de Vere's documented ports of call during his grand tour of Italy in 1575-'76.)

The reason the "1604" argument is so powerful, I think, is that traditional Shakespeare scholarship stipulates that the plays were written from the period c. 1592-c. 1613. But critical examination of the actual evidence, in fact, provides an independent check that the author of these works stopped authoring in 1604.

Stratfordians still seem to think "1604" is a game-over argument for their case. Their flogging of this horse should only be encouraged.

Case in point: A new book by the UK publisher Parapress, Dating Shakespeare's Plays compiles a play-by-play examination of sources, references and allusions for all of the Bard's works (plus four apocryphal plays often attributed to Shakespeare).

The upshot is that these researchers find the "Shakespeare" canon as a whole has been dated too late -- sometimes by a decade or more. That the author shuffled off this mortal coil in 1604 and not 1616 (when Will of Stratford died) is, at the least, consistent with Dating's findings.

In the interest of fairness, it should be added that the De Vere Society in the UK coordinated the research and put together the book. Of course, anyone objecting to Dating's findings on this ground should then equally demand that authorship-agnostic researchers, not Stratfordians, be the ones who write the papers and books advancing the conventional 1592-1613 chronology.

The notion suggested in the previous sentence is not a joke. But anyone who knows Shakespeare scholarship today also knows it is laughable.

In any event, the book's analysis is in line with recent scholarship on The Tempest (added to the paperback edition of SBAN) that finds 1604 as the latest likely date for the play's composition.

And The Tempest is the strongest case they've got that the author must have lived beyond the year of de Vere's death.

So, now, with "A Critical Review of the Evidence" -- in the words of Dating's subtitle -- we come closer to the day when it can be said definitively: "Shakespeare" stopped writing in  1604. Oxfordians can explain this. What's the Stratforidans' excuse?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

SBAN documentary fund drive update

Seven days away from the Dec. 1 deadline for the Nothing Is Truer Than Truth documentary fund drive, and I'm pleased to say that as of lunchtime today, 62 contributors have pledged a generous $7675. This puts the project close to its $12,000 goal.

It's important to stress that this campaign is all-or-nothing.

If just over $4000 can be raised in the next week, then filmmaker Cheryl Eagan-Donovan will have secured what she needs to film on location in France and Italy, to edit and mix her film and have it ready for submission to film festivals starting in the fall -- where she'll then be courting distributors both in the U.S. and around the world.

On the other hand, if the $12,000 goal is not reached by the end of the day on Dec. 1, then no money changes hands. And it's back to the drawing board.

I greatly appreciate the generosity and support the project's many supporters have shown. Please keep tweeting, emailing and otherwise notifying those who might be interested in this project. (Another suggested tweet: The #Shakespeare Italy plays precisely trace the Italian travels of this Elizabethan playwright. Follow the Bard: )

And for those considering a contribution, please remember -- especially as close now as it is to the wire -- every bit helps.

Thank you.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Podcast Agonistes

If you've ever listened to the "Shakespeare" By Another Name podcasts, your correspondent would greatly appreciate the favor of a review to add to the iTunes page. The "Shakespeare-upon-iPod" series has a few defenders. But it has quite a large assortment of one-star nay-sayers these days, too.

If even 10 per cent of what the critics on the iTunes page say about the podcast were true, I wouldn't want to download it either. Utter rubbish! Completely deceptive! He makes it all up!

Here's Apple's webpage for "Shakespeare-upon-iPod" a.k.a. the SBAN Podcasts. Click on the blue button that says "View in iTunes" to go to the iTunes page where reviews can be posted. (Requires free registration.)

Thank you!