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English Renaissance Page

English Renaissance

Article Index

I. Articles/Essays
II. Letters
III. Related Reviews

I. Articles/Essays:

  • The Medieval Chimney: Not What You Might Think.  May 19, 2019.  “The famous Royal antiquary, John Leland, source of a great deal of detailed information about the towns and countryside of England during the reign of Henry VIII, stood awestruck before a full-length vertical chimney as if he were standing before the Hagia Sophia.”
  • A Most Curious Account of the Funeral of Queen Elizabeth I: April 28, 1603.  April 28, 2019.  “Once it was clear that James I would face no serious challenges, Cecil and the others could begin to give attention to the matter of the Queen’s funeral.”
  • Shakespeare and the Duke of Norfolk’s Lawes.  April 14, 2019.  “The minute one knows the sport from long personal experience, the passage is brilliantly descriptive.”
  • Edward de Vere Birthday Backgrounder: April 12.  April 12, 2019.  “Edward De Vere was born April 12th, in the year 1550, at Hedingham Castle, in Essex, to John De Vere, the 16th Earl of Oxford, and his second wife Margery De Vere (née Golding).”
  • Queen Elizabeth I’s Heart and the French Ambassador.  April 3, 2019.  “…the Queen of England, with the permission of her physicians, has been able to come out of her private chamber, she has permitted me… to see her…”
  • Lady Southwell on the Final Days of Queen Elizabeth I.  March 24, 2019.  “her majesty told [Lady Scrope] (commanding her to conceal the same ) that she saw, one night, in her bed, her body exceeding lean, and fearful in a light of fire.”
  • Office of The Lord Great Chamberlain and the Earls of Oxford.  March 10, 2019.  "Edward de Vere Earl of Oxford, asks that as he is Great Chamberlain of England,… that it should please the King..." 
  • Shakespeare’s Barnacles.  March 3, 2019.  “Prospero will wake, he fears, before they can murder him, and will cast a spell on them.”
  • How the Infamous 1619 Shakespeare Quartos Became the 1619 Shakespeare Quartos.  February 12, 2019.  “The very claim that at all of the quartos were, in fact, printed at the same time became hotly debated in the wake of Greg’s findings.”
  • Shakespeare as Burleigh's Guest at Castle Hedingham?  February 4, 2019.  “Like the once popular game in which a large circle of people is formed and a message whispered in the ear of the first person, who whispers it in the ear of the next, and so on, around the entire group, we do not know what exactly was the original message but only that the message we hear from the last person is strangely suggestive.”
  • Hedingham Castle 1485-1562 with Virtual Tour Link.  January 29, 2019. “Mr. Sheffeld told me that afore the old Erle of Oxford tyme, that cam yn with King Henry the vii., the Castelle of Hengham was yn much ruine,…”
  • Hedingham Castle Fact Sheet with Virtual Tour Link.  January 20, 2019. “The modern entrance to the keep is on the first floor by way of a stone stair, discharging through the W. wall, where a fore-building used to stand.”
  • Anthony Munday’s poem to Edward de Vere.  January 7, 2019.  “The style was somewhat more varied than most but informed mostly from the Euphuism of John Lyly whose recently published Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit (1578) and Euphues and His England (1580) were far more popular than even the Italian novella-ists.”
  • No, All is Not True, but... Kenneth Branagh.  December 11, 2018.  “His current film is not a play by Shakespeare but rather a purported bio-pic of the Stratford man’s last three years in his hometown.   It is entitled All is True as was the play that was running at the Globe Theater when it burned to the ground on June 29th, 1613.”
  • Why Shakespeare Appears on Title Pages from 1598.  November 20, 2018.  ‘These
    he finds unconvincing.  The author’s name having appeared in a number of title pages after 1598, he continues, “it would seem foolish for publishers not to attach the Shakespeare brand to his previously unattributed plays—unless they had other reasons not to do so.”’ 
  • "Shakespeare's Latin Sources for 1000, Alex": Maximianus.  November 11, 2018.  “Persius cannot give himself momentary permission to compose a genuinely beautiful lyrical swatch without it being also a sneer. There is no sign that such is the case in Hamlet’s elegiac moment on the death of Ophelia.” 
  • Shakespeare as Literary Theorist.  November 4, 2018. 'While Shakespeare did not likely have a single thought specifically about “male gaze” throughout his entire life, it would not be possible to deny that he himself looked from a male gaze.  Thankfully, Wightman stayed away from declaring his life’s work one great spree of “mansplaining”.'
  • Edward de Vere’s Ulysses and Agamemnon. Highlighting the Real Issue.  October 30, 2018. “When I did return to investigate more deeply, the results were astonishing.  All tests indicated that the earlier play was incorporated in its entirety.”
  • The Nymphs of Doctor Foreman’s Macbeth.  October 21, 2018. “How did Foreman make the mistake of describing them precisely as Holinshed?  But differently from the text we have of Macbeth?  To consider Foreman’s account a simple mistake would require an astronomically improbable coincidence.”
  • Account of a Performance of Macbeth: April 20, 1611. September 30, 2018. “One detail of this account, in particular, promises to go a long way toward understanding the date of composition and a key detail as to the state of the text in 1611.”
  • The Battle Over Shakespeare's Early and Late Plays. September 24, 2018. “The answers to the post-Oxford dilemma, of course, are three.”
  • Edward de Vere Changes the Course of History: Christmas, 1580. September 17, 2018. “First Secretary to the Queen, Sir Francis Walsingham, had been pressing the Queen since at least the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, in France, in 1573, to recognize that Catholicism was, by its nature, unalterably inimical to her person and her throne.”
  • Why Did Queen Elizabeth Fear Richard II So? September 10, 2018.  Interestingly, the infamous “deposition scene” in the play, in which Richard concedes his unfitness for the crown, did not appear in the 1597 first quarto.  It did not appear until after Queen Elizabeth’s  death when the third quarto was published in 1608.
  • Frederick Fleay's Metrical Table of Shakespeare's Plays. September 3, 2018. “What follows is the metrical table he presented to the New Shakespeare Society in an 1874 paper.[1]  The paper appears in the annual publications of Transactions for that year.  It is one of the great works of Shakespeare scholarship.”
  • Shakespeare on Gravity. August 26, 2018. “So carelessly does Shakespeare throw out such an extraordinary divination. His achievement in thus, as it were, rivalling Newton may seem in a certain sense even more extraordinary than Goethe's botanical and osteological discoveries;…”
  • Shakespeare On Blood-Flow. August 19, 2018, “For all of the obvious examples, such as Hamlet’s mention of the supernova that held the attention of all the world, in 1572, and the description of St. Elmo’s Fire in The Tempest, however, the answer lies much more quietly woven into the text of the poems and plays as a whole.”
  • Shakespeare Scholarship in the Internet  Age. August 12, 2018. “I love to be presented with a legitimate challenge to any of my work.  This does not change the  fact that such challenges are followed by an unpleasant sinking feeling. Had I missed something?”
  • Shakespeare’s King Richard II as Prequel. August 06, 2018. “It is for the same
    reason, more or less, that we must accept that Richard II was written before Henry V.  When the players replied to the Essex conspirators “that of King Richard as being so old and so long out of use” would not attract an audience, they were indeed referring to Shakespeare’s Richard II.  And they knew what they were talking about.”
  • So Then Where is William Shakespeare Buried? July 29, 2018. “Objections have been made that the church clergy and vestry would not possibly choose to cover over the name of The Bard as part of any expansion.”
  • Stratford Shakespeare’s Undersized Grave.  July 22, 2018.  “Mr. Coll’s considers this evidence to support an old rumor that Shakspere’s head had been stolen in 1794.  But I submit that he is merely making his observation based upon a coincidence.”
  • Is John Shakespeare the Figure in the Stratford Monument? July 14, 2018. “Richard Kennedy first made the claim, in 2006, that the figure in the niche at Holy Trinity was not William Shakspere, of Stratford-upon-Avon, but his father John.  It gained such attention that even Dr. Bate and Stratford curmudgeon Stanley Wells were unable to remain silent on the matter [Link].  Letters were exchanged in The Times.”
  • What Hamlet’s Gravedigger Teaches Us.  July 01, 2018. “The William Shakspere of the monument proudly presented a bag of grain to the world, the source, together with usury, real estate, and theater shares, of most of his considerable wealth and of his right to a grave within the chancel.”
  • The Brooke-Camden Feud and a Presentation Copy of the First Folio. June 18, 2018. ‘It is here that Sidney Lee goes seriously off track, however: “Incidentally they had jointly avenged Brooke's presumptuous criticism of the great dramatist's right to the arms that the Heralds' College, at the instance of Vincent's friend Camden, had granted him long before.”’
  • Amurath III and The True Tragedy of Richard III. June 11, 2018. “So then, when Professor Mott honed this information, in his 1921 paper, the shock it created was not because verities were shattered.”
  • Thomas Churchyard in The Merry Wives of Windsor. June 04, 2018. “The idea of this stratagem, &c. might have been adopted from part of the entertainment prepared by Thomas Churchyard for Queen Elizabeth at Norwich:…”
  • Dating Edward de Vere’s Sonnet 110 + 1.  May 28, 2018.  “By 1589, the lands of the Earldom of Oxford had been put under the control of De Vere’s father-in-law William Cecil, the Queen’s Treasurer and closest advisor, in order to save them from being sold by the deeply indebted Earl for ready money.”
  • Dating Edward de Vere's Sonnet 110. May 21, 2018. “Shake-speare the poet was now Shake-speare writer for the common stage.  Those who knew he was The Bard, but only knew him as the poet, now knew that he was the person who had written the plays,…”
  • Shakespeare Authorship, March the 17th and Social Media. May 13, 2018.  “This is how international financial transactions had been accomplished for centuries until the 16th century and beyond.  The traveler had to carefully make arrangements ahead or be stranded and extremely vulnerable at some point in his trip.”
  • Johannis Sturmius's Winding Path to Impress the English. April 29, 2018. “Thirty years later, Sturmius would be in their employ.  Many members of the English Court would avail themselves of the scholar’s hospitality as would Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.” 
  • Bayle's Dictionary Entry on Johannes Sturmius.  April 15, 2018.  “Diligence makes clear that his reputation as a cloak-and-dagger English spy is without basis.  He did pass along information he thought might be of interest from his correspondence with many contacts throughout Europe to William Cecil and Francis Walsingham.”
  • The Cecil-Penn Correspondence Regarding Charles Chester. March 05, 2018.  “Your silence in answering me, as though you scorned me for dealing friendly with you, and your privy intelligence with him since his apprehension, I can assure you must be answered.”
  • Introduction to The Cecil-Penn Correspondence Regarding Charles Chester.  March 05, 2018. “It was at that time that Mrs. Penn wrote her infamous letter to the Earl demanding he and/or Thomas Churchyard pay the back bills one or both of them owed to her.”
  • Juliana Penn, Robert Cecil and the Silver Bell, &c.  February 25, 2018.  “You know my Lord you had anything in my house whatsoever you or your men would demand, if it were in my house; if it had been a thousand times more, I would have been glad to pleasure your lordship withall.”
  • Juliana Penn! Robert Cecil! Who Knew?  February 11, 2018.  “…there was not, nor is, the least suspicion conceaved of any privity of yours to any ill of his who is now a prisoner in the Gate-house.”
  • Edward de Vere in Palermo in the final analysis.  January 29, 2018.  “In Naples he is tortured for 7 months upon suspicion of being an English spy.  Upon his release, he is informed by the Italians and Spaniards that England has lost its battle with the Spanish Armada and the Queen been taken prisoner.  The year, then, is 1588, and is confirmed by the fact that he arrives back in England in May of 1589.”
  • Crocodiles, Prester John and where the Earle of Oxenford wasn't.  January 10, 2018.  “From Cairo he is taken next as part of a 500,000 man military force to conquer the land of Prester John.  That wondrous mythical medieval king also has giant sluices at his control and drowns 60,000 Turks.”
  • The Earle of Oxenford a famous man for Chivalrie. January 7, 2018.  "Webbe tells us that he was just 12 years old when he traveled with Captain Jenkinson’s 1566 ambassadorial mission to Moscow."
  • Let the sky rain potatoes! December 16, 2017. "In fact, the sweet potato had only just begun to be a delicacy within the reach of splurging poets and playwrights and members of the middle classes at the time that The Merry Wives of Windsor (the play from which Falstaff is quoted) was written.  The old soldier liked to keep abreast of the new fads."
  • Leonard Digges with Context (Shakespeare Authorship and the Small World Problem, Part 1)  December 10, 2017.  "Internet comment threads on the matters are followed as eagerly and as deadly seriously as episodes of The Game of Thrones."
  • Did Falstaff Write a Poem for Lowe’s Chyrirgerie?  December 2, 2017. "Can honour set-to a leg? no: or an arm? no: or take away the grief of a wound? no. Honour hath no skill in surgery, then? no. What is honour? a word. What is that word, honour? air."
  • Leonard Digges and the Shakespeare First Folio.  November 30, 2017.  "Upon receiving his baccalaureate, in 1606, Leonard briefly chose to reside in London. After that he went on an extended tour of the Continent which ended around the year that Shaksper died."
  • A Poem by Mr. W.H. August 27, 2017. "We haue no newes but that there is a misfortune befiallen Mistris Fitton,‘ for she is proved with chyld, and the E. of Pembrooke beinge examyned confesseth a ffact, but vtterly renounceth all marriage."
  • Falstaff's Sack. August 7, 2017.  'The question Mr. Hart addresses is “Just what is sack?”.  This is not the first time the question has been addressed but his is a particularly thorough attempt at an answer.'
  • How Edward de Vere Didn't Depart Italy (it turns out).  July 19, 2017.  "It seemed that Pasquale Spinola must have been mistaken or misled.  There would not have been nearly enough time to visit Florence, Siena, Rome, Naples and Palermo and to return to Venice.  Such a trip took considerable time in the 16th century."
  • Edward de Vere's Memorial For His Son, Who Died at Birth May 1583.  July 5, 2017.  "The brief Viscount Bulbeck being the son of the renowned poet and playwright Edward de Vere, we might have hoped to have the text of the father’s own memorial poem.  As far as traditional literary history is concerned, no such poem has yet been discovered."
  • Shakespeare's Apricocks.  February 21, 2017.  "While he may never have been a gardener, he does seem more than superficially knowledgeable about the gardens of his day.  One detail of such matters that he got wrong, however, is as much to the point as any."
  • John Donne's "Nocturnal upon St. Lucy's Day".  December 13, 2016.  "Today, December 13, is Saint Lucy’s Day.  In John Donne’s time, when the old calendar was still in use, it fell upon (and was, therefore, the feast of) the winter solstice."
  • Enter John Lyly.  October 18, 2016.  "From time to time, Shakespeare Authorship aficionados query after the name “John Lyly”.  This happens surprisingly little given the outsized role the place-seeker, novelist and playwright played in the lives of the playwright William Shakespeare and Edward de Vere."
  • The Herbert Brothers' Other First Folio Dedication.  October 2, 2016.  "...Edward de Vere’s daughter Susan, the wife of Philip Herbert, Earl of Montgomery, and a very active player in the Court masques of her day, came into the possession of the uncompleted manuscripts of De Vere upon his death."
  • Sir Anthony Bacon: a Life in the Shadows. January 25, 2016.  "Somehow Sir Anthony had the habit of ingratiating himself in circles of the highest historical interest and most questionable mores."
  • Mermaid Series on Thomas Dekker.  October 6, 2015.  "I have been a priest in Apollo's Temple many years, my voice is decaying with my age..." 
  • Biographical Information on Thomas Dekker. May 19, 2015.
  • Discovered: A New Shakespeare Sonnet: the Experience.  May 11, 2015.  "I was hot on the trail of something, it appeared, but I barely knew what until I was on top of it and then it just seemed impossible that the very best I could hope for had somehow actually come to pass."
  • Shakesper's Second Best Bed: the (almost) final chapter.  November 10, 2014.
  • Desperately Seeking Bridget (de Vere).  August 24, 2014.  "Even most people who assert that the Earl of Oxford was the poet and playwright Shake-speare (a group to which I resoundingly belong) do not seem to know that she was engaged, in 1598, to William Herbert, soon to inherit the Earldom of Pembroke,..."
  • Did Shake-speare Die of a Stroke?  August 03, 2014.  "In October of 1601 De Vere begins to complain of his health again in letters to his brother-in-law, Robert Cecil, who was representing him in certain legal matters at Court."
  • Shake-speare and the Influence of Ronsard.  May 22, 2014.  "If Shake-speare were actually born in 1564, the question should naturally arise as to why so many of the sources for his works were written between 1560 and 1580,..."
  • Shake-speare's Greek.  May 08, 2014.  "It is not at all clear from Jonson’s limited comments on Shakespeare, throughout his life, whether he was aware that the Bard may have actually translated a Greek text popular for many centuries."
  • Sultan Amurath III to Queen Elizabeth I, September 1589. June 14, 2018. “Most Honourable Matron of the Christian Religion, Mirror of Chastity, adorned with the Brightness of Sovereignty and Power amongst the most chast Women of the People which serve Jesu, Mistress of great Kingdoms, reputed of greatest Majesty and Praise among the Nazarites, Elizabeth, Queen of England, to whom we wish a happy and prosperous reign.”
  • Sir Francis Walsingham to John Sturmius, Oct. 27, 1576. May 06, 2018. “Of special interest should be the reference to one “Lewin”.  He is William Lewin, a graduate of Cambridge and the young servant of Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, who…”.
  • Lord Burghley to John Sturmius, Sept. 15, 1572.  April 22, 2018.  "W. Ron Hess has suggested that Sturmius was a spy station-master and money launderer for the infamous spy network of Francis Walsingham and the Baron Burghley and that Edward de Vere's visit, in 1575, was a spy mission."
  • Review of Peck’s Leicester’s Commonwealth with Download Link.  February 25, 2019.  ‘By the same token, the purblindness of mainstream scholars deprived of legitimate facts that they are required to ignore or deny, can be highly informative.  The “old play” that has long been understood, by mainstream scholars, to have provided the text of the Ulysses and Agamemnon portion (a.k.a. “the Camp Portion”) of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, proves to be an impenetrable mystery that “may never be solved”.’
  • Waugh-Bate Debate #2: the Facts of John Weever's Transcription. June 24, 2018.  ‘“Let us begin with the facts,” Jonathan Bate quite rightly suggests as he launches the initial salvo of his argument for William Shaksper as the poet and playwright William Shakespeare.  His years of public speaking serve him well as he launches into his opening statement in the recent debate between himself and Alexander Waugh.  What could argue his case better, or more simply, than "the facts"?’
  • The Great Waugh-Bate Debate #1: Steven Steinburg’s Rebuttal and Alexander Waugh’s Encrypted Polimanteia. February 01, 2018. “All of this said, I felt that Alexander Waugh started off slowly but continually grew stronger as the debate proceeded.  He did well.  Jonathan Bate, on the other hand, is a much more effective public speaker.  For all of his many errors, he probably appeared to the general public to be the more knowledgeable party.”
  • Historical Inaccuracies in the Film Anonymous #4: The Cecils did not arrange for the Earl of Essex to be sent to Ireland.  William Cecil did not use the occasion to replace Essex on the Privy Council with his son.  December 7, 2015.
  • Historical Inaccuracies in the Film Anonymous #3: When Edward and Vavasour had their affair, Anne, the Countess of Oxford, was in no position to arrive home to find them together.  Etc.  September 29, 2015.
  • Historical Inaccuracies in the Film Anonymous: #2: During the Essex Rebellion, Sir Robert Cecil did not order the army to fire upon a single citizen of London.  August 11, 2015.
  • Historical Inaccuracies in the Film Anonymous: #1: Sir William Cecil did not blackmail Edward de Vere to marry his daughter.  August 2, 2015.
  • A Review of Opus Arte/ Shakespeare’s Globe As You Like It.  July 20, 2015.  "It is essential to punctuate our various Shakespeare studies and debates with performance of the plays.  For all of our glosses, they were made to be played, after all.  Without that the rest is worse than useless."
  • A Review of Last Will and Testament.  March 09, 2015. "One by one, the Oxfordians present not a compelling scholarly case but a compelling film presentation.  No one point is irrefutable.  The weight of the evidence makes the case."
  • A Shake-speare Authorship Primer.  January 29, 2015.