Dyer consequences

A pontification too far

The Spectator. Alexander Waugh's Diary. November 2, 2013

Alexander Waugh's Diary is a sparse but rather good echo of Auberon Waugh's brilliant diary in Private Eye. With more than one entry a year and a bit more of his father's animating bile, the son's diary might also turn into required reading. Alexander, horriible dictu, is an Oxfordian. His claims to have discovered an Oxfordian angle in Covell's Polimanteia (1595) occasioned two responses here and here on Oxfraud. 

Plane truth

Thomas HardyChristmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
   "Now they are all on their knees,"
An elder said as we sat in a flock
   By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
   They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
   To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
   In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
   "Come; see the oxen kneel,

"In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
   Our childhood used to know,"
I should go with him in the gloom,
   Hoping it might be so.

What could be more Christmassy than an article about trees? Here we have the famous agnostic, Thomas Hardy, indulging himself in a little bit of Christmas Romanticism, apparently wishing (although not expecting) that a popular Christmas legend might prove to be true. Whilst this hardly counts as apophenia (the quest to see patterns in data where there is no pattern), wishing for things that we ought to know are impossible inspires a great deal of Oxfordian field research. Visits to Castle Hedingham and Bilton Hall, for example, may well strengthen the faith in the hearts of the true Oxfordian like a visit to Midnight Mass will rejuvenate a Christian, but surely they realise that geographical exertion and exploration are not going to turn up actual evidence of their messiah's hand in the Shakespearean inkwell?



“I swear by God’s body, I’d rather that my son should hang than study letters. For it becomes the sons of gentlemen to blow the horn nicely, to hunt skillfully and elegantly, carry and train a hawk. But the study of letters should be left to the sons of rustics.”


In August 1564, the Queen ascended to Cambridge—for even she must be said to go up—with a train of courtiers. In honor of the great occasion, seventeen1 of that party, privy councillors and gilded youth, were granted degrees. Among those in the company so honored were Sir William Cecil and two of his royal wards: the hatchling earls Edward de Vere, the 17th of Oxford and Edward Manners, the 3rd of Rutland. They were then 14 and 15.

Reason 101

Some ideas on the current state of SAQ affairs

In our first post-100 reason, we reflect on how important are reason and logic to the Oxfordian conjecture.

Oxfordians claim to have assembled their contentions into a theory built from first principles by using a mass of circumstantial evidence. But are their claims reasonable or do Oxfordians arrive at their conclusions having swallowed a few faith-based, whale-sized red herrings?

We're going to look at a survey taken in Madison in 2014,1 testing the relative strength of what most Oxfordians believe but first, we'll look at what lies behind areas of weakness that must be obvious to any newcomer. The mechanism of belief is what we're interested in. After checking out the evidence quotient in what are keystone arguments, we can then use the survey to see where they rate in the Oxfordian standings of credibility.