Waughbait




How to: Academy, Video Published on Sep 26, 2017

Shakespeare’s plays and poems tell us who we are. But who is he? Join celebrated Stratfordian Sir Jonathan Bate and anti-Stratfordian Alexander Waugh for an impassioned debate on the most beguiling and unputdownable literary mystery of them all. Moderated by Hermione Eyre. Filmed on 21st September 2017 at Emmanuel Centre, London.

This transcript is a lightly edited version of the closed caption file for the youtube video of the debate between Alexander Waugh and Sir Jonathan Bate on whether Shakespeare was a pseudoym. The 'debate' quickly plunged into familiar SAQ territory and we thought, since Alexander had gone to the trouble of herding a majority of Oxfordians into the room, guaranteeing bragging rights on ShakesVere (which he duly claimed) the best thing we could do was review what he said. In detail.



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00:01 [Applause]

Moderator

 00:08 Hello and welcome we’re here tonight to
00:12 debate the question of Shakespeare’s
00:14 authorship and a question which is so
00:17 explosive and potentially radical that
00:20 it’s very rare for the academia the
00:23 groves of academe to discuss it at all
00:25 so we are very honoured to have with us
00:28 Sir Jonathan Bate, the preeminent
00:32 Shakespeare scholar who will be making
00:33 the case for the man from Stratford as
00:35 the author of the plays and poems. Sir
00:38 Jonathan is Professor of English
00:39 Literature at Oxford University. He has
00:42 published on Shakespeare and Ovid on
00:44 Shakespeare and his collaborators, on
00:46 Shakespeare and the Romantics. He edited
00:50 the Royal Shakespeare Company Complete
00:52 Works, a monumental book, as well as a
00:55 best-seller of sorts and his
00:59 influence is such that his Arden
01:01 Edition in 1995 of Titus Andronicus
01:04 totally revised our feelings about the
01:07 play. He is going to really make his case
01:14 for Shakespeare and on the other hand we
01:17 have here Alexander Waugh in the red
01:19 corner the Chairman of the de Vere
01:22 Society who is in demand around the
01:25 world as a spokesperson for the theory
01:27 that the 17th Earl of Oxford Edward de
01:30 Vere was the author of Shakespeare’s
01:32 work war himself is also a distinguished
01:34 editor of the 42? 42 volume? 43 volume
01:40 complete works for Evelyn Waugh his
01:43 grandfather. He is the author of such
01:46 modestly titled books as God, Time and
01:50 also a biography of the Wittgenstein
01:53 family. He is also the author of a very
01:56 pertinent Shakespeare in Court which is
01:58 published on Kindle and the two I
02:01 believe are great friends and never
02:04 discuss the Shakespeare question. They
02:09 will each speak for 15 minutes then they
02:12 will rebut one another’s arguments and
02:14 answer each other’s arguments and then
02:16 we shall move to questions from the
02:17 floor
02:18 so I shall light the fuse and stand well
02:21 back. Alexander.

Alexander

02:23 Oh thank you very much thank
02:28 you thank you thank you
02:32 I we’re not actually here tonight as far
02:36 as I understand it hope I haven't got it
02:37 completely wrong we’re not here to
02:39 discuss Edward de Vere or any other
02:40 candidate we’re here to discuss whether
02:42 the man from Stratford William SHAKSPER
02:45 as I’m going to call him - not to
02:47 bait Jonathan but I’m gonna call him
02:48 William SHAKSPER to be clear because
02:50 it’s very boring when people say of
02:51 course Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare to
02:53 make any sense so I’m gonna call him
02:55 William SHAKSPER that’s how he tended
02:57 to think of himself and so did his
02:58 friends and I’m gonna say William
02:59 Shakespeare when I mean the author which
03:03 I’m absolutely convinced is a pseudonym
03:07 and first of all I would like to say
03:09 thank you very very very much to
03:11 Jonathan actually because it is
03:13 wonderful that he’s here
03:14 the English literature Academy is a
03:17 little little tight little group of
03:19 people in America in England are very
03:21 ferocious about this subject they don’t
03:24 like it discussed and I happen to know
03:25 there are certain professors among them
03:27 who are appalled that Jonathan has
03:29 agreed to appear today and Jonathan has
03:32 put it on record that he says that
03:37 academics must be challenged and I
03:39 completely support him in that and it is
03:41 absolutely wonderful that he’s here now
03:45 Just before everyone swans off thinking
03:48 oh yes but he had such wonderful
03:49 introduction Jonathan Bate he’s handsome
03:51 Jonathan Bate he’s all these things
03:54 and who’s this scrofulous idiot on the
03:56 other side I just want to try and
03:59 clarify a little bit here
04:02 English literature if you study it at
04:04 university, you do not study Shakespeare
04:07 and biography what you study is a rather
04:10 sort of creative criticism usually using
04:13 a lot of jargon that nobody understands
04:14 so I am NOT trying to demean Jonathan
04:18 I have a huge respect for people who
04:20 study English literature but I want it
04:22 clear in everybody’s heads that the
04:24 study of English literature does not
04:25 give you a monopoly over the question
04:28 of who wrote Shakespeare that is a
04:30 question which belongs to historians who
04:33 understand the concept of history and
04:35 where things sit within historical
04:38 context and of course it belongs to
04:40 people whose life is spent studying
04:43 evidence and that is lawyers
04:46 and it’s very difficult in fact to find
04:47 a historian who is on the side of the
04:51 Stratfordians it is absolutely
04:53 impossible to find a lawyer who is
04:55 on the side of the Stratfordian’s and the
04:58 reason is that when they look at
05:00 evidence and they understand evidence
05:01 and they say this simply doesn’t hold up
05:03 and what we find in America’s most
05:06 extraordinary case where the highest
05:09 lawyers in the free world that is what
05:12 are called the Supreme Court justices
05:14 all of those who have declared on the
05:17 subject of William Shakespeare every
05:19 single one of them has says this does
05:21 not hold up and we cannot support the
05:23 idea that Stratford Shaksper as I’m now
05:26 going to call him wrote those plays now
05:28 and people say to me why why do you know
05:33 that William Shakespeare is a pseudonym
05:37 and the answer actually is very simple, we
05:41 know it’s a pseudonym because everybody
05:43 at the time said it was a pseudonym. Now
05:45 this is the area where I get really
05:47 really vexed actually by the EngLitters
05:50 because I’ve just said you know that
05:52 their skill set is not really about
05:54 history it’s not about evidence it’s
05:56 about reading texts and this is where
05:59 they could be really really useful but
06:01 actually it’s taboo with Englitters
06:03 absolutely taboo to discuss the matter
06:05 of William Shakespeare’s identity I know
06:08 I know three professors who are not
06:13 allowed to print anything in the in the
06:16 peer-reviewed journals because they
06:17 don’t agree with the case I know five
06:20 personally I know five people who have
06:23 done their English literature doctorates
06:26 and were told by their mentors if you
06:29 mention the fact that you don’t agree
06:30 that William Shakespeare wrote these
06:32 things you will fail your doctorate
06:34 it’s that bossy and ghastly that’s why
06:36 I’m serious when I think Jonathan was
06:37 turning up today it’s a horrible little
06:39 tight world of whipping and censorship
06:42 and dogma and so that’s what we’re
06:44 trying to break out off now what are all
06:45 these people who are telling us that
06:48 William Shakespeare was a pseudonym.
06:50 Well it’s everybody at the time and and
06:52 this is where the evidence lies it’s at
06:54 the time you have to look at the time
06:56 there’s no interest in what anybody says
06:57 in the 19th century or later in that
06:59 you have to look at the period when
07:00 William SHAKSPER of Stratford died
07:02 that’s 19 sorry 1616 within about a
07:05 generation of his death that’s all that
07:07 matters and that’s what we’ve got to
07:09 look at today. OK so what who are all
07:12 these people who are saying it’s a
07:14 pseudonym well they’re saying it in a
07:16 very slightly disguised way and the
07:18 reason they’re doing that is gonna get
07:20 the huge trouble and they’ll in fact be
07:22 pulled up in front of the Star Chamber
07:23 if they’re caught at it so they say it a
07:26 little bit subtly. So for instance we
07:29 have a fellow called Edwards, Thomas
07:32 Edwards in 1595 and he describes
07:36 Shakespeare as "masking through", he calls
07:39 him and he’s actually talking about
07:41 obviously some quite high up person
07:43 because he’s saying he’s "robed in purple
07:45 robes disdain’d" he’s someone who is a
07:47 disgraced nobleman and he’s masking
07:49 through now what does masking mean
07:51 towards him means he’s in disguise of
07:53 some sort now we get a man called Weaver
07:56 John Weever quite a famous epigrammatist
07:59 is very very good historian and he calls
08:02 Shakespeare "a certain writer spurious"
08:05 well we all know what spurious means
08:08 spurious means not deriving or not
08:12 proceeding from the from its recognised
08:16 source in other words it’s spurious
08:18 means he’s not the author. Weever
08:20 actually goes on another poem to talk
08:22 about William Shakespeare and he says
08:25 "hoho Shakespeare I thought when I read
08:29 your works that actually they’re written
08:30 by Apollo not by you"
08:32 well of course anyone in the day at the
08:34 time you just look up which which
08:36 contemporary playwright and poet is
08:38 actually being referred to as Apollo and
08:40 you know quite simply who it is and it’s
08:42 a little joke and then we’re getting a
08:44 lot of these jokes that come through of
08:47 people heavily suggesting that we’re
08:50 dealing with issued in him as a man
08:53 called William Covell. Now this guy I’m
08:55 talking about anybody want to name him
08:56 tonight but there is a guy who was known
08:58 as the Apollo of his day the great sort
09:01 of patron and playwright of his day and
09:02 this man William Covell he puts this man’s
09:04 name he writes the name just like that
09:07 and then he squeezes in between it the
09:10 letters of a secret
09:12 and then he puts marginal note right by
09:14 the side of it saying "sweet Shakespeare"
09:17 so he’s telling you right there and then
09:19 that this man is Shakespeare now I’m
09:21 writing a book at the moment which has
09:24 all of the Shakespeare allusions in it
09:26 with an American professor who’s one of
09:28 these professors who were banned from
09:29 the Academy for having a difficult view
09:31 and and this fellow he said to me the
09:35 other day "it’s like shooting fish in a
09:37 barrel it really is that easy you pick
09:39 up every single one of these things and
09:44 they’re telling you that it’s a
09:45 pseudonym time and time and time again"
09:47 but you will not find that in any of the
09:49 books written by the academicians who
09:52 are told that under no circumstance they
09:54 allowed to put it in there so for
09:56 instance we do not hear of a man who
09:59 says who called Shakespeare in 1636 "that
10:02 English Earl who loved a play and a
10:04 player" it’s simply banned
10:06 I was I was on I was on radio in America
10:08 I give $1,000 in crisp notes to anyone
10:10 who can find that and standard in a
10:12 standard biography Shakespeare it was in
10:14 and it was used in a very early book of
10:18 Shakespearean allusions and whipped out
10:19 ever since and been taken away we have
10:22 plenty of examples of that we have a man
10:24 called William Davenant who in 1636 said
10:28 "if you go to Stratford-upon-Avon in
10:31 remembrance of master William
10:33 Shakespeare your eyes will be mocke'd he
10:37 said "the only playwright you’re going to
10:38 find there is Fulke Greville Lord Brook
10:41 who had a house on the Avon even so and
10:45 and I would like to just mention a Ben
10:47 Jonson a very very important person he’s
10:49 a wonderfully on on one side I’m pleased
10:52 to say the first folio of Shakespeare
10:54 which 36 plays published in 1623 so this
10:58 is about seven years after William
10:59 Shakespeare of Stratford died and Ben
11:02 Jonson tells you if you’re going to read
11:04 to the sense as George Daniel of Beswick
11:08 told you to do when you see a poem read
11:10 to the Sense, don't just sit looking at
11:12 the surface of it what says he is actually
11:14 telling you Ben Jonson writes a poem and
11:16 it says to my beloved VIII author and
11:21 huge great big letters mr. William
11:24 Shakespeare in tiny letters what does that
11:25 mean well it’s pretty obvious what it
11:28 means it means he thinks that the author
11:29 is much more important than the name and
11:31 he confirms as the minute he starts his
11:33 poem he says to draw no Envy Shakespeare
11:37 in brackets on thy name now how do you
11:39 draw Envy on a person’s name very very
11:42 simple you praise it. Now what he’s
11:44 saying is he’s not going to praise
11:46 Shakespeare’s name he’s refusing to do
11:48 it. Why is he refusing to do it? Well he’s
11:50 very kindly laid out the whole arguments
11:52 of why he’s not going to do it he says
11:53 because those of seelliest ignorance will
11:58 assume that what they hear which is only
12:00 an echo is actually a direct sound he
12:04 says those of blind affection will be
12:06 sent groping in the darkness towards the
12:08 truth and then he says and those of
12:11 crafty malice will pretend to praise
12:14 just so they can sink the poor fellow
12:16 who actually wrote it. He goes on for 16
12:19 lines like this. Line 17, now I shall
12:22 begin, my Shakespeare rise and now he’s
12:25 talking about the author and of course
12:27 he tells you that that author was
12:28 writing plays in the in the 1580s
12:30 long before Stratford Shakespeare had
12:32 little hair on his chin and and that he
12:35 was and he calls him Sweets Swan of Avon
12:38 and then of course what we have is the
12:40 Englit division comes in "Well sweet Swan of
12:44 Avon that’s Avon and that must be the
12:45 Avon there with the seven rivers called Avon
12:47 No no it’s got to be the one in
12:48 Stratford. No it hasn’t. Avon doesn’t mean
12:51 that, Avon as any learned person in
12:53 those days knew meant it meant Hampton Court
12:58 it sounds peculiar I agree with you but
13:00 that you’ll find that in Leyland and
13:02 you’ll find it in Camden you’ll find in
13:04 all the people, learned people of those
13:06 days knew. Now what does he say Sweets
13:08 Swan of Avon what a sight it were to see
13:11 thee in our waters yet appear and make
13:14 those flights upon the banks of Thames
13:15 that so did take Eliza in our James
13:18 where did Elizabeth and James go to the
13:22 theatre? No they did not go to the
13:24 Globe and they did not go to any of the
13:26 public theatres ever. The most famous
13:28 theatre of course was Hampton Court and
13:31 so what he’s telling you Ben Jonson is
13:33 that he’s a courtier poet and this is
13:36 what Johnson’s doing
13:37 all the time. Now we know Johnson wrote a
13:39 poem which starts if passenger had to go
13:45 Jonathan might remember if passenger
13:48 thou canst but read stay is a poem
13:52 written by Ben Jonson what does it say
13:54 on the Stratford monument to Shakespeare?
13:56 Stay passenger read if thou canst this
13:59 is one of many many examples that is
14:01 telling us that Ben Jonson wrote the
14:04 Stratford Monument. Ben Jonson wrote the
14:06 First Folio. Ben Jonson wrote the Hemings
14:10 and Condell letters which appear in the
14:13 First Folio and what I think we’re gonna
14:14 hear I don’t wan to jump what Jonathan’s
14:16 gonna say what expect he’s gonna say
14:18 it’s look Johnson says this look Hemings
14:21 and Condell say this look these
14:23 Stratford monument says that but they’re
14:25 all Ben Jonson it’s the same person we
14:27 have no evidence that Ben Jonson knew
14:30 William SHAKSPER in his lifetime we have
14:33 no evidence that William SHAKSPER knew
14:35 one single playwright during his
14:38 lifetime and this is a grotesque and
14:40 complicated embarrassment there’s a man
14:44 called Frances Meres who in 1598 drew up
14:48 a great list of all the great
14:49 playwrights of his day so these are the
14:51 great people. Now you take those people
14:53 out of that list and put them together
14:55 and look at the documentary record and
14:57 find who actually knew whom at that time
15:00 very quickly you can find documentary
15:02 evidence that Kyd knew Nash that Nash
15:07 knew - - doesn't really matter Nash new Peel knew.... and you
15:11 can you can draw an enormous nexus from
15:14 the documentary evidence of all the
15:17 playwrights who knew each other but
15:19 there’s one the most famous one right in
15:21 the middle of the whole thing and nobody
15:24 knows who he is. Nobody and then what
15:27 this evidence is telling us of absence
15:30 absence of evidences is telling you very
15:32 clearly that there was no one called
15:35 William Shakespeare at the time walking
15:38 around as a playwright. That I think is
15:41 the fastest most garbled attempt that
15:44 I’ve given to do this we had only had 15
15:46 minutes but I tell you I’m going to sit
15:48 down now but I tell you I have just
15:51 showing you a glimpse of a dam wall and
15:53 what is behind there would flood the
15:55 whole of this place with the vast amount
15:58 of evidence that tells you that William
16:00 Shakespeare is a pseudonym thank you
16:10 [Applause]
 

Moderator

16:16 Fantastic thank you so much we have
16:19 their evidence of the taboo of
16:21 Shakespeare denial we have a vast amount
16:25 of contemporary evidence and really a
16:28 beginning of a demolition of the First
16:30 Folio there I think that’s very very
16:32 good thank you I would call on
16:34 so Jonathan bate to make his case if you
16:37 please Thank You Himani
 

Jonathan

16:48 This is a debate. Now the key to the
16:52 spirit of debate is this are you
16:55 prepared to change your mind? do you
16:58 believe in evidence-based argument? or do
17:02 you prefer coincidences conspiracies and
17:06 cryptograms and hidden codes? I am here to
17:11 speak for historical evidence for truth
17:14 for fact but in our post truth world I
17:19 know that I will not persuade the
17:21 believers in the fake news that
17:24 Shakespeare did not write Shakespeare to
17:27 change their minds
17:28 I will not persuade the cultists of
17:31 Oxford who have put bits of paper on
17:33 your chairs cultists allow emotion and
17:38 wishful thinking to rule over evidence
17:41 and common sense I am here to address
17:45 the agnostics among you the true
17:49 believers in the false story are a lost
17:52 cause but I’m rather fond of them they
17:57 add to the gaiety of Nations especially
18:02 Alexander Waugh
18:05 Alexander is a dear friend but you must
18:09 know two things about the walls number
18:12 one they love to be contrarians his
18:16 father Oberon was one of our great
18:18 contrarians number two they love an
18:23 aristocrat
18:27 read his grandfather’s novels now here’s
18:32 the most important fact of tonight
18:34 nobody nobody for 240 years after
18:39 Shakespeare’s death expressed any doubt
18:43 that William Shakespeare the actor from
18:45 stratford-upon-avon was the author of
18:47 the plays and poems the first person to
18:50 doubt it was a woman called Delia bacon
18:51 she ended up in a private lunatic asylum
18:56 she thought that the author was Francis
19:01 Bacon bacon I wonder why she thought
19:03 that and then over the years subsequent
19:06 proposals came in among the dozens of
19:08 candidates we’ve had the first Earl of
19:10 Salisbury the second Earl of Essex the
19:12 third Earl of Southampton the fifth the
19:14 Earl of Rutland the 6th Earl of Derby
19:16 the seventh Earl of Shrewsbury the 8th
19:18 floored Mountjoy
19:19 the 17th Earl of Oxford the bastard son
19:21 of the Earl of Hartford and Lady
19:22 Catherine Gray and not to mention Queen
19:25 Elizabeth and King James everybody loves
19:29 an heiress to Kratt why at some point in
19:33 the 19th century did people start
19:34 thinking an aristocrat might have
19:36 written the works of Shakespeare well
19:37 there’s a simple answer to that it was
19:39 because serious biographical work about
19:42 Shakespeare began to emerge in the late
19:44 18th century and we found his life was
19:46 rather boring he made money out of his
19:50 plays he was shrewd enough unlike the
19:51 other playwrights who merely got paid on
19:54 a piecework basis he was shrewd enough
19:56 to become a shareholder with the actors
19:58 and take a share of the box-office
20:01 profits and it allowed him to buy a big
20:03 house back home in Stratford now in the
20:06 19th century the Romantic period
20:08 everybody wanted great authors to be
20:10 glamorous and was famous author of the
20:13 age was Lord Byron so they wanted
20:16 Shakespeare to be a glamorous aristocrat
20:18 like Lord Byron
20:20 alas though he wasn’t the true story of
20:23 Shakespeare is a story about how you can
20:26 come from the middle classes and with a
20:30 Grammar School education no university
20:32 education Shakespeare was much mocked
20:34 for not having a university education
20:36 you can become a great writer right
20:40 let’s begin with
20:41 facts in the will of William Shakespeare
20:44 shacks burst shags bird people were very
20:47 very relaxed about spelling in those
20:49 days in the will of the man from
20:51 Stratford he leaves morning rings to his
20:54 friends John Hemings Henry Condell
20:57 Richard Burbage the leading actors of
20:59 his Acting Company the Lord
21:01 Chamberlain’s later for King’s Men on
21:05 his tomb he is described as a great
21:09 writer praised for his wit he is said on
21:14 his funeral monument in Stratford Church
21:18 to combine the wisdom of Socrates with
21:22 the art of Virgil that monument was
21:25 transcribed within a year of his death
21:27 it’s alluded to in poems of praise it’s
21:30 copied by pilgrims going to Stratford
21:33 from the 1620s onwards people are going
21:35 to Stratford saying this is the home of
21:38 the great writer his monument of course
21:40 shows him holding a pen and paper other
21:45 writers in his lifetime praised him
21:48 spoke about his writing techniques Ben
21:51 Jonson fellow dramatist Shakespeare acts
21:53 in many of Ben Johnson’s plays we have
21:56 the cast lists of half-a-dozen Johnson
21:58 plays and Shakespeare’s acting there
22:00 Johnson when he goes north to meet the
22:02 writer Drummond talks about
22:04 Shakespeare’s writing techniques he also
22:06 does so in his private notebooks others
22:09 to Frances Bowmont
22:11 William Camden John Davis of Hereford
22:13 Sir George buck Leonard Diggs Frances
22:15 Mears became bridge author of the
22:16 Parnassus plays they all talk about
22:19 Shakespeare as a writer
22:20 now the antistrophe audience will say
22:23 where then are his manuscripts why don’t
22:26 we have the manuscripts to prove the
22:28 signatures but survival real in
22:31 Shakespeare are the same unfortunately
22:34 no manuscripts of any of the 600
22:37 published plays by any authors from the
22:39 period survived once a manuscript went
22:41 to the printer the printer either
22:42 recycled it’ll threw it away
22:44 however a tiny number of theatre
22:47 manuscripts survived because they were
22:49 of plays that weren’t performed one of
22:52 those was a collaborative play caliber
22:54 in the theater then as in television and
22:57 film now the art of writing was a
23:00 collaborative art collaboration was the
23:02 norm
23:03 Shakespeare contributed a scene to a
23:05 collaborative play about the life of Sir
23:07 Thomas Moore that was banned because it
23:09 was too politically sensitive and
23:11 handwriting experts have looked at the
23:14 hand in that manuscript and I’ve held it
23:16 in the British Library and found six
23:19 particular features of handwriting which
23:22 they’ve then compared with Shakespeare
23:24 signatures and with a handwriting of 250
23:28 other writers from the period and there
23:31 are six features that only match
23:33 Shakespeare’s letters people say well
23:36 why don’t we have Shakespeare’s letters
23:38 well we do have a couple of
23:39 Shakespeare’s letters they were appended
23:41 to his poems but poems which made his
23:44 name Venus and Adonis and rape of Louise
23:46 and they are rather servile they are
23:50 saying please give me patronage milord
23:52 Southampton the idea that an Earl like
23:55 Oxford one of the great Earl’s of the
23:57 land would have written these servile
23:59 flattering letters to a mere junior
24:02 aristocrat Oh a twenty-year-old
24:04 whippersnapper like Southampton is
24:06 inconceivable the theory about Oxford
24:09 having to or some other aristocrat
24:11 having to write under a pseudonym
24:13 because they were worried about being
24:16 associated with the theatre is frankly
24:17 bizarre
24:18 the Earl of Oxford was patron sponsor of
24:21 a theatre company Oxford’s men they
24:25 toured in the provinces in the 1580s and
24:26 90s if Oxford was proud of involvement
24:30 with the theatre
24:31 why didn’t he write the plays for
24:32 Oxford’s men if he was ashamed then why
24:36 did he have an Acting Company we hear
24:38 that Shakespeare’s father was illiterate
24:40 it’s funny then that there’s a a will
24:42 and city in which someone leaves him
24:43 some some books a strange thing to leave
24:46 to an illiterate man why were the
24:49 notebooks in Shakespeare’s will well
24:52 look at the Wills of Heywood Beaumont
24:54 Fletcher messenger Middleton Webster
24:56 Ford Mastan snow books in any of their
24:59 wills he wouldn’t on the whole specify
25:01 books in their wills now one of
25:06 Alexander’s big arguments
25:08 is that the person who wrote the plays
25:10 must have gone to Italy because there’s
25:13 lots of detail about Italy in the plays
25:16 those would be the plays where two of
25:18 them are set in Venice and there’s no
25:19 single mention of a canal there are
25:23 certain details about Italy that seemed
25:26 to be authentic but equally Ben Jonson
25:29 never went to Italy and yet in Volpone
25:32 he knows the location of the portico -
25:34 the procurator John Webster never went
25:37 to Italy yet in the Duchess of Milan he
25:39 knows the location of a lay-in behind
25:41 st. Mark’s Church you can pick up
25:43 knowledge from books and conversations
25:46 we might just as well say how did
25:49 Shakespeare know about the details of
25:52 the platform at Elsinore in Hamlet the
25:56 answer would be that three of his fellow
25:58 actors in the Acting Company Brian Pope
26:00 and Kemp went to Elsinore and told him
26:04 about it the Earl of Oxford never went
26:07 to Elsinore how could this humble
26:09 middle-class boy from the Grammar School
26:11 have known so much about aristocratic
26:14 households according to John Dryden a
26:16 17th century writer much closer to
26:19 aristocratic households of the time that
26:22 than we are he writes that Shakespeare
26:25 understood very little of the
26:27 conversation of gentleman Shakespeare
26:31 was actually pretty useless at
26:32 representing what aristocratic
26:34 households with retain hundreds of
26:37 retainers were really like just have a
26:38 look at Romeo and Juliet where the the
26:41 character of Capulet leading aristocrat
26:45 is his daughter’s about to be married to
26:48 Paris a kinsman to the prince he’s down
26:50 in the kitchen speaking to the staff
26:52 know that sort of thing didn’t happen
26:54 Shakespeare didn’t know about Italy you
26:57 didn’t know about our aristocratic
26:58 households what did he know about he
27:01 knew about wolf trading and leather
27:04 manufacture his father was a glove maker
27:07 the plays refer to calf skin sheepskin
27:10 lambskin Fox skin dog skin gear deerskin
27:13 kids skin knits leather leather for a
27:16 bridle Shakespeare was above all a
27:20 countryman
27:20 look at the countrymen in The Winter’s
27:23 Tale
27:24 speaking about Todd’s yielding pounds
27:28 and shillings for wool
27:29 this is Countryman’s language 600 plays
27:32 from the period survived the only ones
27:35 that mention Warwickshire and
27:37 Gloucestershire are those by Shakespeare
27:41 he’s a little problem for the argument
27:44 about the Earl of Oxford writing
27:45 Shakespeare he died in 1604 a large
27:49 number of Shakespeare’s plays were
27:50 written thereafter in the plays that
27:52 Shakespeare wrote in the reign of Queen
27:53 Elizabeth. He always talks about England
27:55 because she was Queen of England in the
27:57 plays that he wrote for King James after
28:00 James came to the throne in 1603 he
28:02 wrote about Britain because King James
28:05 wanted to unite England and Scotland
28:07 into Britain. Macbeth King Lear and
28:10 Cymbeline are specifically linked to the
28:13 Jacobean project
28:15 Similarly in 1608 Shakespeare’s Acting
28:18 Company acquired an indoor Playhouse so
28:21 that instead of acting outside in
28:23 natural daylight they had to have
28:25 candles so in his late plays he starts
28:27 introducing act divisions for five act
28:30 structure so there’s a break
28:32 so the candles can be replaced all that
28:34 That Earl of Oxford was a clever chap he
28:36 realized that four years after his death
28:39 that would be an indoor theater so he
28:41 must have written some plays like The
28:42 Winter’s Tale or The Tempest with act breaks
28:44 just preparing for it and then most
28:47 interestingly of all the end of
28:49 Shakespeare’s career he’s got to decide
28:52 who’s gonna take over as the leading
28:53 playwright of the Acting Company and he
28:55 chooses a young dramatist called John
28:57 Fletcher who came onto the scene in 1607
28:59 and Shakespeare’s last three plays the
29:01 The Two Noble Kinsmen, Henry the eighth’s
29:03 and the partially lost play Cardenio are
29:06 co-written with Fletcher. For 150 years
29:09 scholars have been able to identify the
29:12 different linguistic fingerprints of
29:14 Shakespeare and Fletcher Shakespeare
29:16 says you Fletcher says ye Shakespeare
29:18 says them Fletcher
29:20 abbreviates to 'em ’ Feminine
29:24 endings&emdash;an unstressed syllable at the
29:26 end of the line&emdash;very different patterns
29:28 in Shakespeare and Fletcher so we know
29:30 as Shakespeare and Fletcher sat down to
29:32 write Henry the eighth and
29:33 two noble kinsmen together which scenes
29:35 with Shakespeare which were Fletcher’s
29:37 I’m struggling to imagine how Oxford did
29:40 that from beyond the grave let alone how
29:43 he collaborated with Fletcher in the
29:46 play of Cardenio which was based on
29:47 Don Quixote 1605 after Oxford’s death
29:51 and indeed has allusions to the 1612
29:53 English translation I still want to
29:58 celebrate the work of the antistrophe
30:00 audience and to thank them because there
30:03 is a long history whereby forgery and
30:06 fiction has assisted the work of true
30:10 scholarship because we get asked hard
30:12 questions of scholars and we have to
30:14 find better answers so it was there were
30:17 two very interesting scholars in
30:20 California called Elliot and Valenza one
30:22 a statistician one a computer scientist
30:25 who became convinced that Shakespeare
30:28 couldn’t have been Shakespeare but they
30:31 developed well established techniques of
30:33 linguistic fingerprinting everybody has
30:36 their own linguistic fingerprint the
30:38 little turns of phrase the little
30:40 choices we all make
30:41 and they run through their computers not
30:45 only the entire corpus of surviving
30:48 drama of the period Shakespeare shall
30:50 experience plays but also for surviving
30:52 writings of the Earl of Oxford and all
30:54 those other candidates and they came to
30:56 the conclusion that it is a mathematical
30:58 certainty that none of those are the
31:01 candidates could have written the work
31:02 of Shakespeare but thanks to those
31:04 advances in stylo metric study we now
31:07 know things we didn’t know before for
31:09 instance we know when Shakespeare early
31:10 in his career wrote Titus Andronicus he
31:13 collaborated with George Peale and we
31:16 know that because Peale used "bretheren"
31:18 as the plural of "brothers" and
31:19 Shakespeare used "brothers" and we know
31:21 from that Peale wrote the first act
31:23 Shakespeare the rest so it’s something
31:26 of something to be celebrated that we
31:29 have these debates because eventually
31:31 the truth will out
31:34 [Applause]
 

Moderator

31:43 thank you so much thank you Sir
31:47 Jonathan Bate we have here the
31:51 vivifying effect of the counter-argument
31:54 we have plenty of evidence of
31:57 Shakespeare’s own handwriting identified
32:00 as hand D on the text of Sir Thomas More
32:04 the counter-argument often portrays
32:08 Shakespeare as illiterate
32:09 so I’d be interested to hear the
32:10 response to that to the response to the
32:13 Warwickshire dialect in the verse and so
32:15 many other the diet there was a mention
32:19 of those moments for questions from the
32:22 floor will come afterwards please but
32:24 there was a point about dialect and
32:26 there was a point about stylometrics
32:29 and the monument in Stratford thank you
32:30

Alexander

32:33 look I’m sorry don’t clap see I’m got
32:35 time this then there’s so much here
32:39 that’s wrong and we haven’t got very
32:40 much time and I’m in a pother because
32:42 because I I felt it was quite rushed to
32:45 15 minutes and there were lots and lots
32:47 of things I wasn’t able to put in so I’m
32:49 grateful to John and it’s always good to
32:50 start with thank yous for all the things
32:52 that you didn’t mention that I never
32:53 even said anyway saying about Italy of
32:56 course Italy is a major problem we
32:57 we have Shakespeare plays based on
32:59 Italian works by Sintió and Bandello and
33:02 works that were not translated into
33:05 English and somehow this amazing person
33:08 managed to read Italian and managed to
33:11 read French because I mean Hamlet’s
33:13 based on a French thing by Belleforest
33:15 we have all these absolute knowledge of
33:18 the fact that he’s using foreign things
33:20 and so thank you for bringing that up it
33:23 is a problem for the Stratford ins and
33:25 it should be now shall I go through some
33:26 of the errors or shy
33:27 I mean look my notes are everywhere now
33:29 just a few errors right what did
33:31 Jonathan say on his tomb is praised as a
33:33 great wit no he’s not I mean it’s as
33:35 simple as that
33:36 it’s very interesting I said it’s by Ben
33:37 Jonson that tomb and the tomb is really
33:39 clever because what it’s you know again
33:41 it’s it’s Johnson wants you to read to
33:43 the sense and Johnson is very guilty and
33:45 he writes about what he’s done about
33:46 Shakespeare in his way you know
33:48 I I’ve I’ve let people think things that
33:51 own they came from me and it was wrong
33:53 and literatures being misunderstood and
33:55 he he actually says in this great sort
33:57 of weeping statement before he talks
33:59 about shakespeare the actor he says
34:01 accused himself really being guilty of
34:04 idolatry the setting up of false idols
34:06 Johnson’s a wonderful person and he
34:07 didn’t get these things wrong
34:09 he didn’t praise Shakespeare as a great
34:11 wit and anyone who’s read the stratford
34:13 monument will see exactly what johnson’s
34:15 doing very clever and very funny first
34:17 thing he’s doing is he’s telling you the
34:18 real shakespeare is actually buried in
34:19 Westminster Abbey the second thing he’s
34:21 doing is saying that Shakespeare of
34:23 Stratford the only thing he’s got is
34:25 this enormous name that is worth so much
34:29 worth more than cost he says and it’s
34:31 just the title page he’s worth but one
34:33 page that’s all that Shakespeare stands
34:35 for ok listen what did Jonathan say
34:37 nobody nobody expressed doubt about
34:40 Shakespeare before 1838 John Dowdell
34:48 history of Shakespeare watery rails
34:50 against though who and I quote had the
34:52 hardihood to question Shakespeare’s
34:53 identity 1786 as a whole book published
34:56 saying that he that poaching story was
34:59 absolute rubbish and then he goes on to
35:01 say with equal falsehood has he been
35:02 fathered with many spurious dramatic
35:04 pieces Hamlet Othello as you like it
35:07 could go on and on 1796 the thief of all
35:10 thieves was a Warwickshire feast 1759
35:12 tyranny Shakespeare Shakespeare who
35:14 wrote it why Ben Jonson 1728 Golding in
35:17 all probability Shakespeare could not
35:18 write English it’s just absolute rubbish
35:20 to say that started I’m sorry John but
35:21 it’s absolute right and anyway it’s
35:23 irrelevant to the argument and this is
35:25 what my worry is that this is how this
35:27 argument happens we get we get shifted
35:29 away we’re here to talk about where the
35:30 Stratford shacked but could wrote those
35:33 plays we haven’t even discussed whether
35:34 he could even write now we’re told that
35:36 we’re told that on the on the will he’s
35:38 has these wonderful signatures no he
35:40 doesn’t those signatures are highly
35:42 contested by people who have looked at
35:43 them Jane Cox who was the was the head
35:47 of Renaissance manuscripts at the
35:49 National Archives put it on record
35:52 saying that these are all done by
35:53 different hands they are all spelt
35:55 differently they all look different and
35:57 then he said that some manuscript called
36:00 Thomas More oh yes absolutely
36:02 definitely Shakespeare’s hand because
36:03 we’re using a control sample of some
36:08 debated signatures now come on I don’t
36:11 need to be talking to a room of Paley
36:12 ologist here to understand that you
36:14 cannot have a control sample of
36:16 signatures that are debated anyway which
36:19 are 20 years later than this this thing
36:21 they’re saying is by Shakespeare of
36:23 Stratford and anyway there are no dots
36:25 on the eyes on that one there on that
36:27 and the B is completely different on
36:28 that and you haven’t been reading
36:30 Jonathan I’m sorry but you have not read
36:31 all the latest literature on this
36:33 there’s a huge article in the absolutely
36:35 Stratfor daeun book which is called the
36:38 shakespeare quarterly by Michael L Hayes
36:40 which completely rubbishes this idea
36:42 that that’s by him there was a huge
36:44 article in Renaissance English Studies
36:45 lately by by diana price completely
36:48 rubbish is it it’s finished that
36:50 argument about about the Thomas More
36:52 manuscript I’m sorry
36:53 Oxford wrote under a pseudonym you say
36:55 there’s no evidence that Oxford wrote
36:57 under a pseudonym again this is is it a
36:59 simply just not knowing the fact there’s
37:01 a man called John Bonham who in 1600
37:05 wrote a book in which he says that the
37:08 Earl of Oxford’s works appear under
37:11 other people’s names they are published
37:13 on to other people says I’m not here to
37:14 argue about the Earl of Oxford
37:16 now what was all this thing about
37:17 candles you started saying oh
37:19 Shakespeare started writing five act
37:21 plays so that so that so that you could
37:24 have a candle break as a candle soon
37:26 loss I mean look now there are second
37:28 rule makers but we all know that you can
37:30 have a candle this big that lasts for
37:32 fourteen years if you want to or a
37:34 little one that lasts ten minutes I mean
37:36 it’s just absolutely rubbish and and
37:39 there is no evidence at all there is not
37:41 a single piece of evidence in
37:42 Shakespeare’s lifetime the one
37:44 Shakespearean play was performed at the
37:46 Blackfriars theatre which he says is
37:50 where he changed all his view of how to
37:52 write five at comedies can I just remind
37:54 you Jonathan of the plays that
37:56 Shakespeare wrote in five acts before
37:58 the Blackfriars frozen was built the
38:00 comedy of errors Romeo and Juliet
38:02 richard ii much ado about nothing come
38:05 on five act plays John Lilly was writing
38:07 five act plays in 1585 act place of the
38:09 standard form that we inherited from
38:12 Seneca and from plautus I mean it’s the
38:14 most famous thing to say
38:16 five-act place because the candle was
38:17 gonna burn out I just can’t III really
38:20 can’t deal with all this okay what else
38:23 do you write Oh Italy I mean this either
38:25 dealt with it city nobody-nobody have
38:27 said that a huge number of kin said that
38:30 look come on guys this I think I think I
38:33 think Jonathan and I both agree that
38:35 this debate needs a lot more time and
38:37 this is the frustration I’m feeling this
38:39 evening I’m enjoying it it’s fun I’m
38:41 glad you’re all here but honestly to get
38:43 through all of this stuff which is wrong
38:45 it takes a serious sit down and I’m
38:47 going to sit down now but I’m going to
38:48 say - everybody’s remotely interesting
38:50 subject please go on the internet please
38:52 look up the facts and you’ll find very
38:53 quickly that William Shakespeare it was
38:56 a pseudonym thank you
38:58 [Applause]
38:59 [Music]
39:00 [Applause]
39:06

Jonathan

39:07 Well Alexander said some some very
39:10 curious things I mean the just going
39:12 back to those those early plays if you
39:14 look at how they were printed in the
39:17 court oh they do not have a v extraction
39:19 they have a scene after scene after
39:21 scene the v act structures were imposed
39:23 retrospectively in the first folio as
39:26 for the signatures nobody has ever
39:29 questioned Shakespeare’s signature on
39:32 the D position on the bailout Mountjoy
39:33 case a case a law case of 1612
39:37 which has a distinctive way of writing a
39:40 letter a without finishing the curl of
39:43 it so it looks like a you which is
39:45 exactly like a feature in the
39:47 manuscripts of Sir Thomas Moore and
39:48 Giles Dawson one of the world’s leading
39:50 handwriting experts has examined two
39:53 hundred and fifty Elizabethan hands
39:55 including Oxford’s and many others and
39:57 none of them have that and what is more
39:59 there are several misprints in
40:01 Shakespeare’s printed plays that come
40:03 from the result of the composite of the
40:05 printer reading his a as a you because
40:09 of that particular handwriting technique
40:12 now what are these things that an
40:15 Alexander has said he’s they’re full of
40:18 conspiracies and mysteries this idea
40:20 that Cavell William William cavil
40:23 covertly mentioned the Earl of Oxford
40:26 it’s nonsense if you look at the context
40:29 of what he writes there it’s in a letter
40:31 published letter praising the
40:33 universities of Cambridge and Oxford
40:35 when he talks about Oxford he’s talking
40:38 about Oxford University and he says as
40:40 Cambridge his greatest writer is Edmund
40:43 Spenser so Oxford’s greatest writer is
40:46 Samuel Daniel and then what he does in
40:48 the margins is he puts the names of a
40:51 bunch of also-rans writers who were not
40:55 the greatest writers from Oxford or
40:56 Cambridge but still are to be praised I
40:59 think the main point I want to to make
41:02 about the anti Stratford Ian fallacy is
41:04 that although Shakespeare’s plays were
41:07 admired in their time they were not
41:09 uniquely admired Johnson was admired as
41:13 much Beaumont and Fletcher were admired
41:16 as much many other dramatists as well
41:18 even after the restoration of the
41:20 theaters Beaumont and
41:20 Flecthers plays were put on twice as
41:22 often as Shakespeare’s why is it that
41:25 people don’t want to say AHA Ben Jonson
41:27 didn’t write the works of Ben Jonson or
41:30 Fletcher didn’t write the works of
41:32 Fletcher the what would I hate about the
41:35 that the idea that an actor could not
41:39 have written the plays is that it seems
41:41 so counterintuitive to the way that we
41:44 all know that theatre works theater
41:47 works collaboratively Shakespeare was a
41:49 member of the Acting Company writing
41:52 plays for particular actors in the
41:54 company and writing collaboratively at
41:56 the beginning and end of his career so
41:58 this idea that this aristocrat sort of
42:00 swans in and sort of oh here it is you
42:02 used silly actors you just perform it
42:04 that’s not how theatre works it’s a
42:07 grave disrespect to the theatre to think
42:11 like that as I say there are many other
42:15 great writers in the period and
42:17 Alexander said in his talk that he he
42:20 does not know of any historians of the
42:22 period who are strapped for Diaz I don’t
42:25 know of any historians for theory to her
42:26 auntie Stratfor Tian’s apart from one a
42:28 man named William Rubenstein and he’s
42:31 not a believer in the Earl of Oxford so
42:33 I think we do need to take everything
42:35 that Alexander says with a very large
42:37 pinch of salt but I agree with Alexander
42:40 go to the Internet in particular go to
42:42 the site called Oxfraud.com which gives you
42:46 one hundred and two reasons why
42:48 Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare and the
42:50 Earl of Oxford didn’t
42:54 [Applause]
 

Moderator

43:00 Well I’m delighted to say that we have
43:03 the results of your entrance poll the
43:06 votes were cast thus that Shakespeare
43:10 wrote Shakespeare we have 78 believers
43:13 that someone else wrote Shakespeare’s
43:17 work we have a hundred and seven votes
43:19 and don’t know it it exudes these 86
43:24 that we are most interested to watch
43:27 perhaps which way they might move after
43:29 this Berlin debate
43:31 we also would be interested to break
43:33 down the someone else vote could I hear
43:36 perhaps a response vocally for who here
43:41 might think that somebody else would be
43:42 Sir Francis Bacon I’m not I’m glad to
43:52 know that the feeling from the audience
43:54 is very focused on tax payer versus
43:57 Shakespeare so we will we will we will
43:59 continue if we don’t have any strong
44:01 feelings
44:01 that’s brilliant to know because at this
44:03 point we’re going to throw the debate
44:04 open to the floor and I would like to
44:07 take questions thank you sir
 

Question

44:16 as thank you I wouldn’t even shout now
44:20 as having received the grammar school
44:23 education as I understand it this is
44:26 based on the following shakespeare must
44:29 obviously have been educated Shakespeare
44:31 lived in Stratford
44:33 there was a Grammar School in Stratford
44:35 therefore shacks were went to Stratford
44:38 grab us thank you sir
44:39 is not that I would like to hear what
44:41 natural evidence there is that shacks we
44:44 went to Stratford or any other school
44:46 thank you
 

Jonathan

44:48 simple answer to that is that John
44:50 Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s father was on
44:52 the Town Council he became Chamberlain
44:54 of Stratford and members of the town
44:56 council were entitled to send their
44:59 children to the grammar school for free
45:01 also there is a funny little scene in
45:05 Merry Wives of Windsor which precisely
45:08 did but comically portrays a lesson in a
45:13 grammar school with a Welsh schoolmaster
45:17 it happens there was a schoolmaster of
45:18 Welsh origin when Shakespeare was at
45:20 Stratford just as another of his
45:21 schoolmaster was man called John Brown’s
45:22 Raju was a rather distinguished Latin
45:24 poet and in that the little boy who’s a
45:28 bit cheeky is called will it’s the most
45:31 autobiographical moment in Shakespeare
45:39 there is evidence it is true that the
45:43 the role is lost from the period the
45:48 role of who were the boys in the school
45:50 is lost but there is no confusing the
45:53 fact that John Shakespeare his father
45:55 was on the town council and that the
46:00 members of the town council would
46:01 entitled to send their children to the
46:03 school for free it could have happened
46:04 and do you want to comment on whether
46:08 there’s no record that shacks borough
46:10 Stratford had any education at all
46:12 either at university or there now he
46:15 possibly was at the Stratford to Grammar
46:18 School I’m not gonna say he wasn’t there
46:19 long as he was but of course what
46:21 happens with these opportunism when
46:22 you’re decided that shacks piss trap but
46:24 then of course he has to have been there
46:26 but there is no evidence and and and
 

Alexander

46:29 just a second Jonathan when you when you
46:31 look at the absence of education the
46:35 absence of his having written anything
46:38 the absence of anyone saying that he’s
46:40 written anything the absence of his
46:41 family don’t say he’s a writer he never
46:43 says he’s a writer all this line of zero
46:46 zero zero zero nothing and compared it
46:49 to every other writer of his day where
46:51 they’ve got some big evidence Diana
46:53 Price did a good study on this then you
46:55 realize that the zero for the most
46:58 famous writer on all these most
46:59 important points is evidence of
47:01 something some like his his neighbor
47:07 Leonard Diggs talks about him is nobody
47:17 who says Thomas Haywood was a writer
47:19 there is nobody who says John Webster
47:20 was a writer nonsense
47:21 absolutely John Webster you go to you go
47:25 to hens lows Diaries and he’s sitting
47:27 I’m paying John Webster for writing a
47:29 play in the henslowe stars he says it
47:31 I’m sorry he’s writing page four writing
47:34 a play that’s contemporary evidence that
47:36 Webster as a writer we don’t have any
47:38 problem with that we have a problem with
47:39 William Shakespeare the most famous
47:40 writer of the lot we have no evidence
47:42 that he was a writer in his lifetime
47:43 it’s a big problem
 

Question

47:45 sorry thanks dad my impression of this
47:51 discussion and I’m very pleased it’s
47:55 taking place is that from an outsider’s
47:59 point of view and I’m not an outsider
48:01 I’m an oxfordion but if I’m listening
48:04 with an outsider’s ears neither person
48:09 putting the cases has scored a knockout
48:12 punch and in the light of this I would
48:16 like to ask you both but particularly
48:18 you sir Jonathan
48:21 are we moving towards an epoch where in
48:28 the discussion of this question both
48:31 parties will be able to take each
48:34 other’s discussion seriously and forego
48:39 the
48:40 hominem attacks that have so
48:43 characterized this all business on both
48:46 sides can are we moving into an epoch of
48:50 discussion where a degree if you like of
48:54 agnosticism on both sides may become
48:57 possible
 

Jonathan

48:57 I think I can say with a good
49:07 conscience I have only ever once made an
49:12 and ad hominem reference in in this
49:15 whole debate which was with reference to
49:17 an anti Stratfor diem who was also
49:20 Holocaust to denier and that seemed to
49:23 me a matter of where it was important to
49:26 be ad hominem other than that I I don’t
49:28 think I have ever been I because I
49:30 believe passionately in the importance
49:32 of truth and of historical evidence but
49:35 I do worry I do worry that
49:51 but we but what I was saying there is
49:53 that we we love the wars because they
49:56 are contrarians we do and because they
50:00 love honest to Christ there’s a question
50:02 coming from the red stars go fix some
50:06 clarity on a point that the Earl of
50:09 Oxford died in before a number of
50:12 Shakespeare plays were written just
50:13 answer that point directly please
 

Alexander

50:14 who is this address to well I would you
50:20 address directly the point about the
50:22 date of death of the Earl of Oxford yes
50:24 but with a heavy heart I’m here to
50:26 discuss Shak spur of Stratford and
50:29 whether he wrote those plays I’ve said
50:31 to the organizers of this event that if
50:34 the motion is carried tonight I’m very
50:36 happy to come back with Jonathan and
50:38 argue the case for the Earl of Oxford
50:39 I’m also told the organizers tonight
50:42 that I’ve made this sensational
50:43 discovery which is the Earl of Oxford is
50:45 buried directly underneath the monument
50:48 in in Westminster Abbey to William
50:50 Shakespeare and I’m prepared to give
50:52 this society the very first look at that
50:54 extraordinary unpublished evidence I’m
50:56 not really wanting to stand here now and
50:58 defend the Earl of Oxford but believe
51:00 you me I’m not so stupid and no ox
51:03 fortunes of that stupid that if it were
51:05 proven that any Shakespeare play were
51:07 written after 1604 of course we wouldn’t
51:09 be oxfordians so there’s quite clearly a
51:11 very strong argument that that’s wrong
51:13 and I don’t have what is yeah I mean I
 

Jonathan

51:15 I do find Oxfordian’s oddly quiet about
51:18 the Fletcher collaborations and the
51:21 clear style Stylometric evidence of
51:24 two noble kinsmen and Henry the eighth’s
51:26 as being two writers working very close
51:29 together what what is the Oxfordian
51:31 position on the fletcher collaboration
51:32 the oxford position is extremely clear
51:35 that Oxford wrote an awful lot of plays
51:38 we know perfectly well if we actually
51:40 read
51:41 Hayward’s apology to the actors that we
51:45 know that the court plays are being
51:47 constantly revised and up done and and
51:49 made topical and we know that in
51:51 Shakespeare’s case
 

Alexander

51:52 Oxford died in 1604
51:54 and it is very very obvious that his
51:56 plays were absolute brilliant and
51:58 that people like Middleton and people
52:00 like Fletcher who were the big cheese’s
52:02 in those days were told come along chaps
52:03 let’s get this out and actually if you
52:06 read again reading to the sense Jonathan
52:08 which I ask you to do read the prologue
52:10 of two noble kinsmen that was published
52:12 in 1634 as by Shakespeare and Fletcher
52:16 and see what he’s really saying because
52:18 the Stratford Ian’s again that they’re
52:20 lazy about this and they think they’re
52:21 just talking about Chaucer he’s not he’s
52:23 talking about the dead Shakespeare and
52:25 he’s saying I really hope the dead
52:26 Shakespeare isn’t upset that I’m
52:27 revising this thing look at it read it
52:29 carefully and you’ll understand exactly
52:31 the Oxfordian point of view of Oxford
52:35 surviving poems they’re really beautiful
52:47 to Abby because at present the Earl of
52:50 Oxford is thought to have been buried
52:51 and hackneyed is that right well there
52:55 are two occasions there are two there
52:56 are two accounts we have we have a thing
52:59 thing he’s been acting and we have his
53:00 first cousin saying he is buried in
53:02 Westminster so we are now resolved it
53:05 and I know exactly ways but it’s really
53:07 really exciting and overnighting and
53:08 I’ll come and show everybody here if
53:10 they won’t come back
 

Question:

(from Mark Rylance, no less)
53:11 may I have a question here thank you um
53:14 I wondered if if I could ask Sir
53:15 Jonathan and Alexander to speak about
53:17 the sonnets which have always struck me
53:20 to be something very raw and personal
53:23 and I may have understood misunderstood
53:25 you Jonathan
53:26 because I’ve heard you talk about them
53:27 being a technical exercise and that that
53:30 we must be weary to look back on that
53:33 period of writing with modern ideas of
53:35 how poets write but in my experience of
53:38 poets those poets those poems cannot
53:41 help but betray something personal in
53:43 the way you’ve acknowledged the
53:45 biographical detail of young will with
53:47 his schoolmaster but could you speak
53:50 about the authorship of the sonnets for
53:52 a moment thank you very much yeah no
  Jonathan
53:54 It’s a very good question
53:56 at a great place were to come from the
54:00 this is a really really tricky question
54:03 because if you look at what people say
54:06 about sonnet writing in Elizabethan and
54:09 Jacobean England and every writer had a
54:11 batch of sonnets it was something you
54:12 had in your repertoire you will find
54:15 that some people describe sonnets as a
54:20 form of exercise a form of fantasy of
54:23 Giles Fletcher not John Fletcher Charles
54:25 Fletcher sort of says but who is my
54:27 beloved in the sonnets it might be a
54:29 real person it might not it might be the
54:32 spirit of poetry itself I’m addressing
54:33 so but then on the other hand there is
54:36 no doubt that many sonnets sequence do
54:39 seem to arise out of particular
54:42 circumstances so there is a mystery
54:44 around Shakespeare’s sonnets there is
54:47 still a debate as to whether when they
54:49 were published in 1609 they were
54:51 authorized or unauthorized and obviously
54:54 though there’s an element of scandal
54:56 that potentially attached to them when
54:59 they were reprinted in 1640 the gender
55:01 of some of the sonnets addressed of a
55:02 lovely boy was changed there addressed
55:04 her she instead of he but my gut
55:08 instinct any writer at some level makes
55:12 use of their experience but what great
55:15 art is about his transforming experience
55:18 into art my gut feeling is that
55:21 Shakespeare did have what I would
55:24 describe as a bisexual imagination and
55:27 that the sonnets are in many ways
55:30 reflecting that but the sonnets are
55:32 above all debates about the complex
55:35 nature of love and in particular the
55:37 sort of the tension between the
55:40 idealizing spiritual aspect of love
55:42 which is projected onto the lovely boy
55:43 and the more erotic and sexual aspect of
55:48 love projected onto the dark lady what
55:51 fascinates me about the sonnets and what
55:53 where I think I find the greatness of
55:54 the sonnets is in the way that you get
55:56 drawn into them and although they they
55:59 very very rarely seem to mention names
56:03 for example I mean they do at one point
56:05 say my name is will which maybe suggests
56:08 that the person who wrote
56:09 called William but unlike other sonnet
56:12 sequences of a time they don’t give the
56:14 name of the beloved they’re very
56:15 mysterious in that regard and I mean I
56:18 have to say I we talked about
56:19 agnosticism I am still agnostic as to
56:21 whether some of them were written for
56:24 the patronage of the Earl of Southampton
56:25 and some for the Earl William Herbert
56:29 the Earl of Pembroke or whether they
56:32 were all for Southampton all for
56:33 Pembroke there is a mystery about them
56:35 and but that’s where this is went to
56:37 come back in weight of a question about
56:38 whether we can have a debate where we
56:40 can certainly have a debate is we can
56:42 recognize that there are gaps and
56:44 uncertainties around many aspects of
56:47 Shakespeare’s life but so - there are
56:49 around the lives of so many other
56:51 writers of the time
 

Moderator

56:53 I must throw this wonderful question thank you so much to
56:55 Sir Mark Rylance it’s absolutely
56:57 brilliant to have a great actor here
56:58 this evening and I must offer the
57:01 question about the anti-Stratfordian
57:03 view of the sonnets to Alexander Waugh
 

Alexander

57:04 thank you I I mean the sonnet says
57:07 everybody here probably knows 154 poems
57:10 which is linked by theme and they’re
57:12 written in the first person
57:13 generally speaking the Stratford Ian’s
57:15 run him run him away from them they’re
57:18 actually terrified of them because the
57:20 first person is obviously quite a sort
57:21 of a courtier he’s addressing another
57:24 courtier and but I’m gonna confine my
57:26 remarks on the sonnets now to the
57:28 question that we’re here to debate is
57:30 William Shakespeare a pseudonym now I’ve
57:34 given you a great number of
57:35 contemporaries who say yes it is a
57:37 pseudonym
57:37 we haven’t actually heard from William
57:39 Shakespeare himself and he tells you
57:41 that really but it’s a pseudonym in
57:42 those sonnets if you follow the theme
57:45 that he’s talking about his name and his
57:47 person he says if you read this line
57:51 remember not the hand that writ it in me
57:55 each part will be forgotten my name be
57:58 buried where my body is as Jonathan
58:02 knows better than anyone here because
58:04 he’s written a brilliant book on it
58:05 Shakespeare was obsessed by Ovid and
58:07 this idea that you metamorphose you
58:10 actually turn you disappear and turn
58:12 into your works
58:13 now he’s just brought out this subject
58:16 absolutely
58:17 crazy saying that Shakespeare says in
58:20 the sonnets my name is will
58:22 no she Jonathan and I know is so
58:24 sensitive and so understanding of
58:26 Shakespeare even though he’s got the
58:28 wrong fellow but too stupid to suggest
58:31 that a poet of Shakespeare stature would
58:34 write a line as fatuous as my name is
58:37 will is completely bonkers is it
58:40 possible that Marlowe would write a poem
58:43 saying my name is Kris is it is it
58:47 possible but the Tennyson my name is Alf
58:50 or Spenser my name is ed no it’s not
58:55 happening and you have to look at this
58:57 in context and again it’s very weird
58:59 that I’m having to tell a major person
59:02 who understands English literature how
59:03 to look at this thing in context now
59:05 what does Shakespeare say he says my
59:08 name is will and then he says and my
59:12 will one an among a number one is
59:16 reckoned none then in the number let me
59:19 past untold I am very pleased to be able
59:23 to say that of all the people I’ve
59:25 brought forward to say that Shakespeare
59:27 is a pseudonym it’s very good to have
59:30 the man himself making it that plain
 

Moderator

59:32 thank you
59:35 [Applause]
59:38 it’s just to say it’s my name is it’s so
59:43 fat ewis is it almost as fat to us as
59:45 that poem which goes I been John across
59:50 for island song I been Johnson yes this
59:55 is vouchers did writes hi Ben Johnson
60:01 isn’t Shakespeare thank you
60:09 there’s a lot of discussion about oxfordians
60:12 ins and stratfordians and yet you
60:15 don’t want to say exactly who you think
60:17 he is if he isn’t the Shakespeare that
60:20 we think he is so could you Alexander
60:23 talk to us a bit more about the Earl of
60:25 Oxford I’m sorry I didn’t see the lovely
60:28 questioner but lovely voice very pretty
 

Alexander

60:31 I’ve made it III I’ve made it plain I’m
60:34 not here to talk about the Oxford and
60:35 I will come back and I will talk about
60:38 the own Oxford and I guarantee that I
60:40 would I will convince an audience of
60:42 this size that I’m correct about who
60:44 wrote this but I’m not here to talk
60:46 about this we’re trying to talk about
60:48 William SHAKSPER of Stratford was he a
60:50 writer or was he not and so far we
60:52 haven’t heard any of good evidence that
60:54 he was and there’s nothing from his
60:55 lifetime saying he was and it’s highly
60:57 improbable and implausible the evidence
60:59 that they’ve got I’m sorry thank you we
61:03 have questions at the front please thank
 

Question

61:08 you thank you if William SHAKSPER of
61:15 Stratford who was born and baptized as
61:20 Shakespeare who was married as
61:23 Shakespeare who died Shakespeare had
61:28 three children who were baptized as shax
61:30 pair who had seven brothers and sisters
61:34 who were all baptized as Shakspere if he
61:39 was the right of the place are you not
61:43 saying that he was actually using a
61:45 pseudonym himself
 

Jonathan

61:49 no because the point was people were
61:52 very erratic in the spelling of their
61:54 names at that time he he himself was
61:57 look at look at look no look I’m not
62:01 gonna look at you you need to look at
62:04 his let’s let’s look again at that we’ll
62:07 let’s ask ourselves why in that will he
62:11 is leaving morning rings to John Hemings
62:14 Henry Condell and Richard
  Alexander
62:21 It’s incorrect it’s incorrect what you’ve just said
62:23 people were actually very precise about
62:25 the way names were spelt and you look at
62:28 someone like Walter Raleigh and his name
62:29 is spelt four different ways drawing his
62:31 life and what they’re doing is it’s like
62:34 differencing in a coat of arms so in
62:36 fact there’s Walter Raleigh’s pulse as
62:38 we were used to spelling and that was
62:40 what his great grandfather when his
62:41 great grandfather died he moved up a
62:43 line and we have this with Edward de
62:45 Vere we’ve been talking about so that
62:46 the actual hold of the head of the
62:49 family will will will will will spell it
62:52 in a particular way so in fact what
62:54 you’re saying it’s actually very very
62:56 indicative that there is a problem that
62:57 Shaq’s misspelling but more than that in
62:59 half that’s something we haven’t
63:00 actually touched upon tonight is that
63:02 Shakespeare the writer has has a - in
63:06 45% of those quarters five times it’s
63:09 hyphenated in the first folio of 1623
63:13 shake - spear now the man from Stratford
63:16 never never used that and and he
63:18 wouldn’t I mean absurd idea if you’re
63:20 called Ramsbottom you don’t say Rams -
63:22 bottom is a silly and and but but
63:25 obviously what’s going on here is that
63:27 shake - spear is I’m afraid say a very
63:30 obvious it’s a very obvious pseudonym
63:33 because it refers to Pallas Athena who
63:36 is the patron goddess of playwrights as
63:38 we are told by Stubbs in 1583 as we are
63:42 told by gossin in 1582 as we are told by
63:46 someone called og that they’re all
63:47 complaining at the time that the modern
63:49 playwrights in the late 16th century are
63:52 being absolutely disgraceful because
63:54 they’re invoking the Greek god Pallas
63:57 Athena who was born from the head of
63:59 Zeus shaking
64:00 spear and it was her will that shook a
64:03 spear
64:04

Jonathan

64:05 Shakespeare like many things in
64:08 Shakespeare is a lovely witty joke at
64:10 his own expense indeed it’s a joke he
64:13 enjoyed so much that he went along to
64:15 the heralds office in order to get a
64:17 coat of arms for his family so they
64:18 could call themselves gentlemen and
64:20 chose to have a diagonal spear on his
64:23 coat of arms and then one of the offices
64:28 and the Herald’s officer wrote on the
64:30 application for the coat of arms shit
64:32 complaining that Shakespeare the player
64:35 was applying for a coat of arms
64:39 another of the heralds came back and
64:41 said no Shakespeare came from a very
64:43 respectable family in
64:45 stratford-upon-avon his mother was Mary
64:47 Arden who was related to the Arden’s who
64:50 were an important family and that man
64:52 who defended Shakespeare Shakespeare the
64:56 player Shakespeare of
64:57 stratford-upon-avon was called William
64:58 Camden who a year after that wrote a
65:01 book in which he said that William
65:04 Shakespeare was one of the greatest
65:05 writers of the time it’s a very
65:08 important piece of evidence that
 

Alexander

65:13 Yeah, well we’ve just heard there is someone
65:15 gasps a coat of arms that resembles his
65:16 name that’s called canting that’s very
65:18 common indeed we were also told that a
65:20 man called Camden says over here that
65:22 William Shakespeare was a great writer
65:24 and over here calls him the player very
65:26 important he obviously sees them as two
65:28 different people I’m sure we’re all
65:29 aware here that there’s an extremely
65:31 famous act in Canada who goes by the
65:34 name of Graham Greene who suggested here
65:36 I think as I understand it unclear is
65:38 that if I write over here about Graham
65:40 Greene jolly interesting Canadian actor
65:42 and then I write over here about the
65:44 English novelist the assumption is that
65:45 I assume the Graham Greene the Canadian
65:48 actor wrote our man in Havana well
65:50 that’s obviously nonsense and I don’t
65:51 and they’re two different people in
65:52 Camden was very aware of that and the
65:54 important thing about Camden very
65:56 important is Camden wrote a history of
65:58 Britain and he went to all the places in
66:00 Britain and he noticed
66:02 stratford-upon-avon in he writes about
66:03 stratford-upon-avon he said is a little
66:05 market town that owes all its
66:08 consequence to two people and they are
66:11 John De Stratford Archbishop of
66:13 Canterbury and who
66:14 clocked and whoops who’s missing
 

Jonathan

66:24 Others visited Stratford as early as 1618 1623
66:27 and 1626 and said that this town is
66:30 famous for one reason because the famous
66:32 William Shakespeare stuff
  Alexander
66:39 naughty naughty naughty naughty
66:41 invented
 

Jonathan

66:40 I will I will email you
66:44 Thursday’s tomorrow date 6 16 18 6 16 20
66:50 before 1623 because it was published in
66:52 1623 and another one a manuscript where
66:55 the hand belongs to the 1620s I’ll send
66:57 you the reference system
  Alexander (pompous and minatory. Ed.)
66:57 I want them on
66:59 my desk by tomorrow morning
 

Moderator

67:00 we only have
67:05 time for three more questions I’m sorry
67:06 so who is a burning issue could we get a
67:10 microphone to this lady here who’s been
67:12 wanting to ask for a long time
 

Question

67:16 In the plays of William Shakespeare there seems
67:19 to me to be such a great love of women
67:21 because he writes women so well and even
67:25 in the Taming of the Shrew there are
67:27 examples of women being educated by
67:30 tutors in the scenes I wonder how do you
67:33 reconcile the fact that William SHAKSPER
67:37 didn’t educate his daughter because
67:41 there’s an example of her writing where
67:42 she signs her name with an X which would
67:45 suggest she doesn’t know how to write
67:47 even her own name thank you
 

Jonathan

67:51 Mny many interesting late
67:54 interestingly men many people who could
67:57 sign their names did only sign with an X
68:00 um so that’s not evidence that she was
68:02 illiterate the important thing to
68:04 remember about Susana is that she was
68:06 married to a very learned doctor and on
68:08 her tomb it says she was a woman of
68:11 great wit wit means intelligence means a
68:15 kind of literaryness as great a wit as her
68:20 father
 

Alexander

h4>
68:25 sorry very briefly on the
68:28 daughters very interesting in The
68:31 Tempest
68:31 we have Prospero enormous pride he takes
68:35 in the fact that he’s educated his
68:36 daughter Miranda we have William
68:39 SHAKSPER Stratford’s daughter Judith who
68:42 signs her name in a little mark the
68:46 father John signs his name in a mark the
68:50 mother can’t write the daughter Susanna
68:53 is visited by a man called James Cook
68:56 who was embarrassed because she can’t
68:58 recognize her husband’s writing we have
69:01 a pedigree here an extraordinary
69:03 pedigree that goes illiterate illiterate
69:05 greatest writer in the world
69:06 illiterate I’m sorry I think you don’t
69:10 have to come from a literary family but
69:12 a we I don’t buy that
 

Moderator

69:16 question please thank you
 

Question

69:19 I’d like to ask you Kirsten going back to
69:21 the will that you mentioned that Enoch
69:24 Powell made who was a classical
69:27 philologist as you know was a
69:29 Shakespeare of Stratford doubter and he
69:32 points to the will he says that the
69:34 names of Hemmig and Condell that connects
69:37 the will to the First Folio
69:38 have been interpolated into the will and
69:42 while we’re on Powell Powell is who
69:44 probably knows the the the grandson oi
69:47 Manor is a grandson of a scrap metal
69:49 merchant and so forth so it’s not quite
69:51 right that whereas Alexander and the
69:53 Waughs might be interested in in love and
69:56 aristocracyI don’t think that Enoch
69:58 Powell was coming from the perspective
69:59 of of doubting Stratford on snobbish
70:03 grounds alone
70:06 [Applause]
 

Jonathan

70:08 Scholars have examined Shakespeare’s
70:10 will for a long long time for more you
70:12 know 100 years - at 200 years there
70:15 there are interleavings in the world in
70:18 particular the famous second best bed
70:20 isn’t interleaving but there is
70:23 absolutely no evidence that the Hemings
70:25 Condell Burbage the quest is interleaved
70:28 I’m afraid Powell great man but he was a
70:31 simply wrong about that
 

Alexander

70:34 No, it’s not interleaved it’s the wrong word what it
70:36 is is an inter lineal what he’s written
70:39 is between the lines and we don’t need
70:41 to argue about that it’s written in
70:43 between the lines and and when you write
70:45 something in between the lines of a will
70:47 then you should endorse it and there are
70:49 no endorsements on these things now I’m
70:51 not saying that that shacks beer
70:54 of StratfordI’m confident the shacks
70:55 Burt Stratford did have connections to
70:57 Hemings Hemings was someone who Wade
71:00 Cole and Wade will and stuff and they
71:03 would do businessman and they were
71:04 investing in theater I’m not denying
71:05 that but to say that we absolutely know
71:08 that the will wasn’t tampered with I
71:10 think is a little bit dangerous and I’ll
71:11 give you one piece of evidence that I
71:13 think I think he’s very strong namely
71:16 the William SHAKSPER of Stratford had a
71:18 friend called Hamnet Sadler and Hamnet
71:21 said his wife was called Judith and we
71:23 know they’re great friends and and
71:25 shacks burrow Stratford called his two
71:26 twins after them Judith and hamnet
71:29 Hamnet signs the will hamnet’ sadler was
71:33 an executor of that will and someone and
71:36 the name hamlet is in the text because
71:38 he’s left something and someone has
71:40 overwritten where it says Hamnet and put
71:43 an L to say Hamlet to make it sound a
71:45 bit more like Shakespeare so I do think there
71:47 is some evidence which needs to be taken
71:49 reasonably seriously that somebody has
71:51 tampered with that will now I’m not
71:53 going to say I’m saying it’s all a fraud
71:54 obviously but that is some evidence that
71:56 needs to be properly assessed and not
71:57 just thrown aside and said yeah it’s a
71:59 problem it’s a common item
 

Jonathan

72:01 Hamnet and Hamlet RE indeed variant spellings
72:04 They are
72:08 documents through documents in Stratford
72:10 records where Hamlet Sadler is Hamnet
72:12 Sadler and other ones where he’s Hamlet
 

Alexander

72:14 said yes and I wonder why and this is a
72:15 key what I’m asking well who’s put those
72:17 ELLs over the top of the ends this is
72:19 the problem
 

Moderator

72:25 A final question. we’re going to move to a vote so please
72:26 consider your positions
72:28 as I’m up first and them is something as
72:30 summing up afterward after the vote okay
 

Question

72:37 thank you well I thought the debate was
72:42 about was who wrote Shakespeare and
72:45 Alexander war I came to hear you make
72:49 the case for who wrote Shakespeare you
72:53 are the leading Oxfordian and I believe
72:57 a leading on Audion and I haven’t heard
73:00 anything about if Shakespeare didn’t
73:03 write checks / didn’t write Shakespeare
73:05 who did the only reason for asking that
73:07 question is you have a good alternative
73:10 candidate no-one says who wrote homer
73:13 but there is no alternative obviously
73:16 there is an alternative candidate and I
73:18 think you have chickened out Alexander
73:20 of making the case for Oxford and that
73:23 makes me think the case for Oxford is
73:26 weak
 

Alexander

73:28 I’m very happy for you to think the
73:34 case for ox for this weak if that’s what
73:35 you want to think because I haven’t
73:36 presented the case for ox so you can
73:37 think what you like about it the the the
73:41 the simple the simple fact of the matter
73:43 is I had no idea who was going to be in
73:45 the audience tonight
73:46 and there are some people for whom the
73:48 Shakespeare authorship question is a
73:49 very new thing now we have sentiment and
73:53 tradition on the side of Shakespeare of
73:54 Stratford that goes back many many years
73:56 and for many people it’s very difficult
73:58 to be told the sentiment and tradition
74:02 that you’ve had for many years is
74:03 actually wrong the facts are wrong and I
74:04 tell you what this guy did it all in the
74:06 same night you could see the problem I
74:08 had in my first 15 minutes just just
74:11 that
74:12 have time to show the huge amount of
74:14 evidence in Stratford checks but is
74:15 wrong to add on top of that oxford I
74:18 didn’t think it was going to work and
74:19 I’ve said and I said for the last time
74:21 I’m very happy to come back here I were
74:22 more than happy after this debate to do
74:24 an Oxford debate and and really hammer
74:26 that one home because it’s a great case
 

Jonathan

74:28 and and thank you and sorry is a key
74:36 moment the see well I have to say you
74:39 know but that’s our Title
74:41 the de Vere society are out in force
74:45 they’ve they’ve left bits of paper on
74:47 the seats they’re selling their books in
74:48 the foyer I mean mmm well maybe they
74:53 maybe Jonathan there’s been a
74:55 misunderstanding because I mean I was at
74:57 the very clear opinion that the emotion
74:59 of this debate was William Shakespeare
75:01 of Stratford did not write a single play
75:03 or poem that’s my understanding the
75:05 motion that’s exactly what I’ve been
75:06 doing this is what I was I was told by
 

Alexander

75:08 the so I don’t know what this is
75:09 who did that come clean who’s guilty
 

Jonathan

75:13 I do think lets you know when that let’s
75:15 come back to the you know the rules of
75:18 evidence the principle of Occam’s razor
75:21 you can really only start a counter
75:25 argument if you’ve got a good
75:28 alternative case because the all the
75:30 evidence all the evidence from the
75:33 period all those people at the time such
75:36 as Leonard Diggs such as George Buck who
75:38 associate Shakespeare with the place the
75:40 the idea though it wasn’t him for them
75:43 only comes later when people start
75:46 fantasizing about cryptograms and hidden
75:49 codes and conspiracies
 

Moderator

75:50 this is a move
75:52 towards the summing up and I want to
75:54 hear you continue with your argument
75:55 first I would like to so Jonathan baked
75:57 to some sum up his argument for three
76:00 minutes and then we will move to
76:01 Alexander
 

Jonathan

76:00 Well l don’t you think I’m going to
76:03 take three minutes out because I just
76:04 want to say something very very very
76:06 simple which is that in the end
76:09 everybody has a distinctive linguistic
76:13 register and as I said before one one of
76:18 the things that I think the the the
76:20 authorship debate has been very good at
76:22 is really
76:24 getting people working in a much more
76:26 sophisticated way on the authorship of
76:29 the plays in the period this used to be
76:31 done impressionistic Lee the first
76:33 person who thought that the Earl of
76:36 Oxford wrote to the works of Shakespeare
76:37 was a delightful Edwardian schoolmaster
76:39 called Jay Thomas Looney who who was
76:44 convinced and it was convenient
76:47 please don’t adroit it’s extremely rude
76:49 who was convinced that Delia bacon was
76:53 wrong but still convinced that
76:55 Shakespeare didn’t write Shakespeare so
76:56 he started reading plays and poems by
77:00 other people from the time to try to
77:02 find who was Shakespeare and he alighted
77:04 on the poems of the Earl of Oxford and
77:06 in an impressionistic way thought he saw
77:09 similarities with Shakespeare now what
77:12 has happened a hundred years old is that
77:14 the entire corpus of poetic and dramatic
77:19 literature of the age of Shakespeare has
77:21 been put onto databases so that we can
77:24 now work out authorship in a much much
77:28 more sophisticated more nuanced way
77:30 almost scene by scene we can see how
77:34 playwrights are collaborating with each
77:35 other everybody has their own linguistic
77:38 fingerprint and that seems to me to be
77:41 an enormous ly valuable tool but there
77:44 is still work to be done I mean there’s
77:46 you know there are there are plays
77:48 around the fringes of the Canon but we
77:50 still don’t know to what extent they
77:52 have a little bit of Shakespeare as well
77:55 as someone else. It now looks as though
77:56 it was Shakespeare not Ben Jonson who
77:58 wrote the wonderful additional mad
78:00 scenes in the revision of Kyd's Spanish
78:02 Tragedy&emdash;Hieronimo being mad again
78:04 Sir Mark or Sir Derek there would be absolutely
78:06 wonderful playing those scenes and they
78:09 as actors although they have their
78:10 doubts they I think in their gut would
78:12 know this is not Kyd, this is not Jonson
78:15 this is Shakespeare. So I just want to
78:17 leave you with&emdash;to remind you that of the
78:20 six hundred surviving plays from the
78:22 period, the only ones to mention the
78:25 counties of Warwickshire and
78:26 Gloucestershire&emdash;and course Stratford is
78:27 on the border of Gloucestershire&emdash;and if
78:30 you read the scene in Justice Shallow’s
78:32 orchard you have to know that’s written
78:35 by a cot soul
78:36 and then also this&emdash;that the local dialect
78:40 in inventories of&emdash;manuscript inventories
78:45 of people from Stratford-upon-Avon a
78:46 cake of wax is called a "keech"
78:48 Shakespeare uses that word. There’s a
78:51 distinctive term called "cradlecloth" in
78:53 which to wrap an infant, Shakespeare uses
78:56 that word. "Down", a soft feather, is "dowle"
78:59 rather than "down. Shakespeare uses "dowle"
79:03 "Dairy" is "dey". Shakespeare uses that
79:07 word. It’s that kind of little minute
79:09 local detail that means that much as I
79:13 love the debate I have no doubt William
79:15 of Stratford was the man
 

Alexander

79:20 okay in this is
79:26 a summing up so I’ll try and make it as
79:28 summing up but I did notice that
79:30 Jonathan introduced a little bit of
79:31 extra information there so I’ll just
79:33 I’ll just quickly squash that one Ros
79:36 Barber who’s a very very clever scholar
79:40 has been an enormously long essay in the
79:42 journal of early modern studies at
79:44 Stratfordian’s loved to say that
79:48 Shakespeare used Warwickshire words he
79:51 didn’t actually that that’s what’s
79:52 called wishful thinking or special
79:55 pleading Shakespeare used 31,000
79:59 different words of which 20 have been
80:01 identified by certain Stratford as
80:04 belonging to Warwickshire Rose Barber
80:05 went through every single one of those
80:07 21 after the other and showed quite
80:09 clearly that they were used by people
80:11 long before Shakespeare they had nothing
80:12 to do with Warwickshire or anything to
80:14 do with anything at all so I’m afraid
80:16 I’m not gonna accept that but I don’t
80:17 want to do this is rebuttal and
80:18 something I meant to be doing his
80:19 summing up so let’s let’s actually just
80:22 try to sum up for a second
80:25 Jonathan has brought up the matter of a
80:28 man who he thinks is hysterically funny
80:30 that he was called loony very
80:31 unfortunate if you’re born with a name
80:33 called loony and most people would be
80:34 kinda nice to someone who’s called loony
80:35 but never mind
80:37 Jonathan’s called Bate so I’m sure he’s
80:39 had some some suffering occasionally now
80:43 while he tries to squash loony and give
80:45 that sort of impression that any single
80:47 person who’s an ancestor at 14 is a
80:49 loony I only need to remind you that
80:51 some of the greatest people in the
80:53 history of our world and our fort and
80:56 our culture have doubted William
80:58 SHAKSPER of Stratford will Whitman who’s
81:01 probably the greatest American poet Rafe
81:03 Waldo Emerson who surely is one of the
81:05 greatest essayists Henry James who’s one
81:08 of the cleverest novelists there existed
81:10 Orson Welles our own Shakespearean
81:14 actors Sir Mark Rylance a Derek Jacobi
81:16 Sir John Gielgud these four people who
81:19 really understand Shakespeare Sigmund
81:21 Freud the founder of psychoanalysis says
81:24 it’s all rubbish guess who else is an
81:26 anti Stratford in one of our greatest
81:28 poets Ted Hughes did that appear in
81:31 Jonathan’s biography no whoops he swept
81:33 it under the carpet
81:34 what about Supreme Court Justice Sandra
81:37 Day O’Connor John Paul Stevens Supreme
81:40 Court as we’re talking about the highest
81:41 lawyers in the whole of the free world
81:44 now anyone whose mind is capable of
81:48 thinking independently will see the
81:50 evidence for what it is overwhelming and
81:52 will reach the same conclusion as so
81:54 many great minds when faced with the
81:57 same evidence namely
81:58 that William of Stratford could not
82:02 possibly have written those plays now
82:06 unfortunately we know that an
82:08 independent mind is not given to
82:10 everyone however I’m confident this
82:14 evening there are enough people in this
82:16 room with an independent mind who can
82:18 jump outside that little box of
82:20 sentiment and tradition and vote to pass
82:23 this motion thank you
82:27 [Applause]
 

Moderator

82:33 and they’re the judgment moment a final
82:37 vote please if you believe that
82:40 Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare would you
82:42 raise your hand now Shakespeare wrote
82:48 Shakespeare exactly thank you
82:50 78 I think they’ve remained loyal to
82:54 their faith who believes that someone
82:58 else wrote the work that is a strong
83:05 majority it was a hundred and seven when
83:07 we came in and it possibly is a few Mona
83:10 who of the don’t knows the 86 don’t know
83:14 is amongst us who now would go for
83:17 Shakespeare Shakespeare writing
83:19 Shakespeare some some I would say maybe
83:25 10 and who of the don’t knows would now
83:29 think someone else wrote Shakespeare
83:35 just about though every one man one vote
83:39 or one woman one vote I think around the
83:43 same so in a moment of Concord to end
83:47 this fraught and fascinating evening we
83:51 have we’re all brought here by our love
83:53 of Shakespeare now we have a basically a
83:55 tie which is a wonderful
84:00 Applause 84:21  

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