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Poll Results

Which is the silliest Oxfordian argument?

62 voters cast 311 multiple choice votes. The number of choices increased as the poll went on from 3 to 7. 

I expected lots of options to be added and about half a dozen were and probably fared badly through not being present for the life of the poll. The Prince Tudor 2 Theory would certainly have come higher had it been there from the beginning. The winner was a clear winner in the end, selected by 66.7% of voters and is also a welcome winner because it relates to the core idea on which Oxfordianism is founded. 

J. Thomas Looney

looneycvJ. Thomas Looney, born into a humble background, was a school teacher in the not very stylish and remote, highly unfashionable town of Gateshead.  A savage, cultural wasteland in the icy north-east of England—and we're talking about today! 100 years ago, graduates were measures for whisky in Gateshead. There's no proof there were any books at all north of the River Tees in 1899 when young Looney went into exile in the even smaller community of Low Fell. Like Will's own, not a promising background for a worldbeater, you might think.

Devout when young, Looney lost his faith and became caught up in a short-lived cult religious sect called the Church of Humanity. The Church embraced positivism and the work of man. In particular, the positivists liked the work of Shakespeare.  Looney himself funded a bust of the Bard for the Church's place of worship.

Collaborateur

fletcherJohn Fletcher is a black hole for Oxfordian theorists. Too close and the whole Oxfordian shebang disappears in a wail of deplorable sucking noises. It's a good job his early life isn't as well documented as Shakespeare's or there wouldn't be any Oxfordian case at all.

He's a bit of a man of mystery until his 27th birthday in 1607 which was shortly followed by the appearance of The Woman Hater, co-written with Francis Beaumont. The two dramatists became a team and wrote many of the most successful plays of the decade following Shakespeare's retirement. The fact that Oxford was dead and gone before Fletcher appears on the scene is a fatal embarrassment to the idea that the plays were complete before 1604.

Reverse Engineering

FFAnyone who worked in the electronics industry in the 1980's will remember the early days of reverse engineering. Computer equipment designed in high tech facilities in Silicon Valley, Glen or Fen would be painstakingly analysed and disassembled, its code rebuilt into copies somewhere in the Far East or South America. The problem for the reverse engineers was that there is a missing step in the path they seek to tread. The code written by the designers is written in compiled and stripped down to machine code and therefore cannot easily be understood. Working out which bits of code do what is a laborious process of recovering the original design. By looking at what they can see and testing what it does, reverse engineers eventullay recreate the original desig. And eventually, new counterfeit machines are the result. All manner of fake consumer electronic products then turn up in the product's home markets. Chasing the counterfeiters was hopeless. Sorting out the problem took years.

The building of the First Folio was a forward engineering process. The plays had all been performed, their parts learned by actors. Publishing them involved collecting bits written down, bits recreated from memory, some edited by the author before publication, some legitimate copies, some, like Jaggard's counterfeit versions of 1619 quite definitely not. Some were built from prompt copies with their accurate exits and entrances, some from shorthand copies, with lists of characters at the start of a scene. Things that were clearly missing could be replaced or sought in other contemporary versions. A missing speech recovered here, a stage direction added there. Painstaking work carried out over the course of many years.

Who Wrote Woody Allen?

woody

Saxophonist George Coleman handed the world a clue to the WAQ when he said 'the only time he made me laugh was when he picked up a clarinet.' Clearly not talking about Allen Konigsburg.

For orthodox critics it is easy. The name on the scripts and the film credits is ‘Woody Allen’ therefore it must be the stand-up comedian and actor Allen Konigsburg who occasionally used ‘Woody Allen’ as a stage name who wrote them. Case closed. Nothing to see here. Move along. Yet for anyone with an open mind, the ‘Woody Allen’ authorship question is an area of fruitful study, which may yet illuminate some of the most baffling areas of recent history.

On the face of it; ‘Woody Allen’ wrote ‘Woody Allen’ seems a straightforward, even simplistic proposition. And yet…and yet there are a number of questions that Allenists resolutely ignore. For example;

Statosphere

Shakespeare Clinic

"Judging from their surviving writing, Shakespeare was not just 100 times better than Oxford, he was also 80 times more productive. Shakespeare wrote about 3,500 lines of verse a year for twenty years, most of them immortal; Oxford, in the Shahan-Whalen scenario, wrote about 40 lines of woebegone juvenilia a year for ten years, then, for fifteen years, wrote nothing at all that he or anyone else could be bothered to save––but then, at forty-three, supposedly burst from his cocoon to become a literary supernova overnight. "

Eliott and Valenza

Play the dating game yourself.

Elliott and Valenza's data isn't the only game in town but their work is the most extensive and those who have followed their lead have come to identical conclusions. The Shakespeare Clinic they operated through the late 1980's and 1990's departed on an Oxfordian trajectory and the early results did lean towards plausible cases for the three front runners, Marlowe, Bacon and de Vere. They were joyously embraced by the alternative cadre. Horribile dictu; pencils got sharper, computers got faster, the battery of tests extended, differentiation improved, sophistication and accuracy went up through the roof, and disaster struck.  They went from hero to zero with Oxfordians almost overnight.

Their tests, they concluded, 'eliminated The Earl' as a candidate. Eliminated. They eliminated another 56 candidates too, including all the favourites.

De Vere revealed

skullExcitement is crackling in the cold February air as journalists wait to discover the identity of a skeleton unearthed in a collection of abandoned supermarket trollies found in a disused car park in the backward English Midlands town of Leicester (pron. Lie-Kess-Stare).  

Although the science of DNA analysis was invented in LyeKestHair and it was years before labs elsewhere were able to produce meaningful results, Oxfordian scholars have been at the forefront of the investigation. DNA nanobiologists admit "we can tell you everything you need to know about the cells but linking them into historical biography using literary methods is something that needs a specialist.

John Florio

Florio's translation of MontaigneWhat is in a name?  A lot, in some instances.

Of all of the specious, uninformed, deranged, foolishly asinine, evidence-free, baseless speculations of the anti-Shakespeare crowd, the only one I have even a modicum of fondness for is Giovanni Florio.  To state his name that was is to encapsulate why he has never gained ground in the Authorship debate:  He’s FOREIGN – or at least foreign-ish!  And he’s NOT NOBLE!  But if you accept the arguments of the Oxenfraudians regarding how one proves authorial identity, there is a lot to recommend Florio.  Not anything like evidence, mind you.

Riot gear

coriolanus

Coriolanus’ date
Is 1608
 

“ONE of the beauties of the Oxfordian theory is that it brings to life about two-thirds of the canon otherwise tending to be ignored; Coriolanus is a perfect example of this.” So begins an extraordinary Oxfordian article seeking to detach the late play Coriolanus from Will’s authorship and drop it into the Earl’s lap.

In just my lifetime, Coriolanus has been played by Lawrence Olivier, Paul Scofield, Richard Burton, Anthony Hopkins, Ian McKellen, Ian Richardson, Toby Stephens, Robert Ryan, Christopher Walken, Morgan Freeman, Colm Feore, Alan Howard and most recently, filmed in a stunningly modernised version by Ralph Fiennes.

Rude Oxfordians

Dear Oxfraud,

The Hogarth RoundaboutMy husband no longer shows the slightest interest in starting a conversation with me, let alone showing any kind of sexual interest.

After spotting an open copy of Ovid's Metamorphoses in Hogarth's Rake's Progress, he spent two years proving (quite successfully in my eyes) that the 17th Earl of Oxford was responsible for Hogarth's entire oeuvre. In fact his connections between the island in The Tempest and the island on the A4 known as the Hogarth Roundabout are really quite compelling. When he presented his findings at The 85th Vatican Council, Oxfordianism's CentrePiece Academic Symposium, someone called Mark Anderson rubbished his ideas and someone called Stritmatter issued what he called an ex cathedra statement saying that work dating from earlier than 1386 or later than 1749 could not be considered as Oxford's. Furthermore, he said he had a PhD and told my husband he was mad.

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