Internal evidence

Although computerised stylometric analysis has advanced considerably, modern attribution techniques are not dependent on it. Nor does it disagree with more traditional methods.

Today, the whole of Early Modern English literature is online and available in a single addressable database for research and comparison. Modern scholars have access to new methods of 'big-data' analysis using immensely powerful hardware which has conveniently become cheap enough to sit on their desktop.

Still in its infancy, however, the science of stylometry has not replaced the gentler art of internal analysis. Scholars have long felt able to discern Shakespearean or Marlovian qualities in unattributed work and conversely, whether Will's hand is discernible in plays attributed to other playwrights. The subject is rising in importance in every English Faculty. Although it might appear to succour the doubters, who are indeed seeking to make capital out of the disagreements which inevitably ensue, they are doomed. Wherever you look, however hard, with whatever technology or approach, there isn't the smallest amount of support for the idea that the canon wasn't written by the man from Stratford we know as Will Shakespeare.


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.