At least one Stratfordian scholar claims Bacon privately disavowed the idea he was a poet, and, seen in the context of Bacon's philosophy, the "concealed poet" is something other than a dramatic or narrative poet. A mainstream historian of authorship doubt, , asserted that the "essential pattern of the Baconian argument" consisted of "expressed dissatisfaction with the number of historical records of Shakespeare's career, followed by the substitution of a wealth of imaginative conjectures in their place."
This web site is for the intelligent nonspecialist who doesn't knowwhat to make of these challenges to Shakespeare's authorship. Oxfordianbooks can be deceptively convincing to a reader who is unaware of therelevant historical background and unused to the rhetorical tricks used byOxfordians. Our aim is to provide context where needed, exposemisinformation passed off by Oxfordians as fact, and in general show thenonspecialist reader why professional Shakespeare scholars have so littleregard for Oxfordian claims. We know from experience that we are notlikely to convince any Oxfordians to change their views, but we hope thatother readers will find something of value here. We will be updating andadding new material as time permits, and we welcome any comments orsuggestions.
Baconians shakespeare authorship essay
My second objection to Professor Wells’ blog post concerns the near-complete lack of interest traditional Shakespeare scholars have in reading new books on the authorship question – even while writing their own book(s) explaining why authorship skeptics have it all wrong! Using myself as an example, I self-published a book introducing a new Shakespeare authorship theory in the fall of 2011, “The Apocryphal William Shakespeare.” With the exception of an unusually open-minded UC Professor who exemplifies the best of the scholarly tradition, I haven’t been able to find a single traditional Shakespeare professor willing to read and review my book for more than 20 months, despite receiving generally excellent reviews on Amazon from complete strangers, and writing to more than 100 respected Shakespeare scholars. This group includes Professor Wells, Dr. Edmondson, Prof. James Shapiro, and the Stratfordian commenter Tom Reedy. The taboo surrounding the Shakespeare authorship question is so strong that it prevents reasonable debate.
Baconians have claimed that some contemporaries of Bacon and Shakespeare were in on the secret of Bacon's authorship, and have left hints of this in their writings. "There can be no doubt," said Caldecott, "that Ben Jonson was in possession of the secret composition of Shakespeare's works." An intimate of both Bacon and Shakespeare – he was for a time the former's stenographer and Latin interpreter, and had his as a playwright produced by the latter – he was placed perfectly to be in the know. He did not name Shakespeare among the sixteen greatest cards of the epoch but wrote of Bacon that he "hath filled up all the numbers and performed that in our tongue which may be compared or preferred either to insolent Greece and haughty Rome so that he may be named, and stand as the mark and of our language." Jonson's First-Folio tribute to "The Author Mr William Shakespeare",[...] contains the same words, stating that Shakespeare is as good as "all that insolent Greece or haughty Rome" produced. According to Caldecott, "If Ben Jonson knew that the name 'Shakespeare' was a mere cloak for Bacon, it is easy enough to reconcile the application of the same language indifferently to one and the other. Otherwise," declared Caldecott, "it is not easily explicable.".By the end of the 19th century, Baconian theory had received support from a number of high-profile individuals. showed an inclination for it in his essay . expressed interest in and gave credence to the Baconian theory in his writings. The German mathematician believed that Shakespeare was Bacon. He eventually published two pamphlets supporting the theory in 1896 and 1897. By 1900 leading Baconians were asserting that their cause would soon be won. In 1916 a judge in Chicago ruled in a civil trial that Bacon was the true author of the Shakespeare canon. However, this proved to be the heyday of the theory. A number of new candidates were proposed in the early 20th century, notably , and , dethroning Bacon as the sole alternative to Shakespeare. Furthermore, alternative authorship theories failed to make any headway among academics.Bacon was the first alternative candidate suggested as the author of Shakespeare's plays. The theory was first put forth in the mid-nineteenth century, based on perceived correspondences between the philosophical ideas found in Bacon’s writings and the works of Shakespeare. Later, proponents claimed to have found legal and autobiographical allusions and cryptographic ciphers and codes in the plays and poems to buttress the theory. All academic Shakespeare scholars but a few reject the arguments for Bacon authorship, as well as those for all other alternative authors.