The Shakespeare Authorship Question: Useful Links
Having written a novel exploring the Shakespeare authorship issue, I’m conscious of having entered a uniquely contentious field – but also one which may be unfamiliar to many. As a result, I thought I’d collate a few links for those wishing to explore the subject in more detail.
As I’ve said elsewhere, my interest in the authorship is non-partisan – it’s the controversy itself that fascinates me – so this selection covers all sides (and there are many) of this exceptionally animated debate.
The Shakespeare Authorship Page – a tremendously straightforward, uncluttered resource from David Kathman and Terry Ross, ‘dedicated to the proposition that ‘Shakespeare Wrote Shakespeare’.
The Simple Case for Shakespeare – J. M. Pressley’s measured explanation of his support for Shakespeare looks to Occam’s Razor for resolution, arguing that, for want of any definitive evidence, the ‘simplest explanation is usually the correct one’.
60 Minutes with Shakespeare – the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s response to the controversy sparked by Roland Emmerich’s pro-Oxford Anonymous in 2011, inviting 60 high-profile guests to have their say on the authorship issue.
Rational Wiki – a robustly-written account of the authorship controversy from the wiki site dedicated to the ‘refutation and analysis of anti-science and crank ideas’.
The Place 2 Be: Who Wrote Shakespeare? – a diverting Q&A takedown of the various alternative authorship theories, albeit somewhat in need of a 21st century makeover.
Real Shakespeare – along with a detailed reading of the Sonnets, Ian Steere explores some of the shadier sides of Shakespeare’s biography, regularly cited by anti-Stratfordians, and argues that they in fact strengthen Shakespeare’s claim.
Was Oxford Shakespeare? Computer-Aided Analysis – from Kathman and Ross’s website (above), a specifically anti-Oxfordian summary of widely-cited computer analyses conducted in the early 1990s by Ward Elliott and Robert Valenza, showing a decisive mismatch between the styles of the alternative candidates and that of ‘Shakespeare’s’ plays.
The Shakespeare Authorship Coalition – a Californian charity devoted to explaining why Shakespeare’s claim is questioned, and inviting interested parties to sign a ‘Declaration of Reasonable Doubt’ on the matter. In so doing, the hope is to legitimise the issue in academia.
The Shakespearean Authorship Trust – formerly known as the Shakespeare Fellowship and Shakespearean Authorship Society, the SAT is a charity dedicated to promoting and, if possible, resolving the question of who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays and poems. Among its trustees is Mark Rylance, arguably the finest Shakespearean actor of his generation.
Shakespeare’s Unorthodox Biography – website supporting Diana Price’s book of the same name, which is regarded as one of the foremost anti-Stratfordian texts of recent times, offering a non-partisan explanation of the case for an authorship debate.
The Shakespeare Authorship Roundatable – a long-standing California-based authorship group, which prides itself on welcoming all points of view.
The Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre – based at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, the SARC is devoted to furthering discussion of the authorship issue in academic circles, and currently has a strong leaning towards the Oxfordian case.
Rogues, Vagabonds and Sturdy Beggars – a step-by-step introduction to the Shakespeare authorship debate, with a good amount of literary and historical context along the way.
Bard Wars – an entertaining and intelligent Fortean Times piece by Jerry Glover exploring the debate in the wake of Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous.
The Shakespeare Oxford Society – a New York-based membership group dedicated to ‘researching and honoring’ the True Bard – ie. Edward de Vere – with over 500 adherents and annual conferences which have been going strong for over 35 years.
The Oxford Authorship Site – an online repository for numerous documents relating to the Earl of Oxford and William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon, compiled by prominent Oxfordian Nina Green to support the claim that Edward de Vere authored ‘Shakespeare’s’ plays.
The Shakespeare Fellowship – a North American Oxfordian society, which regards itself as the natural successor to the first Shakespeare Fellowship (established by Thomas J Looney, the first Oxfordian), occasionally working in partnership with the Shakespeare Oxford Society.
politicworm – a large, superbly-organised website by the New York-based artist and scholar Stephanie Hughes, providing detailed background on the authorship question, while advocating the Earl of Oxford as the most likely candidate.
The De Vere Society – a UK membership organisation which champions the Earl of Oxford’s candidacy through meetings, newsletters and research. The De Vere Society Library is currently housed at Brunel University, home of William Leahy’s Shakespeare Authorship Studies course.
Shakespeare’s Bible – Professor Roger Stritmatter was awarded a PhD for correlating annotations in Edward de Vere’s Geneva Bible with Shakespeare’s plays. This site features details of that work, plus associated news and background on the authorship debate.
The Monument – Hank Wittemore’s site provides a reappraisal of Shakespeare’s sonnets from an Oxfordian perspective, supporting his 900-page magnum opus on the subject ‘The Monument’, as well as a stage-show on the same.
The Oxfreudian – for a psychoanalytic take on the authorship issue, Dr. Richard M Waugaman’s website provides a series of links to articles and reviews he has written on the subject, with an Oxfordian focus.
Sir Francis Bacon’s New Advancement of Learning – Lawrence Gerald’s site celebrates the life and work of Sir Francis Bacon, and offers a comprehensive summary of the evidence supporting Bacon’s claim as the true author of ‘Shakespeare’s’ plays and poems.
Shakespeare Authorship: Bacon vs De Vere – one of several web pages on the subject by Richard Allan Wagner, who argues passionately against the Oxfordian cause, largely in favour of Sir Francis Bacon.
The Cryptographic Shakespeare – a monograph compiling the different codes and ciphers in Shakespeare works which give away the identity of the ‘concealed author’, Sir Francis Bacon.
Francis Bacon as Shake-speare – a collection of documents and essays from Bacon’s life which purport to back-up his claim to Shakespeare’s plays and poems, albeit with little explanation of exactly how.
The International Marlowe-Shakespeare Society – a highly accessible site from the recently-founded Marlovian collective, which collects evidence supporting Marlowe’s claim, and aims to establish him as the only viable alternative author of Shakespeare’s plays and poems.
The Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection – a very active, neatly arranged blog supporting the work of the International Marlowe-Shakespeare Society and its associated activities.
Peter Farey’s Marlowe Pages – a clear-sighted collection of articles celebrating Marlowe’s genius, and also advocating the ‘highly probable’ idea that Marlowe’s death in 1593 was faked, and that he in fact went on to write the works we now know as ‘Shakespeare’s’.
The Marlowe Papers: Research – website of Dr. Ros Barber, whose PhD was the first on the authorship in the UK, containing plenty of background research and information supporting her acclaimed novel-in-verse The Marlowe Papers
The Marlow Studies – this Marlovian library is maintained by Cynthia Morgan, and dedicated to Marlowe’s long-time champion Dolly Walker-Wraight (A D Wraight), whose works figure prominently in the selection available online
The Marlowe Society – founded in 1955 by Thomas A. Bushell, who was sympathetic to the views of Calvin Hoffman (the pioneer of the Marlovian theory), the Marlowe Society’s chief aim is to celebrate the works of Christopher Marlowe per se – though it is open-minded on the Shakespeare authorship question, welcoming reputable research advancing Marlowe’s candidacy.
The Mary Sidney Society – a somewhat perfunctory website for the US-based society, containing a concise overview of the case for Mary Sidney having written Shakespeare’s works, as well the obligatory overview of the anti-Stratfordian case
Shakespeare Authorship Question – Jonathan Star’s site is makes the case for Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke, as the author of Shakespeare’s plays, with a detailed dissection of Ben Jonson’s Eulogy – traditionally the strongest piece of evidence in the Stratfordians’ arsenal
The URL of Derby – John Raithel’s well-indexed site comprehensively outlines the case for William Stanley, Earl of Derby, complementing established Derbyite texts with research of his own.