Shakespeare And History
May 30, 2012 by Special To Personal Liberty
A fewÂ months ago, a public library rejected my free talk about William Shakespeare. TheÂ talk was based on my newly published book, ShakespeareÂ Suppressed: The Uncensored Truth About Shakespeare and His WorksÂ (2011). ItÂ is a history book, filled with contemporary facts about Shakespeare withÂ more thanÂ 600 footnotes.
Was myÂ talk rejected because people are no longer interested in a man who wrote plays more thanÂ 400 years ago? No, that canât be the case because peopleÂ continue to attendÂ Shakespeare festivals all over the United States. And new ShakespeareÂ biographies are published every year and people are buyingÂ them. AndÂ Stratford-upon-Avon, the supposedÂ birthplace of Shakespeare, is still the second or third most popular town visitedÂ by tourists in England. No,Â Shakespeare is as popular as he ever was.
So whyÂ would this public library reject my free historical talk, complete with slides?Â A library representative told me over the phone that my talk wouldÂ offend aÂ staff member at the nearby Shakespeare theater. I wasnât allowed to know thisÂ personâs name. I was also denied the simple courtesy of getting thisÂ in writing,Â after making several requests.
How oddÂ that a theater companyâs staff member could block a public library event! Why shouldÂ his or her opinion about a Shakespeare history book matter?
But,Â alas, this is not an unusual reaction. Theater personnel and English professorsÂ often get testy whenever the Shakespeare authorship question isÂ brought up,Â which is the theme of my book. They routinely ridicule those who justly declareÂ that there is no evidence that the Stratford Man was a writerÂ during his lifetime.
Apparently, it doesn’t bother them that only scantÂ posthumous evidence connects the Stratford Man with the great author.Â They also donât seemÂ to care that the Stratford Man neverÂ claimed he was the great author, and that his family and descendants didnâtÂ either. And when he died in 1616, no oneÂ noted it, even though the ShakespeareÂ plays and poems were highly regarded and extremely popular.
WhatÂ are the facts about Shakespeareâs literary career? Two hundred years of scholarship has turned up nothing. DidÂ Shakespeare leave behind one letter or anything in his handwriting? No, yetÂ letters from many now obscure Elizabethan writers do survive.
MyÂ simple explanation for these blanks is that âWilliam Shakespeareâ was someoneâsÂ pen name. I say this because many contemporaries implied,Â in print,Â that theÂ name was an alias and that the great author was a nobleman. These are theÂ documented facts that I lay out in my book. And the great authorÂ openlyÂ described himself as a highly ranked courtier in his sonnets and in hisÂ little-known poemÂ âA Loverâs Complaint.â
Furthermore,Â the Shakespeare plays reveal someone who was super-educated in rhetoric, classicalÂ languages, history, medicine, music, plants, theÂ aristocracy and more. He knewÂ warfare and sea fare, and he certainly traveled throughout Italy. But there is noÂ accounting of how he acquired any of thisÂ knowledge or experience.
MarkÂ Twain found the Stratford Manâs case for authorship impossible. What convincedÂ him was Shakespeareâs in-depth knowledge of the law. HowÂ could someone whoÂ supposedly never attended law school know obscure legal terms? Several formerÂ and current Supreme Court justices also doubt theÂ Stratford Man was the greatÂ author.
DespiteÂ this, the public is mostly unaware that there is an authorship controversy,Â thanks to biased gatekeepers in universities and theaters. They alsoÂ donât knowÂ that most Shakespeare biographies are comprised of 95 percent fiction due toÂ this lack of relevant documentary information. Evidently, theÂ so-calledÂ Shakespeare experts prefer to maintain the status quo rather than be botheredÂ by the truth.