Shakespeare And History
May 30, 2012 by Special To Personal Liberty
A few¬†months ago, a public library rejected my free talk about William Shakespeare. The¬†talk was based on my newly published book, Shakespeare¬†Suppressed: The Uncensored Truth About Shakespeare and His Works¬†(2011). It¬†is a history book, filled with contemporary facts about Shakespeare with¬†more than¬†600 footnotes.
Was my¬†talk rejected because people are no longer interested in a man who wrote plays more than¬†400 years ago? No, that can‚Äôt be the case because people¬†continue to attend¬†Shakespeare festivals all over the United States. And new Shakespeare¬†biographies are published every year and people are buying¬†them. And¬†Stratford-upon-Avon, the supposed¬†birthplace of Shakespeare, is still the second or third most popular town visited¬†by tourists in England. No,¬†Shakespeare is as popular as he ever was.
So why¬†would this public library reject my free historical talk, complete with slides?¬†A library representative told me over the phone that my talk would¬†offend a¬†staff member at the nearby Shakespeare theater. I wasn‚Äôt allowed to know this¬†person‚Äôs name. I was also denied the simple courtesy of getting this¬†in writing,¬†after making several requests.
How odd¬†that a theater company‚Äôs staff member could block a public library event! Why should¬†his or her opinion about a Shakespeare history book matter?
But,¬†alas, this is not an unusual reaction. Theater personnel and English professors¬†often get testy whenever the Shakespeare authorship question is¬†brought up,¬†which is the theme of my book. They routinely ridicule those who justly declare¬†that there is no evidence that the Stratford Man was a writer¬†during his lifetime.
Apparently, it doesn’t bother them that only scant¬†posthumous evidence connects the Stratford Man with the great author.¬†They also don‚Äôt seem¬†to care that the Stratford Man never¬†claimed he was the great author, and that his family and descendants didn‚Äôt¬†either. And when he died in 1616, no one¬†noted it, even though the Shakespeare¬†plays and poems were highly regarded and extremely popular.
What¬†are the facts about Shakespeare‚Äôs literary career? Two hundred years of scholarship has turned up nothing. Did¬†Shakespeare leave behind one letter or anything in his handwriting? No, yet¬†letters from many now obscure Elizabethan writers do survive.
My¬†simple explanation for these blanks is that ‚ÄúWilliam Shakespeare‚ÄĚ was someone‚Äôs¬†pen name. I say this because many contemporaries implied,¬†in print,¬†that the¬†name was an alias and that the great author was a nobleman. These are the¬†documented facts that I lay out in my book. And the great author¬†openly¬†described himself as a highly ranked courtier in his sonnets and in his¬†little-known poem¬†‚ÄúA Lover‚Äôs Complaint.‚ÄĚ
Furthermore,¬†the Shakespeare plays reveal someone who was super-educated in rhetoric, classical¬†languages, history, medicine, music, plants, the¬†aristocracy and more. He knew¬†warfare and sea fare, and he certainly traveled throughout Italy. But there is no¬†accounting of how he acquired any of this¬†knowledge or experience.
Mark¬†Twain found the Stratford Man‚Äôs case for authorship impossible. What convinced¬†him was Shakespeare‚Äôs in-depth knowledge of the law. How¬†could someone who¬†supposedly never attended law school know obscure legal terms? Several former¬†and current Supreme Court justices also doubt the¬†Stratford Man was the great¬†author.
Despite¬†this, the public is mostly unaware that there is an authorship controversy,¬†thanks to biased gatekeepers in universities and theaters. They also¬†don‚Äôt know¬†that most Shakespeare biographies are comprised of 95 percent fiction due to¬†this lack of relevant documentary information. Evidently, the¬†so-called¬†Shakespeare experts prefer to maintain the status quo rather than be bothered¬†by the truth.