If you are not acquainted with the anti-Stratfordians, your state is the more gracious, for it is a vice to know them. They are the lunatics who maintain that all the people who said, four hundred years ago, that Shakespeare wrote his own plays, were lying, as part of a massive cover-up of... well, they aren’t very clear about what it was a massive cover-up of, but it must have been a really big cover-up, because that’s the only explanation they can think of for why there is no evidence of it. You can find plenty of information, and the reasons that we know why Shakespeare was Shakespeare, at David Kathman and Terry Ross’s Shakespeare Authorship page.
In the meantime, here is some of the collected wisdom of anti-Stratfordianism, from several years of their postings on news:humanities.lit.authors.shakespeare, their personal websites, and in one very regrettable case, a Ph.D. thesis that ought never to have been accepted.
- The 17th Earl of Oxford was Queen Elizabeth’s bastard son.
- The 17th Earl of Oxford was Queen Elizabeth’s lover.
- The Earl of Southampton was their bastard son.
- The 17th Earl of Oxford was the Earl of Southampton’s lover.
- If it were ever revealed that Oxford wrote Shakespeare’s plays, all four of the above facts would come out.
- The plays of Shakespeare were written by John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford (1442–1513)
- The Earl of Southampton, being fond of cross-dressing, used to hang around the theatres hoping to play female roles. He was given a few such parts and was apparently quite convincing as a girl. You can tell all this by the fact he has very long hair in one portrait.
- Great writers always have university degrees.
- Shakespeare was a teenager when the first book was printed in English.
- AIDS is a hoax.
- The secret of Shakespearean authorship is protected to this day by a conspiracy of the Knights Templar and the Freemasons.
- Francis Bacon discovered the secret of immortality, and is still alive to this day.
- Great writers never come from the middle class.
- The New York Times is co-owned by Caroline Kennedy.
- Francis Bacon wrote Moby Dick.
- All fiction is thinly disguised autobiography.
- Elizabethan England was a Stalinist tyranny.
- The number 19 is remarkable, because it is both the sum of two consecutive numbers and the difference of their squares.
- Actors are too busy to write scripts.
- Shakespeare wrote Don Quixote—in the original English.
- The moon landings were a hoax.
- Anne Hathaway was William Shakespeare’s mother.
- Susanna Shakespeare was William Shakespeare’s wife.
- Anyone who ever sued to recover a debt must have been a professional moneylender.
- Francis Bacon was Queen Elizabeth’s bastard son.
- In fact, Queen Elizabeth had six or seven bastard children.
- If the dowager Countess of Oxford referred to her second husband as
Mr. Tyrellin a letter, it is reasonable to assume that she was already married to him at the time, as wives often referred to their husbands in this way.
- John Edward (the TV psychic) really talks to the dead.
- King Lear is a comedy, because Cordelia is alive at the end.
- If a word meant something in Victorian Scottish slang, it must mean the same thing whenever it appears in Elizabethan literature.
- Only one of Shakespeare’s plays is set in a foreign country other than Italy.
- Vergil (70 B.C.–19 B.C.) lived before Herodotos (484 B.C.–ca. 425 B.C.)
- If you discover a secret code that
provesthat Francis Bacon wrote Shakespeare, but it also
provesthat he wrote The Song of Hiawatha, it doesn’t matter, because everyone knows that Francis Bacon didn’t write The Song of Hiawatha.
- The plays of Shakespeare have an agenda: royalist propaganda.
- The plays of Shakespeare have an agenda: anti-royalist propaganda.
- Even though we know that Stratford-on-Avon had a free school, and even though we know it was operating at the time, and even though we know that John Shakespeare was an alderman, the fact that we don’t have the student records means that we are obligated to believe that William Shakespeare couldn’t have attended it.
- John F. Kennedy was assassinated on the orders of Aristotle Onassis, because Kennedy had welshed on a drug deal. Lyndon Johnson and Howard Hughes were other victims of the same conspiracy.
- Pasting together phrases twenty chapters apart to make a new sentence constitutes
- It was OK to publicly accuse the Earl of Oxford of abandoning his post in wartime, or of keeping a 15-year-old boy as his love slave, or of farting in the royal presence, but to accuse him of writing plays would have meant instant arrest, torture, and execution.
- Mary Queen of Scots was Spanish.
- Mary Queen of Scots was Elizabeth’s sister.
- Mary Queen of Scots was Elizabeth’s half-sister.
- The author of the plays was a Roman Catholic, and William Shakespeare wasn’t.
- William Shakespeare was a Roman Catholic, and the author of the plays wasn’t.
- The line:
Bonos dies, Sir Toby: for, as the old hermit of Prague, that never saw pen and ink, very wittily said to a niece of King Gorboduc,
That that is is;so I, being Master Parson, am Master Parson; for, what is
- Shakespeare’s poems are never ambiguous.
- Shakespeare’s poems are always ambiguous.
- The Special Theory of Relativity has never been experimentally confirmed.
- The Special Theory of Relativity is entirely
- Einstein was unfairly given credit for the Special Theory of Relativity because of his Byronic good looks.
- Such constructions as,
If it were,are slang.
- The Moors conquered the Hunnish Kingdom of Iberia.
- The Scots did not come from Ireland.
- Only someone born into the nobility can understand Shakespeare’s plays.
- The 17th Earl of Oxford translated The Aeneid at age 7.
- The 17th Earl of Oxford wrote A Midsummer Night’s Dream at age 9, and starred as Puck.
state of truthin Latin.
- The plays of Shakespeare were created by the government of Elizabeth I because they realized that the coming age of mercantilism would require that English be a more prestigious language.
- In Shakespeare’s day, the knowledge of how to sail a ship was a state secret.
- Old English was spoken in some shires until the nineteenth century.
- Shakespeare wrote in Old English.
- There is no such language as Old English.
- If A’s daughter’s husband has a bastard child by another woman, it is A’s descendant.
- Nobles in the court of Elizabeth spoke in blank verse as a matter of course.
- Spoken English has no grammar.
- Romeo and Juliet is entirely in blank verse.
- Pre-Exilic Hebrew was a Romance language.
- English prose style is based on Jerome’s Vulgate.
- The Geneva Bible is based on Jerome’s Vulgate.
- The majority of English literature before the Civil War is written in "floundering" English.
- If Shakespeare’s plays do not make explicit mention of certain scientific discoveries, then it is reasonable to assume that he was dead by the time those discoveries were made,
- Sonnets 153 and 154 were written when the poet was seven years old.
- The plays of Shakespeare must have been written years earlier than they actually were, because otherwise the Earl of Oxford, busy being dead at the time, wouldn’t have been able to write them.
- Leslie Howard must have been an Oxfordian, because, in a movie (Pimpernel Smith) his character, a secret agent, professes the Oxfordian theory while pretending to be harmless fool.
- Similarly, Vladimir Nabokov must have been an anti-Stratfordian because he parodied some of the excesses of Shakespeare eccentrics, including anti-Stratfordians, in a novel.
- Jane Austen was a Freemason.
- Many common English words are derived from Icelandic.
- The English prefix
un-is derived from Latin.
- Astrology shows that the author of Shakespeare’s works could not possibly have been born on William Shakespeare’s birthdate.
- When Othello remarks that he will
prove(test) Desdemona’s fidelity, this is a clear case of the use of the scientific method, which only Sir Francis Bacon understood at the time.
- The English of the 16th century could not speak English fluently, because it was not taught in school.
- Rivers were not used for travel before the invention of steamboats.
- Americans are incapable of perceiving bawdy puns.
- Sonnet XII is about the 1566 murder of Daniel Riccio (the secretary of Mary Queen of Scots).
- When Bernardo tells Horatio and Marcellus,
Sit down awhile,they sit down on some cannon. We know this because there are cannon on the roof of Kronborg Castle in real life.
- The vast majority of the people of Great Britain have always spoken Modern English, going back to the stone age.
- Similarly, France has always been spoken in France, Spanish has always been spoken in Spain, and Italian has always been spoken in Italy. Latin is an artificial language, like Esperanto, or Pitman Shorthand.
- The Earl of Oxford invented metrical verse.
The following items were passed along to me by David L. Webb of Dartmouth.
- Newton (died 1727) engaged in a rancorous priority dispute with Hegel (born 1770).
- Thomas Seymour (who was conveyed to the Tower in January of 1549 and executed in March of that year) fathered the Earl of Oxford (born 12 April 1550) on the young princess Elizabeth Tudor, thereby saddling the future Virgin Queen with a pregnancy of over 14 months’ duration.
- And it’s even worse than that—recently, the same writer claimed that Seymour was conveyed to the Tower after it had become clear that he had impregnated the girl, which lengthens the putative gestation period to more like 16 months.)
- The emperor Claudius (reigned from A.D. 41) banished Ovid (dead by A.D. 18) from Rome.
- Even more bizarre, it seems that Tomis, Ovid’s place of exile on the Black Sea coast of what is now Romania, is in Yugoslavia.
- “Perhaps one of [one individual’s] funniest historical (and hysterical) assertions is the following (it may be too verbose to quote and it is certainly too demented to do justice to in a paraphrase, but as Dirac said, one must try):
Other than the guilds, nothing Masonic existed until the English and their allies defeated the Ottoman Empire in Vienna.
About eight years later the Ottomans allowed the first English tourists into Egypt where the English saw things ‘masonic’ for the VERy first time.
Two rather unstable personalities, Newton and Milton, got access to a few pieces of hieroglyphs and in trying to translate them (the discovery of the Rosetta Stone would have to wait for Napoleon) inadvertently invented the RIDICULOUS Masonic Movement.
- “Those who are not blessed by [the author’s] unshakeable confidence in [these] hallucinations have always been compelled to rely upon more mundane conventional history, in which the English were not even among the combatants in the siege of Vienna. The chronology in [this] version is particularly funny, since Milton (who died in 1674) had already been dead for nearly a decade when the Ottoman defeat at Vienna took place (in 1683).”
- The character Osric does not appear in the First Folio version of Hamlet.
- Albert Michelson was awarded the first Nobel Prize in physics. (As is both well known and easy to check, there were nine Nobel Laureates in physics prior to Michelson.)
- Aubrey (born 1626) was a “corroborative eye witness” to the Earl of Oxford’s (died 1604) sodomy of boys in his entourage.
- The volume A Book of Homage to Shakespeare, edited by Israel Gollancz, was to be presented to Queen Victoria at the Shakespeare tercentenary, despite work on that volume having begun only in 1914, over a decade after Victoria’s death in 1901.
- Medievals didn't know the difference between lies and truth, because Francis Bacon hadn’t yet overturned Aristotelian logic, which couldn't differentiate between truth and lies, making the medieval era into a virtual Liar’s Culture.