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The view from the inside

John Weever and John Davies are two contemporaries who reported on the reputation of Shakespeare/Shakspere without contorting and cutting him in twain. Both are commended for reporting on Sh’s accomplishments in verse and neither condemned for exposing him as not him who writ it.

Both placed him within the writing scene, printshops and theatres, acknowledging in turn, other hardworking dramatists and their patrons and sponsors. Neither suggested it was actually someone else though both are being used as such by the Conspiracists. These two are eye-witnesesses to precioussss or the true identity of William Shhhhhh.

In fact they treat the author of the alluded works as one. Furthermore he’s gentle, witty and hony-tongued. Words repeated by Meres and easily found in the anguished, pain-filled wit of some of the sonnets. Mellifluous is the word you seek. How and why he did it is inconsequential. But Sh’s works show progression and maturity as any artist’s progression and maturity should show if practiced over 20 years.

Not all Sh wrote was a hit in his time. We don’t even know if all the plays were performed at least once. More than half we know, as they were already purchasable from the bookstall in St. Paul’s Churchyard. If you were to be a fly-on-the-wall in Elizabethan London and guaranteed to see every strata and sub-strata of Society: St. Paul’s churchyard is the place to be that fly.

We do know that from 1597 Shakespeare’s name on a quarto or octavo would be a selling point. His name in the next 10 years will also be purloined by several other writers under which to publish and hopefully sell. The only person duped here is the reader. And the writer, doubly so if it was an other than Sh.

A block quote from Giles E Dawson is in order:

The scholar has no axes to grind. He is not eager to prove his own hypotheses correct, but rather to find whether they are correct or not. He is ever ready to reevaluate and reinterpret his evidence and to discard one hypothesis in favour of a better. When he uncovers a fact that does not square with his hypothesis he neither shuts his eyes to it nor tries to explain it away nor trims it to the facts.

Ernst Hongimann and Eric Sams. Both Stratfordians, both not fully accepting of each other within their corresponding Orthodox biographical folds, both anti-conspiracists for Irwin Leigh Matus’ reasons as found in the latter’s book, Shakespeare: IN FACT.

Eric reviews Ernst’s book dealing with the so-called Lancashire connection in Sh’s biography. You can see if you follow the link why the orthodox don’t need conspiracists in their life when the level of disagreement is this strong.

Look at John Weever who wrote epigrams in general and specifically wrote a sonnet-length epigram “ad gulielmum shakespeare”. Now this Lancashire lad (being one mesel ahm dead proud e were) managed a literary life in London and as far as i know had no connection to Oxford, Marlowe or Bacon.

Plus gentle reader he confirms as a contemporary our gentle, honey-tongued, witty Will as the one who wrote Venus and Adonis, Julius Caesar and his Sonnets among others. He was a fan of our man Will.

Weever’s work was printed by Valentine Simmes. Simmes or Sims printed in Quarto (Q):


1597 Q1 Richard 2nd,
1597 Q1 Richard 3rd,
1598 Q2 Richard 2nd
1598 Q3 Richard 2nd
1600 Q1 Henry 4th, pt. 2,
1600 Q1 Much Ado About Nothing.
1603 Q1 Hamlet, (a ‘bad’ quarto)
1604 Q3 Henry 4th, pt. 1

Close enough to know the man who wrote them, you’d think? He certainly knew and published other contemporary dramatists.

But wait it gets better the links he provides to the Heskeths and the Hoghtons and the Stanleys, and the whole War of the Roses Derby-loving examples in Love’s Labours Lost, as the school of the night. (1594 may be a bit late for LLL)? The connection with the owner of the Mermaid Tavern and the North recorded en passant by Leslie Hotson holds another clue.

The Blackfriars Gatehouse purchase confirms long time links between Shakespeare and the North. The Annotator had also mentioned the Northern connection. Messrs Lubbock and Keen wrote The Annotator during the 2nd WW. what a brilliant book that was! But unfortunately untrue.

Keep looking I say! Bring on Sir Henry Neville and Sir Fulke Greville and Orksy. Some day someone will turn up some absolute evidence. But don’t believe their hype! Do yourself a favour in the meantime and keep reading his plays and poems.

Shakespeare had examples of nobility before he went to London. Manners and pomp and circumstance were a main feature of Elizabethan England as they had been for centuries.

Stratford was not a backwater hick town. It was a major market town close to the city of Warwick inhabited by its very own Earl of Warwick, whose ancestor Richard Neville was a King Maker.

There were the landed gentry Lucy’s who supposedly caught Shakes and held him for his deer-stealin’ just feedin’ the family escapades which led him to escape to London to ‘scape a whipping.

All the anecdotes collected by early biographers taken together and supported by later discoveries bolstering their verity do in the end add up to something like a real breathing human. Unfathomable and easy to project moron status onto, but hey give the guy a break. Literacy isn’t as exalted as the Conspiracists make it out to be.

These plays and poems of his do reveal a seeming biography, peopled by people and characters who occur and re-occur throughout stratty-boy’s life. Nobody of any candidacy would put Winter’s Tale before The two Gentlemen of Verona, nor Julius Caesar before Titus Andronicus. You can experience that by reading them all and giving your first impressions. Historians and scholars do it by looking to their first mention, performance or publication.

Sir Fulke Greville’s biography speaks for itself and yet has given him status as one of the pretenders to Shagsbird’s second best bed. Nonetheless a Baron and within Sh’s ken, or knowledge for those that dinnae ken ken.

Add to that this projected stint in Lancashire, (i know fully blasted by Robert Bearman etc., but i want to believe. ‘My love is like a red, red rose’.). History is not mystery, it is commonplace and in the end the truth will out. Come out come out, you shakespearean moles, you must to the archives to seek preciousssssss…

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