The Title Page

to

Edmund Spenser's Fairie Queen

 

According to Alfred Dodd

from his book The Marriage of Elizabeth Tudor:

Click image to see enlarged title page and the first page of the Faerie Queen.

"The title page embodies the tragedy of Francis Bacon's life. On the left is the Earl Leicester. The bear and staff identify him. Opposite is Queen Elizabeth with the lion rampant and the scepter at her side. These figures represent 'supporters' in heraldic parlance and sustain between them a shield bearing the arms of Francis Bacon, a boar. It is a little boar, a baby one. It is on a leash, a slip round its neck the end of it towards the Queen, indicating his youthful destiny was connected with hers.

In the bottom oval we again see the boar (Bacon), now fully grown, regarding half defiantly, half-longingly, a rosebush in full flower, the Tudor emblem, inherited by Elizabeth from the House of York. "I breathe not for thee," is the meaning of the scroll, "Non tibi spiro" which the rose bush says to the flower. Note that "rose" is specifically italicized in the opening sonnet to show the poet's connection with the Tudor rose.

All hope of "succession" had passed when this emblem was published (1611). Earl of Leicester had been dead twenty-three years (1588) and Elizabeth eight. In their day this revealing title page would have been a very unsafe venture. It passed, when published, as any other picture page, pointless of veiled meaning.

It carries the numerical signature 33 (Bacon) in three places. The word Bacon adds to 33 by B=2,A=1,C=3,O=14,N=13. This is the simple numerological cipher. These cipher messages were placed in the books either by Bacon or his select contemporaries to reveal to the initiated the presence of concealed information.

The author is termed an "Arch-Poet", a reference to the "Royal Arch" of Masonry of which he was the founder. 33 is also a sacred number that enters into the Higher Degrees of Masonry and the Rosicrucian Ritual.

The title page to "Spenser's Works indicates that the author was a member of the Rosicrosse Literary Society under whose auspices the book was published."

The emblem that appears on the very first page of the Faerie Queen,the Archer Head,(displayed below) is also the same image that appears in the 1611 King James Bible, Bacon's 1620 Novum Organum, Sir Walter Raleigh's 1614 History of the World (which Bacon greatly assisted in) and the 1623 Shakespeare Folio.

See Edmund Spenser : The Man on the Stair  

More on symbols on Shakespeare Pages