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Christie Waldman

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  1. It has been brought to my attention that on Weds., May 22, 2024, the Oxfordians are planning a talk on Zoom, "Who Are Those Guys: Marlowe and Bacon, and Was One of Them Shakespeare?" with their "Blue Boar Tavern regulars Bonner Cutting, Dorothea Dickerman, Alex McNeil, Phoebe Nir, and special guest bartender, Tom Woosnam." Time: 8 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Pacific time. Tom Woosnam reviewed E. Winkler's book in the "Special Edition" of the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Aug. 11, 2023. I criticized Woosnam's review in my paper, "Challenging the Lie in a Free Society: Even in Shakespeare Authorship Studies?" Oct. 20, 2023 (pp. 3-4), https://sirbacon.org/waldman/Waldman-to-SirBacon-Solzhenitsyn-10-20-23.pdf. It seems important to remember that, just because something bears a label or calls itself something does not mean it actually is what it calls itself. Also, the truth itself is non-partisan. Here's what I wrote in "Challenging the Lie": On August 11, 2023, a “Special Issue” of the Journal of Scientific Exploration was published. It was edited by (Oxfordian) guest editor Don Rubin, current president of the purportedly neutral Shakespeare Authorship Coalition, which frames the “Shakespeare authorship controversy” largely in the context of Edward deVere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. The journal can be read online for free. Although Bacon’s image is one of five featured on the cover of the issue, a search of the entire issue revealed just seventeen references to “Bacon.” Most were references to Bacons other than Francis. Those which were to Bacon were in passim. (fn 6). If I am not mistaken, every author who contributed to this issue except James Houran, the editor-in-chief, and Brian Robert Laythe, the managing editor, was a writer affiliated with the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship. Also, there are a number of candidates for Shakespeare authorship who are not represented in this issue, even in the bibliographies. It is true that token references to (Baconian) Mark Twain’s Is Shakespeare Dead? (1909) were made. The previous “Special Issue” on Shakespeare authorship which Rubin edited (for Critical Stages, The IATC Journal) had presented more of a mix, with neutral articles, articles by Oxfordian authors, and an article on John Florio included. (fn 7) The “Special Issue” included a book review of Winkler’s book by Tom Woosnam who seemed unaware that the Earl of Oxford had died in 1604. He claims, without proof, that the case for Oxford is scientifically based, while the case for Bacon is not. He writes, “Francis Bacon is not a serious candidate these days except for [among?] Baconians.” (fn 8). There are so many things wrong with that statement, even aside from its grammar. First, factual truth is not determined by a popularity contest, a panel of experts, or the group with the loudest voice. Truth is not partisan; it has an existence independent of consensus. Second, what is the criteria for assessing who really wrote the works of Shakespeare? Are the most intelligent, informed people who have honestly, seriously studied the matter able to voice their opinions freely, or is there still a taboo in place? Third, how would Woosnam or, for that matter, any Oxfordian who claims that “the Oxfordians are in the lead” even know what opinions others privately hold? fn 6: Don Rubin, ed., Special Issue, JSE 37:2 Summer 2023 (featuring Oxfordian writers Don Rubin, ed., D. L. Roper, Alexander Waugh, Katherine Chiljan, Sky Gilbert, Earl Showerman, Elizabeth Waugaman, Bonner Cutting, Ramon Jiminez, Kevin Gilvary). See, e.g., William Leahy, ed., My Shakespeare: The Authorship Controversy (Brighton (UK): Edward Everett Root, 2018) (“Experts examine the arguments for Bacon, Neville, Oxford, Marlowe, Mary Sidney, Shakspere, and Shakespeare”). fn 7: Don Rubin, ed., “The Question That Won’t Go Away: Did the Man from Stratford Really Write the Plays?” Special Topic II, Critical Stages, The IATC Journal, no 18 (December 2018), https://www.critical-stages.org/18/special-topic/ (with articles by Diana Price (a neutral writing), the late Thomas Regnier (Oxfordian), Keir Cutler (a neutral writing), Hank Whittemore (Oxfordian), Gary Goldstein (Oxfordian), Michael Vaϊs (on John Florio), Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance (a neutral writing). I had submitted a piece on Bacon for the issue, but Rubin declined to publish it because it was “not theatrical enough.”). fn 8: Tom Woosnam, Book Review, “Shakespeare Was a Woman and Other Heresies,” in “Special Issue,” edited by guest editor, Don Rubin, Journal of Scientific Exploration [JSE], vol 37, no 2 (Summer 2023), 199‒301, at 301. * * * What notice will "the Oxfordians" take of the Francis Bacon Society Edition of N. B. Cockburn, The Bacon Shakespeare Question (repr. 2024 [1998]). In 2008, Derran Charleton called the book "excellent" in an Oxfordian publication (Derran Charleton, "Cambridge University Implications of 'Polimanteia,'"The Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter, ed. by Earl Showerman, vol 44, no 1 (Spring, 2008) (pdf available). Although he got the title wrong in the text, he did get it right in his "Works Cited"; see pp. 7-8. That same article also referenced as authoritative Peter Dawkins' book, The Shakespeare Enigma (London: Polair Publishing, 2004) several times (pp. 5-6). Unfortunately, however, while citing Dawkins on the significance of "Cambridge connections," Charleton failed to mention that Bacon, too, had Cambridge connections, for he had studied at Cambridge University for several years in his youth. Thus, Charleton did not tell the whole truth, because he left out pertinent information that went against his theory of Shakespeare authorship. Let us see what notice the Oxfordians take of the Francis Bacon Society's recent reprint of N. B. Cockburn, The Bacon Shakespeare Question. Let us hope they will strive to be objective and acknowledge its merit.
  2. William Stone Booth in Subtle Shining Secrecies talks about the gallows device on 2 pages, 31 and 67. I don't always follows the ciphers discussions, since I don't understand them well (so forgive me if I'm repeating something you all already know), but I had found Booth's book persuasive when I got it from the library and now have a copy of it. Here's what he says on p. 31. "The gallows, or to give it a French name the potence, is often used by Shake-speare, and, as will be seen, sometimes in connection with some use of the verb to hang. The famous hang-hog story here lends its point, and is told on page 67. The gallows acrostic device is so called because of its shape. Examples of the gallows are: That T S hang H H A o A A Turn g T That End quote. He goes on to give a second example. On p. 67 the device is in beginning to The Tempest. Here's the first paragraph: "Device No. 10 exposes a subtle shining secrecy writ in the margent of The Tempest, at the foot of the first column and on the word unnecessarily carried over to the second column.The form of the first part of the device is in an inverted gallows, and it expresses the words "hang-hog," a nod to the observant. It will be noted that by misplacing the stage directions after, instead of before, the words "A Plague," and by unnecessarily carrying over the word "upon" to the next column, the name of Bacon has been exposed on the typographical corners of the first column." Then he proceeds to tell the story of Sir Nicholas Bacon and Hogge. He says, "The wit in the remark not only depends on the need for "smoking" the Hogge, but also on the Hog-latin of the pun in suspendere meaning to hang, which when cut into its sound components gives sus and pendere; Sus, a pig, and Pendere, to hang. Hence Mistress Quickly's assurance that "Hang-Hog is Latten (hog-latin) for Bacon, I warrant you." It is hardly necessary to point out the double entente of the text on which the gallows is to be seen. The Boatswaine is intended in time to become well hanged, or in other words, to become good Bacon, as he does actually by the completion of the typographiccal device, which I have rubricated for the reader's guidance." (etc.) I had thought maybe this book would have come into the public domain by now, but maybe not. My copy was published in 1925. He says in his intro. that Subtle Shining Secrecies contains his best examples. He spent fourteen years on the book. I think there's a lot of good material in it. I recommend it!
  3. Presumably the Prince calls him Woolsacke because Falstaff is fat, like a cushion. I like Francis's constant "Anon, anon, I come anon." Could suggest anonymous. The only use of "woolsack" in Shakespeare and it's in that scene.
  4. James Shapiro in Contested Will does at least list in his bibliographical essay resources on alternative candidates. For Bacon, he lists the first edition of Brian McClinton's book, The Shakespeare Conspiracies (2007, the 2d being published by Shanway Press in Belfast, 2008) and Francis Bacon's New Advancement of Learning, SirBacon.org (p. 282). Baconiana gets three page listings in his book's index. He gives about equal space in his book to Bacon as he does to Oxford. In these ways, his book is superior to that of a certain journalist. Yes, he's a Stratfordian, and he leaves out important aspects of the case, as Larson noted, and writers such as Constance Pott in the past and Peter Dawkins today. Shapiro admits that he found George Greenwood's 1908 The Shakespeare Problem Restated useful (Shapiro, p. 282), but I don't think he had read Greenwood's three Baconian essays (including the Conclusion) in the Smithson volume he edited which Eric Roberts pointed out to us here in the forum. In those essays, Greenwood wrote that he found the case for Bacon entirely plausible. He just didn't think it was proven. I thought Shapiro's treatment of Delia was more sympathetic than we sometimes see. Shapiro in Contested Will may have misled others into thinking the Baconian movement was dead (see p. 149) or of historical interest only--if they did not also read his p. 139: "The case for Francis Bacon's authorship of the plays continues to find new supporters to this day, though they are fewer in number, less prominent, and less vocal" (p. 139). Fewer than what? Baconians of the past? Oxfordians? Okay, both were true thirteen years ago; but we are still here, and growing, with this wonderful forum in which to discuss "all things Bacon."
  5. Thank you, Light-of-Truth! It was a detail that had never registered with me before. I was going to look up Virginia Fellows' book to order it, and I came across this, "Bacon and Shakespeare Cyphers" by Virginia Fellows, here at SirBacon: https://sirbacon.org/links/fellows.html. Worth reading!
  6. Barry Evans has three pieces on Shakespeare authorship. I left a comment at part 3. "Doubting Shakespeare, Part 3: Whodunnit?" North Coast Journal, May 9, 2024. https://www.northcoastjournal.com/life-outdoors/doubting-shakespeare-part-3-whodunnit-29689357. Here's part 1 https://www.northcoastjournal.com/life-outdoors/doubting-shakespeare-part-1-stratfordians-vs-anti-stratfordians-29560434 . Part 2 https://www.northcoastjournal.com/life-outdoors/doubting-shakespeare-part-2-problems-29624904
  7. Thanks, Light-of-Truth. After Brian McClinton passed away in 2022, I put a short review up on Amazon, too. Amazon does not allow reviews put up there to be reposted anywhere else, according to its stated rules, so I'll just give the link. https://www.amazon.com/Shakespeare-Conspiracies-Untangling-400-year-Deceit/product-reviews/1903497361
  8. Thank you, Eric. That was a pleasant, informative read. According to the Gray's Inn website, Bacon was one of the first to become a Bencher (a position of highest honor and leadership) at Gray's Inn (just four years after he was admitted to the bar), without having first been a Reader. He gave his first Reading in 1588 and his second in 1600. (from the Grays Inn website, "history, members, biographies, Francis Bacon," "history timeline, Francis Bacon" and "history, past members, benchers," cited in my book, Francis Bacon's Hidden Hand, p. 109). https://www.graysinn.org.uk/the-inn/history/ The Cravath article says "The Readings were lectures delivered by the members of the Society upon their election to the position of Bencher, the highest honor in the Society (Cravath article, 19-21, at 20). I had not realized there was quite so much revelry and masqueing going on as is reported here. I had heard of the famous 1594 "Christmas revels," of course; but according to this article, the revelry began "as early as All Hallow's day" for the 1594 revels reported in the Gesta Grayorum. It is notable that Francis Bacon was acknowledged "in his time [as] the chief spirit in all revels and masques" (Cravath article, p. 20. Cravath is an old, prestigious New York City law firm. ttps://www.cravath.com/our-story/history/index.html
  9. Yes, our Francis Bacon Society is a Phoenix, is it not? Rising strong once again! Standing on the shoulders of worthy, accomplished, individuals who had become convinced of the truth.
  10. I read this as it was Bacon's philosophy and teachings that might well have been published under his (Bacon's) name or another's. Although it could have been written more clearly so we knew who "his" was meant to refer to.
  11. I have been to the FBS's new online bookstore. It looks very nice! The Francis Bacon Society should be rightly proud of its recent accomplishments! I'm sure we're all proud of them. One major accomplishment is the FBS's recent reprinting of late British barrister N. B. Cockburn's authoritative The Bacon Shakespeare Question: The Baconian Theory Made Sane (for which I wrote the foreword). This book has been out of print for some time. If you have not read it, you should! Cockburn goes out of his way to be objective in presenting the cases for Bacon (part 1), alternative candidates (part 2), and the "Stratford man" (part 3). In his introduction, he states that he has two main goals, "to cut a swathe through all the nonsense, to get at the points that matter both for and against the Baconian hypothesis, and to state them fairly and accurately," and "to cover, as far as posible, the whole field of the Bacon-Shake-Speare controversy" (Cockburn, pp. 6 and 7). Bacon-Shakespeare research has progressed since Cockburn first published his book in 1998. May it continue to progress! Still, what he has done is present a valid case that cannot easily be dismissed. Yes, his personal view was that there were no codes or ciphers in the Shakespeare works. Others disagree with him on this point. Since it can be a divisive point, it is significant that he found so much other evidence, 740 pages worth, without relying on codes and ciphers evidence. He covers evidence familiar to us (that Bacon was a concealed poet, had a strong interest in the theatre, the Northumberland Manuscript, the Promus, Manes Verulamiani, etc.) and unfamiliar (such as the "Charles Best" poems). The book has 740 pages, with 42 chapters and 5 appendices. And so, I hope you will order a copy. It will take you awhile to read and absorb all the information. In my opinion, it will be money well spent.
  12. So, is it the interpretation of the phrase "built a library" that is at issue? Does it depend upon whether one interprets the phrase literally or figuratively? I have been reading it figuratively, I suppose, which would allow one to "build a library" of books, even if it just meant accumulating books and housing them in an already-existing chambers (which was pretty generous of him). I think, though, you may be pointing out that you don't believe Sir Nicholas built an actual building for the housing of books at Gray's Inn. Is this what I have not been understanding? Weren't you just at Gray's Inn? So you would know whether or not there was an actual building erected or not.
  13. Puttenham invented the word anagram, and there's a lot of evidence pointing to Bacon's being the real author of "The Art of Poesie."
  14. Yes, and (as you know), that was followed by Oliver Kamm's long May 2 piece, "The Paranoid Style in Shakespeare Denlalism, Quillette, https://quillette.com/2024/05/02/the-paranoid-style-in-shakespeare-denialism-winkler-edward-de-vere/. In response, Diana Price's posted the following at her own website which Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship reposts. https://shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/diana-price-responds-to-oliver-kamms-criticism-in-quillette/. (Price claimed to be neutral on authorship candidates in her book, "Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography," although she said her father was an Oxfordian.) To comment at Quillette, you have to subscribe. "The spirit of liberty is that which is not too sure it is right." --American judge Learned Hand, "The Spirit of Liberty Speech," 1944.
  15. "in the chambers of Sir Nicholas Bacon": Sir Nicholas had chambers at Gray's Inn, as a member--just as Bacon did later. Perhaps the best people to ask on this would be the people at Gray's Inn. It was at Gray's Inn that they would have done the mooting and stored the treasure chest.
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