Guest Ryan Murtha Posted July 26, 2022 Share Posted July 26, 2022 This is a paragraph on Anthony Bacon from the late Brian McClinton's Shakespeare Conspiracies, which addresses other candidates like Oxford, Marlowe etc. I thought it was worth posting here, as Anthony very likely did contribute to the canon (this possibility is discussed in Simon Miles's talk on Merchant of Venice). Of particular note is the issue of Anthony's passport, with names from LLL. Anthony Bacon The first piece of evidence in his favour is a letter to him from Nicholas Faunt in 1583 in which he thanks Anthony for his ‘enclosed sonnets’. No sonnets under his name have survived. Another letter, from his mother's chaplain, pastor Wyborn, wished him 'success in literature'. Part of his time in France was spent at the court of King Henry of Navarre. In 1917 the passports of Anthony and three of his entourage were discovered in the British Museum. They are signed ‘Biron’, ‘Dumain’, ‘Longaville’ and ‘Boyesse’. The fact that they are four of the characters in Love’s Labour’s Lost, also set in Navarre, clearly links the play with Anthony's visit. It does not prove that he wrote the play. It rather points us again in the direction of his younger brother Francis, who had visited Navarre earlier and with whom he assuredly discussed his travels on his return to England in 1592. At any rate, this passport evidence is important and so far has elicited no satisfactory explanation from orthodox scholars. The next item brings Anthony into close physical proximity to William of Stratford. In April or early May 1594 Anthony took up lodgings in London’s Bishopsgate Street, almost next door to the Bull Inn, where plays were performed. The records clearly show that William Shaksper, then one of the actors in the Burbage company, was also lodging in Bishopsgate at this time. Did Anthony meet William and did he arrange for the Stratford man to act as a go-between for the plays? Two facts, however, are sufficient to discount Anthony Bacon's sole authorship of Shakespeare. He died in 1601, so on this ground alone his claim is even weaker than that of Oxford. The second disclaimer is his style as displayed in his letters, many of which are published in Daphne du Maurier's Golden Lads (1975), a biography of the Bacon brothers. Reading them makes it obvious that Anthony lacked the poetry and intellect of Francis. Examples from both brothers are quoted in the book and it is apparent that, while Francis is forever clothing his thoughts in the most splendid dress, Anthony is content to write in a dry, matter-of-fact style. Despite the eulogy of 'La Jessée', there is not the slightest hint that he was capable of writing great poetry. On the Northumberland Manuscript front cover are scribbled the words 'Anthony comfort and consorte'. This may imply that Anthony was a minor partner with Francis in the writing of works under the Shakespeare name. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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