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Spearshaker – a Film about the Secret Life of Francis Bacon


A Phoenix

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Spearshaker in an epic historical script for a film, trilogy or series about the Secret Life and Times of Sir Francis Bacon. The script is the culmination of over 30 years historical research into this extraordinary and elusive man. It covers his enigmatic life and the secret aspects of his legacy:

* The lost, last Tudor, son of Elizabeth the ‘Virgin’ Queen
* The true author behind the immortal name Shakespeare
                        * The leading light and inspiration behind the Rosicrucians, a secret fellowship devoted to a                            Universal Reformation of the Whole World.

Spearshaker Productions Website Coming Soon with a blog exploring all aspects of Francis Bacon’s Life and Times: 

1) People - Dramatis personae – the key people in Bacon’s life

2) Places - The Locations - home and haunts and key important locations

3) Plays - The Secret Life and Writings of Francis Bacon in his 39 Shakespeare poems and plays

See the 4 minute Spearshaker Concept Trailer with our very own Jono Freeman as Francis Bacon.

                                                                    Spearshaker Website Coming Soon.

https://youtu.be/RNjPKX-1XPA

 

 

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Awesome !!! 🤩 What a great Project and Concept Trailer ! It is superbly written and wonderfully declaimed.  Sir Bacon is so well  incarnated by Jono Freeman ! 

What a beautiful work also on the cinematographic and musical parts ! I watched the trailer 3 times in a row. 😊

I wish all the best to the "Speareshaker" team and to this truly EPIC historical Script ! ❤️

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12 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

Spearshaker in an epic historical script for a film, trilogy or series about the Secret Life and Times of Sir Francis Bacon. The script is the culmination of over 30 years historical research into this extraordinary and elusive man. It covers his enigmatic life and the secret aspects of his legacy:

* The lost, last Tudor, son of Elizabeth the ‘Virgin’ Queen
* The true author behind the immortal name Shakespeare
                        * The leading light and inspiration behind the Rosicrucians, a secret fellowship devoted to a                            Universal Reformation of the Whole World.

Spearshaker Productions Website Coming Soon with a blog exploring all aspects of Francis Bacon’s Life and Times: 

1) People - Dramatis personae – the key people in Bacon’s life

2) Places - The Locations - home and haunts and key important locations

3) Plays - The Secret Life and Writings of Francis Bacon in his 39 Shakespeare poems and plays

See the 4 minute Spearshaker Concept Trailer with our very own Jono Freeman as Francis Bacon.

                                                                    Spearshaker Website Coming Soon.

https://youtu.be/RNjPKX-1XPA

 

 

Hi A Phoenix

 

You are a dark Horse! So exciting to see you spread your wings into motion-pictures. Tailored to a younger audience, I notice. The trailer may well go viral due to its snappy, assertive tone.  Jono will bring great understanding to the almost-impossible-to-play role of SFB. Suggestion: could another trailer half the length be made for those with short attention spans?

This is something we all greatly look forward to!

 

Edited by Eric Roberts
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15 hours ago, Eric Roberts said:

Just a quick afterthought. How many scriptwriters can say that they have spent 3 decades researching the subject before composing the film? 🙂

Good title, btw.

Bacon came to mind, and I can't imagine what he would think of modern film! 🙂

I LOVE Spearshaker as a title. I LOVE even more what it could do to change this world for the good. A Universal Reformation of the Whole Wide World?

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PEOPLE, PLACES, PLAYS

From the forthcoming blog exploring all aspects of Francis Bacon’s Life and Times:

1) People - Dramatis personae – the key people in Bacon’s life

2) Places - The Locations - home and haunts and key important locations

3) Plays - The Secret Life and Writings of Francis Bacon in his 39 Shakespeare poems and plays

PEOPLE

Because of his unusually rich and full life, not only did Bacon know a lot of people but he also mixed in very diverse and rarified circles as well as being perfectly at home in the taverns, markets and playhouses of the busy London streets. People he knew were drawn from all areas of society; lawyers, judges, law clerks, Royality and the nobility, foreign ambassadors, politicians, administrators, courtiers, poets and writers, actors and men of the theatre, publishers and printers, philosophers, scientists, theologians and clergy, mathematicians, alchemists and astrologers. Just like the many and varied Shakespeare characters that inhabit his plays, Bacon’s circle was like his knowledge, vast and without limits. Here is just a small gallery of the many people that were fortunate enough to be in his life.

‘People must be projected from the writer’s assimilated experience, from his knowledge, from his head and from his heart and from all there is of him.'

Ernest Hemingway

FRANCIS BACON

Francis Bacon was born into secrecy as the concealed royal son of Queen Elizabeth and her childhood friend Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. They had married secretly so Bacon was born within wedlock but conceived out of it while Dudley was still married to Amy Robsart. She died in mysterious circumstances 4 months before Bacon’s birth which theoretically left Elizabeth and Dudley free to marry openly but such was the outcry from the people and her ministers regarding the death of Lady Amy and the suspicion it threw on them both, they chose to wait.

Speculation in the foreign courts among ambassadors and amongst the people had been rife ever since Elizabeth came to the throne and she had made Dudley Master of the Horse and installed him in apartments next to her own. Elizabeth’s principal adviser William Cecil tried many ways of halting the gossip including torture and imprisonment for people who dared to suggest any impropriety between the sovereign and her handsome childhood friend.

Between Elizabeth, Dudley, Sir Nicholas Bacon and Sir William Cecil a plan was agreed upon that following the birth Sir Nicholas Bacon and Lady Anne Bacon should foster the young infant until a time that might be right for acknowledgement. Lady Anne had also been pregnant but had miscarried so it was agreed that she should stay withdrawn until the time arrived. Lord Keeper Bacon’s residence neighboured Whitehall Palace (formerly York Place) the royal palace so it would be an easy enough course of action with Lady Anne attending the birth and then the Bacons taking Francis with them back to York House. How could this have been kept secret people will ask misunderstanding that the brutal regime that Elizabeth headed was every bit as vicious as her father’s reign. When the price for your life is secrecy, people quickly learnt to keep quiet.

And so the young Tudor prince began his life in the Bacon household with his older brother Anthony who he became bonded with for life. There were no finer foster parents than the loyal, learned and kind Bacons and he grew up in an environment of love, support and encouragement. Elizabeth kept a watchful eye on her son from afar and admired his great wit and precocity. At court, whilst a teenager, in a ferocious outburst instigated by his envious cousin Robert Cecil (son of William Cecil) Elizabeth reveals the true nature of Bacon’s parentage. A shocked Bacon confronts Lady Anne Bacon who confirms his true parents and he later learns that the friend he knew from court is actually his younger blood brother Robert, Earl of Essex who had similarly been brought up without acknowledgment with the Devereux family.

After the shocking revelation, Elizabeth and Dudley decided to send Bacon away to France in order to decide what was to be done about the situation. For many years, Dudley had begged Elizabeth to acknowledge him and his sons with all the obvious benefits that would accrue from such an announcement, but Elizabeth always prevaricated. It was indeed a complex situation and Dudley was almost universally hated, so it was never going to be easy decision.

As the years went by, Bacon became more and more disillusioned with the idea that he would ever be named her son and heir and decided to dedicate himself to his universal reformation of the whole world an idea that had taken hold of his heart, mind and soul when only a boy. His younger brother Essex had other ideas demanding his Tudor birthright and pushing Elizabeth to the limits which resulted eventually in his execution for treason.

These then were Bacon’s complex family arrangements, he had an open and a secret life, a Royal family and the Bacon family. Francis Bacon was the very epitome of a renaissance man with a most expansive and unusual mind. He was a lawyer, scientist, parliamentarian, philosopher, writer, poet and supreme head of the Rosicrucians, a fellowship dedicated to the raising of human’s estate by the advancement of learning. Bacon was the original rebel, the Spearshaker and a key part of his revolution (because that’s what it was) were the Shakespeare plays. Bacon realised from his time in France that England needed a language that would elevate and inspire and with language came knowledge and with knowledge came power.

And it is to Bacon’s works and to the works of his pseudonym Shakespeare that we need to look in order to really see what he was about. Yes, they are beautiful, spiritual, intellectual, full of classical learning, law, science, botany, truly masterful in all these areas, but they are also about people and their lives, loves, secrets, follies, tragedies, irrationalities, hatreds, angers, envies, passions, deep desires, sexuality. In short, Bacon is concerned with all that it is to be human written from the vast experiences and the many people in his extraordinary life. It’s all there in his words that he left written in his own name and his pseudonym Shakespeare. His intellectual and emotional range was boundless as was his great soul but he also had an innate ability to connect to people and their lives that meant he was also earthy, sensual, and full of humour. To deny this is to misunderstand what the man behind the Shakespeare works is all about and to not fully recognise that there could never be any limits with the enigma that is Francis Bacon.

www.spearshakerproductions.com

https://youtu.be/RNjPKX-1XPA

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PLACES

‘I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it’ As You Like It

Some short snapshots of some of the locations that formed the rich backdrop of the life of Francis Bacon. It is hoped they will re-capture the atmosphere of his homes and haunts and a far off time in which he lived and give a better understanding of the man.

BISHAM ABBEY

Bisham Abbey is a manor house situated on the banks of the River Thames near the town of Marlow in Berkshire and dates back to the 13th century when it occupied the site of the now lost monastery. It was owned by Henry VIII who gave it to Anne of Cleves in her divorce settlement. The Hoby family later bought the house and following her marriage it became the country residence of Elizabeth Cooke Hoby, Anne Bacon’s sister and Francis Bacon’s aunt. Elizabeth Hoby (later Russell) was a courtier and good friend of Queen Elizabeth I and The Queen visited Bisham Abbey often to enjoy masques and entertainments as did the Bacon Family.

In 1592 Queen Elizabeth visited Bisham Abbey for what is now known as the Bisham Entertainment which was written and produced by Francis Bacon at a date prior to the pseudonym of William Shakespeare first appearing beneath dedications to the poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. The little known but important Bisham Entertainment contains language, themes and subject matter echoed in a wide range of Shakespeare plays including The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Cymbeline and The Tempest, as well as many others.

 

www.spearshakerproductions.com

https://youtu.be/RNjPKX-1XPA

 

 

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FRANCIS BACON'S SHAKESPEARE PLAYS & POEMS

‘Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.’ Virginia Woolf

There are over a thousand plus known resemblances, correspondences and parallels between the acknowledged writings of Francis Bacon & the Shakespeare Works. One of the major sources for this is Bacon’s private manuscript notebook (known as the Promus of Formularies and Elegances). The entries in his notebook found in his Shakespeare works include single words, phrases, lines, turns of speech, metaphors, similes, aphorisms, and various moral and philosophical observations. Many of the entries are drawn from the Bible; Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, and English proverbs; and lines and verses from classical poets and dramatists, among them, Virgil, Ovid, Seneca, Horace, and Terence.

‘Bacon’s style varied almost as much as his handwriting; but it was influenced more by the subject-matter than by youth or old age. Few men have shown equal versatility in adapting their language to the slightest shade of circumstance and purpose. His style depended upon whether he was addressing a king, or a great nobleman, or a philosopher, or a friend; whether he was composing a State paper, pleading in a State trial, magnifying the Prerogative, extolling Truth, discussing studies, exhorting a judge, sending a New Year's present, or sounding a trumpet to prepare the way for the Kingdom of Man over Nature. . .In the early [dramatic] devices . . he uses a rich exuberant style and poetic rhythm.’ E. A. Abbott

VENUS & ADONIS

The narrative poem Venus and Adonis published in 1593 marks the first appearance of the pseudonym William Shakespeare printed below its dedication.

As all Shakespeare scholars and the rest of the Shakespeare world knows, the first narrative Shakespeare poem Venus and Adonis is dedicated to Henry Wriothesley, third Earl of Southampton. What is not well-known is that prior to its intimate dedication Southampton resided with Francis Bacon at Gray’s Inn, where the earl was admitted on 6 June 1588. He was reputed to be the most beautiful young man in the kingdom and made no secret of his bisexuality. During the earl’s period of residence at Gray’s Inn he and Bacon formed a warm friendship that over time later developed into a love affair in the period up leading to the intimate dedication prefixed to Venus and Adonis.

The first Shakespeare poem Venus and Adonis has long been associated with Queen Elizabeth. In this very sexually explicit poem Venus is identified with Elizabeth wherein Venus is referred to as a Queen, presented in a blazon of red and white, the colours of Elizabeth Tudor, the colours of the union rose, combining the red rose of Lancaster and white rose of York, the heraldic emblem of England. Encoded within it is a refracted revelation exposing the illusion of the so-called Virgin Queen who used her sexuality and virginity as a political ploy on the national and international stage. She like all great Shakespearean characters was playing a part. As our poet so famously said, ‘All the World’s a stage/And all the men and woman merely players’. Her very life and throne to some extent depended upon the myth and lie of her pretended virginity which was known to the more well-informed Elizabethan poets and writers of the era.

She is vividly painted in Venus and Adonis as extraordinarily lustful and a very sexually aggressive woman. Dr Anne Whitelock a recognised authority on Queen Elizabeth and the Elizabethan period writes:

'From around the 1590s until the end of Elizabeth’s reign, satirists would often refer to the vulva in terms of a metaphorical space, describing it in sensual detail as smooth, soft, and moist and a place of delicious, intoxicating tastes. Such sexually explicit descriptions of the Queen’s genitalia in some late Elizabethan verse suggest a rejection of the Queen’ self-styled cult of virginity.'

In the poem Professor Bate points out (as others have before him) ‘Venus the lover is also Venus the mother’, an apt description of the ambiguous relationship that existed between Queen Elizabeth and her concealed son Robert Tudor Devereux, the second Earl of Essex. There are many down the centuries who have believed that the ageing Elizabeth portrayed as Venus in contemporary paintings and poems and the young and beautiful Essex portrayed as a handsome Adonis were lovers and an incestuous desire is most certainly an undercurrent theme of Venus and Adonis. She was also his royal mother, and their tempestuous relationship was one of legend in which it is well-documented, that she readily fawned on him like a mother and a lover.

In the poem Venus hunts Adonis and he in turn follows the symbolic and heraldic wild boar that allegorically kills him symbolically raising Adonis from darkness into light. Its narrator says that Adonis ‘ran upon the boar with his sharp spear’ and ‘nuzzling in his flank, the loving swine’ an allusion to Bacon. ‘Sheathed unaware the tusk of his soft groin’ (lines 1111-16), in an act of symbolic union fusing the secret royal brothers Bacon and Essex, both of whom were inextricably bound up in their intertwined Tudor destiny, as concealed heirs to the royal throne of England.

The heraldic boar portrayed in the Tudor colours of red and white his ‘frothy mouth be painted all with red,/Like milk and blood being mingled both together’ (lines 901-02), confirms he is a Tudor child, the eldest secret royal son of Venus, Queen Elizabeth.

At the end of the poem Venus (Queen Elizabeth) presides over the virgin birth of the purple flower from Adonis’s blood (lines 1165-70) and with the flower child between her breast she is conveyed in her chariot to the island of Pathos, far from prying eyes where she ‘means to immure herself and not be seen’ (line 1194), just as Elizabeth had hidden herself away when pregnant to conceal that she has given birth to a royal child, the secret author of Venus and Adonis, Francis Tudor Bacon.

www.spearshakerproductions.com

https://youtu.be/RNjPKX-1XPA

 

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PEOPLE

ELIZABETH I, THE VIRGIN QUEEN

Elizabeth was many things, but she was not a virgin.

She will be for always one of the most recognized women in all history. The cult of the Virgin Queen was promoted by the extraordinary propaganda machine surrounding her in this historical period. The establishing of a strong, powerful woman as the head of England was quite literally a matter of life and death and the magnificent iconography of Gloriana helped to reinforce this perception of strength and dominance. Elizabeth was an exceptionally intelligent and educated woman, fluent in several languages and knowledgeable and well-read on subjects like theology, philosophy, arithmetic and rhetoric. She loved theatre and entertainments often because they were produced in order to gain her patronage and flatter her not inconsiderable ego. But a virgin? Could a daughter of lusty Henry VIII and sensual Anne Boleyn really be a chaste virgin dedicated to her people? Surely she would desire the same things as anyone else; love, friendship, intimacy and sex. Secrecy and concealment became second nature to Elizabeth and she was both a supreme dissimulator and shrewd operator as the age she lived in undeniably demanded.

Early in her reign, she was secretly married to her childhood friend and confidante Robert Dudley and but for the vehement hatred of him by her advisers and the people, she would probably have acknowledged her childhood love.

Born into a very dangerous world, the passionate, tempestuous relationship produced two sons known to history as Francis Bacon and Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex; but would she ever acknowledge them? As the years went by there became little chance Elizabeth would start raking up uncomfortable truths and secrets pertaining to her honour. Besides, by now the cult of Gloriana, the Virgin Queen was powerfully consolidated in the eyes of the world and she was not going to damage that divine reputation, she was after all the great representation of Protestantism, the Catholics had the virgin Mary and the Protestants had the virgin Elizabeth.

Nevertheless, they were her two unacknowledged royal princes of Tudor blood and the two great figures destined to dominate the second half of her reign culminating in tragedy, the full story of which has never been told.

www.spearshakerproductions.com

https://youtu.be/RNjPKX-1XPA

QE Image Credit Hatfield House via Wikimedia Commons Public Domain.jpg

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PLACES

BOAR’S HEAD INN AT CHEAPSIDE, LONDON

This was the setting for the famous revelry of Falstaff and friends, Prince Hal and Mistriss Quickly in Shakespeare's Henry IV. Whilst there’s no evidence that the tavern existed at the time the play was set, the Boar’s Head Inn at Eastcheap very much existed and was almost certainly a popular and well frequented tavern being in the hustle and bustle market area of central London. The Inns of Court were just over a mile away so the Boar’s Head Inn would have been a lively and favoured destination for young lawyers including Francis Bacon who resided for many years at Gray’s Inn. The tavern perished in the great Fire of London 1666 but was rebuilt before being finally demolished in 1831. The family crest of Francis Bacon featured a boar and ironically the Boar’s Head sign that was retrieved from the doomed tavern now resides at the Shakespeare Globe theatre.

www.spearshakerproductions.com

https://youtu.be/RNjPKX-1XPA

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PLAYS & POEMS

RAPE OF LUCRECE

As with Venus and Adonis, Bacon dedicates The Rape of Lucrece to his lover the Earl of Southampton celebrating their deep intimacy with his love for him breathing through every line. Their close relationship continued through the 1590s during which period the lives of Bacon and Southampton became even more intertwined with that of Robert Tudor Devereux, who all lived and worked together along with Antony Bacon at Essex House, the headquarters of the English Secret Service, whose domestic and foreign operations the modern equivalent of MI5 and MI6, were directed by the Bacons.

The shadow of Queen Elizabeth also lies behind the figure of Lucrece in a tale of sex and lust that is bound up in the state politics of Rome and England and how for different reasons virginity and sex were key elements in both our myths of nationhood.

Modern scholars have finally begun to partly recognise the republican themes running through the Bacon Shakespeare canons that completely revolutionises and transforms our understanding of the first philosopher-poet of the modern world. ‘He can be seen as the beginner of a new, indigenous vein of classical republicanism’. His daring representations of republican thoughts and ideas were obliquely and openly expressed through his acknowledged writings and in many of his Shakespeare poems and plays.

Professor Peltonen points out that in his acknowledged writings Bacon endorsed some of the key themes of republicanism and ‘was sometimes ready to acclaim republican governments.’ In his brilliant and groundbreaking full-length work Shakespeare and Republicanism Professor Hadfield also recognised that the Shakespeare poems and plays were the most important contribution to classical republicanism expressed in poetical and dramatic literature of a newly breaking modern world, exemplified in The Rape of Lucrece.

The poem represents the founding of the Roman republic. The Argument or summary of the action prefixed to The Rape of Lucrece recounts how during the reign of King Tarquinius Superbus, who had seized the throne through the murder of his father-in-law Servius Tullius, a group of Roman noblemen were engaged in the siege of Ardea, among them the king’s son Sextus Tarquinius, the poem’s Tarquin who raped Lucrece, an act that resulted in the establishment of the Roman Republic.

In his masterly and groundbreaking edition of Bacon’s History of Henry VII Professor Weinberger reveals its importance to the rise of modern republicanism and the politics of progress that ingeniously presents a picture of a modern democratic state that now characterises the western hemisphere and much of the rest of the world.

www.spearshakerproductions.com

https://youtu.be/RNjPKX-1XPA

 

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6 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

PEOPLE

ELIZABETH I, THE VIRGIN QUEEN

Elizabeth was many things, but she was not a virgin.

She will be for always one of the most recognized women in all history. The cult of the Virgin Queen was promoted by the extraordinary propaganda machine surrounding her in this historical period. The establishing of a strong, powerful woman as the head of England was quite literally a matter of life and death and the magnificent iconography of Gloriana helped to reinforce this perception of strength and dominance. Elizabeth was an exceptionally intelligent and educated woman, fluent in several languages and knowledgeable and well-read on subjects like theology, philosophy, arithmetic and rhetoric. She loved theatre and entertainments often because they were produced in order to gain her patronage and flatter her not inconsiderable ego. But a virgin? Could a daughter of lusty Henry VIII and sensual Anne Boleyn really be a chaste virgin dedicated to her people? Surely she would desire the same things as anyone else; love, friendship, intimacy and sex. Secrecy and concealment became second nature to Elizabeth and she was both a supreme dissimulator and shrewd operator as the age she lived in undeniably demanded.

Early in her reign, she was secretly married to her childhood friend and confidante Robert Dudley and but for the vehement hatred of him by her advisers and the people, she would probably have acknowledged her childhood love.

Born into a very dangerous world, the passionate, tempestuous relationship produced two sons known to history as Francis Bacon and Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex; but would she ever acknowledge them? As the years went by there became little chance Elizabeth would start raking up uncomfortable truths and secrets pertaining to her honour. Besides, by now the cult of Gloriana, the Virgin Queen was powerfully consolidated in the eyes of the world and she was not going to damage that divine reputation, she was after all the great representation of Protestantism, the Catholics had the virgin Mary and the Protestants had the virgin Elizabeth.

Nevertheless, they were her two unacknowledged royal princes of Tudor blood and the two great figures destined to dominate the second half of her reign culminating in tragedy, the full story of which has never been told.

QE Image Credit Hatfield House via Wikimedia Commons Public Domain.jpg

The Rainbow Portrait of Elizabeth I

https://www.metmuseum.org/audio-guide/592

 

https://www.hatfield-house.co.uk/explore/the-house/the-rainbow-portrait/

 

https://www.historyhit.com/elizabeth-i-rainbow-portrait/#:~:text=Attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger or Isaac Oliver.&text=The Rainbow Portrait is one of the most intriguing images,the artist's largest surviving work.

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Light-of-Truth said:

Line 33 of the 1609 Sonnets by "Shake-speare":

For where is she so faire whose vn-eard wombe

Bacon: Where is my Mommy???

The last word of Line 32 is "mother", of course.

If the Sonnets were from Bacon, and it was his venue to leave his true history, then we would want to look at the number 33 as places Bacon would leave his life story. BACON is 33 Simple cipher and it is one of the simplest ciphers commonly mentioned in Bacon's time. Francis Bacon knew that BACON was 33. Everybody knew.

Line 33 Bacon asks where his "virgin" mother is. Sonnet 33 answers that question.

The first letters that begin the 14 lines of Sonnet 33 FFKGAWASEWBTYS and ELIZABETH TUDOR both add up to 158 Simple, 192 Reverse, 58 Short, and 340 Kaye ciphers.

sonnet33.gif.b8893d19368a6bc503e7f8d98ec670c2.gif

I like to read Sonnet 33 as if it is Elizabeth sharing something with her son, Francis Bacon. In fact, knowing how it is "signed" by her, I believe she wrote this Sonnet following what they both were taught and this is the most we will ever hear from Elizabeth the Virgin about her son. But she did leave this much and it validates everything Bacon claims.

FVll many a glorious morning haue I seene,
Flatter the mountaine tops with soueraine eie,
Kissing with golden face the meddowes greene;
Guilding pale streames with heauenly alcumy:
Anon permit the basest cloudes to ride,
With ougly rack on his celestiall face,
And from the for-lorne world his visage hide
Stealing vnseene to west with this disgrace:
Euen so my Sunne one early morne did shine,
With all triumphant splendor on my brow,
But out alack,he was but one houre mine,
The region cloude hath mask'd him from me now.
   Yet him for this,my loue no whit disdaineth,
   Suns of the world may staine,while heauens sun stainteh.

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PEOPLE

ROBERT DUDLEY, EARL OF LEICESTER

It is little wonder that the rakishly handsome and accomplished Robert Dudley was attractive to Elizabeth. Besides their obvious fascination for each other they had a lot of shared history. Known to each other from a young age and imprisoned later together in the Tower where they were secretly betrothed, Elizabeth and Robert always shared a strong bond and connection. They were in many ways remarkably well matched: cold, hard, and ambitiously calculating paired with a passionate and fiery disposition.

Whilst he appeared a passionate advocate of the theatre and patron of the arts, these positions were almost certainly a self-serving vehicle for his political ambitions and were also embraced to stroke his considerable ego and ruthless pursuit of power and advancement. When their youthful passions had subsided, Dudley proved himself untrustworthy and he also possessed a rapacious appetite for bedding Elizabeth’s waiting women and marrying without her permission. Many of his enemies met mysterious deaths and Dudley kept in his household his own private poisoner whom he notoriously used to silence opposition and threats to his vast power base.

Elizabeth appointed and promoted Dudley to many prestigious positions including the Earl of Leicester, but the thing he desired most of all was to sit on the throne of England with or without Queen Elizabeth alongside him, who he was prepared to bloodily sacrifice along the way.

Robert_Dudley,_1st_Earl_of_Leicester,_Collection_of_Waddesdon_Manor Image Credit Wikimedia Commons Public Domain.jpg

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PLACES

Blackfriars
 
Blackfriars was a wealthy neighbourhood which hosted the mansions of Lord Hunsdon, Lord Cobham and the formidable Lady Elizabeth Cooke Hoby Russell. Elizabeth was Lady Anne Bacon’s sister and Anthony and Francis Bacon’s aunt. Along with her sisters, Elizabeth had had an unusually wide and learned education for a woman in that day and age, largely thanks to their enlightened father Sir Anthony Cooke. A poet, linguist and designer of Puritan persuasion she was a fierce advocate for women’s rights and those less fortunate than herself. She was also extremely combative and litigious and was often in legal disputes asking her nephew Francis for legal counsel and advice.

In 1596 James Burbage began to construct the second Blackfriars theatre, unfortunately for him, just a few doors away from the mansion and gardens of Elizabeth Russell. She immediately mobilised the local neighbourhood in opposing the Blackfriars theatre and a petition was sent to the Privy Council signed by many from the neighbourhood including Lord Hunsdon patron of the Lord Chamberlain’s men (Burbage’s company) and the printer of Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece, Richard Field whose printing press ‘Timber House’ was next door to Elizabeth’s mansion. The petition was successful and companies were forbidden from performing at the Blackfriars theatre leading to the building of The Globe just across the Thames in Southwark.

 
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The Globe across the Thames from Blackfriars
Because of Shakespeare’s supposed involvement with the theatre enterprise, confusion has been expressed as to why Lord Hunsdon and Richard Field should oppose a venture which would ostensibly be against their own interests. However, Elizabeth Russell exercised huge power with the Queen as she was one of her most favoured courtiers. Similarly, Henry Carey Lord Hunsdon was well connected as he was the son of Mary Boleyn, so cousin to Queen Elizabeth and his daughter Margaret married Edward Hoby, Elizabeth Russell’s son. As a printer, Richard Field became an important agent of William Cecil Lord Burghley (Elizabeth Russell’s brother in law and Francis’ uncle) who entrusted Field with printing early Anti-Spanish tracts several years before he came to print Venus and Adonis in 1593 and The Rape of Lucrece in 1594.

It is widely agreed in orthodox circles that the exploits of Elizabeth Russell her husband John, Lord Russell and her offspring from her first marriage were named and alluded to in several Shakespeare plays; Henry IV, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Twelfth Night and in All’s Well That Ends Well she is very obviously the inspiration behind Dowager Countess of Roussillon.

As well as visits to her country estate Bisham Abbey, her many litigious activities meant Bacon would have been a regular visitor to his aunt in Blackfriars, no doubt popping next door to visit Richard Field’s printing press to oversee his early outrageously sensual poems that somehow managed to evade all the censors no doubt due to Bacon’s connections.

 

www.spearshakerproductions.com

https://youtu.be/RNjPKX-1XPA

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PLAYS AND POEMS

THE SONNETS

The most profound and poignant life diary of emotion exploring and revealing Bacon’s intimate relationships with his royal mother Queen Elizabeth, Princess Marguerite and the Earl of Southampton.

‘The reader will follow with eager interest the experiences which rent and harrowed Shakespeare’s soul. He will rejoice in the insight afforded by these poems, which the crowd ignores, into the tempestuous emotional life of one of the greatest of men. Here, and here alone, we see Shakespeare himself, as distinct from his poetical creations, loving, admiring, longing, yearning, adoring, disappointed, humiliated, tortured. Here alone does he enter the confessional. Here more than anywhere else can we. . . do homage to the poet’s art, feel ourselves in intimate communion, not only with the poet, but with the man.’ Georg Brandes
 
In the 1590s Bacon wrote the dramatic device on behalf of his younger royal brother Essex for him to present before the before their mother Queen Elizabeth as part of the festivities celebrating her Accession Day entitled Of Love and Self-LoveIn the Hermits Speech in the Presence, in wish of Contemplation or Studies our philosopher-poet Bacon tells how the monuments of wit will outlive the monuments of power. He knew that the divine verses of a poet endure the ruins of time as would his own immortal Shakespeare poems and plays:
 
'But the gardens of the Muses keep the privilege of the golden age; they ever flourish and are in league with time. The monuments of wit survive the monuments of power: the verses of a poet endure without a syllable lost, while states and empires pass many periods.'
 
This same dichotomy of the power of wit and the power of monuments is transmuted and expanded upon in his immortal Sonnet No. 55:
 
                                                                                                          Not marble nor the gilded monuments
                                                                                                          Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme,
                                                                                                          But you shall shine more bright in these contents
                                                                                                          Than unswept stone besmeared with sluttish time.
                                                                                                          When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
                                                                                                          And broils root out the work of masonry,
                                                                                                          Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn
                                                                                                          The living record of your memory.
                                                                                                           ’Gainst death and all oblivious enmity
                                                                                                           Shall you pace forth; your praise shall find room
                                                                                                           Even in the eyes of all posterity
                                                                                                          That wear this world out to the ending doom.
                                                                                                          So, till the judgement that yourself arise
                                                                                                          You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.

SONNETS.webp

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5 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

THE SONNETS

The most profound and poignant life diary of emotion exploring and revealing Bacon’s intimate relationships with his royal mother Queen Elizabeth, Princess Marguerite and the Earl of Southampton.

‘The reader will follow with eager interest the experiences which rent and harrowed Shakespeare’s soul. He will rejoice in the insight afforded by these poems, which the crowd ignores, into the tempestuous emotional life of one of the greatest of men. Here, and here alone, we see Shakespeare himself, as distinct from his poetical creations, loving, admiring, longing, yearning, adoring, disappointed, humiliated, tortured. Here alone does he enter the confessional. Here more than anywhere else can we. . . do homage to the poet’s art, feel ourselves in intimate communion, not only with the poet, but with the man.’ Georg Brandes
 
In the 1590s Bacon wrote the dramatic device on behalf of his younger royal brother Essex for him to present before the before their mother Queen Elizabeth as part of the festivities celebrating her Accession Day entitled Of Love and Self-LoveIn the Hermits Speech in the Presence, in wish of Contemplation or Studies our philosopher-poet Bacon tells how the monuments of wit will outlive the monuments of power. He knew that the divine verses of a poet endure the ruins of time as would his own immortal Shakespeare poems and plays:
 
'But the gardens of the Muses keep the privilege of the golden age; they ever flourish and are in league with time. The monuments of wit survive the monuments of power: the verses of a poet endure without a syllable lost, while states and empires pass many periods.'
 
This same dichotomy of the power of wit and the power of monuments is transmuted and expanded upon in his immortal Sonnet No. 55:
 
                                                                                                          Not marble nor the gilded monuments
                                                                                                          Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme,
                                                                                                          But you shall shine more bright in these contents
                                                                                                          Than unswept stone besmeared with sluttish time.
                                                                                                          When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
                                                                                                          And broils root out the work of masonry,
                                                                                                          Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn
                                                                                                          The living record of your memory.
                                                                                                           ’Gainst death and all oblivious enmity
                                                                                                           Shall you pace forth; your praise shall find room
                                                                                                           Even in the eyes of all posterity
                                                                                                          That wear this world out to the ending doom.
                                                                                                          So, till the judgement that yourself arise
                                                                                                          You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.

SONNETS.webp

Hello A Phoenix

It's good to see you letting your academic hair down, so to speak, and donning the role of story-teller. Very different to the way you usually write. Are you finding script-writing invigorating? No footnotes and references! Don't know how you do it. You're an amazing living treasure.

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Hi Eric,

You are always so kind and generous.

As you can see the posts are under three different headings People, Places and Plays. The first two People and Places were written by Lady Phoenix (who often chides me for being too academic) and I wrote the third section on the Plays which are also without footnotes and references! I deliberately chose to write the Plays section without any kind of bibliographical apparatus to make them more reader friendly and to be honest they were probably shorter because we have a lot on and were a bit pressed for time.

To do full justice to the secret life and times of Lord Bacon in the Shakespeare poems and plays would require a very long full-length work which I estimate would take many years to research, write and fully complete. If only Life was not so short!    

We are busy at the moment putting together the special edition of the Baconiana commemorating the four hundred year anniversary of the 1623 Shakespeare First Folio. We have had a very heartwarming and generous response from fellow Baconians including you good self from different parts of the world (UK, US, Australia, France and Japan) providing a diverse range of articles and videos relating to the First Folio. 

I am also currently involved in writing two books simultaneously: the one is somewhere near completion which we plan to publish on the 1 January 2024 but regarding the second there is still plenty of work to do! 

Phoenix. 

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PEOPLE

ROBERT DEVEREUX, EARL OF ESSEX

The ill-fated Earl was Francis Bacon’s younger brother and clearly the favourite of both his royal mother Elizabeth and father Robert Dudley. In a strange turn of events Dudley became Robert Devereux’s ‘step-father’ when he secretly married his mother Lettice Knollys the Countess of Essex, infuriating the Queen when she eventually found out. Essex inherited his father’s dark good looks, his buccaneering spirit and love of military prowess and aggrandisement which would eventually be his undoing. He was quick to anger and equally quick to forgive, hot headed, reckless but of a generous, loving nature particularly to Francis his concealed brother and Anthony Bacon. Elizabeth doted on him like a wayward child showering him with love, attention and preferments.

After the death of Water Devereux, Essex became a royal ward and at age 11 lived at Burghley House with Bacon’s uncle William Cecil. Essex would have been in regular contact with Francis Bacon and they may well have suspected very early their fraternal bonds. When Bacon discovered the truth of his and Essex’s royal birth they would have obviously discussed their birthrights and Essex would have petitioned Dudley to further their acknowledgement. This was a long running source of conflict between Elizabeth and Dudley and an issue that she had long decided would remain concealed. Essex’s wiser, older brother Francis constantly counselled him about how best to handle the Queen their mother who could be vindictive if she sensed any lack of respect. Essex resembled a young Dudley which both comforted and enraged her depending on her mood.
 
With Francis and Anthony Bacon, Essex ran the English Secret Service from Essex House on the Strand. They headed a vast network of spies, intelligencers, diplomats, and cryptographers in times that were extremely perilous and involved many attempts on their Royal mother’s life. A momentous power struggle began to emerge as Essex became more and more disillusioned in being a concealed Tudor and started to demand his birthright by pressurising Elizabeth into acknowledging her Tudor sons. Whilst Francis in order to follow his love of learning, was prepared to give up his claim to the throne, Essex was not and what followed was quite literally a fight to the death.
 
After an ill-conceived rebellion by Essex, Francis as a legal officer of the crown was forced by a raging Elizabeth to play a part in the legal proceedings against his own brother. He was aware that Elizabeth had always said to Essex that if ever in the darkest of times he asked for pardon from her she would grant it. An inconsolable Elizabeth died two years later after she became aware that Essex had indeed asked her forgiveness but by mischance she had not received the message.

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PLACES

BURGHLEY HOUSE

Burghley House built on the north side of the Strand was previously known as Cecil House and became Burghley House in 1571. Built as part of an expansion of an existing house William Cecil, Queen Elizabeth’s chief adviser and uncle of Francis Bacon moved there in 1560 and records show how Elizabeth came to dine with him at what he understatedly called his ‘rude, new cottage’. The impressive residence was in fact a huge 3 storeyed mansion with double courtyards, turrets, orchards, a bowling alley and tennis courts.

William Cecil and Nicholas Bacon were Elizabeth’s pillars of state and their wives being sisters would mean the Bacon children Anthony and Francis would often visit their Uncle William and Aunt Mildred as their houses were very close to each other.
 
It was at Burghley House that Edward de Vere Earl of Oxford from the age of 12 stayed when he became a royal ward put under the charge of Burghley Master of the Court of Wards who attempted to control the haughty and arrogant Earl’s worse excesses. At 17 Oxford killed an unarmed servant whilst practicing fencing. Burghley got him off a murder charge by claiming the servant was drunk and ran deliberately onto Oxford’s blade. As a suicide all the servant’s earthly possessions were confiscated and he could not be buried in consecrated ground leaving his widow destitute. The ever pragmatic Burghley agreed to Oxford marrying his daughter Anne and the wealthy but squandering earl hoped Burghley would pay off his debts. It was a very unhappy marriage which produced five children with Oxford claiming the first child was not his. His cruel and unfounded assertions meant they were estranged for many years. An exhausted Anne died aged only 31 from unknown causes and a distraught Burghley must have rued the day he let his daughter marry Oxford.
 
It was at Burghley House that Francis Bacon’s royal brother Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex aged 11, also became a ward. Sometime after he was joined by the 8 year old Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton who was to later become immortalised in Bacon’s dedications of Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece and the main protagonist in his Sonnets.

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