Promus (1594-96) "Seldom cometh the better."

Richard III, Act 2,Sc.3(1597)

''Seldom comes the better."

Promus (1594-96) "A Fool's bolt is soon shot."

Henry V, Act 3, Sc.7(1623) "A Fool's bolt is soon shot."




Men believe what they prefer.-Francis Bacon


"Lord Bacon was the greatest genius that England, or perhaps any other country ever produced."--Alexander Pope,1741 

"And those who have true skill in the works of the Lord Verulam, like great masters in painting , can tell by the design , the strength, the way of colouring, whether he was the author of this or the other piece though his name
be not on it."-

Archbishop Tenison 1679












"The ignorance of today's scholars is especially blissful. They think the authorship dispute was all settled years ago, with the rout of the Baconians and other claimants, so that there is no sense in wasting time and energy on it." -Nigel Cockburn from his book. -The Bacon-Shakespeare Question 1998




"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

-Abraham Lincoln

"That is about the best play that Lord Bacon ever wrote."--Mark Twain, after attending a Romeo & Juliet performance

Francis Bacon :

"For there is nothing so subtle and abtruse, but when it is once thorougly understood and published to the world, even a dull wit can carry it."- Wisdom of the Ancients 1609

Ben Jonson on Francis Bacon after his death :

"He who have filled up all numbers and performed that in our tongue which may be compared or preferred either to insolent Greece or haughty Rome...In short, within his view, and about his times , were all the wits born that could honor a language or help study. Now things daily fall; wits grow downward and eloquence grows backward, so that he may be named and stand as the mark and acme of our language."

"And certainly it is most true, and one of the great secrets of nature, that the minds of men are more open to impressions and affections when many are gathered together than when they are alone." -Francis Bacon
"So give authors their due , as you give time his due, which is to discover truth."

-Francis Bacon
















Who Wrote Shakespeare?

EVENING SEMINAR: Tues., Jan. 29, 2002 Washington D.C. 6:30 to 9 p.m.



One of literature’s greatest mysteries is the identity of the author of the plays and sonnets that are attributed to William Shakespeare.

Walt Whitman, Henry James, Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Vladimir Nabakov, David McCullough, Sir John Gielgud, and Kenneth Branagh are among the lettered individuals who have expressed doubts about Shakespeare’s authorship. Many believe that the true author was Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.

Join us for what promises to be a hot and lively “courtroom drama” as two renowned experts on the authorship question are cross-examined by two of the best trial lawyers in the country. Gail Paster, editor of the Shakespeare Quarterly and professor of English at George Washington University, is an advocate for Shakespeare. Richard F. Whalen, past president of the Shakespeare Oxford Society and author of Shakespeare: Who Was He?, presents the case for Edward de Vere.

They are cross-examined by Robert S. Bennett, renowned trial lawyer with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, and former counsel to President Clinton and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger; and by E. Barrett Prettyman Jr., senior partner at Hogan and Hartson, former special assistant to President Kennedy, and recent inspector general of the District of Columbia. William F. Causey of Nixon Peabody LLP moderates the proceedings.

The evening concludes with a discussion-and the audience’s verdict on who wrote Shakespeare.

Ring Auditorium, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Two Letters from the Program Coordinators in response to why Francis Bacon was left out of the "Debate"

"Based on our research, Bacon was an early candidate for the author, but he has been discredited with much evidence. The Bacon theory has not been seriously put forward for about 80 years.

Certainly the question of Bacon's authorship could be asked duirng the question-and-answer period of the program, which should be very lively to say the least."

Mary McLaughlin
Program Coordinator

December 2001

"The Shakespeare authorship question has been going on for almost 300 years. During that time, many candidtates have emerged as possible authors, including Bacon. However, during the last 60 or 70 years only one candidate has emerged as the most viable and likely person, and that is Edward de Vere. Bacon has now been largely discredited as a serious candidate. All of the authorship debates in the past two or three decades have been between the Stratford man and De Vere- the most famous being The American University debate in 1987 involving three Supreme Court Justices. So we decided to limit the Smithsonian presentation to the most viable candidate- De Vere.I hope this responds to your question. If not, let me know and I'll see that you get more information. Thanks for the question."

Bill Causey

The Smithsonian



 - Sir Francis Bacon's New Advancement of Learning