While the Shakespeare establishment recognizes a man from Stratford-upon-Avon who cannot be proved to have ever attended a school, written a letter, or owned a book as the author “Shakespeare,” the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship celebrates in this book the life and poetry of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, a man with a far stronger claim to have been the author “Shakespeare.””The Poems of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford . . . and the Shakespeare Question: He that Takes the Pain to Pen the Book,” edited by Roger Stritmatter, Ph.D., is the first volume in a series of “Brief Chronicles” books under preparation for the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship. An edition of the lyric and narrative poetry of Edward de Vere (1550-1604), the book contests the popular misconception of the earl as an “intellectual lightweight,” “monstrous adversary,” and rotten poet. On the contrary, closely examined through and in his poetry, de Vere emerges as a deeply studied and original poetic voice. The foremost 19th century British literary scholar Alexander Grosart in 1872 declared that an “unlifted shadow…lies over his memory.” A comparative study of his place in the development of Elizabethan poetics in these volumes makes it apparent that by a very early date, the young Earl was anticipating what “Shakespeare” would later do: pioneering techniques, modes of inquiry, topics, themes, motifs, vocabulary, figures of speech, and diction later recurrent in the works of Shakespeare, which only started to appear in print some years later during the 1590s. The range and variety of these parallelisms are sampled in detailed notes that walk the reader through this collection of 21 fascinating poems generally attributed to de Vere and another 11 poems possibly written by him. The next projected volume in the Brief Chronicles series is a second volume of de Vere poems. The series aims to uplift the shadow to restore a man whose reputation has long been eclipsed by error, envy, and obfuscation.
The Poems of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford . . . and the Shakespeare Question: He that Takes the Pain to Pen the Book
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