60 Minutes with Shakespeare

  • Share on Tumblr

Sign up now!

For true Shakespearians, there is no question that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare; no debate; no issue. There is a significant mass of historical evidence. His name, or those of the theatre companies for whom he worked, appears on many title-pages; he had an aristocratic patron, the Earl of Southampton; he is described as a writer by many of his contemporaries; his memorial bust in Holy Trinity Church compares him to Socrates, Virgil and refers to ‘all that he hath writ.’

‘But what if I told you that Shakespeare never wrote a single word?’ So says Derek Jacobi in a new film Anonymous which is due to be released in September. It is an old chestnut (though it dates back only to 1856) and one that crops up regularly among visitors to the Shakespeare houses. Our concern is that the new film will stir up the questions again. It is directed by Roland Emmerich (whose films include The Patriot and Godzilla) and stars Vanessa Redgrave as Elizabeth I.

So, we are hosting an Authorship Campaign which will continue to make clear the case for Shakespeare of Stratford. One part of our response will be 60 Minutes with Shakespeare: 60 scholars, 60 questions, 60 seconds each. This will be freely available to all from September, and should be a good resource for students, teachers, theatre practitioners, and all who love Shakespeare. You can register for it now in advance; just follow this link. Please tell your family and friends about it. Editing 60 Minutes with Shakespeare is taking up most of my time just now and the project will feature some very special contributors. So, watch this space…

And, there are also the three speeches the Stanley Wells, Michael Dobson, and I gave at a debate at The English-Speaking Union on 6 June posted on this blog in June to refer to as well. We spoke up for Shakespeare against Charles Beauclerk (a descendent of the Earl of Oxford), William Leahy (Brunel University), and Roland Emmerich himself. Or, you can watch the debate here.

As many of you will already know, William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon, a glover’s son, formed by a grammar school education, with a strong imagination, a sense for the musicality of language, and who knew what it is to act, won the debate.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Author:Paul Edmondson

Head of Research and Knowledge and Director of the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival for The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Follow Paul on Twitter @paul_edmondson
  • john Robertson

    I bet you all didn’t know that William shakespeare has living descendants?Well,I’m here!
    I’m sick and tried of listening to all this conspiracy bullshit,everywhere!When,is the Shakespeare birthplace trust going to visit me? When?I’m doing you a huge favour because the rest of my family doesn’t care at all.You guys need to sit down and listen to me sometime because it’s highly sensitive information that I know of as well as knowing what has happened to his gilt copper engraving by Martin Droeshout.I’m just waiting for a Royal member or you guys at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to visit me here in Australia.Also,William Shakespeare did write his own work plus that’s the only close likness of him in the First Folio image.Even though,they’ve lied about Martin Droeshout has engraved that exact image of William Shakespeare across from the cover page in support of their fraudulent activity to publish his hard work inside the First Folio.
    The publishing of the First Folio wasn’t a tribute to William Shakespeare at all but instead just like the modern version of downloading a pirated movie.
    The gilt copper engraving that I have seen of William Shakespeare has Martin Droeshout’s name engraved on the bottom of it plus William Shakespeare also wore a cross with a round gem in the centre in a frontal view.

  • John Robertson

    I bet you all didn’t know that William shakespeare has living descendants?Well,I’m here!
    I’m sick and tried of listening to all this conspiracy bullshit,everywhere!When,is the Shakespeare birthplace trust going to visit me? When?I’m doing you a huge favour because the rest of my family doesn’t care at all.You guys need to sit down and listen to me sometime because it’s highly sensitive information that I know of as well as knowing what has happened to his gilt copper engraving by Martin Droeshout.I’m just waiting for a Royal member or you guys at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to visit me here in Australia.Also,William Shakespeare did write his own work plus that’s the only close likness of him in the First Folio image.Even though,they’ve lied about Martin Droeshout has engraved that exact image of William Shakespeare across from the cover page in support of their fraudulent activity to publish his hard work inside the First Folio.
    The publishing of the First Folio wasn’t a tribute to William Shakespeare at all but instead just like the modern version of downloading a pirated movie.
    The gilt copper engraving that I have seen of William Shakespeare has Martin Droeshout’s name engraved on the bottom of it plus William Shakespeare also wore a cross with a round gem in the centre in a frontal view.

  • Wjray

    Loyalty oaths and testaments gain little of value.  They can not substitute for the courage required of Shakespearean scholars to honor logical analysis and empirical evidence, regardless of unwelcome adjustments in the present biographical catechism. If Shakspere was “formed by a grammar school education,” then how came it that, in glaring contradiction to contemporaneous custom even among Elizabethans of modest means, his will bequeathed nothing to the local school, to which, putatively, he had owed his entire formal learning? It indicates either callous lack of loyalty or, more likely, no educational involvement. Shakspere was not a cultivated man. His actions and preoccupations were not those of an artist. There is no valid external ‘evidence’ he was. A similarly spelled pseudonym on a title page in an era of anonymous and pseudonymous publication fails as proof Shakspere of Stratford wrote anything. Primary evidence, e.g., the illiterate scrawl of his signature, beckons us to be realistic, meaning in the end a revised vista on English history and literature.  Either the Shakespeare establishment meet the challenge presented by the Oxfordian initiative, by critical self-examination and renewed study, or its priesthood is going to look pretty tattered very soon.

  • Twicetold1966

    “formed by a grammar school education, with a strong imagination, a sense for the musicality of language, and who knew what it is to act” 

    Curious…  how do you know he went to grammar school?  How do you know he had a strong imagination?  How do you know he had a sense of musicality of language?  

    The only part of that sentence that has any evidence s that he WAS an actor.

    Oddly, all of your other “facts” are merely assumptions, correct?

  • bob

    Thankfully someone is sane.  I’d be worried if we didn’t have all those samples of the million words Shakespeare wrote…  All the original manuscripts, all the letters we have of Shakespeare’s where he discusses his work…

    O wait….  there doesn’t exist a single piece of paper ever written by Shakespeare… not a single letter… 

    Curious, isn’t it?  

    Where did all the thousands of pages go?

    How is it we have original documents by Donne, Jonson, Dante, Cervantes, Kyd, Nashe, etc, etc…

    But not a single piece of paper from William Shakespeare…

    One wonders why….

  • Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare – it is so obvious! Let the anti-Stratfordians go and drown!

  • I’ve been arguing for months about this topic on the IMDB discussion board for “Anonymous.”  Of course William Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the plays.  I think the biggest problem for the Anti-Stratfordians is the fact that Shakespeare was an actor in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.  This demolishes the Anti-Stratfordian arguments that WIlliam Shakespeare was an illiterate (or semi-illiterate boob), that no one would have thought all the references to William Shakespeare the playwright referred to him, or that there would have had to have been a MASSIVE conspiracy to hide the truth if Shakespeare of Stratford was not the author.  When you ask anti-Stratfordians about Shakespeare’s career as an actor, they usually respond with something like, “Well, that’s a mystery, isn’t it?  We’ll probably never know the exact degree to which William Shakespeare was an actor, or maybe a propmaster, so it’s really best to ignore the whole thing, so let’s turn to important stuff, like how every time the author used the word EVER in his work, he was giving us clues as to the identity of the REAL author.”  

  • I’ve been arguing for months about this topic on the IMDB discussion board for “Anonymous.”  Of course William Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the plays.  I think the biggest problem for the Anti-Stratfordians is the fact that Shakespeare was an actor in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.  This demolishes the Anti-Stratfordian arguments that WIlliam Shakespeare was an illiterate (or semi-illiterate boob), that no one would have thought all the references to William Shakespeare the playwright referred to him, or that there would have had to have been a MASSIVE conspiracy to hide the truth if Shakespeare of Stratford was not the author.  When you ask anti-Stratfordians about Shakespeare’s career as an actor, they usually respond with something like, “Well, that’s a mystery, isn’t it?  We’ll probably never know the exact degree to which William Shakespeare was an actor, or maybe a propmaster, so it’s really best to ignore the whole thing, so let’s turn to important stuff, like how every time the author used the word EVER in his work, he was giving us clues as to the identity of the REAL author.”  

Download a free book written by Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells about Shakespeare, Conspiracy & Authorship. Download the Book.

DESTINATION SHAKESPEARE, THE DEBUT POETRY COLLECTION FROM LEADING SHAKESPEAREAN SCHOLAR PAUL EDMONDSON, IS OUT NOW!

24 brilliant poems, inspired by Shakespeare's life and art, bound in an artisan stitched chapbook

get your copy now