I recently came across this fascinating authorship-related blog by someone (appropriately enough) using a pseudonym. In this case, Rambler. I haven’t read all of the posts — which have been posted on a daily basis since April 11, 2013. I’m pasting below a portion of the first post describing the purpose of the blog. It’s probably a good idea to read the posts from the beginning in sequence.
Rambler offers lots of interesting insights into what Nashe, Harvey, Jonson, and others were writing about in various pamphlets and plays. Rambler sees what he calls “Vere markers” in many places. If Rambler’s right, it seems contemporary writers were constantly referring to Edward de Vere and Shakespeare (not to mention Sidney, Bacon, Queen Elizabeth, Burghley and others). Vere seems to have been a subject of considerable interest among these writers — along with Shakespeare.
Here’s the link to the magazine or collection of Rambler’s posts: http://lookingforshakespeare.blogspot.com/?view=magazine.
It’s worth bookmarking this magazine page because it lets you scan the titles and a few lines of his posts and click on the ones that are of particular interest. It’s nicely organized and easy to navigate. Please note the post on June 8th about dating The Tempest and the post on June 13th about Sonnet 125, the so-called Canopy Sonnet.
Here’s the link and a few lines from his very first post on April 11th:
April 11, 2013
If you believe there’s something suspect about the traditional version of the authorship of Shake-speare’s plays and poems, you’ll typically gravitate to one alternate candidate or another.
The nominees who are, at the very least plausible tend to have the qualifications deemed necessary to have been Shake-speare: the education, access to the books that supplied the plots as well as hundreds of sometimes arcane references spotted by scholars over the years, travel, familiarity with high (and low) politics, foreign languages, and so on. The shaxperians — those who believe that William Shaxper of Stratford-upon-Avon was the true author — assume that this material was obtained by their man somehow or other. This is the opinion of the overwhelming majority of scholars, the somehow-or-other explanation.
However, this whopping intellectual void does not mean that the dissenters have it all their own way. Two questions present themselves. Why did the true author choose to mask himself behind another man, assuming that Shaxper didn’t swipe the credit independently? And how did they pull off the subterfuge?
The first question is fairly easily answered. If the real Shake-speare was indeed an aristocrat — one with the intellectual and personal resources to achieve ‘Shake-speare’ — then he would have preferred anonymity to the publicity attendant on being a public dramatist in a period when such an occupation was beneath his dignity. Private, small-scale, closet drama was one thing, but being seen to gratify the hoi polloi was quite another.
The second question is very problematic. Some avoid the issue altogether. Almost every anti-shaxperian has his own explanation, or perhaps series of rationalizations better describes it. What was the relationship between Shake-speare and Shaxper? When did it begin? How did it proceed over the years? If Shake-speare pre-deceased Shaxper, what happened after that? Ditto if Shaxper died first. Nobody knows; it’s all guesswork.
ETC ETC … Rambler’s first post continues. Here’s the link to the complete April 11th post once again http://lookingforshakespeare.blogspot.com/2013/04/did-their-contemporaries-believe-that.html?view=magazine.
I like Rambler’s description of the orthodox theory as the “somehow or other” explanation.