Hooks argues that critics and biographers have too long focused on a single moment in 1594, when Shakespeare supposedly instrumentalized his connection with his fellow Stratfordian
Field to see Venus and Adonis and then Lucrece into print.
In 2003 he exposed a forgery, debunking what was long regarded as the earliest expression of doubt about the Stratfordian
orthodoxy, a purported 1805 draft for a lecture for the Ipswich Philosophical Society, about conversations with a doctor who had supposedly believed as early as 1785 that Shakespeare's work should be attributed to Francis Bacon.
While we appear to have been fascinated by 'marginality' as it relates to Shakespeare in biographical terms, in terms of, say, Shakespeare as a Catholic, as a playwright working in an inferior profession, a Stratfordian
in London, and so on--"we [have] remain[ed] largely uninterested in the representation of marginality, that is exile, performed with surprising regularity on the Shakespearean stage" (Kingsley-Smith 2003: 2-3).
I challenge any Stratfordian
to come up with a better one," Ifans said at the London Film Festival launch.
In the Eighteenth Century Shakespeare's image was in the ascendant, beginning with Nicholas Rowe's biography in 1709, the primary source of the Stratfordian
Similarly, I assume that the arguments of Dave Kathman and others will never convince an Oxfordian to become a Stratfordian
. Thus, I see no point in continuing this discussion.
"I am a Stratfordian
and it is very exciting to be bringing our brand to the town."
Nicolas Walsh, chairman of the Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations Committee, said: "The tradition of this weekend is an opportunity for us to celebrate the most famous Stratfordian
of all and to welcome into our town representatives from other nations - how very important this year is this gesture of peace and friendship."
With the advent of such plays as Freed's The Beard of Avon, and no less than three major motion pictures in the works presenting Oxford as the true Shakespeare, there's no denying that the paradigm of Shakespearean authorship is shifting away from the long-held Stratfordian
Jonathan Bate, a professor of English at the University of Liverpool, noted that the first collected edition of Shakespeare's plays--the 1623 edition known as the First Folio--"was adorned with Martin Droeshout's famous woodcut of the dramatist, his forehead domed like the Globe, as if to gesture toward the name of his theater and the universality of his genius." Bate also noted that many parts of the Folio's front matter--the introductory text and commendatory poems--provide evidence that supports the Stratfordian
Despite all the scholarly digging, the Stratfordian
remains to this day, as Mark Twain described him in 1909, "...
The April issue reminds us that even the strongest Stratfordian
argument can be summarized as follows: "You can't prove he didn't."