Monday, December 29, 2003

I pointed out in the Marlovian newsletter months ago that Ben Jonson's Invitation to a Grave Friend (quoted in Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac - DECEMBER 22 - 28, 2003) refers to thought-to-be-dead Marlowe.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

The Great Idiot Debate

I've just been rereading previous posts in this thread and so much was concerned with Neil Brennen, who seems to have dropped his earlier pseudonym, and I had hoped to drop him as a topic, but after many weeks, checking in at HLAS to see how a new Baconian friend was faring there, I found that Brennen's venom continued dripping. Must I stomp on his head?

"Neil Brennen" wrote in message news:...
> > > "Christine Cooper" wrote in message
> > >

> > > > Dave More said to tell you guys hi!
> > >
> > > That's enough reason to dismiss this post as twaddle.
> >
> > ++++++++++++++++++++++++
> >
> > Does that mean you agree that Will Shakspere was an illiterate country
> bumpkin?
> No, it means I consider David More an idiot, and that you suffer from guilt
> by association.

You see? So I wrote the following to post to HLAS (but have not posted):

Greetings to my old friends, and hello to new ones. To my enemies, peace.

I suggested to Ms. Cooper that she join this group because of the literate discussion she would find here. I forgot about Brennen the bully, whom I find still denigrating my name. So excuse me while I address him directly.

Brennen--I've neglected HLAS lately because I have been deeply engaged in other matters, but now I find you disparaging me in my absence (unmindful of the Golden Rule), so I remind you that you are both a liar and a coward, as I pointed out in the Chess newsgroup two months ago. Yet while I've been away, you have continued to dump on me and my website. So I must challenge you to a public debate in Philadelphia. The topic "Twice-Told Tales by Idiots: Marlowe, Bacon and the Shakespeare Debate."

No more about Brennen.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

According to new research from a University of Warwick historian, "the foul language and public name-calling hurled around on the streets of Elizabethan England from 1500 to 1700 was far worse than anything we hear today."

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Of journalists, scholars and trolls

Note to Bob Grumman re: The Sarasota Herald-Tribune article about Roberta Ballantine: This is what the writer, MICHAEL POLLICK actually wrote:

"Another prominent Marlovian familiar with Ballantine's work is David More of Carbondale, Ill. He is publisher of the online newsletter 'The Marlovian.' More points out that Ballantine's very first cipher analysis -- of the words carved on Shakespeare's tomb -- was published by the 'Shakespeare Bulletin.'

'They were impressed enough there, and that is an orthodox publication,' More says.

More considers Ballantine a valuable resource -- a walking encyclopedia of events dating from the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603). 'She knows the Elizabethan underworld like the back of her hand'."

Grumman said the article referred to me and John Baker as "scholars," which it doesn't. Neither John nor I are professional literary scholars, and Pollick is a responsible, accurate journalist, who strives to get the facts straight, which he did ... and Bob Grumman didn't. Bob doesn't have to, since he's a volunteer at HLAS?

Oh yeah ... gotta get the last word in with "Spam Scone," aka Neil Brennen....and Trot Nixon just homered off of Roger Clemens in the second inning of game 7 of the ALCS.

*** from a reader in a chess newsgroup***
Google Search:: "i may say that i enjoyed visiting your marlovian site and reading some of the contributions there. we have something in common, we both find ourselves here as the result of an accident, a shipwreck, if you will. my being here resulted from the fact that a friend and i were trolled by one of the most prominent members of this group. your being here evidently resulted from mr. brennen's having written about you, here."

Sunday, October 05, 2003


The man who posts under the screen name "Spam Scone" Neil Brennen posted another message today on HLAS about his photo in this blog. I think i've found a way that you can see what he looks like while respecting the webmaster's copyright of the photo. See below.
In the Sarasota Herald Tribune: Roberta Ballantine claims ciphers decode literary puzzle

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Richard the Gumbonian

Elizabeth Weir can be pretty funny like when whe writes about DeVere in the gulag "at Hackney where he was sent after he fled the Armada in his size 3 shoes." Richard Kennedy, defender of DeVere, took offense, although Richard has poked fun at William of Stratford many times. Weir wasn't ridiculing his hero, Charlton Ogburn, who appears to be normal-sized man, of considerable heart and intelligence. But Oxford falls way short in the authorship sweepstakes. Bacon has the Strachey letter (so far), and Marlowe has *Lucrece* (so far). What's Edward got? A tall order, can Richard put it in rime royal? ;-)

Weir back

My dear friend Elizabeth Weir is back. Will she stay long enough to acknowledge the superiority (or plausibility) of the Marlovian case?

Here's Elizabeth:

> A genius wrote the Shakespeare works.
> Marlowe (Oxford) was a genius.
> Therefore Marlowe (Oxford) wrote the Shakespeare works.
> Part II--the hard part--of the Marlovian-Oxfordian argument
> is proving that Marlowe and Oxford were genius enough
> to write the works assigned to them.
> None of Marlowe's works received his name in his lifetime--
> a very curious thing since he was not under the aristocratic
> stima of print--which is an historical fact--so by claiming Marlowe's
> authorship of what looks like Shakespeare's apprenticeship as
> a playwright, Marlovians are, in the authorship dispute at least,
> then required to prove that Marlowe was genius enough to write
> the Marlowe works.

I couldn't resist the challenge so I wrote:

1. As a boy, Marlowe was given a scholarship to Kings School for "boys who could read Latin, write verse and sing plainsong."

2. He was given an Archbishop Parker scholarship to Cambridge.

3. Contemporaries: Peele, Drayton, Blount and Thorpe testify to Marley's genius.

4. His 1992 Latin dedicatory epistle to the Countess of Pembroke (signed C.M.) of Thomas Watson's book, promises committed to high culture, hence no name on Tamburlaine.

5. Dido was printed in 1594, by Nashe and Marlo.

6. Lucan's First Book and Hero and Leander registered in Sept. 1593. Both were published a few years later.

etc. etc. etc.

> Marlovians have nothing in terms of evidence other than
> Marlowe's spotty MA which Cambridge did not want to
> confer.

I trust the above evidence clears that up! If not, why not? Where shall I mail your Marlowe Lives! Association membership card?

> Oxfordians, who think biography is evidence, can
> claim without much dissent that Oxford wrote the poetry
> assigned to him which runs from doggeral to "documented
> to have been written by Harvey," but Oxford's own
> mediocre poetry--if his stable of ten poets didn't write
> the best of it--coupled with the fact that the self-promoting
> Oxford was anything but a concealed poet eliminates
> Oxford from authorship contention.
> your admirer of irrevocable renegades
> Elizabeth

With all due respect, the Oxfrodian case is a joke. The evidence is scantier than a thong on sumo wrestler.

I tell you, Elizabeth, the Bacovians rule!
You can have King Henry VIII, I Henry VI, and the first 17 sonnets.

Have you looked into Lucan? Surely the author of that could have written *Lucrece*, case closed.

Another member of the rime royal club

Greg Reynolds weighs in with this:

Mystery solv'd, as far as that's concerned,
Dave reminding us which college taught Kit:
Cambridge is where his poetry was learned...
Will had no schooling, come to think of it,
Proving then Lucrece is something Will writ!
Authorship questions are thereby neutered:
(The poet said his lines were "untutored.")

Nice job, Greg!
A for rime scheme
A for argument
C for meter (everyone but the last is 'headless', last three lines not iambic -- just passing on what i was taught by my betters)

Although the poet claimed untutored lines
The story came from older language sources:
William wouldn't recognize the signs,
Since Chaucer wasn't one his resources,
He was too busy tending theater horses.
The poet plainly lied unless he meant
UnTudored, and republic government.

Lucrece sources:

Neil Obstat

When Neil Brennen finally saw that I snagged (he says "stole") his photo from his website and posted it in this blog, he didn't like it one bit, so he's taken the image down...(If it were my picture I'd do the same thing). At least he's posting more informative messages like his latest on the King John POTM thread about Guy of Warwick.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

It appears that the RM sonnet was a pastiche of Jim's, no?
If Jim wrote every line himself, he is no mean versifier. Still, the challenge I offer is to write original *rime royal* about how William (or Edward or Francis) wrote V&A and/or Lucrece.

To me, the fact that no Stratfordian or Oxfrodian in this ng can produce such verses tells me one of two things a) Strats aren't very versatile poets (pace Grumman) or, b) Strats don't know much about Shakespeare's narrative poetry (the works that "made his name," so to speak). (Ditto for the Deverites)

Note to Crowley: Why would Devere (as a pre-adolescent) write about an event that lead to the establishing of a REPUBLIC when Q. Elizabeth was a fairly new monarch?

Note to Brennen: this isn't about me, it's about writing poetry about Shakespeare. If you don't like mine, write better.

Note to Farey: since you're so proficient in rime royal, why don't you write your next Hoffman essay in that form. If you do I can almost *guarantee* that you will win. If you do, and you do, you can thank me later.

Note to Elizabeth: You're right: it's down to Marley and Bacon. I'm ready whenever you poetry or prose.

Note to Lorenzo: keep it up.

Note to Shakespeareans (of all persuasions)--

rime royalling is not to be despised
by anyone who loves the old bard's verse;
by foiling each other we'll get wise
despite a metric lapse, off-rime, or worse,
if all the evidence is set down first.
so here's a fact that can be tersely told:
a greyhound sign showed where *Lucrece* was sold.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Posted replies to Grumman, Brennen and Lorenzo. Suitable to each, I hope.
I think it's fine if no one cares to write rime royal verses in the Rime Royal thread. It takes time to do. That's why I say it was impossible for rural William to write in such a learned and lettered fashion right off the bat, so to speak, with Venus & Adonis and Rape of Lucrece, both of which show knowledge of advanced rhetorical techniques and understanding of classical legends. Neither show A TRACE of Warwickshire dialect which William spoke.

However, this be said, and it be true
Kit Marley wrote those poems without ado
Except to publish them to bid adieu.
> >We'll never know, I guess-- their tongues are tied,
> >But I, like Lord Randall, can say "I tried."
> But RANdall is the name. Yes? Thus you're fried.
> And I, like Fidel Castro, eyes a-far: (that means "a-fire," Dave)
> Say, "Close, Senor, and yet, Ai! No cigar."

In faith, Lorenzo, words half-baked like "l'ar" (that means "liar" Lo)
Suggest to me you didn't get too far (that means "fire" Lo)
About your hero, Ed Devere, the dunce.
I've asked you to not only twice, but once.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Text of The Rape of Lucrece

Rime toil

The silence of the Strats and Oxfrodians proves my point. Both camps are like groupies, who can't write poetry themselves, so they worship an illiterate bumpkin (or a highborn lowlife) who didn't have the education or technical skill to write a literary masterpiece like *Lucrece* in 1594 (or any other year, for that matter).

The attempt by Crowley and other ignoramuses to belittle Shakespeare's achievement, by calling it juvenile only reveals their own incompetence. Crowley can't even write ONE single stanza of rime royal, yet he says the author wrote it before puberty. Stratfordians have a different problem: their man was an "upstart crow" when Venus & Adonis was written. And apparently they can't write "Shakespearean-style" poetry.

Others have doubted my contention that the inability to write poetry diminishes one's authority for judging poetry competently. Of course, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but not all opinions are equally valid. Out of shape arm-chair quarterbacks can toss and catch a football. Most tennis fans can hit the ball over the net a few times. Even people in wheelchairs can shoot baskets, but Stratfordians can not write even a single stanza of "rime royal" to prove that their (unlettered) hero could have written it.

I'm certain that of those who have written "acceptable" rime royal in this thread (acceptable meaning ABOUT Shakespeare, not about me, written in true iambic pentameter, riming ababbcc)...none would minimize the author's great achievement in *Rape of Lucrece* -- 265 STANZAS of rime royal on an important topic (the elimination of tyrants and establishment of republic), dedicated to a young nobleman on the rise. Most definitely superior to oranges this time of year. And much better than shallow (if entertaining) concoctions like Titus Andronicus and Comedy of Errors. Lucrece was deep, in more ways than one.

Now here's one for the grave and wiser sort:
The man who wrote *Lucrece* had been to court.
He wrote the poem on purpose, not for sport,
To give a revolution his support;
For most who read Lucrece, well understood
Between the lines the message: change was good--
Especially from tyranny, and well it should
By Jove and folks be overthrown (it would).

Th' above is NOT rime royal verse I know,
but maybe soon it will so flow,
But now it's your turn, reader, yo,
stop arguing in so-so prose
and picking one another's nose
if you know who wrote those
Lucrece and Venus and Adonis, prove it:
William, Francis, Ned or Kit--
In verses lyrical and accurate.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Rime royal blues

Lorenzo's spoofin' usually, like me,
But I'm a bit more serious, I guess:
I think rime-royal poetry is key,
Since Strats can't rime of William's mental stress
In penning *Venus and Adonis*, Yes?
I've challenged them to write some truthful verse
About their Will (not me, or Marley's curse).

Just think about it, folks, for a short spell:
Rime Royal (when it's right) can not be false!
That's why no Strat or Oxfrod [sic] dudes can tell
Their heroes' tales in verse: The task appalls,
Since neither camp has evidence or balls.
True poets will agree Kit wrote *Lucrece*
Unless Will's fans "step up" and state their piece.

I doubt it can be done, to tell the truth:
The facts cannot be forced to fit his case--
Like thinking an old man can cut a tooth.
In 1594, none scribbled plays:
The bard back then wrote narrative most days.
But William would've had to earn a living;
He had close kin to whom he would be giving.

And how'd he learn to write without a trace
Of Warwick dialect in that long poem?
And write rhetorically in every phrase?
At 12, he'd left his school to work at home
And six years on, hitched up, a kid to come.
Now how in all gods' names could it be done?
Though smoking, there're no bullets in Will's gun.

And Oxford is another instance of
A lack of Latin credibility,
Though his supporters think he is above
All others born of no nobility.
(Though Bacon is possibility.)
We'll never know, I guess-- their tongues are tied,
But I, like Lord Randall, can say "I tried."

"mark the mustard"

p.s. i hope Peter Farey and the other members of the Rime Royal club will forgive "false/appalls" "come/home" "trace/phase" and "case/plays".

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Hipp in High Country

Met John Hippisley in Denver last weekend. He was the guy dressed up as "Marlowe" to promote Marlowe's Restaurant in Canterbury, England ten years ago, during events to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Marlowe's "sudden end" in 1593. We travelled to Colorado Springs for a meeting of the Marlowe Lives! Association at Garden of the Gods. I'll post some photos later.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Elizabeth Writes Re: Lucrece

I went through the footnotes to Lucrece in _Venus and Adonis, Lucrece
and the Minor Poems_ by Albert W. Feuillerat, Yale University Press,1927. Feuillerat's book--I think he also wrote the Yale Shakespeare--is an example
of the supremely high level of Shakespeare [ not to be confused with Stratfordian] scholarship that preceded the loss of (especially) Latin and Greek in academia.

Feuillerat has about a hundred notes for Lucrece, most of them taken up with correcting other scholars who misattribute lines to Ovid, not Livy, but there are
> definitely some lines that would defy attribution to a very young poet--I don't know how old Crowley thinks Oxford was when he wrote Lucrece--late adolescence?

Here's one of the notes on music that looks intellectually mature:

In line 1134. descant' st. 'To descant: to play or sing an air in harmony with a fixed theme' (N.E. better skill. I.e. with better skill. So Malone and others. But Wyndham explains more subtly: 'p, [sic] here, as ever, exhibits a complete grasp of technical terms. He makes Lucrece contrast her sad, monotonous accompaniment of groans-- humming on Tarquin still--with the treble descant of the nightingale, complaining in a higher register and with more frequent modulations of the wrong wrought her by Tereus, according to Ovid's tale. The one he compares to a single droning base, chiefly in the diapason or lower octave; the other to the "better skill" or more ingenious artifice of a contrapuntal melody scored above it.' Ibid. p 160.

There are numerous legal terms in Lucrece which are punned on by a poet with easy familiarity with law. Knowledge of law would put the author beyond the age of a young adolescent.
> Elizabeth

Good info, as usual, from Elizabeth...As she has said elsewhere, it's down to
Marley and Bacon...and you/we haven't yet discussed what their relationship might have been prior to 1593. Marley, like many other poets of the day, aspired to the favor of the Pembroke clan, (and appears to have gotten it, judging from the testimonial of "Heminge and Condell" in the Folio).

So what's Bacon's story, circa early 1590s? What do we (you) KNOW? and how might he have had a connection to Marley...because if Bacon DID write V&A and Lucrece, then how did he get hold of a manuscript of H&L. He didn't travel in the same circle(s) as Marley.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

The LASI Award Verses

I wrote:

> >Rime Royal is the longest single thread ,
> >Because 100's more than 91,
> >Where poets posted verses from their head(s)
> >And played with words and had a bit of fun,
> >And learned a thing or two when it was done.
> >Perhaps it isn't over, more's to come
> >And Groves and Kennedy will submit some.

Lorenzo replied:

> You ought observe, that, hoarder of the corn,
> (I.e. the thread, "Corn Hoarder"), was the whence,
> Wherefrom our most intriguing thread was born,
> Due due, Eliza's due. Come, hie thee hence;
> Due dues? Unduly rendered ever since.
> Nor never once at all, that I recall.
> Oh well, goodnight Irene, goodnight y'all.
> Lorenzo
> "Mark the music."

I replied:

Art Neuendorffer made that point himself.
Eliza's due th'award, no thanks to you,
A shiny LASSIE high up on her shelf,
A dusty sign of research overdue.
But must she dully bid D. Webb adieu?
And you, high L'o, should write of Ned DeVere:
Irene'll drink the dew in her parched ear.

"mark the mustard"

Monday, September 01, 2003

Nihil obstat

Nihil Brennen (Spam Scone) prompted me to write:

Obviously anyone who doubts the ascription of this poem to William of Stratford, must believe that the name on the dedicatory epistle to Henry Wriothesley...WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE...was a pseudonym, an "invention," if you will. If Marlowe were going to continue writing, he would require a name that was not too obviously a pseudonym (like Penn Naigm), yet suggestive (like Neil Downing). Don't you agree? I say IF.

But back Nihil...the Marlovians have yet to have high-profile convert. I've been courting Grumman for years, but he's too comfortable with what he thinks he knows. You could be the first to pull a "Richie Miller" (Richie came to his senses and rejected the ridiculous Oxfraudian claim in favor of William. Well, maybe he hasn't come completely to his senses. It's like he got a card that says, go back to Strat. It would really be "something" if Nihil would convert. So here's a reading list:

1. In Search of Christopher Marlowe
2. Nicholl's The Reckoning
3. Hero and Leander
4. Venus and Adonis
5. reread Lucrece
6. Farey's essays

Not necessarily in that order, one group is about the bio, another literary.

To be fair, Nihil can recommend 5 books to me, Shakespeare-related. I promise to read the first one on the list (if I haven't already, in which case, I'll read the next, etc.), if you do the same with Wraight.

Sunday, August 31, 2003

More with Nihil

Neil Brennen (Spam Scone) write:

> As with your fellow-traveler Toby, when you've lost an argument, you
> end with a jade's trick. I know you of old.

What does Neil mean "lost an argument"? What argument? I thought I was having a discussion, a brain-storming session with Elizabeth.

> > > > 1. The timing: Marlowe dies, Shakespeare's born within a fortnight.
> > >
> > > Even allowing for the figurative "birth", this is evidence of nothing
> > > other than coincidence.
> >
> > It's one of many coincidences. You have enough, it becomes
> > circumstantial evidence.
> But as we've seen, your hand is empty. You have nothing to support
> this singular coincidence.

Which hand? In some disciplines having an empty hand is desirable.

Do you mean I have no further evidence? How do you know what evidence I have? Much of it is public domain stuff. It all adds up.

> > > > 2. Dedication promising "graver labor" (Marley and Shakespeare loved
> > > > wordplay)
> > >
> > > So does Bob Grumman, yet I've never seen him suggested as author of
> > > the Canon.
> >
> > Clever.
> No, not at all. I could have suggested any number of writers fond of
> wordplay. The point is this is a worthless claim in the absence of
> anything concrete.

You are too modest. It WAS somewhat clever, because BG is such an amusing example. Not sure what you mean by "anything concrete."

Tell you what, Neil, why don't you take a breather and let Elizabeth Weir say what SHE has to say. Then we might learn more than you and I are likely to, since you are "arguing" without knowledge of the poems in question. Your quiver is empty, so to speak.

> > > > 3. V&A contains echoes of H&L, including the phrase "rose cheek'd
> > > > Adonis" which appears NOT WHERE ELSE IN WORLD LITERATURE, but appears
> > > > only in V&A and in H&L (which wasn't printed until 1598) on line 93
> > > > (V&A was published in '93).
> > >
> > > We don't know that H & L didn't circulate in manuscript, or that
> > > Shakespeare didn't meet Marlowe and got the phrase from him. And
> > > there's nothing extrordinary about an unknown writer echoing a more
> > > famous one.

I like the second option better. It's cleaner. like the scene in the tavern in Shakespeare in Love, Ethel the Pirate's Daughter...but "Rose cheek'd Adonis" instead. I like it. I think our work here is done.

> > Now this bears some exploration. But to do so, it will help to read
> > Hero & Leander. Let's work out the time line, etc. for the scenario
> > you suggest.
> Just like a wack mind to take a dismissal and turn it into a
> "scenario". Yes, H & L could have possibly circulated in manuscript,
> as allegedly Shakespeare's "sugarded" sonnets did.

Neil, I find the phrase "wack" offensive. It implies that I follow THE ONE TRUE WACK -- Bob Grumman, which I don't. If you're in love with the homonym, however, you can think of me as a "whack," okay? Whack. with an h.

> However, as
> bookburn has pointed out, a reference to roses in the cheeks is not
> unknown in the work of other writers.

Neil, this has been hashed out before, with one or two heavyweights chipping in, and the phrase "rose cheek'd Adonis" is found only in Marlowe and Shakespeare. These are not the only parallels between them. I really don't have time to go over it all again with you personally. Read the old threads or Hero & Leander. I recommend the latter and enjoy!!! I read your short story, by the way, and the tale in H&L is similar.

And as our Ever-Posting Poet
> hinted, there's nothing remarkably poetic about the phrase.

Maybe not "remarkably" poetic, but poetic.

And I like that phrase Ever-Posting Poet. Have you used it before? Can I use it? I'll trade you one "rose cheek'd Adonis" and a "tears from sluices" for it.

> In which H&L circulated in manuscript. When do you think
> > William got hold of it. What month and year? Where did he get it? What
> > connection did he have with the Marlowe circle. I'm not saying you're
> > wrong, I'm asking you to think it through. You know how difficult it
> > is to write elegant verses, like Marlowe or Shakespeare.
> I know how difficult it is for me to write verse - I won't speak for
> the difficulty to Shakespeare or Marlowe. I'm sure that writing music
> is equally difficult - except perhaps for a gifted few: Mozart, etc.
> V&A was
> > registered in April 1593. Let's give him time to write it, along with
> > his other duties. So when did William get the ms? Bear in mind, this
> > would mean that CM's poem was completed and in circ by then.

> > > > The key evidence really is the alleged murder. If you reject Poley,
> > > > Skeres and Frizers story, based on what we now know about the men and
> > > > their activities before and immediatley following the Deptford event
> > > > (in other words, they were PROFESSIONAL LIARS! get it?) then school's
> > > > out.
> > >
> > > All antiShakespeareans (this includes you and Peter Farey) begin and
> > > end with conspiracy theories.
> >
> > Well, duh. ;-)
> Yes, that was a truism, wasn't it? Well, others have shot holes in
> Farey's speculations, so there's no need to trot them out again.

OF COURSE, holes can be shot in speculations. But there is pretty strong circumstantial evidence that CM's death was faked in order to deceive and appease Whitgift's sense of justice.

I'd be quite confident in taking the Marlowe case before a modern jury. In fact, if you want to debate the issue in public sometime, you're on. In Philadelphia, maybe. I've done it before, I can do it again.

But right now, you haven't read enough to do that. So let's hear what Elizabeth (who HAS read a lot) has to say, okay? So do your homework, and I'll see you in Philly, maybe.

> > > > Even WITH the murder, Marley could have written V&A, since it was
> > > > registered (anonymously) in April, weeks before CM's sudden end.
> > >
> > > Perhaps he could have. However, there is no evidence that he did so.
> >
> > Actually, the evidence is stylistic and literary. Only proves that he
> > COULD have written it, not that he did.
> When I say "perhaps he could have", I mean "from the technical
> standpoint he was capable of writing the poem", just as Prokofiev was
> technically capable of composing Stravinsky's Le Sacre or de Falla's
> Three Cornered Hat. I am not suggesting that he did so.

hey, i'm not a classical music expert, but those styles are very different, i guess? But the styles of Marley and the author of V&A are VERY SIMILAR. Very, very similar. See? Well you WILL see when you've read H&L.

> Now Bacon, on the other hand
> > had shown no poetic skill up til 1593, so far as I know. And William?
> > he was an "upstart crow" in 1592. Upstart indeed.
> >
> > > There is evidence that someone by the name of William Shakespeare did
> > > write V & A.
> >
> > Yes. There is. There is also evidence of writers using pseudonyms
> > before this. Martin Marprelate.
> Yes, but there is no evidence that a pseudonym was being used in this
> case.

There is evidence that a pseudonym MAY WELL HAVE been used in this case. Because of all the "candidates" only Marley had a MOTIVE and OPPORTUNITY to use a nom de plume. Why in the name of all that's politick would Bacon have come on to Southampton that way at that time? Shhhh. Rhetorical question, Neil. Let Elizabeth say something.

> > > > I am only offering evidence that existed in 1593 to show that Marley
> > > > probably wrote V&A. Can you do the same?
> > >
> > > Your Emperor has no clothes, Dave.
> >
> > But he has ice cream. mmmmm. ice cream.
> >
> As with your fellow-traveler Toby, when you've lost an argument, you
> end with a jade's trick. I know you of old.

I didn't "lose the argument" because we weren't arguing! Nor did you evince the evidence I requested. But that's okay. Give me the scoop later.

Oh Elizabeth, where are you?

When last we spoke, you were going to offer your evidence that Bacon wrote V&A under the nom de plume Shakespeare in 1593, dedicated to Southampton. You say Essex would have "bitch slapped" the younger Earl for accepting it from William, the low class actor. Only Bacon and Marley could have done it, you said. So where shall I send your ML!A secret decoder ring*, Elizabeth?

David More

*in case anyone should be mystified, the secret decoder ring is a joke, harkening back to the old Captain Midnight radio/tv show. There's probably a web page or two about it.

Friday, August 29, 2003

And then there were 2

> There are only two authorship candidates remaining in the
> field--Bacon and Marlowe--but I don't see a Marlovian case.
> Elizabeth

Gee, Elizabeth, I thought we were hashing it out, and I find you here I got evidence, don't worry. And you? Venus and Adonis and Lucrece.

1. The timing: Marlowe dies, Shakespeare's born within a fortnight.
2. Dedication promising "graver labor" (Marley and Shakespeare loved wordplay)
3. V&A contains echoes of H&L, including the phrase "rose cheek'd Adonis" which appears NOT WHERE ELSE IN WORLD LITERATURE, but appears only in V&A and in H&L (which wasn't printed until 1598) on line 93 (V&A was published in '93).

The key evidence really is the alleged murder. If you reject Poley, Skeres and Frizers story, based on what we now know about the men and their activities before and immediatley following the Deptford event (in other words, they were PROFESSIONAL LIARS! get it?) then school's out.

I am only offering evidence that existed in 1593 to show that Marley probably wrote V&A. Can you do the same?

Hoping you don't "duck" away again,

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Groves of Academe

If you read the post below about Neil Brennen, just today I heard from Dr. Peter Groves, a lecturer at Monash University in Australia, who wrote a book on English meter, who claimed that Brennen's verses scanned fine as iambic pentameter (I think that's what he meant. I wrote to him for clarification. )

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Neil down to size

There's this guy who looks like this, who posts to the HLAS newsgroup, "Spam Scone" (Neil Brennen) who is always making demeaning remarks about people, but doesn't offer any evidence or information himself (that I have noticed). He's been on Greg Reynolds case for a long time, and Greg has been putting up Quality posts there for years! This morning I wrote Neil the following e-mail message:

Friendly suggestion: why don't you stop making snide comments from the sidelines and contribute something positive and productive to the group? Reynolds has contributed so much more than you over the years, it ain't even funny. Knave and Grumman used to be like you, but they learned the value of evidence over sarcastic insults. Hopefully you will too. To be honest with you, I keep reading your posts in hopes that you will contribute something positive or help advance our [knowledge of] Shakespeare and his times, but have been disappointed. But since I'm an optimist, i'm sending you this message, in case it helps. I hope so. As I said, i'm an optimist. And *Hero & Leander* is a fine example of CM's craftsmanship.
Okay, that was that... You've read this far, stay with me ...The night before I posted some verses in the "Rime Royal" newsgroup thread (HLAS) to Lorenzo, a poet from California with whom I've had friendly e-mail exchanges:

Yo, yo, Lorenzo, my new friend,
Won't you compose new verses for this thread
About old Ned--or better, Kit? Pretend
You read the news of Marley first instead,
And learned the muses' darling wasn't dead!
For if that's so, you've got a richer story
About a broken bough, and fallen glory.

So Neil Brennen, from Pennsylvania writes:

Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight,
And burned is Apollo`s laurel bough,
When pseudo-poets think "yo, yo" can rate
With Marlowe's mighty line. Oh God, and how
Lowercase does go on, and on, and now
And again shows that doggerel is king!
Truly, it seems, that dumb birds may now sing.

If the first two lines seem familiar, it's because they are actually MARLOWE'S! (from Doctor Faustus).

Neil's own words continue (notice the drop in quality and sentiment).

They are actually self-referential...because, although the lines don't scan very well, they're the best thing Brennen has written--so far.

I think my own verses DO scan well (of course), and that I succeeded in communicating to Lorenzo (the best poet in the HLAS group, as far as I know) to write some verses about the 17th Earl of Oxford--or better yet, Marley.

Although (judging from his photo) he's a large man, in Shakespeare studies he's a lightweight, because he hasn't read enough....and he would do well to follow the example of his Stratfordian betters: David Webb, Peter Groves, Terry Ross, David Kathman, and others who know their stuff, but never resort to cheap shots, except for maybe Kathman and Groves, and Webb occasionally. ;-)

For Brennen, the HLAS newsgroup is a place for his personal amusement at the expense of others. He has succeeded in pissing off the usually unflappable Peter Farey, the unusually testy Greg Reynolds, and even me.
If this were Survivor, he'd have been voted off months ago, I'm sure. Right after me.

Still, his versifying shows a bit of promise, if he would just write about William or Edward or Francis or Kit or and not about me, or Reynolds, or Elizabeth Weir or anyone else with ill intent. It's simply bad form. As Reynolds said, it's not a chatroom.

The good news is Lorenzo DID write some rime royal -- not about the topic I suggested, but they were good anyway.

I'll add links later. Enough for now.

Friday, August 22, 2003

a reminder Elizabeth Weir that she has some splainin' to do in the Kathman's Critics thread. Also, who else might have been given access to the Strachey report--names if you have them. (if you've already answered this, where?)

yours truly,
David More

you can call me Dave, and think of me as:

"Grumman with hair"
"A dumber Webb"
"Baker on meds"
"Kathman's downstate foil"
"Lorenzo's Omarlo"
"Farey's shadow"
"Greg's sparring partner"
"Knave's rhyme"
"Ross's cr*ss"
or "the merchant of Marlowe"

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

When pigs fly

Flying pigsI agree with Mark Steese, Richie Miller isn't fanatic, but Weir isn't hateful either. I appreciate Richie's closer look at the Hunt(?) annotation on his website. ... Keep up the good work, Miller. Your decision to put the Oxfrodian (sic) lunacy behind you speaks well of your common sense. Looking forward to your attempt to demolish the Marlowe case for authorship. Here's a start: there is no Marlowe case. He was killed on May 30, 1593 (nearly every regular poster to this group will agree.) And yet, a niggling possibility remains. I mean, pigs COULD fly couldn't they? You could strap them into a hang glider, they'd probably really enjoy it, the breeze blowing in their snouts, ears blowing back. If only someone would put up some evidence that his death was faked. Here, what's this?
JSTOR: Shakespeare Quarterly

Weir having some fun now

Message to David Webb: Well, Dave, I guess we'll have to see if Elizabeth Weir has answers to, or questions about, my queries. Unlike you, i don't have much history of debate with her, but have always admired her resourceful research and in-your-face approach to presenting evidence (although from what you say, she is not so bold in putting up evidence for many of the claims she makes). Will she give me evidence for the claims she makes below? Will she be brave enough to explore the evidence surrounding Marlowe's sudden end, the immediate (re)birth of Shakespeare in print; and the posthumous history of Marlowe's reputation and literary publications? The balls (sic) in her court ...

p.s. to Kathman on the Subject of this thread:
How about those contemporary critics who say Lucrece is inferior goods!? The last reference you offered was 43 years ago. Critical opinion and scholarly research into V&A and Lucrece has changed and expanded greatly since then, no?

Sunday, August 17, 2003

To Dave K:

You knew that Prince just died this month?

I'll try to obtain his 1960 Arden edition of the poems. He says "it will not be difficult to argue..." Does he? On what grounds is Lucrece 'a failure' I wonder. Still he notices that V&A was "complete artistic success"! written in 1592-93, when William was described (Strats claim) as an upstart crow! Neither of these poems appear to have been written by an upstart. In fact, Lucrece, is a very ambitious (conceit deceitful compact kind) mini-epic about the founding of empires. But I'll read what Prince and others have to say about the poem, too.


Rich might believe me to be a fanatical Marlovian, but I don't hate the eminent Stratfordians Terry Ross or Dave Kathman, or anyone in this group, except one guy with a stupid But I'm really not a fanatical Marlovian, because (like Farey, Weir--and a few Stratfordians) I favor evidence over opinion. Call me a "Trutharian."

To: Richie Miller of The Shak KJV Squad

Richie Miller wrote in message Elizabeth Weir:

> I know what I'm talking about. I used to be a fanatical Oxfordian.
> I also used to address Terry and Dave in the rude and maniacal manner
> that you [Elizabeth Weir] do. But you seem to hate them like I never did.

Elizabeth's posts are never rude and maniacal. And hate? No. She's playing evidentiary hardball is all. (I think she's a lawyer, hence the love affair with Bacon). But it sounds like Rich has become a fanatical Stratfordian. Just what they need, a con-vert. I wish one of those Stratferd or Oxfrod types would join the Marlowe side. (I've been courting Grumman for years, but he won't turn). Betty yet, I wish Elizabeth would start looking more into matters Marlovian. She keeps ducking me, though, my high hard ones brush her off the plate of evidence she keeps piling on.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Where's Weir?

Everytime I post a response or query to one of her's, she disappears.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Return of a Colossus

After disappearing for months when his claim of having a Ph.D. degree was exposed as false at HLAS, John "Faker" Baker has returned to the action with a bang: a brand new piece of evidence proving that William Shakespeare was known primarily as an actor. He didn't discover it himself, but he seems to have discovered the discover at a conference. I'll get the link for you, in which John makes his announcement.

There's been a great deal of discussion about what the Latin inscription says exactly, but no one is questioning its authenticity except (just today) Weir, the Baconian. I think she's on to something, and so, apparently, does Peter Groves.

John's amazing colossal website, with his spin on the latest Shakespeare find is here

Poets as critics

To David Webb's question

> Do you *really* believe that successful critics must perforce be poets?!

HLAS poetry maven, John W. Kennedy, replies: "How many aren't? Are their any literary critics of note who have not plunged in? I do not deny that composition and criticism are quite different, but I can't think of a major critic who is not also at least a minor poet. (And Walter Kerr confesses, somewhere or other, to being a failed playwright.) Of course, one need not be a practising poet to recognize bad grammar, a meandering plot, rude or inconsistent characterization, or inappropriate diction. But those are not specifically poetic faults (in the modern sense of "poetic", of course).

I quote this because I've been insisting that those who are incapable of composing blank verse or rime royal themselves have no business saying that a major poem of Shakespeare's Rape of Lucrece is inferior or juvenile.

Cursus, foiled again

Patrick Cheney bio

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Yo, Richard, what's the point? I agree with Kathman: it can be a waste of time "debating" true-believers in the HLAS newsgroup. And Dave, to his credit, provides the group with (often) much-needed factual correctives.

This is not take away from your own gadfly contributions, such as the Wool Man thread, and the poem to William Peters (any poet could tell that wasn't by Shakespeare, unless he was trying to write bad poem), and your expose of the (semi-squalid) living conditions in Stratford more than century after the First Folio came out, and the ignorance of the townsfolk as to who William was also stands out. Sure Dave's smugness can be annoying and frustrating at times, but he does a good job of answering queries, and his paragraphs are never gaseous, unlike some, who shall go nameless -- but your guess is (near-rimes gaseous) as good as mine.

Wynn D. More

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Lorenzo, i took your challenge

My friends, 'tis said 'a bad weed never dies,'
But not by those who sell new herbicides
Or naturalists, who know that saying lies.
What's good or bad behavior, who decides?
And what wise minds will be our moral guides?
A man called "William Shakespeare" might be one:
Who reckons Kit's abuses, does his own. (sonnet 121)

The slander of Kit Marley's evil ways,
Is heard, these parts, by 'n early morning riser:
A 'mess', a 'rowdy, rockin' chap', it says,
(The voice of Oxford's well-versed advertiser)
But here it's said by someone who is wiser:
Such words are false, and not contextual
Since Marley's loves were mainly intellectual.

But Ned Devere was venally perverse:
The shallow lowlights, Alan Nelson tells.
Alas, Oxford'yuns have a deeper purse;
A flaw-struck nobleman makes cents, it sells--
Despite the Shakespeare-Marley parallels.
So here's a claim Lorenzo can explain
"DeVere's a boar of very little brain."

just found these lines on the rime royal thread

i hate when that happens--words left out inadvertently, but here's my rewrite

Okay, Lorenzo, you're the doctor, sure;
No argument from me, but what's your claim?
That my poor verse is sic without a cure?
Be patient, won't you, doc? It's but a game:
My limping lines can heal; no more be lame:
If your consulting makes my verses tighter,
I'll 'ply your 'dvice and be a better writer.

and then i wrote...

>Nil Vero Verius, who can deny?
>But it proves next-to-nothing Shakespeare-wise.
>Too bad Ned's fans believe they can rely
>On Latin platitudes, and rosey lies,
>Since nought in Ned's biography applies
>To make it feasible that he would print
>Lucrece to Henry W., no hint.

Dickin' around with Kennedy

I never said Richard Kennedy's "Stratford Man" was "sh*t." David Webb observed (in sprightly verses of his own) that it wasn't rime royal, is all. In good fun. And not to be picky with Dicky, but his verses below are *still* not rime royal, because they're not pentameter. But hey, who's counting? Oh yeah, I am....Along with the other Kennedy and Webb (possibly), and Farey and Lorenzo (probably).

I think Richard, self-style "Gumbonian," was offended by a wisecrack i made to Lorenzo: "Richard appears to be stuck in tetrameter, he should try to squeeze out another plunk per line before getting up from his toiling seat."

And then he wrote:

> Sorry I can't please you, Mr. More. Do you say you are under attack?
> You brought it on yourself. Here's a rime royal flush for you.
> The shit that goes around comes back,
> To haunt the shitter, have you heard?
> The toilet seat is down, so smack
> Your bums to rest and grunt a turd,
> Another time and mind your words.
> My "Stratford Man" was shit you said,
> ?Twas mere "limp crap" ? it's on your head.

Which fell short of rime royal, so I improved it:

The HEARTFELT shit that goes around comes back
To haunt the shitter, OLD DICK K. HAS heard
Another time and mind HIS CHOSEN WORD.
HIS "Stratford Man" was shit THE PAPER said,
'Twas mere "limp crap" UPON HIS HOARY head.

Doesn't that work better? I like throney cause it suggests thorney.

Neither Richard (nor Neil Brennen) seem to understand my purpose in issuing the challenge, or invitation, if you will, to write a stanza or two or rime royal, in solidarity with "the bard" who wrote 265 of them, 1,855 high quality lines in his spare time one year. I maintain that neither William nor Ned DeVere, nor, for that matter, Bacon, would have been capable of this achievement. I'm asking those who disagree to do so in rime royal. I've gone further (to make it interesting) and issued a challenge to hlas poets. So far, only Peter F. and Lorenzo (his real name?) have risen to the occasion (see below). Oh, and Bob G.

Currently Edward DeVere has more quality and quantity verses than either Marlowe or Shak(e)spere or Bacon believers. But Marlovians are gaining fast. Shakespeareans wisely refrain. If Richard isn't up to the challenge, I understand. After writing 7 or 8 stanzas of this form myself, I know how much more difficult it is to write than the more natural (?) tetrameter line which Richard uses pretty well, or blank verse, as Tom Reedy now knows.

Once you get the hang of it, it's fun. Richard Kennedy should try it, instead of complaining about the rules.

> > Don't mean to be a prick, old Dick,
> > Your verses have a flowing folksy style.
> > I've got to hand it to you, take a lick
> > At Will's rime-royal. It may take awhile
> > To get the meter right with no denial,
> > So, smile Dicky, do, and take a shot:
> > Rime royally for Ned DeVere, why not?

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Latest News from the Marlowe Society Marlowe Day Sept. 27

More rime royal

This phrase, Good Bob, the motto on your crest:
"Forget the facts, what we dream up must be."
For it describes Stratfordyun thinking best,
(Though some awake, in truth, in Canterb'ry.)
And yet the dreamers' of Freemasonry
Devised a liturgy symbolic, yes?
The Folio of plays, a hoax, my guess.

If you desire evidence, i've got
a book or two supports this far-out claim;
and even will i write verse lines a lot,
to tell you how Will Shakespeare got his name;
Like Lancelot, I'll win this little game.
Although Lorenzo has much weaponry,
More Marlowe fans, it seems, write poetry.

Verbal masturbation

I'm typing this with but one hand
To ask Ms. Weir just why she can't
Reply to my fair query 'bout her hero, Bacon,
And Lucrece and Lucan, and--ah-ah-ahhhh . . .
Nah, i'm fakin'.
Farey's answer to Lorenzo as the common charges against Marlowe.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Neil down

There's this obnoxious poster at HLAS, who goes by the screen name "Spam Scone" (what a stupid pseudonym), who likes to throw insults from the sidelines at insightful posters offering evidence of William's imposture. For instance, in my effort to introduce (Shakespeare's "graver labor) Rape of Lucrece into the discussion, ignoramusses in the group called it an inferior production of the bard's, while I insisted that those who are not qualified--by being poets themselves, or having read professional critics-- have no authority to dismiss the bard's tour de force (written at the age of 30) an inferior work of art, compared to the plays. I've insisted that people like "Spam" (Neil Brennen) should establish their own poetic authority -- or shut up on the quality of Shakespeare's. Of course, they can say they liked it or hated it, but can not assess its value because they are unqualified to do so. It's like someone who eats fast food being a food critic.

So Spam wrote

> If I say a rooster is not a hen, must I lay an egg to prove my
> "authority"?

Saying a rooster is not a hen is like saying a play is not a narrative poem; it doesn't take much special knowledge to know that, but knowing the kinds of roosters and hens--the many varieties of poetry, and recognizing their clucks and metrical variations, requires a little more expertise. So, although Neil's comment laid an egg here, it didn't make him cock of the walk.

But Neil got cocky:

> Prove William Shakespeare's name on the title page [of Rape of Lucrece] wrong. In a sensible, sane argument for once.

So I wrote:

>>Okay, Neil...I can PROVE IT beyond any shadow of a doubt.
>>But first, you've got to make a bet with me.... What will you do in return?
>>Will you write 14 lines of rime royal about how William wrote Lucrece if I prove it to you? Will you?

Unfortunately, Bob Grumman tipped him off: The name William Shakespeare does not appear on the title page of Rape of Lucrece.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Lookin' at Lucan

Today republished the Lucan page and CMjr's essay on Thorpe . . . here.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

You and Dave have got me going now. I'll have to dive deeper into your site and
> work out why you are wrong, as you, of course, have to be. Either that or I...
> no.
> If nothing else, I learned how to pronounce "shtuck," a word I've never even
> seen. I grokked it my own shrewd self. Anyway, don't stop now! You could dash
> off another 200 stanzas or so, and really liven things up for the Marlowe
> research throng. Oh, brave new scholarship!

Oh brave new scholarship, indeed. This is what I intended, and I'm glad a poet of your ability has decided to play, to stimulate discussion and raise the level of debate. Let the best poet (i.e. Marley or DeVere or Bacon or, choke, William) win! I figure their supporters ought to be able to put their hero's case into convincing verse. I just wish i wasn't so busy with other projects, but hey, we do want we can.

Last year, I made a proposal to the English Dept. at the local university to expand and footnote my "rap epic" (rapic) the Marliad for a Ph.D. dissertation. It was approved by everyone, including the chair, but not the top Shakespeare prof, a friend of mine, who doesn't want the controversy.

After you examine Peter's website, take a look at mine, especially the work-in-progress draft of my poem posted there, if you're looking for more arguments to consider. Mind you, it isn't written in rime royal, but couplets and extended rimes, including near rimes,if the sense fits. Rather free-flowing. But I think you're right about Peter F. writing another 200 stanzas or so or rime royal. He and I and YOU (!?) could really shake things up in the field of Marlowe-Shakespeare studies.
Well, I'm here to learn and teach and have fun.

> >
> > i'd like to challenge you within this thread,
> > to write blank verse replies exclusively.
> If I had all day to spend on hlas, I'd take you up on that, just for the fun
> of it. But I only read the group in the morning before work and the late
> evening after work, and sometimes at lunch.
> > now tell me where your hero got the chops
> > to write *rape of lucrece* to henry wriothesley
> > 'bout a topic controversial to the realm,
> > in verse sublimely suited to the topic,
> > instead of earning money for his family.
> Since we know almost nothing about the life of Shakespeare,
I don't see how
> you say he didn't have the "chops" to write Lucrece.

Maybe I should have said the BALLS, to write that poem to HW on that topic at that time....What we DO know about William is that he had 3 (count 'em 3) kids by the time he was 21 or so! and by age 29 he's writing Rape of Lucrece! Why? The traditional bio has him going to London to become an actor and there learning to write plays.

Shakespeare in Love was totally inaccurate as to chronology: by the summer of 1593 he would have been on top of the world, with first narrative poem, Venus & Adonis, in print in an elegant edition.

A university education
> is certainly no qualification to write poetry, or even to versify as you do.
> Many poets have never been to college, and many people who have cannot write
> poetry.

But they doen't write 265 stanzas of rime royal. They write like Burns or Whitman in the vernacular...Lucrece is NOT vernacular.

> And the idea that you have to have written poetry to appreciate it is as
> ludicrous as your other ideas.

Tom, it isn't that you have to have written it to appreciate it, but it helps. Anyone who plies a trade or craft can appreciate and see things done by others in the same profession; details missed by the uninitiated. But metrically-challenged Stratfordians, like yourself, can still make a strong contribution in other areas-- biography, e.g. and, of course, rude, insulting words like "ignorant antiStratfordian" and "ludicrous."

Consider: who are the reliable quality posters in this group besides the two Peters? What do they have in common? All have written and posted quality poetry, or are capable of doing so (even Dave K, no doubt) And since they have or can, they recognize the quality of Shakespeare's "graver labor," which the author wrote when he was 30 years old, and dedicated to a very influential young nobleman: a poem of masterful artistic expression.

For much imaginary work was there;
Conceit deceitful, so compact, so kind,
That for Achilles' image stood his spear,
Griped in an armed hand; himself, behind,
Was left unseen, save to the eye of mind:
A hand, a foot, a face, a leg, a head,
Stood for the whole to be imagined. (204)

That's stanza 204 of 265. Anyone who can't hear Shakespeare's mastery and control of his material in this poem, in my opinion, is either a) not poetical all, or b) a bad poet. I think any good poet can fail acknowledge the tour de force the author at least ATTEMPTED (and in my opinion, pulled off) in Rape of Lucrece: a mini-epic in sublime style, about the founding of the Roman Republic. A kind of "prequel," praised by no less a critic than Gabriel Harvey, a pretty fair poet himself.

This was my point in the first place (remember, Tom?): that Rape of Lucrece would be a little more challenging to write than revising old plays in blank verse. That's why it was published and dedicated to a nobleman, and the plays were not (at least not immediately.)

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Farey chimes in

It didn't take long for Peter Farey to answer Lorenzo's music with some notable arguments of his own in rime royal, to boot. He wrote

> The documented record is quite clear -
> A quarrel over just a 'sum of pence'.
> With Skeres and Poley sitting very near,
> Kit died, and Frizer claimed 'twas self-defence.
> Few think this true. It lacks the evidence
> Of how it came that they (and only they)
> Were gathered at that place, that time, that day.
> He should have been at Nonsuch, checking in.
> And Poley had some messages 'in poste',
> The other two a coney for to skin,
> And in their mind such things were uppermost.
> Why were these three in Deptford, playing host
> To Marlowe, poet/playwright, atheist,
> Unless they had been called on to assist?
> Assist in what? Perhaps his 'sudden end'?
> A murder has been mooted oftentime:
> But Cecil (boss) and Walsingham, their friend,
> Were hardly like to join in such a crime.
> To help him flee? I have to say that I'm
> Unable to buy that - the corpse denies.
> So what is left? A make-believe demise.
> Undoubtedly he was in deepest shtuck,
> Odds on for execution, so they say,
> You write an anti-Trinitarian book,
> You get sent permanently on your way.
> Perhaps his friends could get the Queen's OK
> His skin might yet be saved, if not too late,
> His talent still of value to the state.
> The team's assembled: one to perpetrate,
> One to keep watch and one to organize;
> A man condemned to die around that date;
> A safe house, far away from prying eyes.
> The Queen's own coroner to supervise
> The inquest, and to see the jury swore
> The tale they heard was true - no less, no more.
> Is there a happy ending? That I doubt.
> The likely penance permanent exile,
> False name, false background, from now on without
> Old haunts, old friends (but newest juvenile?),
> The Rose, with Alleyn putting on the style.
> He still could write, of course. The play's the thing
> Where reconciliation he might sing.
> Did he? Who knows. But on the Avon's brim,
> A monument with wording strange we find
> (To Stratford's William Shakespeare, not to him,
> Except for those with a more curious mind).
> "Read who is here with Will, if you're not blind"
> It says, and there he is, as born anew.
> And odds of twenty million cry "It's true".

Rime Royal pain in the *

Well now, I've gone and done it, following my relatively successful rime royal debut in Friday's post below), a masterful poet named Lorenzo, wrote his own* I followed with a hasty note to him

>Lorenzo, yes, your rime-royal sure was
>A thing of beauty, worthy of the best,
>So if you don't get a rest, who does?
>In fact, I'm hoping others take the test,
>And gain respect (more than they would have guessed)
>For Lucrece's rime, and what was meant
>By ending it: "everlasting banishment."

which I have since revised and posted and when I get will place it here.

Although my first attempt at rime royal below met with favorable reviews, Lorenzo answered the one above brilliantly, and in doing so, raised the bar to a whole new level.

Lorenzo wrote:

That is a poser, and I s'pose you mean
To promulgate anew your idee fixe
Wherein Kit Marlowe's absenting the scene
In fifteen ninety-three was rigged: that reeks!
If that old theory caulks your boat, she leaks.
Soggier still's the dampy-handed style
With which you angle now, sir, to beguile.

Debauched, amoral, irreligious cuss -
Young Kit was many things. Young Kyd, alack,
Once advertised unto the world just thus;
Of course, he did so writhing on the rack,
And if he could he might have ta'en it back,
E'en as young Kit, if he but could, might say,
"OK! I'll pay! Frize! Lay thy dirk away!"

But no. No recantation (that's for Bob,
Our English whiz, neologistic branch,
Who thinks who favors nobles be a snob.
He's quite a card. Meanwhile, back at the ranch...)
Forthcame, no word from Tom, nor else, to stanch
The bleeding reputation of the man
Who fell to earth there nigh the Deptford Strand.

The Kitster was a rowdy, rockin' chap,
As those who knew him ne'er have e'er denied,
And tragic as his themes, so too his hap,
In sooth, the legend's yet to be belied:
Ah, Davey, Davey, Davey - Marlowe died.
Was banished to the fires of Hell, I guess,
Assuming they'd accept such sorry mess.

But banished from the realm? As Tarquin was?
For what? By whom? His friends of high estate?
To spare him from himself? I see no cause,
To think this was the great playmaker's fate.
Go to. I think the guy was born too late
To write the works of Shake-speare anyway,
All mostly born before he died, I say.

There is a one, another, that we know,
Who sundry times for reasons right and wrong
Was banished from the court, flat told to go
His ways apart and separate from the throng
About the throne, and so arose a song,
Nay, sev'ral, in lament of said disgrace
You seem to hold as pert'nent to your case.

Well, it seems evident to me that you
Stand ready here to make a crafty speech,
So I will ease back in my cushy pew
To hear the sermon you must needs now preach.
And though I'm sure it's sure to be a reach,
Yet, here's a line wherewith to improvise:
"My friends, 'tis said a bad weed never dies..."

I repied to him in verse today, but since I didn't save it to my hard drive it is currently "out there" in cyberspace via Google newsgroup service, queued for posting.

scuse me, i've got some verse to write.

Friday, August 01, 2003

The Rap of Luke Reese

Here's my attempt at rime royal (iambic pentameter, rhyme scheme: ababbcc . . . More difficult to write than blank verse for me:

From Deptford on the Strand, in desperate haste,
Borne by the end of hope in Christian kings,
Near-death, Kit Marley, so he’d not be chased,
Was sent to France on diplomatic wings,
In a small boat with only a few things.
Since sins of his had got him into trouble,
He had to leave the country on the double.

It happened that the names of atheist,
Blasphemer, sodomite, and such, were down
By Marley’s name on Bishop Whitgift’s list,
Because the poet made the prelate frown,
With speeches on the stage and in the town
In taverns drinking ale, proposing toasts
And jests against the Christ, for which he’d roast.

maybe readers can suggest revisions or additions to my incipient mini-epic: The Rap of Luke Reese. (apparently Luke is a heretofore totally obscure 16th C. poet whom I channel on weekday evenings during prime-time television commercials.)

All 265 stanzas of Rape of Lucrece can be downloaded and read here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Rime royal vs. blank verse

On HLAS (the Shakespeare Authorship) newsgroup, I asserted that is easier to write blank verse than "rime royal" but was challenged by Tom Reedy to write some blank verse, which I did,

My Lord of Reedy asks that i write verse
that's blank, containing no end-rimes:
quite difficult for me, since rimes spring up
in mind (like leaves upon the maple bough
outside my house this fecund time of year)
but which i must reject, or play the fool,
as if I wasn't taught to write in class,
or Frosty school of poetry, no less.
No near-rime like the one above will count,
Nor echoes in these five-beat iamb lines:
(Like end-time prophets calling on the past
To motivate the listening audience)
Full twenty lines, Tom Reedy asked me for,
So that he might not toil on "rime royal"
(As Shakespeare did in his long narrative
About Lucrece). I challenged him to prove
How difficult it is to write -- much more
Than unrimed lines of five-beat iamb meter:
Da-DAH, da-DAH, five times. Not four.
The line above falls short, and this one's one-beat long.
Just five is all that's needed or required.
And that should do it, don't you think? I'll stop.
Now is Tom Reedy ready to write back?
Two stanzas ought do, since it's so easy:
A-B-A-B, another B, two C's
C'mon then, Tom, place fingers on the keys
And rime us royally, if it's a breeze.

which proves nothing, but leaves the questions unanswered as to why the author William Shakespeare chose to write a lengthy narrative poem in this very demanding form (rime royal) about a very demanding classical topic (the expulsion of Roman tyrants and the installation of a Republican form of government, which was more democratic) and dedicate it to a very demanding young nobleman (Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton). I'll put in some links later. Too much going on in the world outside today.

Sunday, July 27, 2003


Things are really heating up in my town, and at the HLAS newsgroup as well. Both Art N. and a virulent Verean named Toby Petzold reject our hero out of hand, and another "contributor" Spam Scone (Neil Brennan), a true-blue Strat who appears to "have it in" for mild-mannered Peter Farey, the darling of the Marlovians. Although I'm extremely busy with more demanding (though not more important) projects, I'll try to take time to respond, even though I've long ago learned that some people in the group have closed minds on the subject of who wrote the poems and plays of (the concealed author) Shakespeare, and Marlowe is on the outside of the door of possibility for them. Since few of them have literature training or PR background, why waste time? I'm content to agree to disagree, but when untrue claims are made, I'm obligated to speak up, as time permits, since I am "the keeper of the Marlovian flame." (ref: blog #1)

Monday, July 07, 2003

Hunter, Heminge & Condell

Posted Hunter's essay on Heminge & Condell as editors of the First Folio . . . here, and his "new readings of Midsummer Night's Dream" . . . here.

Wrote to the author with query about alleged 1594 performance of MSND.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Posted to Clark Holloway

Apparently Hunter's thesis hasn't had much examination, so I wouldn't go to far in accepting its conclusion: i.e. that the Heminge & Condell, the retired actors, edited selected plays in the Folio. But anything's possible, i guess. In a recent post to Hardy Cook's listserve, he offers to send copies of his articles to anyone who asks (which i did). But for the sake of argument, assuming H&C edited those plays...who edited the rest? Not Jonson? Not Bacon? Who? Informed speculation is encouraged.

Who edited the First Folio?

Clark Holloway posted a helpful message on this topic attempting to support the claim that Heminge and Condell edited the First Folio . . . here. He referrred me to a post of his from June 3, which didn't really add anything, but it got me to searching for other discussions on the topic, including my own.

The author of the article Clark is referring to, William B. Hunter, posted a message to Hardy Cook's Shaksper listserve . . . here, but didn't get much response, so

Hunter posted a follow-up message, offering to email copies of his articles on request, provided the requester indicates how he or she views the thesis (positively, negatively, or indifferently).

I'd have to say I view it skeptically, but look forward to reading it.

Grum watch

My old nemesis Bob Grumman has reared his ugly head, metaphorically speaking. You can read his post . . . here.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Darby does HLAS

Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of CorkDarby Mitchell's corker of a theory was introduced to the gang at HLAS today . . . here. The big problem I have with it is that Boyle's prose is so crude. I wonder if anyone else will point this out...I suppose a writer as great as Shakespeare (i.e. Marlowe) could fabricate the diary of crude man of affairs, though, but why?

Other evidence that should keep the cork in Darby's champaign is the portrait of Boyle. Roberta Ballantine mentions a big difference between Boyle's portrait while he was at King's School Canterbury, and the one pictured here. Perhaps Darby has some thoughts on these matters. I'll ask her.

Marlowe in the news

Sarasota Herald Tribune newspaper editor Mike Pollick left a message to say that he was still working on the feature story about Roberta Ballantine and the Marlovian theory and had a few more questions.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

When Berta met Darby, 2

Roberta Ballantine purchased Darby Mitchell's novel, Miranda's Litel Booke and just started reading it--and loves it. "Deserves to be a best seller," she says. From what I've read of it, I agree. Roberta wonders if Darby knows that Kit was acting as an agent for Essex in Ireland in 1598. I didn't know that myself.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Somethin' for Grumman

I told my buddy Bob Grumman that I would write a blog about him because he responded to one of my queries with a query of his own. . . Bob and I have bit of a history together. . .It got to the point where I had to ask him--rather rudely--to stay out of my threads, because he would always muck them up (it seemed). But to give the devil his due, Bob is an inventive thinker and indefatigable poster, and he's learned a few things since those days. I even videotaped an interview with him for a documentary I was making a couple years ago. In it, he discusses his interest in Shakespeare authorship, and admits to being the bete noir of his mental construct, a "rigidnik"! I should make a little .mpeg of it and post it--if he keeps calling other people in the HLAS newsgroup "insane." ;-)

Monday, June 09, 2003


Rosicrucian emblemSomebody named "Daryll Walker" from England (possibly a pseudonym for Paul Crowley) writes to HLAS about a book he read recently Cryptogrammaton the eBook by SeanAlonzo, in which, says Walker, the author gives a strong argument that [the First Folio] was written by a collective edited by Francis Bacon, and contributed to by various members, most notably Edward De Vere, Edmund Spenser, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Phillip Sydney, John Lyly, Robert Greene, Thomas Kyd, George Peele, Francis Beaumont, William John Donne, John Fletcher, Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe and Francis Bacon, because (says Walker):

1. All of the above poets were Rosicrucians
2. They collaborated on other works together
3. All of their lives criss-crossed the same 100 year span. [in fact, they flourished IN THE SAME FIVE DECADES: 80's, 90's, 00's, 10's, 20's]
4. Plus, ...many of them had not only totally similar writing styles, but they seemed to all share the same philosophical view points. With this many poets and thinkers (concludes Walker) there was sure to be philosophical disagreements, but in their collective works you find very little disagreement.

Indeed, it is likely that a group of writers was involved in the writing and publication of the First Folio, but NOT in the authorship of the two narrative poems by which "William Shakespeare" made his name during the years 1593-1598, when his name appeared in print as a playwright.

Does Darryl Walker think a group of poets wrote Rape of Lucrece? I asked him by reply post this morning.

Meanwhile, if you're feeling a blossoming interest in the subject, there are interesting essays to read about Bacon, the Rosicrucian and "Shakespeare and the Rosicrucians".

Open Directory

I sent the Marlowe Lives! site URL to the OD for listing. I trust they will find it worthy of inclusion.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

When Berta met Darby

Two women touched by genius and an elegant writing touch are meeting each other for the first time via the internet. I mean Roberta Ballantine, whose knowledge of the Elizabethan underworld rivals Charles Nicholls', and Darby Mitchell, who believes that Kit was not a spy at all. Another issue that comes up is the portrait of Boyle used by Ms. Mitchell. Ballantine points to one used in Ingram's book that gives an entirely different picture. I'll try to obtain photos of the different portraits.

Bacon beckons

Although Elizabeth Weir, appears to be busy researching her hero's claim to fame as the author of Venus & Adonis and Rape of Lucrece (see this post)...Christian Lancia gamely tried to to offer reasons why the greatest scientific mind of his generation could not also be the greatest poet answer to my query . . . here.

Meanwhile, Art Neuendorffer at HLAS has been posting up a storm about Francis Bacon, lately. Art is a master of gathering sifting and collating esoteric facts and trivia about historical figures, especially in the 16th-17th centuries from the internet and shaping them (i use the term loosely) into lengthy posts such as this about Sir Francis.

Friday, May 30, 2003

Silence is Golden

No takers on my Bacon query, which doesn't surprise me. Elizabeth Weir and company have no real evidence that their hero, the great Francis Bacon wrote (could--or would--have written) Venus & Adonis and Rape of Lucrece, "Shakespeare's" two masterpieces of narrative poetry, the works that "made his name," so to speak.

Meanwhile...there are

Tales from Darby

I heard from Roberta Ballantine about Darby Mitchell's claims about Marlowe and Richard Boyle (whom Berta calls "Rick" and includes in her own novel about Marlowe), so I've hooked them up electronically, which should be interesting because Darby at first reminded me of Mrs. B, one of the true originals in Marlowe scholarship.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Back to Bacon

I wrote to Chris Lancia to inform him of changes made this morning, and asked him (or a Baconian) to come up with some sizzling evidence that Francis wrote "Venus & Adonis" and "Rape of Lucrece," two masterpieces of narrative poetry, for which Shakespeare was principally known in the public mind for about 5 years (1593-98).

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Denmark is wrong; So is Bacon

Christian Lancia wrote to inform me he is not from Denmark, but an Italian citizen living in Sweden, so I fixed it and added a link to his HLAS profile . . . . here. He also alludes to a previous newsgroup exchange concerning Bacon vs. Marlowe in which Francis got fried, and wanted me to know where all his (Lancia's) relatives lived as well. You can read his post. . . . here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Austin's power

St. Augustine of Canterbury, his feast day was yesterday, today, or tomorrow, depending on your source--in this case Catholic Saints online

I was thinking he might be a candidate for Art N's Magical Connection Machine. I guess i'll find out.

Monday, May 26, 2003

Like a version

No comment or response to my HLAS post, so I guess no one has found fault or error, because, if there are any, the gang at HLAS will tell you. Meanwhile, my new friend, Darby Mitchell, just posted her very first message to HLAS -- her version of how Marlowe came to write Venus and Adonis, which stalwart Stratfordian, Jim (kqknave) finds fault with ... here. Shall I get involved and set Jim straight? or let Darby fight her own battle? Yes. I'll simply report it from my lofty journalistic perch, fishing (oh!) for copy.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

miranda her litel booke

Miranda her litel booke ain't so little

The author sent me a copy of this novel, so I can read and review it for the Marlovian newsletter. 380 pages, including copious footnotes, revealing that Marlowe assumed the identity of Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork. For more, click ... here.

All Quiet on the Marlowe Front

Peter FareyAfter a series of stunning victories, HLAS Marlowe-guru Peter Farey (click on his photo at left) has temporarily retreated, undoubtedly doing further research to shore up the already formidable case he makes on his website.

When last heard from, Elizabeth Weir was "working on" the case for Bacon as author of Venus & Adonis and Rape of Lucrece. If anyone can do it, Elizabeth can, but I doubt it's possible, because she has to include the possibility of collaboration with Marlowe (who's Hero and Leander contains demonstrable echoes of the earlier poems. It's a complicated argument, presented ... here.)
If they collaborated once, they might collaborate again.

Lyra is drifting along on his/her bonnie boat.

Terry RossMeanwhile, Terry Ross (click on his picture) is ignoring the obvious need to clarify the reference to the name Shakespeare in 1593 on his website (along lines suggested by Farey), since it implies that the name was included in the registration and people have been confused by it (see below).

David Webb (and the rest of the Stratford-minded posters) ignored my query/statement about Bacon and Jonson, and possibly Florio, editing the First Folio of Shakespeare Plays in 1622-23--either because they think it is a ridiculous question (which it isn't), or they don't want to admit for publication that the Folio was edited by anyone other than the actors, Heminge and Condell. Or maybe they just don't like me.

This blogging commentary is new to HLAS, as far as I know. Through it, I'm hoping to weave the evidence gathered and evaluated by that learned body over the years into a convincing argument for Marlowe in these pages, and thereby demonstrate to the world at-large the legitimacy of his claim to fame as (the concealed author) Shakespeare.

And that's how I plan to spend my summer vacation.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Venus & Adonis is upon us

Although Peter Farey disagrees, Terry Ross claims that no one has (been confused by, or) misread the following list item on his website

> > > > > 1593 (Q1 Venus and Adonis; registered April 18)
> > > > > "William Shakespeare" (signature to dedication)
> > > > > (printed by Richard Field) (Poems, 3, 5, 369)

Which implies that the name WS was in print on April 18, 1593.

In fact, it was Bookburn's confusion earlier in the thread that spawned the discussion:

"VA, which was registered 18 April 1593, has no author's name
on the title page, but on the next page has "William Shakespeare" following the dedication. This was six weeks BEFORE M's death on May 30th of that year."

Bookburn apparently believed that the name appeared six weeks before CM's alleged death. Who knows how many more have thought so because of the crafty way the information is presented (including possibly Prof. Jonathan Bate, who got it wrong in Mike Rubbo's documentary).

Will Terry change the listing, so it's not misleading? Peter's suggestion sounds good,

> > > 1593 (Q1 Venus and Adonis)
> > > "William Shakespeare" (signature to dedication)
> > > (Printed by Richard Field between 18 April, when it
> > > was registered anonymously, and 12 June, when it is
> > > first known to have been purchased) (Poems, 3, 5, 369)

Maybe Bob Grumman could offer an improvement. Or Terry. Or Elizabeth Weir ... speaking of whom...

Yo Liz, What Gives?

One of my favorite posters at HLAS disappeared from view when I asked her to produce evidence that her man, Francis Bacon, wrote Venus and Adonis and Rape of Lucrece She's working on it, she says . . . here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Ross claims reference is clear

And refuses to make the change suggested by Peter F. ... here.

Farey clarifies a confusing point

Peter Farey points out some confusion on the Shakespeare Authorship website as to the date when the name "William Shakespeare" first appeared in print. Answer: sometime AFTER April 18, 1593, and BEFORE June 12. This is important for the Marlovian case for authorship because it was exactly the time period when the author would need to invent a new persona, if he was going to continue writing in exile. You can read Peter's post ... here.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Takin' it to Bacon

Today I posted a message to Elizabeth Weir, a "Baconian" with a passion for sound scholarship and tart wit, essentially challenging her to offer her evidence that Bacon wrote the two great narrative poems, Venus & Adonis and Rape of Lucrece, by (the concealed author) Shakespeare. We'll see what she comes up with. Nothing, I suspect.

The Francis Bacon website is worth a visit when you have plenty of time to browse.

Northumberland manuscript links Bacon, Shakespeare

Northurmberland ms
Does it show that Bacon also wrote the works of Thomas Nash? Pertinent portion posted ... here.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Graver laborer

Contrary to what Terry Ross states in recent HLAS post, it matters *not* when the nom de plume "William Shakespeare" was invented....Nor does it matter (to the Marlovian case) if it was published BEFORE CM allegedly got stabbed.

For that matter, the Dedication could even have been written before his sudden end (hours before he boarded a boat, or swam across the sea to France.). Whenever he wrote to Wriothesley, he must have been aware of his "death" (recent or impending), since he left a glaring clue, promising Essex's protege, Wriothesley, a "graver labor." (Henry was a lawless maverick young nobleman in those days: the year after Marlowe was sent packing, he helped the murderer Danver flee to Europe to escape legal prosecution.) So the dark wordplay of "graver labor" is EXACTLY what one might expect from writer of Marlowe's bravado and brilliance, as he demonstrates in *Hero and Leander*

But when he [Neptune] knew it was not Ganimed,
For underwater he [Leander] was almost dead,
He heav'd him up, and looking on his face,
Beat downe the bold waves with his triple mace,
Which mounted up, intending to have kist him,
And fell in drops like teares, because they mist him.

*missed* (as in a lover missing the beloved) *missed* (as in the waves missing a direct hit on his face and become the third meaning), *mist* (as in fine spray of water).

A triple play on words. So when Marlowe wrote to Wriothesley about undertaking a "graver labor," he was leaving the first(?) of many clues of his "posthumous" literary existence.

Well-read eyes

The Man Behind the MaskThe inquest inquiry and "man behind the mask" posts have attracted some notice. Not much helpful. Someone was confused about when Venus and Adonis was printed, but it was cleared-up thanks to supercilious Terry Ross and bookish Bookburn. The lunatic "Lyra" chimed in also, with some sour notes about "red-eye" which you can read . . here.

Or click on the image of Shakespeare at left to see what they're talking about. The eyes look brown to me.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Back issues of Marlovian newsletter available...

Sort of ... almost ... here.

Friday, May 16, 2003

The eyes have it

The Man Behind the MaskSo far, have heard back only from Paul Crowley, the dotard Oxfordian (perhaps he should be dubbed a "Dotardian") at HLAS, who notes the similar moustaches of the two images. However, those are Marlowe's eyes peering out behind the mask. It's absolutely eerie. If I didn't know that it was done with Photoshop, I might think there was supernatural phenomenon, like tears on a portrait of the Virgin (Queen)! See for yourself ... here.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Marlovian newsletter archives

Contents and some back issues of the newsletter and selected articles are available for viewing ... here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

More new pages posted

An essay by Charles Michaels, Jr. on Kit's education ... here, and an explanation of why Marlowe probably completed Hero and Leander--not George Chapman--published

The Man Behind the Mask
Plus (if that isn't enough!) click on the image at left and see who was behind the Shakespeare mask.
... cool, huh?

More to follow (including archival essays from Marlovian newsletter).