The Unveiling of his Concealed Works and Travels
REV. WALTER BEGLEY
Discoverer and Editor of Milton's Nova Solyma
Author of "Is it Shakespeare?" "Biblia Cabalistica,"
IN THREE VOLUMES
Gay and Bird
22 Bedford Street , Strand
Contents of Vol. I
II. The Internal Evidence for Francis Bacon
III. The Cancelled Pages and Ben Jonson
IV. George Puttenham's Manuscript on the Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots
V. The Author's Curious Word--Mint, And His Efforts to Secure The Queen's Favour
VI. The "Partheniades"
VII. The Purport and Philosophy of the Bodenham Books
VIII. Who Was John Bodenham?
IX."Politeuphuia, Wit's Commonwealth" (1597)
X. "Palladis Tamia" (1598)
XI. "Wits Theater" (1599)
XII. "Palladis Palatium" (1604)
XV. "England's Parnassus" and Robert Allott
If it was known by contemporaries that Shakespeare of Stratford was not the author of the poems of "Venus and Adonis" and "Lucrece," and the plays then passing under his name, how could it possibly be kept secret at the time, and how could after ages be so universally deceived right down to the middle of the nineteenth century?
The answer to this question, so embarrassing to most people, is, I believe, as follows: --The question contains a fallacy or wrong assumption to begin with. It assumes that the matter was a secret in Elizabethan Times, when such was not really the case; at the furthest it was no more than an open secret, which the fear of the Star Chamber and the powerful influence of Bacon and his aristocratic friends prevented from being publicly acknowledged and commented on. (The Wainewright Star Chamber case) There were personal considerations, and political ones too (Richard II. to wit), against any authoritative declaration of the true author of the poems and plays, and the higher the position that Bacon rose to, the greater did the reasons become for witholding the truth from the general public, and after 1623 the First Folio effectually stamped the Swan of Avon as the author for the succeeding generations right down to our own. But there are plenty of indications below the surface which show how many people were well aware of the true facts of the case.
For instance, when the Stratford Shakespeare died he passed away from his countrymen without the slightest allusion to the wonderful position he had held among the poets and dramatists of the age. Surely this speaks volumes, especially when we consider the almost universal applause which was showered by the notabilities of the literary world on the fame and merits of Francis, Lord Verulam, and Benjamin Jonson. How can we explain this surprising reticence, when the Stratford Shakespeare passed away from the scene of his earthly labours, except by the suppostion that the chief literary notablities were aware of the true postion of the actor-manager, and, knowing the circumstances, thought that to keep silence was the better counsel and the wiser plan?