Interview with Francis Carr

April, 2000

Francis Carr is a longstanding member of the Francis Bacon Society. The author of history and art books, Carr has written a biography of Ivan the Terrible, of Mozart, and a history of European Erotic Art. He has promoted the Authorship question of Shakespeare for the last 40 years; which is now an immensly popular subject. His fortnightly news bulletin  Who was Shakespeare? has been available to the public for 25 years.
For enthusiasts of Francis Bacon, Carr is also available for guided tours of Bacon's hometown area of St. Albans which includes a visit to the wonderful grounds of Gorhambury, The White Hart Inn, and St.Michael's Church . This interview was conducted from his home in Brighton, England--Lawrence Gerald

Why is it important to know who Shakespeare is?

I started the Shakespeare Authorship Information Centre (SAIC) 25 years ago and its success has been phenomenal. I have proved conclusively that large numbers of people are interested in who wrote the greatest plays that have ever been written. It is important to know who wrote the Shakespeare Plays because we cannot understand any play unless we know who the author was. A play is not a subject that could be divorced from it's author.

Who was Francis Bacon?

The greatest polymath the world has ever produced . His plays are so central to our life that you could say they are more important than any scientific discovery. If a scientist had not done his research , somebody else would have made his discoveries eventually. If the author of the Shakespeare Plays had not existed nobody would have written them.

What books do you recommend regarding the Shakespeare Authorship qustion?

John Michell's Who Wrote Shakespeare? (1998) He puts himself into the position of an Oxfordian, Baconian, Marlovian and Stratfordian and gives a very good account of each of these different viewpoints. And you will see in the course of the book he comes out firmly for Francis Bacon.
Also, Bacon is Shakespeare (1910) by Edwin Durning Lawrence. He includes Francis Bacon's Promus notes (1594-6) which are phrases found in Shakespeare but precede publication of the plays.

What's the latest about Stratford on Avon?

Something very important. In the Sunday Telegraph (March 26,2000) there was an article about Stratford on Avon. The attendance for 1999 was down to 130,000 visitors. This is dramatic news because in 1985 attendance was at 606,000, two years later it was down to 578,000 and now it's 130,000. To give you an idea how small a figure that is, in the same article it was stated that 800,000 visited Warwick Castle. People are staying away from Stratford on Avon for one reason only, DOUBT! Doubt that Shakespeare wrote the plays!

What's new on the London front regarding the Authorship?

Something very interesting has happened at the Globe Theatre on Bankside which has built a huge exhibition hall. They have spent 6£ million which is a dead loss in my opinion. The very first thing that hits you is the empty main hall. I know why its empty. They have NOTHING TO EXHIBIT! You are greeted by a large display board 'Who was Shakespeare?, Some Unanswered Questions.' This is the first time in an orthodox Shakespeare context that you get a whole list of reasons why it's almost impossible for Shakespeare to be the author. The first example is : How is it after 250 years of scholarly research nothing has been discovered which unambiguously links William Shakespeare of Stratford on Avon with literature? Why are there no documents that demonstrate Shakespeare's literacy? How is it after years of research all we have are six signatures? I think it's very significant that this enormously costly exhibition, now open to the public, has received no publicity in the British press? Why?

Tell us about your research on the authorship of Don Quixote

I've been researching the years in which Don Quixote first came out in Madrid (1605) and then later in London(1612). I have finished a book that solves the Shakespeare question in one fell swoop, in a series of arguments that the author of Don Quixote is the author of the Shakespeare plays. Although that sounds to many people as preposterous, it is a fact that I have found many quotations, 162, which I have found in the Shakespeare plays and the works of Francis Bacon--or both.

I am very pleased that a special issue of Baconiana published by the Francis Bacon Society, which gives an analytical approach and study of my book, Who Wrote Don Quixote? shows that there are many strands in the book which add up to the conclusion that Francis Bacon is the author. I can give you an example. It is brought to our attention that the name of the" real author" of Don Quixote de La Mancha is Cid Hamet Benengeli, an Arab historian. This is completely fictitious, no author by that name ever existed. Not only does the author put forth this name as the real author but it's mentioned thirty-three times. Why should someone keep on repeating and repeating a name if he does not want you to take that name seriously? It's a very odd name, Cid Hamet Benengeli. Cid translates as Lord, Hamet - Hamlet, Benengeli--ben means son, engeli can mean of England. So we get Lord Hamlet, son of England--Francis Bacon.

You have written that Don Quixote which can mean the man who hides himself, Don qui sote, was a novel meant to bring reconciliation between Spain and England. Was this the hidden agenda?

Yes I've written a brief summary of it for my website. No English, American, or Spanish writer has taken the trouble to investigate the subtext of Don Quixote so it's presented to the world as a fantastic adventure story. It's NOT a fantastic adventure story. The actual adventures of the character, Don Quixote, only occupy a tenth of the whole book. The rest of it is philosophy and an examination of vice and virtue. It is a world class classic comparable to the world class English plays which both came out at the same time. Don Quixote has 160 quotations in it, statements made over and over again, which appear in both the Shakespeare Plays and the works of Francis Bacon.

For many years now I've been issuing a newsletter. When I started out 40 years ago it came out every two or three months, but now the frequency of information about the subject has increased so I produce a forenightly bulletin entitled Who was Shakespeare? consisting of quotations from newspaper articles and recently published books.
I can be contacted at my address SAIC, 9 Clermont Rd. Brighton BN 1 6SS, England (The fortnightly digest of press comment on the authorship question.(£15) ($40 US) Annual Subscription.) {To contact  Francis Carr by phone for his St. Albans Tour 01-273-509-460}

I am naturally concerned about the immediate future of the controversy and what it's going to consist of. Too many people take the tired view, the pessimistic view, that this will never be solved. Why go on trying to solve it? I quite understand that point of view .

You could tie that to any controversy you like. All the important historical settlements in the past have been made by people who have gone thru the same process. For example, with the freeing of the slaves, the suffragette movement, there was the same process of saying it will never be solved, we just have to live with it. This is a ridiculous notion. I think the authorship question must be solved, and the time is going to come when teachers, lecturers and professors are going to become more and more fed up with students and members of the public asking them , who wrote the Shakespeare plays?  And they will be forced out of their present state of passive agnosticism and deliberate evasion.

What else do you see as bringing about this change of consciousness?

.More and more people will come to a real study of this issue and I think sooner or later a book is going to come out comparable to Darwin's Descent of Man which was then a controversial subject on how we managed to evolve to our present state. One book, I think, really can solve who the author of Shakespeare was. I'm hoping that it will be my book Who wrote Don Quixote? which will perhaps come out next year.
Also the Internet is playing a vital role.

What about the Henry IV discovery of 1991?

A few years ago a page from a manuscript was up for sale at Sotheby's. This piece of a play could have been included in the play Henry IV. It is written in Elizabethan handwriting. I submitted a copy of this one page to a leading graphologist in this country, and she compared it with other famous writers of the period. She came to the conclusion quite definitely that the author of this writing was Francis Bacon. The press however took minimum notice of this. This points to the fact the authorities are seriously worried about this discovery.

Can you say something about the Elizabethan mural discovered in 1985 that shows scenes from Venus and Adonis ?

Yes, there's been a minimum of publicity about the mural at the White Hart Inn in St. Albans. The press has done their best to discourage interest in this discovery as well. This important national treasure is now--for the first time--on view to the public. Here is the only contemporary painting in the world of a SHAKESPEARE work. The message of this mural is unmistakable. The painting dates from a few years after the publication of VENUS AND ADONIS in 1593. With its clear Rosicrucian symbolism , it constitutes yet another indication that the author of the Shakespeare plays was Francis Bacon, who lived only two miles away at Gorhambury.
Experts from the Warburg Institute have concluded that the subject is definitely the death scene from VENUS AND ADONIS. The giant painting may cover all three walls of this room. It must have been commissioned for a special purpose, probably for meetings of a Rosicrucian lodge.

I wrote an article for the Daily Telegraph three years ago about a painting which is still on display at Hampton Court. It is a portrait of a pregnant red-haired woman in her thirties. I am convinced and the local guards on duty there are convinced that it's a portrait of Queen Elizabeth I. I wrote about the details and the history of the painting and they paid me £500 within a fortnight. But they have not published it!

Some people might say that Baconians cannot prove that the author was Francis Bacon. This is completely wrong. I have an information sheet which gives eight historical facts proving the author was Francis Bacon. It is also a fact that recent biographies of William Shakespeare have all failed to attract a large audience. And I think I know the reason why. More and more people are realising that the specialists, the experts in this subject cannot prove their case. I can give you several authors as examples. Anthony Holden's WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE The Man Behind the Genius: A Biography, Park Honan's Shakespeare bio, Peter Levi's book, Anthony Burgess' book have not sold well. John Mortimer's plays about Shakespeare which came out on television ten years ago also failed because he could not convince the public and reviewers in the press, that William Shakespeare was the real author. The best jockeys fall when they ride a poor horse.

 

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