Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford
Without embarking on any criticism of Edward de
Vere's apparently frivoulous character and career, the fact remains
that he was born in 1550, ten years before Bacon, and died in 1604,
leaving little behind him in a literary capacity other than to be
mentioned as a court poet. The truth is that the only writings
associated with his name are a few mediocre poems of a pastoral
character, though Meres states that he wrote comedies. We will not
use it against him necessarily that Gabriel Harvey, who knew him at
Cambridge, ridiculed him as a vain fop, but it is asking more than we
can credit him with, that, as a leading Oxfordian writer claims, he
was the author of the Shakespeare Sonnets because in Sonnet 121 the
phrase occurs, " I am that I am," and that he wrote an
indignant letter to Burleigh using the identical words!
Where the Oxfordians drop hopelessly out of the running however , is the fact that De Vere died as early as 1604, and in 1623, was published the famous Folio of Shakespearean Plays, containing 36 plays of which 14 had never been published before in Quarto editions. Of the earlier plays, Othello, produced as a Quarto in 1622, only the year previously, has 160 new lines issued and important amendments to the text; in the Folio, Richard III had 193 new lines added since from the 1622 Quarto; and about 2,000 words retouched; Merry Wives of Windsor, in the Folio has 108 new lines and innumerable alterations from the 1619 Quarto; while Henry VI, in Quarto in 1619, had no fewer than 2,000 new lines and many retouched besides.
Looney, the Oxfordian, claimed Shakespeare's last play, The Tempest, was written by some other playwright without a figment of evidence but really because the subject proved that Oxford could not have written it. If any final evidence be needed to overthrow the Oxfordian fallacy we surely have it in Coriolanus, one of Shakespeare's latest plays in the Folio, never issued in Quarto, which contains direct evidence to William Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood (Act 1. sc.1) which he only made in 1619, four years earlier. These facts not only defeat any claims on behalf of Shaksper of Stratford who died in 1616, but assuredly so by Edward de Vere, who was buried fifteen years before.
To Baconians the Oxfordians, it must be admitted, present a case which throughout lacks any evidence whatsoever and is based soley on surmises and assumptions. It would be a great event if we could combine our ranks and unitedly fight for Francis Bacon's overwhelming case.
See: Why I'm Not an Oxfordian by Jerome Harner