"I am sort of haunted by the conviction that the divine William of Stratford is the biggest and most
successful fraud ever practiced on a patient world. The more I turn him round and round the more he so affects me." Henry James (Letter)
"What! are we to have miracles in sport? . . . Does God choose idiots by whom to convey divine truth to man?"Samuel Coleridge on William Shakespeare
"I am one of the many who have never been able to bring the life of William Shakespeare and the plays of Shakespeare within planetary space of each other. Are there any two things in the world more incongruous? Had the plays come down to us anonymously, had the labor of discovering the author been imposed upon after generations, I think we could have found no one of that day but F. Bacon to whom to assign the crown. In this case it would have been resting now on his head by almost common consent."Dr. W. H. Furness, the eminent American scholar in a letter to Judge Nathaniel Holmes, Oct. 29, 1866
"From away back towards the very beginning of the Shakespeare-Bacon controversy I have been on the Bacon side, and have wanted to see our majestic Shakespeare unhorsed." Mark Twain, from a letter he dictated in 1909
Smithsonian Debate on Shakespeare :
Wheres the Bacon?
WASHINGTON, D.C.- January 22, 2002
In 1999, Shakespeare was voted the most significant person of the millennium. Yet for many, literatures greatest mystery remains: who was the author of the plays and sonnets attributed to William Shakespeare? There is no record of him being able to write, an absence of books and letters, illiteracy in his family, (X's on his daughter's marriage certificate), no eulogies were written on his behalf at the time of his death, and nothing in his life, as we know it, connects him with literature in any shape or form. It's obvious he was uneducated but had another role to play than author.
On Tuesday, January 29, 2002 in Washington D.C. , a "debate" is being sponsored by Smithsonian Associates. In this debate there will be representation from the Stratfordian position (William Shakespeare) and Oxfordian (Edward de Vere) noticeably missing however, is the best candidate of all, Sir Francis Bacon.
Although Bacon's genius was so rare and his life's circumstances so extraordinary that it's not suprising that he's been so misunderstood and slandered over the centuries, especially since his story remains neglected in the school system. But noteworthy individuals from Mark Twain, Judge Nathaniel Holmes, formerly of the US Supreme Court, to the current actor/artistic director of the Globe Theatre in London, have not only gone on record that Bacon was Shakespeare but have acknowledged the magnitude of his many benevolent contributions to humanity.
Bacon also left to posterity his private Shakespeare notebook which he called the Promus . First published in 1883, the notebook contains hundreds of unique Shakespeare phrases and expressions, some in several languages all in his own handwriting. The Promus entries were jotted down between 1594-6 ; prior to publication of the Plays. Along with the Promus , there is in existence a mountain of evidence that sets Bacon alone as the strongest candidate for Shakespeare authorship and qualifies that his name be included in any public event where there is a passion to know more about Shakespeare. Oxfordians on the other hand cannot get over the dismal fact that their stuck with : Edward de Vere, died in 1604, way before some of the Plays were written.(and many of the Plays were re-written with additional lines when Bacon left public office after 1621.) This leaves the Oxfordians no choice but to distort and ignore the Bacon viewpoint and make up theories from the facts and believe the fiction of their theories. One point they do have right it wasn't William Shakespeare. And here lies the beauty of the upcoming authorship 'debate', the Oxfordians think they can win a debate as long as the Stratfordians are around and the Stratfordians think they can win a debate only with the Oxfordians. But when it comes down to the Baconians both sides are threatened enough that they dare not invite THE one opponent that will turn them both back into pumpkins TRUTH. Of course the mutual con game they have to agree on to play (wink, wink) beforehand is to say that the Bacon theory was disproved long ago. Yes, our mortal fools have given new life to the phrase 'all's fair in love and war.'
At a time when many interested students from around the world are
turning to the internet to find answers to their questions on the
authorship that their teachers themselves are unable to provide, it
is embarrassing that our academic centers are still nervously
fumbling mum on this great subject. If you listen carefully you can
hear them thinking, 'Well, after all, we do have our literary
reputations to uphold.' Many people have raised the question,
'Isnt it time now for the world to acknowledge and celebrate
the truth of this mystery instead of ignoring the enormous case for
As a philosopher, Bacon observed that an advancement of learning cannot take place until inherited cultural (he called it The Four Idols) prejudices and deficiencies of learning are recognized and are no longer being passed on generation to generation. But as a playwright, Bacon was well aware that the 'plays the thing' and that his philosophical truths have a much better way of catching on when there's a context of entertainment, and that an audience while under the spell of the dramatic arts, listening to the spoken words of Hamlet's dilemma, Desdemona's delusion , the message of Lear's blindness, the subtlety of Falstaff's genius and Prospero's secret;that a transformation is possible. This brings us back to the duplicity surrounding authorship debates and uninvited candidates. Let's have Francis Bacon with the final word,
"Liberty of speech inviteth and proveketh liberty to be used again, and so bringeth much to a man's knowledge." The Advancement of Learning, 1605.
For additional information, contact : Lawrence Gerald