The Earl of Oxford and the Making of “Shakespeare”

The Literary Life of Edward de Vere in Context


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About the Book

The identity of Shakespeare, the most important poet and dramatist in the English language, has been debated for centuries. This historical work investigates the role of Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, establishing him as most likely the author of Shakespeare’s literary oeuvre. Topics include the historical background of English literature from 1530 through 1575, major contemporary transitions in the theatre, and a linguistically rich examination of Oxford’s life and the events leading to his literary prominence. The sonnets, Oxford’s early poetry, juvenile “pre–Shakespeare” plays, and his acting career are of particular interest. An appendix examines the role of the historical William Shakespeare and how he became associated with Oxford’s work.

About the Author(s)

Richard Malim is a retired lawyer and long-time student of the Shakespeare authorship question. He serves as secretary of the De Vere Society in the United Kingdom.

Bibliographic Details

Richard Malim
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 322
Bibliographic Info: 17 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6313-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Introduction      1

1. English Literature 1530–1575      7

2. The Life 1550–1575      13

3. Oxford in Italy      46

4. The Revolution in English Literature      61

5. The Revolution in the Theater      69

6. The Life 1576–1590      76

7. The Life 1590–1604      164

8. Aftermath      197

Afterword      230

Appendix A—Tables of Literary References      232

Appendix B—William Shakespeare: The Irrelevant Life      235

Chapter Notes      265

Bibliography      297

Index      303