The Online Magazine of the Shakespeare Oxford Society
Welcome to the home of the Society’s online magazine, The Ever Reader, which features a sampling of news, articles and essays drawn from recent issues of the Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter, past materials published by the Society or its predecessors, and new material written exclusively for first publication on the Net.
Our first ten issues (published from September 1995 through Winter/Spring 2000) include a total of 66 articles about the Shakespeare authorship debate, related research, and news.
- Ever Reader (No. 10, Winter/Spring 2000) : Our most recent issue features two articles (by Katherine Chiljan and Mark Anderson) about several obscure plays from the Elizabethan era: Palamon and Arcite (Chiljan), and Thomas of Woodstock (Anderson). The significance of having Oxfordians re-examine such plays is seen in how an acceptance of Oxford as Shakespeare can alter and enrich our understanding of who wrote what during the Elizabethan era, and — more to the point — just what the young Shakespeare may have been up to years before Hamlet and Lear. Other articles in this issue come from Mark Alexander, writing on Shakespeare’s knowledge of the law, James Fitzgerald on a dedicatory poem that asks, “What author would conceale his name?“, and Joseph Sobran responding to Prof. Alan Nelson’s Shakespeare Quarterly review of Sobran’s 1997 authorship book Alias Shakespeare.
- Ever Reader (No. 9, Summer/Fall 1999): Our current issue features three articles touching on a growing trend in the authorship debate: the introduction of the issue into classrooms around the US. One story of interest involves a secondary school teacher in the State of Washington (Robert Barrett), and his experiences with fellow teachers as his students moved on from his class to other English classes and brought up (Gasp!!) the authorship question. We have also included here an essay by a recent college graduate on the importance of knowing an author’s biography in understanding his work. Other articles in this issue touch upon the possible role of state propaganda needs in the 1580s in the original writing of the history plays, the “open” secret of who was Stella in Sidney’s Astrophel and Stella, and a glimpse (through his little known 1924 poem) of what Vladimir Nabokov really thought of the Stratford story.
- Ever Reader (No. 8, Winter/Spring 1999): This issue features more material from researcher Peter Dickson. Dickson, in researching the 1620s, had been checking into all the recent biographies of King James (11 published since 1988), and found a strange pattern of important information that seems to have disappeared …information that was critical to his understanding the importance of the Marriage Crisis’s relationship with the publication of the First Folio and the authorship question when he first read about this period two years ago. Other articles in this issue come from Daniel Wright –writing on Oxford’s education as mirrored in the Shakespeare Canon– and 6 different reviews and articles about recent books on The Sonnets and the movie Shakespeare in Love.
- Ever Reader (No. 7, Spring/Summer/Fall 1998): This issue features two articles that introduce Peter Dickson’s research into the political-historical circumstances surrounding the publication of the First Folio in 1623, and also the publication of Henry Peacham’s The Compleat Gentleman in 1622. Roger Stritmatter expands on Dickson’s work with a report on a heretofore unknown connection between eventual Folio publishers Issac and William Jaggard and Susan de Vere in 1619, and in a second article Stritmatter presents an interesting theory about the order of the plays in the First Folio, based on Dickson’s political contextualizing of the Folio publication process. The issue is rounded out with Richard Whalen’s article about the Clown scene in Antony and Cleopatra , a scene in which the word “worm” (”ver” in French) is used over and over.
- Ever Reader (No. 6, Fall 1997/Winter 1998): This issue looks at the “personal Shakespeare” by presenting four articles from Oxfordians past and present (Mark Anderson, Hank Whittemore, Charles Wisner Barrell, and Donald LaGreca) that discuss Shakespeare strictly in terms of accepting Edward de Vere as the true author and then looking at the Shakespeare works from that perspective. The other two articles in this issue consider the evolution of Elizabethan theatre. Stephanie Hughes examines traditions of “mumming and disguising” that are reflected in such “festival” plays as Twelfth Night, while Eva Turner Clark (in an article from 1941) examines the records of the Office of the Revels for clues about just how elaborate scenery and costumes may have been in the period from 1560 onward.
- Ever Reader (No. 5, Spring/Summer 1997): This issue includes a transcript of the interrogation of choirboy Orazio Cogno in Venice about his brief stay in 1576-77 in England with Edward de Vere. There are also three recent articles from the Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter (by Joseph Sobran, Charlton Ogburn and Peter Moore) considering the matter of Shakespeare’s disgrace and shame (as alluded to in the Sonnets) and Edward de Vere’s life. And John Rollett considers Prof. Donald Foster’s 1987 analysis of the Sonnets Dedication.
- Ever Reader (No. 4, Fall 1996/Winter 1997): This issue includes 4 new articles: an update on Edward de Vere’s Geneva Bible as presented at the Society’s 20th Annual Conference last fall (October 1996), an update on the progress being made to date in the case for Oxford, a look at the 1591 “Phaeton” sonnet (which some mainstream scholars believe could be by Shakespeare) and a collection of all the book reviews published during 1996 in the Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter.
- Ever Reader (No. 3, Spring/Summer 1996): This issue includes 9 new articles, with five devoted to responses to the Shakespeare Authorship Page. Also included are two articles on the Funeral Elegy, an interview with Charlton Ogburn and Charles Boyle’s report on what it’s like to be an Oxfordian presenting papers at the annual SAA Conferences.
- Ever Reader (No. 2, Winter 1996): The Winter 1996 issue includes seven articles, including two on Funeral Elegy, two on Twelfth Night from an Oxfordian point of view, and two Oxfordian commentaries on Stratfordians.
- Ever Reader (No. 1, Fall 1995): The premier issue includes four articles on Edward de Vere’s Geneva Bible, two reviews of Irv Matus’s Shakespeare, In Fact, plus reprints of Supreme Court Justice Stevens’ landmark essay on the authorship and Charlton Ogburn’s summary pamphlet of The Mysterious William Shakespeare.