In April 2003, I was invited to the Edward de Vere Studies Conference, held annually at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, to speak about the history of the coverage of the Shakespeare authorship question over a span of 150 years in the pages of the New York Times.
Determining the chronology of Shakespeares plays has been both central and problematic since Shakespeare studies originated in the 18th century.
Among academes devotees of Shakespeare and the rest of the literary quality, theres everyone else, and theres Harold Bloom. Other distinguished professors are busy mining the canons of their authors for statistical data, or trying to make biographical connections, or fitting works into the context of the vagaries of an era.
Shakespeares Lost Kingdom by Charles Beauclerk, first published last year and reissued this year in paperback, is an account of Shakespeares life that relies heavily on a biographical interpretation of the plays, poems, and sonnets.
There are a number of books relating to Shakespeare and Italy, but none like The Shakespeare Guide to Italy.
Biographies of Shakespeare have always been problematic: so much to explain, so little information. Introducing his new book, Nine Lives of William Shakespeare, Graham Holderness, author of some 20 books on the Bard and an English professor at the University of Hertfordshire, in Hatfield, about 20 miles north of London, acknowledges the preferred solution. Every biography of Shakespeare, he writes, embroiders fact and tradition into a speculative composition that is, at least partly, fictional.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, when the idolatrous cult of Shakespeare was born, grew up, and thrived, it was common to hear over-the-top praise of the Bard.
Authorship scholars are doing for the Bard what particle accelerators did for physics. And just as with science, the results and how to interpret them may seem as if they are all over the place.
Walk by the Baháí Center at 53 East 11th Street in Manhattan on a Tuesday evening and you might not even notice a small wooden billboard with black letters painted on a white background, announcing Jazz Live Tonight.