The Authorship Question
The Catholic Question
Cast of Characters
The Author's Mind
Edmund Campion
Edmund Campion as Shakespeare
The Works
Coincidence or Clue
The Devil's Advocate
Notes and References
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Notes on the Chronology

It is commonly acknowledged that a standard and definitive chronology of the plays has not been and probably never can be established. The dates of the plays have, in the main, been worked to fit in with the biographical details of the life of Shakspere and recorded performance dates, rather than with any internal textual evidence. Explicit topical allusions are mysteriously few, with the playwright choosing to people his works with historical characters living in far-away times and foreign climes. There are no representations of the great defeat of the Spanish Armada, the death of Elizabeth I or the coronation of James I. The few contemporary references in the plays are more often in sections that orthodox scholars believe to be collaborative efforts or the work of another writer.

In order for my theory to hold true we must situate the whole canon approximately twenty years earlier than previously thought. Doing so is not impossible if we accept the topical allusions as being inserted later in the editing process, and if we consider that Shakespeare’s works, circulating first in earlier forms (e.g. True Chronicles of King Leir) in the 1570s and 1580s, were in fact the sources for all later works from which he is said to have copied ideas and stylistic devices. The latter possibility is not hard to accept. It seems more logical that the greatest English writer of all time was the literary trailblazer rather than other inferior authors of the Elizabethan period being the prototypes for Shakespeare.

Cosmic Clues

Eric Altschuler, a physicist and medical student has studied the references to stars and planets in Shakespeare’s works and has discovered no references to any astronomical event after 1604. He posits that the description in Hamlet of a bright star on a November night most probably referred to the new star that appeared in the sky in November 1572 which is now named supernova SN1572A. Coincidentally the star was first described by the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, in whose portrait a coat of arms bears the names ‘Rosenkrans’ and ‘Guldensteren’, which may have been the source for the characters in the play. [12]

Sir John Oldcastle

This play, dealing with Irish History, belongs to the Shakespeare Apocrypha, and although it may be lesser known and considered of inferior dramatic quality, the main consensus has it written by Shakespeare. One of the strongest arguments for the date of the play’s composition relates to Scene v, ll. 61-62 where it is said that “Childermas day this year was Friday..”

In an article of the Edward De Vere Society notebook, it is reasoned that because Childermas day didn’t fall on a Friday in 1413, the historical setting of the play, the date probably referred to the year when the poet was writing the drama. [13]. During the late sixteenth century, the only years when Childermas day fell on a Friday were 1571, 1576, 1582 and 1593. The article concludes that all the internal evidence of the play, which may have covertly dealt with the treason trial of the Duke of Norfolk, points to the date of December 28, 1571. Campion just happened to be in Dublin at this time working on his History of Ireland, used in Holinshed’s Chronicles. He is the only authorship candidate to have such firsthand and comprehensive knowledge of the play’s setting and subject.

The Henry Plays

There is speculation that the character Falstaff, with his mannerism and speech, was based on the most famous and popular clown of the Elizabethan period, Dick Tarlton . Tarlton reigned supreme as the court clown during the 1560s and one wonders whether anybody who did not witness his escapades firsthand in his heyday could have produced such a wonderful impression of this colourful character.

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