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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: July ::
New Light on the Sonnets
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1415  Wednesday, 9 July 2003

From:           Judi Crane <
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Date:           Wednesday, 9 Jul 2003 12:27:56 +1000
Subject:        New Light on the Sonnets

I know we don't debate who wrote what, but I felt I couldn't let this
one go past, and it's not even April 1!  An article appeared in this
am's Canberra Times; opening sentence:

'A new book by a Tasmanian scientist argues that Shakespeare's sonnets
were not written by the great bard, but by someone even more
illustrious.'

Can you possibly guess who?  Yep, that's right, none other than Good
Queen Bess herself!  One Dr Peter McIntosh has outlined his theory in a
new book Shakespeare's Sonnets - An Elizabethan Love Story (Otakou
Press).  Some snippets from the good doctor to whet your appetites:

'Most of the sonnets are love poems addressed to a good-looking youth.
If Shakespeare wrote the poems the obvious implication is that he was a
homosexual.  Would Shakespeare have risked publishing self-incriminating
sonnets in his own life time?'

'The orthodox belief that S wrote the sonnets is just that - a belief.
There is no independent evidence such as a signed manuscript to prove
S's authorship.

'Not only do the sonnets match known events in the life of Elizabeth and
Essex, but these events are referred to in the right order. When Essex
was away at sea the youth is mentioned as being 'far away from where I
abide'.  'The motive for the 400 year deception is clear.  Elizabeth
knew she had written immortal poetry but was acutely aware of her own
carefully cultivated image and how scandalous it would be to circulate
the sonnets under her own name.  She therefore arranged for them to be
published under S's name after her death, exactly 400 years ago in
1603'.(sic) Well boys and girls, there we have it!!  This adds a whole
new meaning to Liz's supposed utterance that 'I am Richard II'.  I can
hardly wait for the original Latin manuscript of Julius Caesar to be
discovered.  This will support my long-held theory that the play was in
fact written by Marc Antony, because how else would anyone know who said
what over Big Julie's dead body!

Brightened up my day no end, did the little article; hope it does yours!

Judi Crane (who is not Peter Wilkins, Terence Hawkes)

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