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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: March ::
The Elizabethan Star Chamber
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0463  Friday, 11 March 2005

[1]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Mar 2005 22:15:29 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0457 The Elizabethan Star Chamber

[2]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Mar 2005 22:25:36 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0439 The Elizabethan Star Chamber

[3]     From:   Tony Burton <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Mar 2005 23:34:24 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0439 The Elizabethan Star Chamber

[4]     From:   William Sutton <
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        Date:   Friday, 11 Mar 2005 04:00:12 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0439 The Elizabethan Star Chamber


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Mar 2005 22:15:29 -0000
Subject: 16.0457 The Elizabethan Star Chamber
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0457 The Elizabethan Star Chamber

 >the topic is
 >discussed in many treatments of *LLL*, which some have thought lampoons
 >the group in the reclusive gents of that play. Shakespeare is not
 >usually proposed as one of the members--not enough of the right kind of
 >book-larnin'.
 >
 >David Evett

There's also Sonnet 86:

         Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write,
         Aboue a mortall pitch, that struck me dead ?
         No, neither he, nor his compiers by night
         Giuing him ayde, my verse astonished.

It's been argued that the reference here to the Rival Poet-presumed in
this context to be George Chapman-is a sideswipe at the School of Night
(if it did indeed exist).

Robin Hamilton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Mar 2005 22:25:36 -0000
Subject: 16.0439 The Elizabethan Star Chamber
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0439 The Elizabethan Star Chamber

John W. Kennedy <
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(Quoting Sam Small)

 >>They remained in secret so as not to appear to be
 >>sermonising.  Shakespeare, Bacon, Marlowe (possibly Oxford) and others
 >>were part of this agreement.  My questions are: did this group have a
 >>name?  Was it a formal group that met in secret at times?  Is it true
 >>that this group existed at all?  This also merges with Marvin Krims
 >>enquiry about Shakespeare's personal faith.
 >
 >This hypothetical cabal is usually (in my experience) referred to as
 >"The School of Night" (see LLL). The idea may or may not derive from a
 >passage in "Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare", though he puts a different
 >spin on it (as a Copernican school headed by, if I recall aright,
Raleigh).

As well as Ralegh and Marlowe, the other main names which crop up with
reference to the School of Night are Thomas Harriot the mathematician
(and thus the Copernican Connection), and the Ninth (Wizard) Earl of
Northumberland.

The usual suspects ...

I don't think Bacon or Oxford are ever mentioned in this context.

Robin Hamilton

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tony Burton <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 10 Mar 2005 23:34:24 -0500
Subject: 16.0439 The Elizabethan Star Chamber
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0439 The Elizabethan Star Chamber

For all those interested in a Shakespeare-Bacon connection, I offer the
following as a bemused skeptic.  I have read deeply in the works of
Rudolf Steiner for decades, and studied Shakespeare even longer.
Steiner, for whom there is a useful and reasonably objective entry in
The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, was an occultist, clairvoyant, educator
and major contributor in many diverse fields, and the founder of the
"spiritual science" known as Anthroposophy.  Waldorf Education,
biodynamic agriculture as practiced today, eurhythmy, economics,
medicine and many other fields owe much to him.  He made the following
enigmatic remarks on Shakespeare, Bacon and the two Germans, Jacob
Boehme and Jakob Baldus, after first referring to "guiding spiritual
Powers" that speak through great persons: "the inspiration for Baconism,
Shakespeareanism, Boehmism, Baldusism, is derived from the same source."
  Elsewhere, he said: "we see the utterly British philosopher Francis
Bacon of Verulam, the founder of modern materialistic thinking, inspired
from the same source as Shakespeare. . .Jacob Boehme, too, was inspired
from the same source. . . And again from the same source comes the
southern German Jesuit Jakobus Baldus."

It is usually supposed that the "source" Steiner had in mind was the
excarnate spiritual being who was in earthly life the founder of
Rosicrucianism, Christian Rosenkreuz, but Steiner's language is hard to
interpret, and there is a good deal of dispute on the matter, even among
Anthroposophists.  Frances Yates gives a scholarly justification for
further academic inquiry in this direction by her own great work,
wherein she discovered Rosicrucian currents of activity in the court of
James I and then associated them with Shakespeare's later plays.

I am at sea in the matter of concluding one way or another how we are to
take Steiner's remarks, or how Shakespeare and Bacon are to be compared
or contrasted: inspiration from the spiritual worlds does not
necessarily lead separate and similarly "inspired" human beings to
arrive at the same truths, to have the same manner of weaving spiritual
forces into the world, or even to agree generally with each other.  But
it would be a shame if the absence of documentary evidence for physical,
social, or literary connections between Shakespeare and Bacon were to
suppress further inquiry into the relation between these powerful
personalities, which so many persons with highly different
qualifications and points of view have found to exist in one fashion or
another.

The eminent intellectuals and aristocrats who made up "The School of
Night", incidentally, are said to have hosted Giordano Bruno during his
visit in England, and Shakespeare's Berowne in LLL is usually thought to
take his name, but not his nature, from Bruno, showing at least some
awareness by Shakespeare of Bruno's thoughts and presumably his circle
of English friends.  There seems to be a significant overlap between
Bruno's ideas and Rosicrucianism, at least enough to add further
interest and challenge to the whole vexed matter.

Motion to dismiss denied.  Let the work go on.

Tony Burton

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Sutton <
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Date:           Friday, 11 Mar 2005 04:00:12 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 16.0439 The Elizabethan Star Chamber
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0439 The Elizabethan Star Chamber

Hi All,

Browsing through the Shakspere Allusion Book, I found this early piece
of jotting that shows Bacon at least may have known of Shake.

 >This is pure fiction. We have no evidence that

Shakespeare and Bacon even knew each other.

P.40 The Shakspere Allusion Book: A Collection of allusions to Shakspere
from 1591 to 1700. Vol.1 orig compiled by C.M.Ingleby, Miss l. Toulmin
Smith and Dr F. J. Furnivall with the assistance of the New Shaksper
Society: re-edited, revised, and re-arranged, with an introduction, by
John Munro (1909), and now re-issued with a preface by Sir Edmund
Chambers. London: Humphrey Milford, OUP, 1932..

1597-1603.

William Shakespeare

Richard the Second       Shakespeare

Richard the third

                   revealing
hakspeare
                    day through
                     euery crany         by Thomas
Nashe & inferior places
                     peepes and
                                  see   your

William Shakespeare
     Sh
        Shak   h   Sh  Shake   hakespeare

                                          Sh   h  Shak
  your

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

                                      Willi
          Shakspeare


William

Shakespe


  Will Shak

Apparently this the Title page of the Duke of Northumberland's MS. of
Lord Bacon's "of Tribute, or Giving what is Due" facsimiled in the late
James Spedding's edition of "A Conference of Pleasure, composed for some
festive occasion about the year 1592 by Francis Bacon," p.. xxxiiii.
(Longmans, 1870).

An early form of fan worship?
Did Francis have a crush?
Was he practising his nom de plume?

Whatever...

Yours,
William Sutton

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