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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: September ::
BBC Shakespeare This Autumn
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1615  Monday, 26 September 2005

[1] 	From: 	Susanne Greenhalgh <
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	Date: 	Saturday, 24 Sep 2005 18:56:56 +0100
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 16.1606 BBC Shakespeare This Autumn

[2] 	From: 	Ben Alexander <
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	Date: 	Saturday, 24 Sep 2005 19:02:02 +0100
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1606 BBC Shakespeare This Autumn


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Susanne Greenhalgh <
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Date: 		Saturday, 24 Sep 2005 18:56:56 +0100
Subject: 16.1606 BBC Shakespeare This Autumn
Comment: 	RE: SHK 16.1606 BBC Shakespeare This Autumn

With reference to Jim Blackie's queries I should point out that the 
information I gave about the programmes was copied from the BBC press 
releases. The novelist William Boyd is the author of the drama "A Waste 
of Shame", and he presumably has his own reasons for pursuing the 
theories he does in his fictional version. No doubt there will be some 
press coverage and interviews with Boyd nearer the screenings 
(particularly as there's quite a buzz around Shakespeare biography at 
present, with Peter Ackroyd's just out), and I'll alert list members to 
these as and when I spot them.

May I also take the opportunity to remind anyone interested and in the 
vicinity, that both Kate McLuskie and Emma Smith will be talking about 
biographies of Shakespeare at the "Renaissance Lives" Conference, Centre 
for Research in Renaissance Studies, Roehampton University, London, on 
22 October.  Further details available at 
http://www.roehampton.ac.uk/renaissance/

Susanne Greenhalgh

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Ben Alexander <
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Date: 		Saturday, 24 Sep 2005 19:02:02 +0100
Subject: 16.1606 BBC Shakespeare This Autumn
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1606 BBC Shakespeare This Autumn

Dear Jim,

The Sonnets were written under a pseudonym, and are the poetical 
correspondence of two lovers, Mary Fitton, Sonnets 1-126, and her lover, 
William Herbert, Earl Pembroke, 127-152. Mary's sonnets are in sequence 
and span 1598-1605 (or thereabouts), William's were interspersed during 
the same period. My book, The Darling Buds of Maie (Amazon), explains 
everything in detail - all based on fact. Mary Fitton WAS the Dark Lady 
of the Sonnets because of the history of the relationship she had with 
men, her character, and the allusions to LLL which the two lovers would 
have watched together soon after they first met. She was not dark, but 
she was tall and had distinctive grey eyes. [Rosalind, Olivia & Venus]. 
This story is corroborated by Mary Sidney Wroth in her massive work 
"Urania", which I read after publishing.

I have spent a long time trying to prove myself wrong before publishing 
and since then I started to try to understand the plays. My conclusion 
is that the plays were probably new years' gifts from the Pembrokes, to 
the monarchs (Elizabeth & James) and that in 1621 the brothers, William 
& Philip Herbert, brought the plays together in a Folio as a way of 
commemorating their mother, Mary Sidney's, 60th birthday. Unfortunately 
she died and the printing was suspended for a year. This is the theory I 
have about the FF, and it is a theory, but it is one where ALL the facts 
fit.

When I saw that the Warwickshire man's will had been doctored to 
included the bequests to the three London actors, I began to suspect 
something and my immediate thought was there was another Stratford on 
another Avon. There is! The place is called Stratford Sub Castle and it 
is near Salisbury on the Wiltshire Avon. In the village is a house 
called Mawarden Court which was owned by the same William Herbert. Mary 
Sidney, his mother and sister to Sir Philip Sidney, probably lived here 
at some time while Wilton Hall was being built.  Certainly, Philip 
Herbert lived here for 15 years with his wife, Susan de Vere, daughter 
of Edward Earl of Oxford.

The exceptional quality of most of the plays is probably due to the 
demands of the audience, which was the Court, itself, during the 
Christmas / New Year holidays. It makes sense now to consider that teams 
of dramatists took established stories and crafted them into plays that 
would delight a highly intelligent and probably inebriated Court. I 
think it is a bit much to believe that one man could have done it all. 
If people want to believe this, let them.

I had a wager with my wife before we visited William Shakespeare's 
birthplace two week's ago that a copy of the will would not be on 
display. I was wrong, only the third page with its signature was shown. 
The doctoring of the will was on the second page. If the Shakespeare 
Trust has not got the confidence to show all three pages of the will, 
especially the important bequest that links the Bard with the London 
stage, then do we have any right to believe in the integrity of what 
academics have taught us?

Sincerely,
Ben Alexander
www.maryfitton.com

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