Shakespeare Identified

John Thomas Looney

This book is the seminal work in which Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, is designated as being the true identity of the author commonly known as « Shakespeare ».

This theory, which initially faced fierce opposition, has since secured itself a solid place in the landscape of Shakespearean studies.

It now constitutes an essential reference in this area.

L’ouvrage fondateur de la théorie attribuant à Edward de Vere, comte d’Oxford, la véritable paternité des œuvres du soi-disant « Shakespeare ».

Cette théorie, qui a dû affronter au début une opposition féroce, s’est depuis solidement installée dans le paysage des études shakespeariennes.

Une référence incontournable dans ce domaine.

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ISBN : 978-2-491445-40-9
9782491445409 5,49 €
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These convinced me that the opponents of the orthodox view had made good their case to this extent, that there was no sufficient evidence that the man William Shakspere had written the works with which he was credited, whilst there was a very strong prima facie presumption that he had not. Everything seemed to point to his being but a mask, behind which some great genius, for inscrutable reasons, had elected to work out his own destiny. I do not maintain that any single objection, to what for convenience sake we must call the Stratfordian view, afforded by itself sufficient grounds for regarding it as untenable; for most of these objections have been stoutly combated severally, by men whose opinions are entitled to respect. It was rather the cumulative effect of the many objections which, it appeared to me, made it impossible to adhere with any confidence to the old view of things, and so gave to the whole situation an appearance of inexplicable mystery.

Here, then, were the greatest literary treasures of England, ranked by universal consent amongst the highest literary achievements of mankind, to all intents and purposes of unknown origin. The immediate effect of such a conviction was the sense of a painful hiatus in the general outlook upon the supreme accomplishments of humanity; a want much more distressing than that which is felt about the authorship of writings like the Homeric poems, because the matter touches us more directly and intimately. It was impossible, I felt, to leave things thus, if by any means the problem could be solved and the gap filled up. I resolved, therefore, notwithstanding the extreme boldness, or rather presumption, of the undertaking to attempt a solution of the problem.

John Thomas Looney

John Thomas Looney, South Shields 1870 – Swadlincote 1944.
Born into a Methodist family in the north of England, Thomas Looney was first drawn to an ecclesiastical career and sought to found a Church according to the teachings of Auguste Comte. After a founding failure, he refocused on his profession as a school teacher, and devoted his life to Shakespearean studies. His solidly argued theory on the true identity of the so-called « Shakespeare » still gives him today a deserved recognition.


Preliminary note


Chapter I – The Stratfordian View
Chapter II – Character of the problem
Chapter III – The Author—Some General Features
Chapter IV – The Author—Special Characteristics
Chapter V – The Search and Discovery
Chapter VI – The Conditions Fulfilled
Chapter VII – Edward de Vere as Lyric Poet
Chapter VIII – The Lyric Poetry of Edward de Vere
Chapter IX – The Records and Early Life of Edward de Vere
Chapter X – Early Manhood of Edward de Vere
Chapter XI – Edward de Vere—Middle Period: Dramatic Foreground
Chapter XII – Manhood of De Vere (an interlude)
Chapter XIII – Manhood of Edward de Vere – Final or Shakespearean Period (1590-1604)
Chapter XIV – Posthumous Considerations
Chapter XV – Poetic Self-Revelation: The Sonnets
Chapter XVI – Dramatic Self-revelation: Hamlet
Chapter XVII – Chronological Summary of Edward de Vere and “Shakespeare”
Chapter XVIII – Conclusion

Appendix I – “The Tempest”

Appendix II – Supplementary evidence