De Vere as Shakespeare: An Oxfordian Reading of the Canon

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The question may be met with chagrin by traditionalists, but the identity of the Bard is not definitely decided. During the 20th century, Edward de Vere, the most flamboyant of the courtier poets, a man of the theater and literary patron, became the leading candidate for an alternative Shakespeare.

This text presents the controversial argument for de Vere's authorship of the plays and poems attributed to Shakespeare, offering the available historical evidence and moreover the literary evidence to be found within the works. Divided into sections on the comedies and romances, the histories and the tragedies and poems, this fresh study closely analyzes each of the 39 plays and the sonnets in light of the Oxfordian authorship theory. The vagaries surrounding Shakespeare, including the lack of information about him during his lifetime, especially relating to the "lost years" of 1585-1592, are also analyzed, to further the question of Shakespeare's true identity and the theory of de Vere as the real Bard.

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Editorial Reviews

Rocky Mountain Review of Language & Literature
a handy guide
Library Journal
This is a compilation of current studies positing that Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, is the real author of the Shakespeare canon rather than Will Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon. Yet Farina, a Shakespeare hobbyist and executive in a national real estate consulting firm, presents no new evidence to support his thesis. A short chapter is devoted to each play and sonnet in which Farina analyzes the work and identifies internal evidence that he believes supports the de Vere authorship theory. Although Farina provides ample footnotes, many reference secondary rather than primary resources; some references do not advance his argument. For example, he backs up his statement, "Much has been written about Shakespeare's fascination with northern Italy" by citing the Cole Porter song "We Open in Venice" from Kiss Me Kate. His bibliography is limited and does not include many of the standard studies of Shakespeare. Not recommended.-Shana C. Fair, Ohio Univ. Lib., Zanesville Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786423835
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/20/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 1,243,084
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

William Farina has written books on Arthurian legend, early Christianity, the American Civil War, Shakespeare and baseball. He lives in Chicago and works as a real estate consultant for the federal government.

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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Comedies and romances
1 The Tempest 19
2 The two gentlemen of Verona 25
3 The merry wives of Windsor 30
4 Measure for measure 34
5 The comedy of errors 40
6 Much ado about nothing 44
7 Love's labor's lost 49
8 A midsummer night's dream 54
9 The merchant of Venice 60
10 As you like it 66
11 The taming of the shrew 72
12 All's well that ends well 77
13 Twelfth night 82
14 The winter's tale 88
15 Cymbeline 93
16 Pericles 98
Pt. 2 Histories
17 King John 105
18 Richard II 110
19 Henry IV, Part I 115
20 Henry IV, Part II 120
21 Henry V 125
22 Henry VI, Part I 131
23 Henry VI, Part II 135
24 Henry VI, Part III 140
25 Richard III 145
26 Henry VIII 151
Pt. 3 tragedies and poems
27 Troilus and Cressida 159
28 Coriolanus 164
29 Titus Andronicus 168
30 Romeo and Juliet 173
31 Timon of Athens 179
32 Julius Caesar 184
33 Macbeth 189
34 Hamlet 195
35 King Lear 201
36 Othello 207
37 Antony and Cleopatra 213
38 Venus and Adonis 219
39 The rape of Lucrece 223
40 The sonnets 227
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2006

    Long overdue book on Oxfordian interpretation of the Shakespeare Canon.

    This is another important book that adds more information to the polemical Shakespeare Authorship debate. Many people, including scholars may not realize that the identity of the 'Bard' has been questioned for over two centuries. The debate has reached the dimension that now both the Shakespeare Folger Library in Washington D.C. (the leading Shakespeare research center in the world) and the London Globe Theater, are neutral on who the author was! Farina's book provides a fresh perspective on sources for the Shakespeare Canon. For all purposes it is an Oxfordian version of 'Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare'. It analyzes the sources of each work and provides material that question the likelihood that Shakespeare could have been the author, and posits the more likely possibility that the current leading candidate for authorship, Edward de Vere, the seventeenth Earl of Oxford, is the real author. It also serves as a reference book for researchers from both sides, and raises issues that any responsible scholar needs to address. It is a book that is long overdue. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 20, 2013

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