Skip to comments.Mary Pembroke, Fulke Greville and Shakespeare
Posted on 10/14/2009 6:30:35 AM PDT by Camden Girl
I am so excited about the plan to open Fulke Greville's tomb in St Mary's Church in Warwick. I have been a doubter about Shakespeare for years and I believe that Mary Herbert, the Countess of Pembroke was the leader of a group of writers that produced the works of Shakespeare at her beautiful home Wilton House. A lot of people, including me are so interested in this latest developement because Mary and Fulke Greville were lovers and both wrote plays about Anthony and Cleopatra. You can find out about her at http://www.marysidney.com
You joined today to dis the Bard?
I can barely contain myself. I’m on pins and needles.
Obama wrote Shakespeare’s plays. Not only is he all-seeing, he’s also omnicompetent!
I nominate him for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
What the Fulke?
Shakespeare was crticized by many in his day, both pro and con - including Ben Jonson - who knew him to be the author of HIS plays, and he died a wealthy man because of it.
No one raised questions of authorship until about 200 years later.
Now along comes another crank like you some 400+ years later to claim authorship for your favorite comparative nobody.
Geez, get a life....
O Jove...how much a fool...to be of such a weak and silly mind.
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
He was great in all those westerns too.
Don’t forget his “long time companion” Ben Gay.
I think you’ve mistaken him for Ben Dover.
Actually he wasn’t all that well known as a writer in his lifetime, and when he died his will contained no references to any manuscripts, books, a desk, or writing materials. His daughter was surprised to hear he was thought of as a writer. He was not the rockstar that someone like Kit Marlowe was.
There are some legitimate reasons to question the authorship of the Shakespeare Canon. One doesn’t have to be a crank to do so; scholars have been wondering about it for a long time (particularly since the renewal of interest in the Canon a few hundred years ago).
Here is a sampling of the known works of Mary, Countess of Pembroke.
Just dip in anywhere. It should be painfully apparent to anybody with a working knowledge of Shakespeare that she is not up to his weight.
There's a reason that her work has languished in obscurity. It's not bad, but it's pretty forgettable stuff in the context of the 16th century. I don't have my copy of C.S. Lewis's comprehensive survey of 16th c. literature, but I don't think she even rated a mention in about 600 pages.
I have to agree with you about Mary Sidney, but that does not mean there’s no merit in fairly examining the claims of other candidates.
The clincher for me is that many of Shakespeare's contemporaries, close friends, and coworkers, including Ben Jonson, didn't say a peep about any ghostwriting and indeed stated repeatedly that Shakespeare was the author. The preface to the Folio, correspondence, and published works acknowledged his authorship. Contemporary evidence is to be favored over "cipher" analysis, speculation, and theories about motive 400 years after the fact. A conspiracy that involved all of Shakespeare's writer friends and his publishers seems highly unlikely.
I think most of the original objection arose because people thought that Shakespeare, "merely" a middle class, hardworking man and a player, could not have had the education to write about his subjects. People today don't realize just how good a typical 16th c. education was and how well-read anybody in literate circles in England had to be.
Well, my goodness, I'm sure a lot of people don't agree with me! That does not, however, negate the fact that sometimes further inquiry in the pursuit of truth can be valuable. I often wonder what motivates those who would shut down further discussion or investigation, and can only surmise that, as elsewhere in academia, they have careers invested in the status quo.
But would it not be interesting to do some work in this area? You might establish that Shakespeare really was the sole author of the canon attributed to him. Or you might establish that another was the author. Or that there were contributions from a variety of authors (most scholars accept that Shakespeare wrote a few of his lesser-known plays with a collaborator).
The family of the great jazz innovator/pianist Jelly Roll Morton were surprised to learn about his importance — and this was in the 1950s. Families often don’t have the slightest idea of what great artists are doing, especially if they don’t live in the same household.
I so agree with you, especially the part about education. With “universal literecy” today, we are so much LESS educated than the few were were at all educated back then. The children of the Tudor royal family were reading and writing in four languages before they were ten. Shakespeare attended a grammar school where he learned Latin and the calssics from an early age. Getting to sixth grade then was to be more educated, culturally, than a college graduate today.