• “Strato“, also “Stratfordian“:  anyone who believes Guillem Shaksper of Stratford is not a frontman for the “Stratford Sham Industry” (whose members, unlike us LPDs, have lifetime employment); also Stratfordolaters, Shakesperoids, thugs, bangalores, troglodytes, herumfrodites, blatherskites, buccaneers, bandoleers – Mark Twain, pseudonym for Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1909.

An example of a Strato

Clemens/Twain defines Stratos in greater detail, first:

For the instruction of the IGNORANT he makes a list of those details of Shakespeare’s history which are FACTS – verified facts, established facts, undisputed facts.


He was born on the 23d of April, 1564.

Of good farmer-class parents who could not read, could not write, could not sign their names.

At Stratford, a small back settlement which in that day was shabby and unclean, and densely illiterate. Of the nineteen important men charged with the government of the town, thirteen had to ‘make their mark’ in attesting important documents, because they could not write their names.

Of the first eighteen years of his life NOTHING is known. They are a blank.

On the 27th of November (1582) Guillem Shaksper took out a license to marry Anne Whateley.

Next day Guillem Shaksper took out a license to marry Anne Hathaway.
She was eight years his senior.

Guillem Shaksper married Anne Hathaway. In a hurry. By grace of a reluctantly-granted dispensation there was but one publication of the banns.

Within six months the first child was born.

About two blank years followed, during which period NOTHING AT ALL HAPPENED TO SHAKSPER, so far as anybody knows.

Then came twins – 1585. February.

Two blank years follow.

Then -1587 – he makes a ten-year visit to London, leaving the family behind.

Five blank years follow. During this period NOTHING HAPPENED TO HIM, as far as anybody actually knows.

Then – 1592 – there is mention of him as an actor.

Next year – 1593 – his name appears in the official list of players.

Next year – 1594 – he played before the queen. A detail of no consequence: other obscurities did it every year of the forty-five of her reign. And remained obscure.

Three pretty full years follow. Full of play-acting.

Then in 1597 he bought New Place, Stratford.

Thirteen or fourteen busy years follow; years in which he accumulated money, and also reputation as actor and manager.

Meantime his name, liberally and variously spelt, had become associated with a number of great plays and poems, as (ostensibly) author of the same.

Some of these, in these years and later, were pirated, but he made no protest.

Then – 1610-1611- he returned to Stratford and settled down for good and all, and busied himself in lending money, trading in tithes, trading in land and houses; shirking a debt of forty-one shillings, borrowed by his wife during his long desertion of his family; suing debtors for shillings and coppers; being sued himself for shillings and coppers; and acting as confederate to a neighbor who tried to rob the town of its rights in a certain common, and did not succeed.

He lived five or six years – till 1616 – in the joy of these elevated pursuits.

Then he made a will, and signed each of its three pages with his name.

A thoroughgoing business man’s will. It named in minute detail every item of property he owned in the world – houses, lands, sword, solver-gilt bowl, and son on – all the way down to his SECOND-BEST BED and its furniture.

It carefully and calculatingly distributed his riches among the members of his family, overlooking no individual of it. Not even his wife: the wife he had been enabled to marry in a hurry by urgent grace of a special dispensation before he was nineteen; the wife whom he had left husbandless so many years; the wife who had to borrow forty-one shillings in her need, and which the lender was never able to collect of the prosperous husband, but died at last with the money lacking.

No, even this wife was remembered in Shaksper’s will.
He left her that ‘second-best bed’.

And NOT ANOTHER THING, no even a penny to bless her lucky widowhood with.
It was eminently and conspicuously a business man’s will, not a poet’s.
It mentioned NOT A SINGLE BOOK.
Books were much more precious than swords and silver-gilt bowls and ‘second-best bed’ in those days, and when a departing person owned one he gave it a high place in his will.
Many poets have died poor; but this is the only one in history that has died ‘this’ poor; the others all left literary remains behind. Also a book.
Maybe two.

If Shaxper had owned a dog – but we need not go into that: we know he would have mentioned it in his will. If a good dog, Susanna would have got it; if an inferior one his wife would have got a dower interest in it. I wish he had a dog; just so we could see how painstakingly he would have divided that dog among the family, in his careful business way.

He signed the will in three places.
In earlier years he signed two other official documents.
These five signatures still exist.
Was he prejudiced against the art? His granddaughter, whom he loved, was eight years old when he died, yet she had no teaching, he left no provision for her education although he was rich, and in her mature womanhood she couldn’t write and couldn’t tell her husband’s manuscript from anybody else’s – she thought it was Shaksper’s.

When Shaksper died in Stratford IT WAS NOT AN EVENT. It made no more stir in England than the death of any other forgotten theatre-actor would have made. Nobody came down from London; there were no lamentin poems, no eulogies, no national tears – there was merely silence, and nothing more. A striking contrast with what happened when Ben Jonson, and Francis Bacon, and Spenser, and Raleigh and other distinguished literary folk of Shaksper’s time passed from life! No praiseful voice was lifetd for the lost Bard of Avo; even Ben Jonson waited seven years before he lifted his.

SO FAR AS ANYBODY ACTUALLY KNOWS AND CAN PROVE, Shaksper of Stratford-on-Avon never wrote a play in his life.
SO FAR AS ANYBODY KNOWS AND CAN PROVE, he never wrote a letter to anybody in his life.
So far as any one KNOWS AND CAN PROVE, Shaksper of Stratford wrote only one poem during his life. This one is authentic.
He did write that one – a fact which stands undisputed; he wrote the whole of it; he wrote the whole of it out of his own head.
He commanded that this work of art be engraved upon his tomb, and he was obeyed. There it abides to this day. This is it:

Good friend for Iesus sake forbeare
To digg the dust encloased heare:
Blest be ye man yt spares the stones
And curst be he yet moves my bones.

In the list as above set down, will be found EVERY POSITIVELY KNOWN fact of Shaksper’s life, lean and meagre as the invoice is. Beyond these details we know NOT A THING about him. All the rest of his vast history, as furnished by the biographers, is built up, course upon course, of guesses, inferences, theories, conjectures – an Eiffel Tower of artificialities rising sky-high from a very flat and very thin foundation of inconsequential facts.

…How curious and interesting is the parallel – as far as poverty of biographical details is concerned – between Satan and Shaksper. It is wonderful, it is unique, it stands quite alone, there is nothing resembling it in history, nothing resembling it in romance, nothing approaching it even in tradition. How sublime is their position, and how over-topping, how sky-reaching, how supreme – the two Great Unknowns, the two Illustrious Conjecturabilities! They are the best-known unknown persons that have ever drawn breath upon the planet…
Scattered here and there through the stacks of unpublished manuscript which constitute this formidable Autobiography and Diary of mine, certain chapters will in some distant future be found which deal with “Claimants” – claimants historically notorious: Satan, Claimant; the Golden Calf, Claimant; the Veiled Prophet of Khorassan, Claimant; Louis XVII., Claimant; Guillem Shaksper, Claimant; Arthur Orton, Claimant; Mary Baker G. Eddy, Claimant – and the rest of them. Eminent Claimants, successful Claimants, defeated Claimants, royal Claimants, pleb Claimants, showy Claimants, shabby Claimants, revered Claimants, despised Claimants, twinkle starlike here and there and yonder through the mists of history and legend and tradition – and oh, all the darling tribe are clothed in mystery and romance, and we read about them with deep interest and discuss them with loving sympathy or with rancorous resentment, according to which side we hitch ourselves to. It has always been so with the human race.

There was never a Claimant that couldn’t get a hearing, nor one that couldn’t accumulate a rapturous following, no matter how flimsy and apparently unauthentic his claim might be. Arthur Orton’s claim that he was the lost Tichborne baronet come to life again was as flimsy as Mrs. Eddy’s that she wrote Science and Health from the direct dictation of the Deity; yet in England near forty years ago Orton had a huge army of devotees and incorrigible adherents, many of whom remained stubbornly unconvinced after their fat god had been proven an impostor and jailed as a perjurer, and to-day Mrs. Eddy’s following is not only immense, but is daily augmenting in numbers and enthusiasm. Orton had many fine and educated minds among his adherents, Mrs. Eddy has had the like among hers from the beginning. Her church is as well equipped in those particulars as is any other church. Claimants can always count upon a following, it doesn’t matter who they are, nor what they claim, nor whether they come with documents or without. It was always so. Down out of the long-vanished past, across the abyss of the ages, if you listen you can still hear the believing multitudes shouting for Perkin Warbeck and Lambert Simnel.

A friend has sent me a new book, from England – “The Shakespeare Problem Restated” – well restated and closely reasoned; and my fifty years’ interest in that matter – asleep for the last three years – is excited once more…
When I was a Sunday-school scholar something more than sixty years ago, I became interested in Satan, and wanted to find out all I could about him. I began to ask questions, but my class-teacher, Mr. Barclay the stone-mason, was reluctant about answering them, it seemed to me. I was anxious to be praised for turning my thoughts to serious subjects when there wasn’t another boy in the village who could be hired to do such a thing. I was greatly interested in the incident of Eve and the serpent, and thought Eve’s calmness was perfectly noble. I asked Mr. Barclay if he had ever heard of another woman who, being approached by a serpent, would not excuse herself and break for the nearest timber. He did not answer my question, but rebuked me for inquiring into matters above my age and comprehension. I will say for Mr. Barclay that he was willing to tell me the facts of Satan’s history, but he stopped there: he wouldn’t allow any discussion of them.

In the course of time we exhausted the facts. There were only five or six of them, you could set them all down on a visiting-card. I was disappointed. I had been meditating a biography, and was grieved to find that there were no materials. I said as much, with the tears running down. Mr. Barclay’s sympathy and compassion were aroused, for he was a most kind and gentle-spirited man, and he patted me on the head and cheered me up by saying there was a whole vast ocean of materials! I can still feel the happy thrill which these blessed words shot through me.

 Then he began to bail out that ocean’s riches for my encouragement and joy. Like this: it was “conjectured” – though not established- -that Satan was originally an angel in heaven; that he fell; that he rebelled, and brought on a war; that he was defeated, and banished to perdition. Also, “we have reason to believe” that later he did so-and-so; that “we are warranted in supposing” that at a subsequent time he travelled extensively, seeking whom he might devour; that a couple of centuries afterward, “as tradition instructs us,” he took up the cruel trade of tempting people to their ruin, with vast and fearful results; that by-and-by, “as the probabilities seem to indicate,” he may have done certain things, he might have done certain other things, he must have done still other things.

And so on and so on. We set down the five known facts by themselves, on a piece of paper, and numbered it “page 1”; then on fifteen hundred other pieces of paper we set down the “conjectures,” and “suppositions,” and “maybes,” and “perhapses,” and “doubtlesses,” and “rumors,” and “guesses,” and “probabilities,” and “likelihoods,” and “we are permitted to thinks,” and “we are warranted in believings,” and “might have beens,” and “could have beens,” and “must have beens,” and “unquestionablys,” and “without a shadow of doubts” – and behold!


The historians “suppose” that Shaksper attended the Free School in Stratford from the time he was seven years old till he was thirteen. There is no EVIDENCE in existence that he ever went to school at all.

The historians “infer” that he got his Latin in that school – the school which they “suppose” he attended.

They “suppose” his father’s declining fortunes made it necessary for him to leave the school they supposed he attended, and get to work and help support his parents and their ten children. But there is no evidence that he ever entered or retired from the school they suppose he attended.

They “suppose” he assisted his father in the butchering business; and that, being only a boy, he didn’t have to do full-grown butchering, but only slaughtered calves. Also, that whenever he killed a calf he made a high-flown speech over it. This supposition rests upon the testimony of a man who wasn’t there at the time; a man who got it from a man who could have been there, but did not say whether he was or not; and neither of them thought to mention it for decades, and decades, and decades, and two more decades after Shaksper’s death (until old age and mental decay had refreshed and vivified their memories). They hadn’t two facts in stock about the long-dead distinguished citizen, but only just the one: he slaughtered calves and broke into oratory while he was at it. Curious. They had only one fact, yet the distinguished citizen had spent twenty-six years in that little town – just half his lifetime. However, rightly viewed, it was the most important fact, indeed almost the only important fact, of Shaksper’s life in Stratford. Rightly viewed. For experience is an author’s most valuable asset; experience is the thing that puts the muscle and the breath and the warm blood into the book he writes. Rightly viewed, calf-butchering accounts for Titus Andronicus, the only play – ain’t it? – that the Stratford Shaksper ever wrote; and yet it is the only one everybody tries to chouse him out of, the Baconians included.

 The historians find themselves “justified in believing” that the young Shaksper poached upon Sir Thomas Lucy’s deer preserves and got haled before that magistrate for it. But there is no shred of respectworthy evidence that anything of the kind happened.

The historians, having argued the thing that MIGHT have happened into the thing that DID happen, found no trouble in turning Sir Thomas Lucy into Mr. Justice Shallow. They have long ago convinced the world – on surmise and without trustworthy evidence – that Shallow IS Sir Thomas.

The next addition to the young Shaksper’s Stratford history comes easy. The historian builds it out of the surmised deer-stealing, and the surmised trial before the magistrate, and the surmised vengeance-prompted satire upon the magistrate in the play: result, the young Shaksper was a wild, wild, wild, oh SUCH a wild young scamp, and that gratuitous slander is established for all time! It is the very way Professor Osborn and I built the colossal skeleton brontosaur that stands fifty-seven feet long and sixteen feet high in the Natural History Museum, the awe and admiration of all the world, the stateliest skeleton that exists on the planet. We had nine bones, and we built the rest of him out of plaster of paris. We ran short of plaster of paris, or we’d have built a brontosaur that could sit down beside the Stratford Shaksper and none but an expert could tell which was biggest or contained the most plaster.

…take a lap-bred, house-fed, uneducated, inexperienced kitten; take a rugged old Tom that’s scarred from stem to rudder-post with the memorials of strenuous experience, and is so cultured, so educated, so limitlessly erudite that one may say of him “all cat-knowledge is his province”; also, take a mouse. Lock the three up in a holeless, crackless, exitless prison-cell. Wait half an hour, then open the cell, introduce a Shakespearite and a Baconian, and let them cipher and assume. The mouse is missing: the question to be decided is, where is it? You can guess both verdicts beforehand. One verdict will say the kitten contains the mouse; the other will as certainly say the mouse is in the tomcat.

The Shakespearite will Reason like this – (that is not my word, it is his). He will say the kitten MAY HAVE BEEN attending school when nobody was noticing; therefore WE ARE WARRANTED IN ASSUMING that it did so; also, it COULD HAVE BEEN training in a court-clerk’s office when no one was noticing; since that could have happened, WE ARE JUSTIFIED IN ASSUMING that it did happen; it COULD HAVE STUDIED CATOLOGY IN A GARRET when no one was noticing –  therefore it DID; it COULD HAVE attended cat-assizes on the shed-roof nights, for recreation, when no one was noticing, and harvested a knowledge of cat court-forms and cat lawyer-talk in that way: it COULD have done it, therefore without a doubt it did; it could have gone soldiering with a war-tribe when no one was noticing, and learned soldier-wiles and soldier-ways, and what to do with a mouse when opportunity offers; the plain inference, therefore is, that that is what it DID. Since all these manifold things COULD have occurred, we have EVERY RIGHT TO BELIEVE they did occur. These patiently and painstakingly accumulated vast acquirements and competences needed but one thing more –  opportunity – to convert themselves into triumphant action. The opportunity came, we have the result; BEYOND SHADOW OF QUESTION the mouse is in the kitten.

It is proper to remark that when we of the three cults plant a “WE THINK WE MAY ASSUME,” we expect it, under careful watering and fertilizing and tending, to grow up into a strong and hardy and weather-defying “THERE ISN’T A SHADOW OF A DOUBT” at last – and it usually happens…
When Shaksper died, in 1616, great literary productions attributed to him as author had been before the London world and in high favor for twenty-four years. Yet his death was not an event. It made no stir, it attracted no attention. Apparently his eminent literary contemporaries did not realize that a celebrated poet had passed from their midst. Perhaps they knew a play-actor of minor rank had disappeared, but did not regard him as the author of his Works. “We are justified in assuming” this.

His death was not even an event in the little town of Stratford. Does this mean that in Stratford he was not regarded as a celebrity of ANY kind?

“We are privileged to assume” – no, we are indeed OBLIGED to assume- -that such was the case. He had spent the first twenty-two or twenty-three years of his life there, and of course knew everybody and was known by everybody of that day in the town, including the dogs and the cats and the horses. He had spent the last five or six years of his life there, diligently trading in every big and little thing that had money in it; so we are compelled to assume that many of the folk there in those said latter days knew him personally, and the rest by sight and hearsay. But not as a CELEBRITY? Apparently not. For everybody soon forgot to remember any contact with him or any incident connected with him. The dozens of townspeople, still alive, who had known of him or known about him in the first twenty-three years of his life were in the same unremembering condition: if they knew of any incident connected with that period of his life they didn’t tell about it. Would they if they had been asked? It is most likely. Were they asked? It is pretty apparent that they were not. Why weren’t they? It is a very plausible guess that nobody there or elsewhere was interested to know.

For seven years after Shaksper’s death nobody seems to have been interested in him. Then the quarto was published, and Ben Jonson awoke out of his long indifference and sang a song of praise and put it in the front of the book. Then silence fell AGAIN.

For sixty years. Then inquiries into Shaksper’s Stratford life began to be made, of Stratfordians. Of Stratfordians who had known Shaksper or had seen him? No. Then of Stratfordians who had seen people who had known or seen people who had seen Shaksper? No. Apparently the inquiries were only made of Stratfordians who were not Stratfordians of Shaksper’s day, but later comers; and what they had learned had come to them from persons who had not seen Shaksper; and what they had learned was not claimed as FACT, but only as legend – dim and fading and indefinite legend; legend of the calf-slaughtering rank, and not worth remembering either as history or fiction.

Has it ever happened before – or since – that a celebrated person who had spent exactly half of a fairly long life in the village where he was born and reared, was able to slip out of this world and leave that village voiceless and gossipless behind him – utterly voiceless, utterly gossipless? And permanently so? I don’t believe it has happened in any case except Shaksper’s. And couldn’t and wouldn’t have happened in his case if he had been regarded as a celebrity at the time of his death…

Am I trying to convince anybody that Shaksper did not write Shake-speare’s Works? Ah, now, what do you take me for? Would I be so soft as that, after having known the human race familiarly for nearly seventy-four years? It would grieve me to know that any one could think so injuriously of me, so uncomplimentarily, so unadmiringly of me. No-no, I am aware that when even the brightest mind in our world has been trained up from childhood in a superstition of any kind, it will never be possible for that mind, in its maturity, to examine sincerely, dispassionately, and conscientiously any evidence or any circumstance which shall seem to cast a doubt upon the validity of that superstition. I doubt if I could do it myself. We always get at second hand our notions about systems of government; and high-tariff and low-tariff; and prohibition and anti-prohibition; and the holiness of peace and the glories of war; and codes of honor and codes of morals; and approval of the duel and disapproval of it; and our beliefs concerning the nature of cats; and our ideas as to whether the murder of helpless wild animals is base or is heroic; and our preferences in the matter of religious and political parties; and our acceptance or rejection of the Shakspers and the Arthur Ortons and the Mrs. Eddys. We get them all at second-hand, we reason none of them out for ourselves. It is the way we are made. It is the way we are all made, and we can’t help it, we can’t change it. And whenever we have been furnished a fetish, and have been taught to believe in it, and love it and worship it, and refrain from examining it, there is no evidence, howsoever clear and strong, that can persuade us to withdraw from it our loyalty and our devotion. In morals, conduct, and beliefs we take the color of our environment and associations, and it is a color that can safely be warranted to wash. Whenever we have been furnished with a tar baby ostensibly stuffed with jewels, and warned that it will be dishonorable and irreverent to disembowel it and test the jewels, we keep our sacrilegious hands off it. We submit, not reluctantly, but rather gladly, for we are privately afraid we should find, upon examination, that the jewels are of the sort that are manufactured at North Adams, Mass.

I haven’t any idea that Shaksper will have to vacate his pedestal this side of the year 2209. Disbelief in him cannot come swiftly, disbelief in a healthy and deeply-loved tar baby has never been known to disintegrate swiftly, it is a very slow process. It took several thousand years to convince our fine race – including every splendid intellect in it – that there is no such thing as a witch; it has taken several thousand years to convince that same fine race – including every splendid intellect in it – that there is no such person as Satan; it has taken several centuries to remove perdition from the Protestant Church’s program of postmortem entertainments; it has taken a weary long time to persuade American Presbyterians to give up infant damnation and try to bear it the best they can; and it looks as if their Scotch brethren will still be burning babies in the everlasting fires when Shaksper comes down from his perch…

…One of the most trying defects which I find in these Stratfordolaters, these Shakesperoids, these thugs, these bangalores, these troglodytes, these herumfrodites, these blatherskites, these buccaneers, these bandoleers, is their spirit of irreverence…
…Now then, what aggravates me is, that these troglodytes and muscovites and bandoleers and buccaneers are ALSO trying to crowd in and share the benefit of the law, and compel everybody to revere their Shaksper and hold him sacred…

Isn’t it odd, when you think of it: that you may list all the celebrated Englishmen, Irishmen, and Scotchmen of modern times, clear back to the first Tudors – a list containing five hundred names, shall we say? – and you can go to the histories, biographies and cyclopedias and learn the particulars of the lives of every one of them. Every one of them except one – the most famous, the most renowned – by far the most illustrious of them all – Shaksper! You can get the details of the lives of all the celebrated ecclesiastics in the list; all the celebrated tragedians, comedians, singers, dancers, orators, judges, lawyers, poets, dramatists, historians, biographers, editors, inventors, reformers, statesmen, generals, admirals, discoverers, prize-fighters, murderers, pirates, conspirators, horse-jockeys, bunco-steerers, misers, swindlers, explorers, adventurers by land and sea, bankers, financiers, astronomers, naturalists, Claimants, impostors, chemists, biologists, geologists, philologists, college presidents and professors, architects, engineers, painters, sculptors, politicians, agitators, rebels, revolutionists, patriots, demagogues, clowns, cooks, freaks, philosophers, burglars, highwaymen, journalists, physicians, surgeons – you can get the life-histories of all of them but ONE. Just one – the most extraordinary and the most celebrated of them all – Shaksper!

You may add to the list the thousand celebrated persons furnished by the rest of Christendom in the past four centuries, and you can find out the life-histories of all those people, too. You will then have listed 1500 celebrities, and you can trace the authentic life-histories of the whole of them. Save one – far and away the most colossal prodigy of the entire accumulation – Shaksper! About him you can find out NOTHING. Nothing of even the slightest importance. Nothing worth the trouble of stowing away in your memory. Nothing that even remotely indicates that he was ever anything more than a distinctly common-place person – a manager, an actor of inferior grade, a small trader in a small village that did not regard him as a person of any consequence, and had forgotten all about him before he was fairly cold in his grave. We can go to the records and find out the life-history of every renowned RACE-HORSE of modern times – but not Shaksper’s! There are many reasons why, and they have been furnished in cartloads (of guess and conjecture) by those troglodytes; but there is one that is worth all the rest of the reasons put together, and is abundantly sufficient all by itself – HE HADN’T ANY HISTORY TO RECORD. There is no way of getting around that deadly fact. And no sane way has yet been discovered of getting around its formidable significance.

Its quite plain significance – to any but those thugs (I do not use the term unkindly) is, that Shaksper had no prominence while he lived, and none until he had been dead two or three generations. The Plays enjoyed high fame from the beginning; and if he wrote them it seems a pity the world did not find it out. He ought to have explained that he was the author, and not merely a nom de plume for another man to hide behind. If he had been less intemperately solicitous about his bones, and more solicitous about his Works, it would have been better for his good name, and a kindness to us. The bones were not important. They will moulder away, they will turn to dust, but the Works will endure until the last sun goes down.

… Stratford Shaksper was a person of no public consequence or celebrity during his lifetime, but was utterly obscure and unimportant. And not only in great London, but also in the little village where he was born, where he lived a quarter of a century, and where he died and was buried. I argued that if he had been a person of any note at all, aged villagers would have had much to tell about him many and many a year after his death, instead of being unable to furnish inquirers a single fact connected with him.
I believed, and I still believe, that if he had been famous, his notoriety would have lasted as long as mine has lasted in my native village out in Missouri.
It is a good argument, a prodigiously strong one, and a most formidable one for even the most gifted, and ingenious, and plausible Stratfordolater to get around or explain away.
…a really celebrated person cannot be forgotten in his village…

Is Shakespeare Dead?
Mark Twain  (1835-1910)
1909  [several years before J. Thomas Lōney unearthed Edward de Vere in 1920]


John Michell (1933-2009) noted: The known facts about Shakspere’s life, as the Heretics constantly exclaim, can be written down on one side of a sheet of notepaper. Yet his innumerable biographers have managed to spin out versions of his life-story through ponderous works, sometimes in several volumes. One could build a small library of books about Shakspere’s youth, including for example the 256-page “Shakspere the Boy” by William J. Rolfe, Litt. D. – period of his life on which not one single fact is known. Sir Sidney Lee’s “Life of William Shakspere” expanded into several editions, the last of which ran to 720 closely printed pages.

Henry James (1843-1916) put it best in his 26 August 1903 letter to Violet Hunt saying, “I am ‘a sort of’ haunted by the conviction that the divine William is the biggest and most successful fraud ever practiced on a patient world… I find it almost impossible to conceive that Bacon wrote the plays as to conceive that the man from Stratford, as we know the man from Stratford, did.”


Stratos Infiltrate Wikipedia
The situation is nailed by Mark Anderson’s August 2011 article:

Wikipedia’s Shakespeare Problem —
Wikipedia is a little too sure we know who authored Hamlet

Is Wikipedia slighting scholars who dispute Shakespeare’s identity? Earlier versions of the encyclopedia acknowledged the leading alternative candidate, Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.
Wikipedia, today the seventh most popular site on the Web, is the go-to source for untold millions of users around the world. Yet, despite widely publicized worries that the self-edited and self-policed encyclopedia might subvert authority, the opposite concern has also emerged. Does Wikipedia, in other words, provide a viewpoint that’s overly  mainstream, giving short shrift to controversial, minority, or heretical ideas?

“All great truths,” George Bernard Shaw famously wrote, “begin as blasphemies.” Consider the blasphemy that Shakespeare wasn’t Shakespeare. According to this view, the Shakespeare veneer has been applied to plays and poems penned by one or more political insiders within the Elizabethan court. And William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon, they contend, was a mere collaborator or perhaps simply a front man.

This heresy has a century of scholarship behind it—its advocates include Walt Whitman, Sigmund Freud, Mark Twain, Henry James, Helen Keller, Derek Jacobi, and Malcolm X (as well as, in the interest of full disclosure, the present author). Yet a disproportionately large share of Wikipedia’s “Shakespeare authorship question” entry, a page devoted to the controversy, has been written by proponents of the traditional Shakespeare-as-author thesis. This imbalance is the result of an 18-month battle that included mediation and arbitration hearings.

From 2006 through 2009, the SAQ—as its adherents abbreviate the entry—was largely coedited by one proponent of the mainstream—a.k.a. the “Stratfordian” [aka Strato] point of view—and one proponent of the so-called Oxfordian theory, named for the leading alternative candidate, Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. “The page was relatively stable,”says the top Oxfordian SAQ editor at the time, Stephen Moorer. “I had a good working relationship with the Stratfordian editor. The two of us kept the article going. We kept each other honest.”

The balance shifted in December 2009. A regular disputant on related discussion boards—Tom Reedy, based in Denton, Texas—began editing the SAQ in earnest. “It was very promotional,”Reedy says. “It was obvious that [the Earl of] Oxford was being pushed.”

In the ensuing months, Reedy and a pseudonymous Stratfordian editor named Nishidani rewrote much of the SAQ page and launched mediation and arbitration hearings against Moorer and another Oxfordian editor, who eventually was banned from Wikipedia altogether. Moorer was given a one-year “topic ban,” prohibiting him from contributing
to the SAQ or related entries.

The SAQ mediation, in particular, played out all too familiarly, according to John Broughton, author of Wikipedia: The Missing Manual (O’Reilly Media, 2008). “Mediation requires everyone to talk, and if it’s going to be successful, it requires a good mediator,” Broughton says.

In September 2010, the entry’s Montagues and Capulets met on a designated mediation page, where they began hurling accusations and countercharges. But as Reedy posted in October, “The issues are still very much alive; but for some reason the moderator has gone AWOL.” The mediation petered out the following month.

In April of this year, Wikipedia editors selected SAQ to be a “featured article,” the site’s highest rating, currently held by some 3000 articles. Yet the page that won the blue ribbon
arguably has as much claim to evenhandedness as does an entry on Libya’s history written by Muammar Gaddafi.

Even as the number of Wikipedia articles and readers rise, says Broughton, the number of Wikipedia participants is on the decline. And maintaining controversial pages is a particularly high-maintenance business.

In March, Ting Chen, a board member of the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia’s parent organization, pegged the decline in participation as “the most significant challenge currently facing our movement.”

“Because it’s one of these imperceptible things—less than a 1 percent decline in any given month—it’s this very slow trickling away,” Broughton says. “A lot of the holes are just not
going to get filled.”

Mark Anderson is a regular contributor to IEEE Spectrum and the author of Shakespeare by Another Name: The Life of Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, The Man Who Was Shakespeare


Editor’s Note:

See also which the Stratos that control Wikipedia say, on the page they have for it, is that it’s a “parody of Wikipedia”. The alarming fact is that Uncyclopedia is extremely accurate in its assessment of how Wikipedia works – their standard procedure:
“Do I [Wiki-editor] want to allow that non-Strato view? …I don’t think so… DELETE.”

We (as User:Australiansofarabia) created the Wikipedia pages for Susan de Vere, Countess of Montgomery and Elizabeth Trentham, Countess of Oxford who were not deemed important enough by these Stratos, obviously because they are dead giveaways that Edward de Vere is Shakespeare. So our pages were duly ‘butchered’ and we were bullied off. What a democracy we live in, you would think this is all happening in some totalitarian state.
Fortunately, the Internet is always in a state of flux, so sooner or later Evolution Dynamics apply, a superior species will eat Wikipedia, already as Mark Anderson notes, there are signs it is beginning to implode.

What would be amusing to see, is when one day Susan de Vere gets her just recognition as making possible the Shakespeare canon we enjoy today by producing the First Folio, these Stratos will have a conundrum, that they will be under enormous pressure to deal with – how do they finally allow Susan de Vere’s ‘full story’ to be restored to her Wikipedia page. Specifically, that most of the pioneering research on her would have been done by, not just non-Stratos, but the people (Tara and Peter Hogan) who originally created the page that they duly butchered. And even worse have to ‘reference’ our eBook and Anonymous film sequel, ‘The Hyphen, The Mask & The Daughter’.


Stratos in Establishment Media

It’s fine if the Stratos want to use their 400 years of entrenchment in concrete bunkers.
We can keep teaching our children the “Stratford Sham Industry”. And there really is a tooth ferry and pigs do fly. At least there is the same amount of evidence.
They’re all coming out now, here’s a good example:

“Why anyone is drawn to de Vere’s cause is the real mystery…”
Strato James Shapiro, New York Times OpEd

And The Times reports the most weird yet, that Stratos like Brean Hammond, a professor at the University of Nottingham, incongruously see the incumbent Stratford Industry 400 year old myth as being like Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, relegating the recent research indicating Edward de Vere as the true author of the Shakespeare works as Creationists who deny Darwinism. (Go figure. And would you pay big money to have your kid taught by this guy?!)

And Strato Simon Schama (does anyone look and sound more a paragon of snob elitist academia?) has called the heresy an “idiotic misunderstanding of history”.

Well not much of “mystery” or “misunderstanding of history” when you look a The Evolution of the English Sonnet. Starting with the father of the English Sonnet Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey was married to the 15th Earl of Oxford’s daughter, Frances de Vere; then his nephew, Edward de Vere is all over the next milestone, Hekatompathia; Shake-speares Sonnets (the famous title with the inconvenient ‘hyphen’) 1-17 are about marrying off Edward de Vere’s daughter – all confirmed by Stratos themselves… it’s all at our Youtube Channel – “The Hyphen”:

… Reports that show how scientists are always prepared to reconsider longheld notions of the way things work with evidence that the little neutrino could be faster than light. In stark contrast can you imagine this current batch of Stratos having a close look at The Evolution of the English Sonnet.

Scientists upend Einstein’s Theory of Relativity
One of the absolute pillars of science – that nothing can go faster than the speed of light – appears to have been upended by a subatomic particle in an experiment in Switzerland.  Scientists at the world’s largest physics lab outside Geneva said today they have clocked neutrinos travelling faster than light. That’s something that according to Albert Einstein’s 1905 special theory of relativity – the famous E=MC² equation – just doesn’t happen… it would force a fundamental rethink of the laws of nature.



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