The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Joseph Sobran
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We seldom know what our adversaries are doing behind our backs until it’s too late, but sometimes, when we are fortunate, they expose themselves without realizing it. Writing in the Washington Post, Stanley Wells, doyen of Shakespeare scholars, asserts that there is “overwhelming evidence” that “William Shakespeare from Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the plays and poems for... Read More
As a boy growing up in Michigan half a century ago, thousands of miles from London during the golden age of Shakespearean acting, I wished I could have seen Laurence Olivier on the stage as Macbeth, or Paul Scofield as Hamlet, or Richard Burton as Coriolanus, or Alec Guinness as Lear’s Fool. England was crawling... Read More
April 12 was Shakespeare’s birthday. The real Shakespeare, I mean: Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. I thought a little celebrating was in order, so I watched one of the best Shakespeare films ever made: Roman Polanski’s 1971 Macbeth. When I was a kid, that was one of my favorite plays. Still is. The language!... Read More
A new, annotated edition of the complete Sherlock Holmes stories has just appeared in two volumes; ditto a new best-selling “biography” of Shakespeare, Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World. Neither one is urgently needed. Two scholarly editions of the Holmes stories already exist. As for Shakespeare bios, there’s at least one new one every year,... Read More
Who was Shakespeare? The answer to this old question depends on when his works were written. And I think there is vivid evidence, right under the noses of the academic scholars, that William Shakspere of Stratford was too young to have written them. The first two published works of “William Shakespeare” weren’t plays but two... Read More
In this age of compulsive commemoration, you might expect the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death to attract some notice, but it has passed almost unobserved. That’s because his pen name has been mistaken for his real name, and all the honor due to him has gone to the wrong man. “Shakespeare” — Edward de Vere,... Read More
Because I have a certain respect for Shakespeare, I usually avoid productions of his plays. Too many directors falsify them by trying to modernize them. I don’t mind modern-dress performances; I do mind modern-ideas performances, which turn the plays into parables of fascism or feminism or existentialism — current fads that are totally alien to... Read More
April! That can mean only one thing — the Earl of Oxford’s birthday. On April 12 he will be 452 years old. That would be Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford (1550–1604), the one who, as independent thinkers now generally agree, wrote under the name William Shakespeare. Of course if you are an... Read More
As I keep saying, the Earl of Oxford wrote the Shakespeare works. Let’s approach the question from a new angle. The Shakespeare authorship debate can be distilled to one central point. The champions of William of Stratford rely on testimony that he was the author. The champions of Oxford rely on circumstantial evidence: the internal... Read More
A week before his death in 1547, Henry VIII — obese, syphilitic, demented — groggily approved an order for the execution of Henry Howard, the young Earl of Surrey. Henry was too bloated to walk, or even wield a pen, so he used a stamp that had been provided for the purpose. Surrey was a... Read More
A recent issue of Harper’s Magazine was devoted to a debate on the Shakespeare authorship question. Interest in the topic is high, and the exchange brought an avalanche of mail. Spreading belief in the Earl of Oxford’s authorship of the Bard’s works has now driven Sylvan Barnet, editor of the Signet paperback editions of the... Read More
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