Shakespeare Authorship Sourcebook

“The strange, difficult, contradictory man who emerges
as the real Shakespeare, Edward de Vere,
the 17th Earl of Oxford, is not just plausible
but fascinating and wholly believable.”
By David McCullough,
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian,
in his introduction to Charlton Ogburn’s
The Mysterious William Shakespeare.

For a superb introduction to the Shakespeare Authorship controversy, go to
The Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship.

Our Purpose

This Sourcebook aims to provide direct and comprehensive online access to evidence and arguments related to the Shakespeare authorship controversy as it applies to Shakspere of Stratford and Edward De Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. As much as possible, this site will provide uncluttered access to original texts and documents. Oxfordians believe that open minds free to access original sources and factual evidence will be persuaded.

For my background on this issue, please read Why I Became an Oxfordian.

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Shakespeare

Folios      Quartos

Chronologies

Shakspere/Shakespeare Chronology

Oxford Chronology

In the Oxfordian Library

25 Poems and Lyrics and Letters by Edward de Vere

“Shakespeare” Identified by J. Thomas Looney, 1920 (online text)
“Shakespeare” Identified by J. Thomas Looney, 1920 (24MB PDF of 1st edition)

The Poems of Edward De Vere by J. Thomas Looney, 1921 (PDF)

Auxiophilus, or Oxford Alias Shakespeare by Eva Turner Clark, 1926 (PDF)

The Seventeenth Earl of Oxford 1550-1604 by B. M. Ward, 1928 (PDF 37MB)

Shakespeare and Chapman as Topical Dramatists by Percy Allen, 1929 (PDF 18MB)

Shakespeare Sonnets and Edward De Vere by Gerald Rendall, 1930 (PDF 14MB)

The Life Story of Edward De Vere as Shakespeare by Percy Allen, 1932 (PDF 21MB)

Lord Oxford Was “Shakespeare” by Montagu W Douglas, 1934 (PDF 13MB)

Personal Clues in Shakespeare’s Poems and Sonnets, by Gerald Rendall, 1934 (PDF 12MB)

The Writings of Charles Wisner Barrell, 1940-1948 (online text)

This Star of England by Dorothy and Charlton Ogburn, 1952 (online text / PDFs)

The Writings of Gwynneth Bowen, 1951-1974 (online text)

A Variety of 20th- and 21st-Century Oxfordian Authors

Oxfordian Essays, etc.

Shakespeare and Oxford: 25 Curious Connections
(using orthodox sources) by Mark Alexander (PowerPoint)

Polonius as Lord Burghley (using orthodox sources) by Mark Alexander

“New Evidence Confirms Oxford’s Birthday” by Robert Brazil

“Gabriel Harvey’s Relationship with Oxford” by Robert Brazil

Glossary of Elizabethan Literature by Barboura Flues and Robert Brazil, 2010 (PDF)

“London Theatres, and Children’s Acting Companies by Robert Brazil (PDF)

“Friedrich Nietzsche and the Shakespeare Authorship Controversy by Robert Brazil, 2007 (PDF)

Between the Lines by Richard Kennedy, 1993 (PDF)
A brief consideration of the odd nature of the publication of SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS.

“The Scudemore Cypher” by Richard Kennedy (PDF)
Demonstrating a cypher for De Vere’s name in a poem in A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres

Texts Dedicated to Edward De Vere

The Histories of Trogus Pompeius by Arthur Golding, 1564 (facsimile PDF 64MB)

An Æthiopian Historie Written in Greeke by Heliodorus by Thomas Underdowne, 1569 (PDF, 1587 edition)

Pesistratus and Catanea by Edmund Elviden, 1570 (text at Early English Books Online) (facsimile PDF of dedication)

Cardanus Comforte translated by Thomas Bedingfield, 1571 (facsimile PDF 65MB)
Hank Whittemore’s essay on “Hamlet’s Book” (1 of 4)

Il Cortegiano (The Courtier) translated into Latin by Bartholomew Clerke, 1571
Introduction in Latin by Edward De Vere (facsimile PDF)
     Hank Whittemore’s essay on Oxford’s Latin Preface

The Psalms of David translated by Arthur Golding, 1571 (seeking)

The Breviary of Britain translated by Thomas Twyne, 1573 (text at Early English Books Online)

Oleum Magistral translated by George Baker, 1574 (facsimile PDF)
Hank Whittemore’s essay on Shakespeare’s Medical Knowledge (1 of 2)

The Staff of Christian Faith by John Brooke, 1577 (seeking)

The Mirrour of Mutabilitie by Anthony Munday, 1579
(text at Early English Books Online)
The Mirrour of Mutabilitie by Anthony Munday, 1579
(facsimile PDF 24MB)
Hank Whittemore’s essay on Anthony Munday

The Defence of Militarie Profession by Geoffrey Gates, 1579 (seeking) (cover/first page of dedication)

Zelauto The Fountaine of Fame by Anthony Munday, 1580 (text at Early English Books Online)

Euphues and His England by John Lyly, 1580 (PDF)

A Short Discourse upon Surgery translated by John Hester, 1580
(facsimile PDF 51MB, original is a bit rough)

Diverse Sermons of Calvin by Thomas Stocker, 1581 (seeking)

The Ekatompathia or Passionate Centurie of Loue by Thomas Watson, 1582 (facsimile PDF)
Hank Whittemore’s essay on Thomas Watson (1 of 2)

The Carde of Fancie by Robert Greene, 1584 (PDF)

Pandora The Mvsyque of the Beavtie of His Mistresse Diana by John Soowthern, 1584 (facsimile PDF)
Pandora The Mvsyque of the Beavtie of His Mistresse Diana by John Soowthern, 1584 (Ron Hess Transcription and notes)

The English Secretary by Angel Daye, 1586 (text at Early English Books Online)

Palmerin d’Oliva Part I The Mirrour of Nobilitie by Anthony Munday, 1588 (text at Early English Books Online)

Palmerin d’Oliva Part II The Mirrour of Nobilitie by Anthony Munday, 1588 (seeking)

The Fairie Queen by Edmund Spenser, 1590

Plainsong Diverse & Dundrie by John Farmer, 1591 (text at Early English Books Online)

Strange Newes by Thomas Nashe, 1592 (PDF)

Ecclesiastes, otherwise Called the Preacher by Henry Lok, 1597 (text at Early English Books Online) Dedication near the end. (facsimile PDF of dedication)

The First Book of English Madrigals by John Farmer, 1599 (text at Early English Books Online)
Hank Whittemore’s essay on John Farmer

The English Secretary by Angel Daye, 1599 (revised edition) (facsimile PDF 21MB)

New and Old Physic by George Baker, 1599 (text at Early English Books Online)
Dedicated to the Countess of Oxeforde.

Anagrammata, by Francis Davison, 1603 (text at Early English Books Online)

Texts Praising Edward De Vere

The Arte of English Posie 1589 (PDF)

Palladis Tamia: Wit’s Treasury by Frances Meres, 1598 (modern spelling PDF)

Revenge of Bussy D’Ambois by George Chapman, 1613 (PDF)

The Compleat Gentleman by Henry Peacham, 1622 (PDF)
Hank Whittemore’s essay on Henry Peacham

Honour in his Perfection, by Gervaise Markham, 1624 (transcript at U. Oxford)

Athenae Oxonienses and Fasti Oxonienses by Anthony Wood, 1675 (PDF 80MB)

A Catalogue of the Royal and Noble Authors of England, Horace Walpole, 1758 (PDF)

Bibliographica Poetica: A Catalogue of English Poets, Joseph Ritson, 1802 (PDF)

Other Elizabethan Texts

Arthur Golding

Ovid’s Metamorphoses translated by Arthur Golding, 1567
(online transcript)
Ovid’s Metamorphoses translated by Arthur Golding, 1567
(original spelling transcript and glossary PDF)
Ovid’s Metamorphoses translated by Arthur Golding, 1567
(PDF 10MB, edited by W.H.D. Rouse)

A Tragedie of Abraham’s Sacrifice translated by Arthur Golding, 1575
(original spelling PDF)
A Tragedie of Abraham’s Sacrifice translated by Arthur Golding, 1575
(modern spelling PDF)

The Woorke of the Excellent Philosopher Seneca translated by Arthur Golding, 1579 (facsimile PDF 47MB)

Politicke, Moral, and Martial Discourses translated by Arthur Golding, 1595 (PDF)

Arthur Golding’s Biography and List of Works

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1550s-1560s

Tottel’s Miscellany 1557 (PDF)
Tottel’s Miscellany Vol. II, Notes edited by Hyder E. Rollins, 1557 (PDF)

Old English Ballades edited by Hyder E. Rollins, 1553-1625 (PDF)

The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Iuliet by Arthur Brook, 1562 (PDF)

The Palace of Pleasure, Volume I by William Painter Clarke, 1566 (PDF)

The Palace of Pleasure, Volume II by William Painter Clarke, 1566 (PDF)

The Palace of Pleasure, Volume III by William Painter Clarke, 1566 (PDF)

Horestes (A Newe Enterlude of Vice) by John Pikeryng, 1567
(facsimile PDF)
Horestes (A Newe Enterlude of Vice)
by John Pikeryng, 1567
(modern spelling PDF)

1570s

Damon and Pithias by Richard Edwardes, 1571 (modern English PDF)

An Homily Against Disobedience and Willful Rebellion by George North, 1571 (PDF)

A Treatise of Treasons (possibly by Oxford), 1572 (text at Early English Books Online) (modern spelling)

A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres by George Gascoigne, 1573 (PDF)

The Posies of George Gasciogne Esquire by George Gascoigne,1575 (PDF)

A Paradise of Dainty Devices edited by Hyder E. Rollins, 1576 (PDF)

The Shoole of Abuse by Stephan Gosson, 1579 (PDF)

1580s

Evphves, The Anatomy of Wit and Evphves and His England by John Lyly, editions of 1579, 1580, 1581, 1583, (PDF)

The Ekatompathia or Passionate Centurie of Loue by Thomas Watson, 1582
(facsimile PDF)
The Hekatompathia or Passionate Centurie of Love 
by Thomas Watson, 1582
(modern spelling PDF)

Sapho and Phao by John Lyly, 1584 (modern spelling PDF)

Leycesters Common-wealth (possibly by Oxford) 1584 (facsimile PDF of 1641 edition, modern spelling) Also, A Letter of Estate (modern spelling by Nina Green)

A Handefull of Pleasant Delites by Clement Robinson, 1584 (facsimile PDF)

A Choice of Emblemes and Other Devises by Geoffry Whitney, 1586 (PDF 50MB)

A Discourse of English Poetrie, by William Webbe, 1586 (PDF)

The Lamentations of Amyntas by Thomas Watson (1585), translated by Abraham Fraunce, 1575 (text at Early English Books Online)

Edmund Ironside by Anonymous, c. 1587 (modern spelling PDF)

Newes both from_Heauen and Hell by Robert Greene, 1588 (PDF, modern spelling)

Pandosto by Robert Greene, 1588 (Text)

The Arte of English Posie, by George Puttenham, 1589 (PDF)

Pasqvili’s Countercuffe to Martin Junior by Anonymous 1589 (modern spelling PDF)

1590s

His Trauailes by Edward Webbe, 1590 (edited by Edward Arber, PDF)
His Trauailes by Edward Webbe, 1590 (edited by Edmund Goldsmid, PDF)

Endimion – The Man in the Moone by John Lyly, 1591 (modern spelling PDF)

Kind-Hartes Dream, by Henrie Chettle, 1592 (PDF)

Strange Newes: Epistle Dedicatorie by Thomas Nashe, 1592 (Text)

Arden of Feversham by Anonymous, 1592
(facsimile PDF)
Arden of Feversham by Anonymous, 1592
(modern spelling PDF)

The Phoenix Nest by R.S., 1593 (PDF 20MB)

Willobie His Avisa 1594 (facsimile PDF)

The Spanish Tragedy attributed to Thomas Kyd, 1582
(1615 modern spelling PDF)
The Spanish Tragedy attributed to Thomas Kyd, 1594-1602 editions
(PDF with Barboura Flues glossary and appendices)

The True Tragedy of Richard the Third by Anonymous, 1594 (modern spelling PDF)

Oenone and Paris by T. H., 1594 (PDF)

The Scourge of Villainie and The Metamorphosis of Pigmalions Image by John Marston, 1598 (facsimile PDF)

The Famovs Victories of Henry the Fifth, 1598
(facsmile PDF)
The Famovs Victories of Henry the Fifth, 1598
(original spelling PDF)

The Comicall Historie of Alphonsus, King of Aragon by Robert Greene, 1599 (modern spelling PDF)

The Tragedy of Soliman and Perseda attributed to Thomas Kyd, 1599 (modern spelling PDF)

1600s

Summers Last Will and Testament by Thomas Nashe, 1600 (modern spelling PDF)

The Wisdom of Doctor Dodypoll by Anonymous, 1600
(facsimile PDF)
The Wisdom of Doctor Dodypoll
 by Anonymous, 1600
(original spelling PDF)

England’s Helicon, 1600 (PDF)

England’s Parnassus, 1600 (PDF)

Leicesters Ghost (possibly by Oxford), 1603 (modern spelling by Nina Green)

Bussy D’Ambois and The Revenge of Bussy D’Ambois by George Chapman, 1603, 1609 (PDF)

Eastward Hoe by George Chapman, 1605 (PDF)

King Leir and His Three Daughters by Anonymous, 1605 (modern spelling PDF)

No-Body and Some-Body by Anonymous, 1606 (modern spelling PDF)

Monsieur D’Olive by George Chapman, 1606 (modern spelling PDF)

The Retvrne of Parnassvs, 1606 (PDF)

Minerva Brittana by Henry Peacham, 1612 (facsimile PDF 23MB)

The Two Noble Kinsmen by Fletcher and Shakespeare, 1634 (modern spelling PDF)

Complete Works Edited by Alexander Grosart et al.

Complete Works of Ben Jonson

Complete Works of Edmund Spenser

Complete Works of John Lyly

IN-complete Works of Anthony Munday

Complete Works of Gabriel Harvey

Complete Works of Thomas Nashe

Complete Works of Robert Greene

Complete Works of Philip Sidney

Complete Works of Thomas Lodge

Complete Works of Beaumont and Fletcher

Complete Works of Fulke Greville

Complete Works of Samuel Daniel

Complete Dramatic Works of Thomas Dekker

Complete Non-Dramatic Works of Thomas Dekker

Complete Works of George Chapman

Complete Works of Roger Ascham

Complete Works of Nicholas Breton, Richard Barnfield, John Davies, and Giles Fletcher

Other Post-Stratfordian Works

November Boughs by Walt Whitman, 1888 (PDF)

Is Shakespeare Dead? by Mark Twain, 1909 (PDF)

The Sir George Greenwood Portal (1908-1923)

Letters of Henry James 1920 (PDF 33MB, see book page 424)

“The Ghost of Shakespeare” Harper’s Magazine, 1999 (PDF)

Shakespeare and the Law

Shakespeare’s Knowledge of Law: A Journey through the History of the Argument by Mark Alexander (Texts below are cited in this article.)

The Legally Annotated Hamlet

The Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship’s Shakespeare and the Law

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Shakespeare a Lawyer by William Lowes Rushton, 1858 (PDF)

Shakespeare’s Legal Maxims by William Lowes Rushton, 1859 (PDF)

Shakespeare’s Testamentary Language by William Lowes Rushton, 1869 (PDF)

Shakespeare’s Legal Acquirement, by John Lord Campbell, 1859 (PDF)

Shakespeare, from an American Point of View by George Wilkes, 1882 (PDF)

Shakespeare as a Lawyer by Franklin Fiske Heard, 1883 (PDF)

The Law in Shakespeare by Cushman K. Davis, 1884 (PDF)

Ecclesiastical Law in Hamlet: The Burial of Ophelia by R. A. Guernsey, 1885 (PDF)

Shakespeare, Bacon, Jonson and Greene by Edward James Castle, 1897 (PDF)

In Re: Shakespeare’s “Legal Acquirements” by William C. Devecmon Esq., 1899  (PDF)

Notes on the Bacon-Shakespeare Question by Charles Allen, 1900 (PDF)

The Mystery of William Shakespeare by Judge Webb, 1902 (PDF)

“Shakespeare’s Alleged Blunders in Legal Terminology” by Homer B. Sprague, Yale Law Journal, 1902 (PDF)

Studies in Shakespeare by J. Churton Collins, 1904 (PDF)

Did Shakespeare Write “Titus Andronicus”? by J. M. Robertson, 1905 (PDF)
for the chapter “Alleged Shakespearean Legal Allusions”

Commentaries on the Law in Shakespeare by Edward J. White, 1911 (PDF)

The Baconian Heresy: A Confutation by J. M. Robertson, 1913 (PDF)

“Recent Developments in the Case for Oxford as Shakespeare” by Peter R. Moore, 1996 (PDF)

Also check out The Sir George Greenwood Portal for more texts from the 1908-1923.

Early Orthodox Works

Shakespeare’s England: an Account of Life and Manners of His Age, Vol. I
(1916 64MB)

Shakespeare’s England: an Account of Life and Manners of His Age, Vol. II
(1916 44MB)

Works by E. K. Chambers: The Mediaeval Stage, The Elizabethan Stage, William Shakespeare

John Lyly by John Dover Wilson, 1905 (html)

Shakspere Allusion Book from 1591-1700, Volume I (PDF)

Shakspere Allusion Book from 1591-1700, Volume II (PDF)

The Life of Henry, Third Earl of Southampton, Shakespeare’s Patron
by Charlotte Stopes, 1922 (PDF)

Shakespeare’s Industry by Charlotte Stopes, 1916 (PDF)

Other Interesting Links

Lilian Winstanley’s Kindle edition of Hamlet and the Scottish Succession

Lilian Winstanley’s Kindle edition of Macbeth, King Lear and the Scottish Succession

The Declaration of Reasonable Doubt
Michael York Reading the Declaration (audio)

Mark Anderson’s Shakespeare By Another Name

Roger Stritmatter’s Shake-speare’s Bible.com

Hank Whittemore’s Shakespeare Blog

Nina Green’s The Oxford Authorship Site

Peter R. Moore’s Oxfordian Archive

Complete Archive of Robert Brazil’s ElizabethanAuthors.org Site

ElizabethanAuthors1.pdf

ElizabethanAuthors2.pdf

ElizabethanAuthors3.pdf

ElizabethanAuthors4.pdf

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Note: For the sake of clarity, these are the naming conventions used in much of the Commentary throughout this site:

“Shakspere” is used when referring to the man of Stratford-upon-Avon who is generally regarded as the author of the Shakespeare poems and plays. This form appears on both his baptism record and his will.

“Shakespeare” is used to refer to the author of the Shakespeare poems and plays without reference to either candidate. This form is most frequently found on the quartos and folios of the poems and plays.

“The Actor” is used on occasion to refer to the “Shakespeare” noted in some documents as a player or as associated with known players. This distinction may prove to be useful since there seems to some contention about exactly who is “Shakespeare” the actor.

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