The Writings of Charles Wisner Barrell 23

The Playwright Earl Publishes “Hamlet’s Book”
Facts Regarding Edward de Vere’s Personal Interest
In a Work which Stimulated ‘Shakespeare’s Creative Genius

Copyright 1946 by Charles Wisner Barrell
First published in The Shakespeare Fellowship Quarterly, July 1946.

AMONG THE MANY revealing circumstances that identify the poet-dramatist Earl of Oxford as the personality behind the pen-name of “William Shakespeare” none is more telling than the fact that books which are intimately associated with Oxford’s intellectual development are clearly traceable in the great plays and poems. There are more than a dozen such books—amply certified as unquestionable Shakespearean source material—which contemporary records show the Earl owned, or which were publicly dedicated to him. Many others were written by his personal friends, relatives or known proteges.

One of these key exhibits which Lord Oxford took a personal hand in bringing to the attention of Elizabethan readers in the year 1573 is a small blackletter translation from the Latin which bears the title of Cardanus Comforte. While Ward’s Seventeenth Earl of Oxford gives an adequate account of the young nobleman’s connection with the launching of the English version of the Comforte, Ward makes no direct claim for its connection with the Shakespearean creative arcana. It may surprise certain readers, then, to learn that this work of Renaissance philosophy has long been recognized by accredited investigators as the source from which the author of Hamlet drew inspiration for memorable scenes and striking passages in the play—including practically the whole mood and much of the metaphorical treatment of the famous soliloquy.

Hardin Craig, well known Professor of English at Stanford and the University of North Carolina, has made a careful study of the relationship between Cardanus Comforte and the creative background of Hamlet. (1) And although he has always been considered most correctly orthodox in his views on the Shakespeare authorship problem, Professor Craig is so convinced that the mysterious Bard’s mind was saturated with the philosophy of the Comforte when he created his greatest play that Craig calls his essay on the subject “Hamlet’s Book.”

Of course there is no personal evidence that William of Stratford ever owned a copy of this stimulating work—or any other of the many books that the real man behind the pen-name knew so intimately. Oxford, on the other hand, seems to be the only Elizabethan poet and dramatist of contemporary reputation whose intellectual association with “Hamlet’s Book” is clear-cut and unquestionable.

In point of fact, the Earl not only impelled his friend, Thomas Bedingfield, to complete the translation of the Comforte into English, but wrote both prose and versified introductions to speed its acceptance by Elizabethan readers, found a printer to put it into type “by commaundement” (as the accompanying typography of the original title-page shows) and without doubt paid all costs incurred thereby.

Yet Professor Craig, by adroit suppression of these interesting facts, has managed to write his study of Cardanus Comforte’s relationship to Hamlet without giving the slightest hint that Lord Oxford took any part whatever in introducing so important a work to the intelligensia of the Shakespearean Age! Perhaps the good Professor was afraid that if he mentioned Oxford as the prime mover in giving “Hamlet’s Book” to the same public that was later to hear so many of its ideas immortalized on the stage, he might be accused by his Stratfordian brethren of gratuitously adding fuel to the flame of the Oxford-Shakespeare heresy that has already scorched their articles of faith so seriously.

However that may be, Professor Craig has our sincere thanks for drawing the attention of present day students to the many significant parallels between Hamlet’s ethical reflections and those of the Comforte which the literary Earl enthusiastically sponsored. Not that Craig is by any means the first to cite these remarkable parallels. Francis Douce appears to be entitled to the honors of priority in this respect. More than a hundred years ago—in the 1839 edition of his Illustrations of Shakespeare—Douce pointed out the striking similarities between passages in the Comforte and Hamlet’s soliloquy. He ends his comments as follows:

“There is a good deal on the subject in Cardanus Comforte, a book which Shakespeare had certainly read.”

Again, in 1845, the Reverend Joseph Hunter’s New Illustrations of Shakespeare verified the findings of Douce regarding the playwright’s indebtedness to the Renaissance philosopher. Hunter sums up the Comforte with this striking statement (which has the warrant, we gather, of ancient English Stage tradition):

“It seems to be the book which Shakespeare placed in the hands of Hamlet.”

A more modern commentator, Dr. Lily B. Campbell of Los Angeles, gifted author of an illuminating work on Shakespeare’s Tragic Heroes (1930), also stresses the relationship between the youthful Oxford’s favorite work of philosophy and Hamlet’s views on life and death. She says:

“It is easily seen that this book of Cardan has long been associated with Hamlet. I should like to believe that Hamlet was actually reading it or pretending to read it as he carried on his baiting of Polonius.”

Thus we have four able Shakespearean scholars of the past and present in virtual agreement that Oxford’s own printing of Cardanus Comforte is preeminently “Hamlet’s Book.”

Such a situation may mean nothing at all to professional defenders of the Stratford myths, who have grown hoarse and irritable in advocating their surmises at the expense of more realistic documentation. But to those who have followed development of the Oxford-Shakespeare claims without prejudice, it will cast another floodlight of corroboration upon the fact that Oxford’s mental reactions and creative idiosyncrasies are exactly those we should expect to find in the real life author of Hamlet.

Bearing in mind the vital implications of this promise, let us now consider in a little more detail the book known as Cardanus Comforte, together with the playwright Earl’s interest in subject matter, and some of the significant passages that connect this work with thoughts and situations so masterfully developed by the spokesman of the English Renaissance.

Written in Latin—then the international language of European scholarship—by Girolamo Castellione Cardano of Milan, the book was first published at Venice in 1542 by Girolamo Scoto, one of the famous printers of the period. The Latin title of the 264 page volume is De Consolatione, and the title-page bears Cardan’s personal motto, Fiat Pax in virtute tua (Let Peace come of your virtue).

Jerome Cardan, as he is now designated by English writers, was one of the most learned and at the same time refreshingly human of the creative minds that gave verbal expression to the Revival of Learning. The illegitimate son of Facio Cardano, an eminent jurist of Pavia, Cardan was born in 1501 and died in 1576. He was well educated by his father and encouraged to seek knowledge in various fields, with the result that during his lifetime he won considerable renown as physician and astrologer—the two callings being then closely allied. His more enduring talents as mathematician, philosopher, autobiographer and poet are such that he would undoubtedly be better known to modern readers were it not that so few of his writings have been translated from the original Latin. Cardan’s autobiography, De Vita Propria Liber (The Book of My Life), which was not available in modern English until 1930 when Jean Stoner’s edition was published by E. P. Dutton & Co., gives a much truer and more understandable account of an intelligent man’s life during the Italian Renaissance than the sensational braggadocio of Benvenuto Cellini. Several of Cardan’s treatises on the workings of the human mind under abnormal stress would also still be of interest, we are told, to modern students of psychology and psychiatry.

Much trouble dogged the footsteps of the scientifically inclined philosopher throughout his career. He intimates that he wrote his Consolatione (Comforte) for the purpose of rationalizing some of the many bitter disappointments he had already experienced, and by way of personal fortification in meeting future griefs and inhibitions.

“This work,” he says, “was at first called The Book of the Accuser, because it contended against the vain passions and false persuasions of mankind: afterwards it was changed to Consolation, because it appeared that there were a far greater number of unfortunate men needing consolation, than of fortunate ones in need of blame.”

The human sympathy which Cardan expresses in this one passage is typical of his general out look. By the same token, it is also typical of Shakespeare who rarely fails to give even his deepest-dyed villains opportunity to air their grievances against fate. Comfort, consolation and their derivatives are words for which the Bard displays a significant partiality. They are used over and over again, in the same sense that the Cardan translation employs them for a grand total of 237 times. Of the thirty-seven plays now attributed to Shakespeare, every one yields multiple examples. Comfort may be said, in fact, to be one of those words that “almost tell (the) name” of the man who composed Shakespeare’s Sonnet 76—an eventuality that he views as undesirable. In four of these autobiographical poems, the “fair, kind and true” young man who bears “name of single one” with the poet is described as the latter’s predominating comfort.

Cardan’s philosophy of consolation which made such a deep impression upon Shakespeare owes, in turn, a joint debt to Socrates. Plato, Catullus and Marcus Aurelius, but is shot through with the lively and realistic questioning of an active participant in the Revival of Learning. Wisdom and Wit go forward hand in hand. Neither does Cardan scorn to pause by the broad highway every now and then to chant a snatch of poetry appropriate to some phase of his commentary on the human journey.

It is a pity that no cheap reprint of this quaintly informative chronicle of “the intimate wisdom of things,” as H. G. Wells defines philosophy, is not now available to general readers. For aside from its technical interest as basic Shakespearean source material, the book should delight anyone interested in studying a Renaissance mind in the making. As it is, the Bedingfield translation which Oxford put to press exists only in the few extant copies of the editions of 1573 and 1576. These are classed among the rarer Elizabethan items and cannot be consulted at first hand in this country except at such libraries as those of Yale and Harvard Universities, the Huntington in California and the Folger and the Library of Congress in Washington. Hardy souls, willing to risk eyestrain, can, however, view microfilm reproductions of the original blackletter Comforte at the New York Public Library and some of the other larger libraries. To alleviate the general inconvenience, perhaps some one of the American publishers who have expressed interest in the Oxford-Shakespeare case of late may see his way to the issuance of a new edition of this unique work. Printed in clear type with spellings modernized to match current versions of the Shakespeare plays, the undertaking could be made to pay for itself and would also serve the cause of good scholarship generally.

The letter addressed to the Earl of Oxford by Thomas Bedingfield, translator of Cardan’s De Consolatione, which is printed at the beginning of the Comforte, is dated “From my lodging this first of January, 1571.” This probably means in reality 1572, for the legal year then began on Lady Day, March 25th, although January 1st (curiously enough) was called “New Year’s Day.” And it was the custom for friends to exchange personal gifts at that time as is now the more general practice at Christmas.

In any event, Edward de Vere was still on the threshold of manhood when Bedingfield sent him the manuscript and covering letter which begins:

My good Lord, I can give nothing more agreeable to your mind and fortune than the willing performance of such service as it shall please you to command me unto. And therefore rather to obey than to boast of my cunning, and as a new sign of mine old devotion, I do present the book your Lordship so long desired . . .

It thus becomes apparent that this work which is so definitely associated by scholars with the Shakespeare creative background was Bedingfield’s New Year’s gift to his aristocratic friend and fellow student.

Sure I am (the letter goes on) it would have better beseemed me to have taken this travail in some discourse of arms (being your Lordship’s chief profession and mine also) than in philosopher’s skill to have thus busied myself: yet sith your pleasure was such, and your knowledge in either great, I do (as I will ever) most willingly obey you.

It speaks well for the character and mental proclivities of the young Earl of Oxford that he had encouraged or “commanded” Bedingfield to the accomplishment of this work of permanent, cosmopolitan interest. The situation, however, is all of a piece with Oxford’s recorded career as an inspiring leader and generous, supporter of so many of the scholars and literary innovators whose works are clearly reflected in the deep well of Shakespeare’s knowledge. The catholicity of the Earl’s interests set him apart from other noblemen of his period. Even at the early age of fourteen we find dedicated to him by his uncle, Arthur Golding—not some boy’s book of sport or extravagant adventure—but a translation of the Histories of Trogus Pompeius. In the dedication Golding states:

. . . it is not unknown to others, and I have had experience thereof myself, how earnest a desire your honour hath naturally graffed in you to read, peruse, and communicate with others as well the histories of ancient times, and things done long ago, as also of the present estate of things in our days, and that not without a certain pregnancy of wit and ripeness of understanding.

These first-hand comments on Oxford’s intellectual curiosity, eagerness for discussion, flair for self-expression and energetic determination to give permanent form and substance to the ideas in which he and his fellows were interested are of primary importance in understanding his personality. It would be indeed a foolish and prejudiced “authority” who would undertake to discount such evidence as we have from Golding and Bedingfield. For the qualities they attribute to the youthful peer are plainly consistent with the development of a great creative artist.

Thomas Bedingfield is one of the able and trustworthy Elizabethan soldier-scholars whose friendly admiration for Oxford helps offset the slanderous gossip and petty tittle-tattle that still passes for truth about the Earl in such works of reference as the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Dictionary of National Biography.

The Bedingfields of Oxborough, Norfolk were one of the famous Roman Catholic families of the period—highly respected by friend and foe alike. Thomas was the second son of Sir Henry of Oxborough, Knight Marshal of the army of Mary Tudor, Governor of the Tower of London and member of the Privy Council. When Mary’s half-sister Elizabeth was imprisoned, Sir Henry Bedingfield acted as her jailer and incidentally as the future ruler’s incorruptible protector—a service which earned him Elizabeth’s undying regard. Thus young Thomas Bedingfield became one of Gloriana’s Gentleman Pensioners or personal bodyguard. He appears Oxford’s senior by ten years or more, having been admitted as a law student at Lincoln’s Inn in March, 1556. Bedingfield’s deprecation of his translation of Cardan’s, philosophy and later disapproval of the Earl’s determination to publish his work—all fully covered in Ward’s reproduction of their correspondence—need not be taken very seriously. It was a well established custom for gentlemen in Court circles to disclaim any serious intent as authors. Moreover, despite his protestations, Bedingfield continued to dally with the quill. In 1584 he published a translation of Claudio Corte’s The Art of Riding, another book that Shakespeare “is believed to have read,” for scholars now quote the Corte translation in tracing contemporary authority for the “points” of a good horse so realistically described by the author of Venus and Adonis.

Again in 1595 Bedingfield issued a translation of The Florentine Historie written in the Italian tongue by Niccolo Macchiavelli. In his valuable new work on Shakespeare’s History Plays, Dr. E. M. W. Tillyard states his belief that the dramatist had the same thorough knowledge of Macchiavelli’s writings that the foremost Elizabethan politicians possessed. He adds the weak surmise that the man of Stratford had picked up this knowledge as a member of “the Southampton circle.” Oxfordians, it seems hardly necessary to observe, will view the matter in an entirely different light.

Bedingfield retained the Queen’s favor for many years, and in 1603 was appointed Master of the Tents and Toils for life. He died in 1613 and was buried in the Church of St. James Clerkenwell, London. This brief outline of his career is included here because Thomas Bedingfield’s name and best known literary work are destined to become increasingly familiar to all students of the actual Elizabethan background out of which a masterpiece such as Hamlet took form and expression. (2)

Reproduction and discussion of the introductory letter addressed to Bedingfield and the verses signed by Oxford which follow it in Cardanus Comforte must be reserved for another time. Both of these contributions are crammed from beginning to end with thought-patterns, words and phrases of the most direct and striking Shakespearean quality. Two or three such parallels have been pointed out in the past by J. T. Looney in his Poems of Edward de Vere (1921), by Percy Allen in his Life Story of Edward de Vere as “William Shakespeare” (1932) and more recently by Forrest S. Rutherford in these pages. (3) But full treatment of so important a branch of the evidence requires additional time and space. As a challenge to the most skeptical eye that may light upon these lines, I will only say at this time that in his personal contributions to the 1573 Comforte, Oxford employs certain words and phrases, first literary use of which is attributed to Shakespeare by no less an authority than Murray’s New Oxford Dictionary which is supposed to be the last word in chronological accuracy.

Getting back to early identifications of Cardan’s Comforte with the text of Hamlet, we find Hunter quoting most of the Italian philosopher’s remarks in the section headed “Death resembled to sleep” in comparison with the distraught Prince’s meditations. Hunter remarks that “the following passages seem to approach so near to the thoughts of Hamlet that we can hardly doubt that they were in the Poet’s mind when he put this speech (the soliloquy) into the mouth of his hero”:


. . . what should we account of death to be resembled to anything better than sleep . . . most assured it is that such sleeps he most sweet as be most sound, for those are best where in like unto dead men we dream nothing. The broken sleeps, the slumber, the dreams full of visions, are commonly in them that have weak and sickly bodies . . . But if thou compare death to long travel . . . there is nothing that doth better or more truly prophecy the end of life, than when a man dreameth that he doth travel and wander into far countries . . . and that he traveleth in countries unknown without hope of return . . .

Act III, Scene 1.

To die;—to sleep-
No more;—and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to,—’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die;—to sleep;—
To sleep! perchance to dream; ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause . . .
But that the dread of something after death,—
The undiscover’d country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns,—puzzles the will,—
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of.

The echoes here are indeed clear. As Hardin Craig points out, such parallels are much more numerous and “of a more fundamental character than even Hunter seems to have realized . . . since the philosophy of Hamlet agrees to a remarkable degree with that of Cardan.”

Thought after thought, reference after reference and heading after heading throughout the Comforte will arrest the attention of any alert reader of Shakespeare, recalling not only passages from Hamlet, but many of the other plays, poems and sonnets.

“Adversity some time the mean of good hap” is a caption that should not be overlooked. It covers a line of thought that Cardan elsewhere tells of expanding into a fuller study of “the uses of adversity.” This later essay was not translated into English during the Shakespearean Age, but the Bard most certainly had it in mind when he wrote that familiar passage in As You Like It. Who was most likely to have had access to Cardan’s original publications—the bookless man of Stratford, or the intellectually insatiable Earl whose interest in Cardan’s work cannot be questioned?

Anecdotes and allusions to historical characters that we find in the Comforte also suggest stimulating influences thereby set working in the mind of Oxford, the future dramatist:

“Cassius and Brutus did aid Julius Caesar to fight against his country, but being made Emperor they slew him.”

* * *

“The death of Lucretia is well known who violently bereft of her honor, sticked herself.”

* * *

“Cleopatra although she might have lived in honor, yet because she would not be carried about in (a) triumph, caused a Serpent to bite her body and thereof willingly died.”

* * *

“Portia, the daughter of Cato . . .”

And so we might continue to fill many pages with names and allusions familiar to every schoolboy.

Returning to some of the other thoughts that bring the Comforte and Hamlet into realistic proximity, the passage in the former work which is headed “Old men’s company unpleasant” immediately recalls Act II, Scene 2 of the play, where the Prince, book in hand, tries to escape Polonius’ questionings by turning upon the aged and garrulous courtier a cutting paraphrase of Cardan’s remarks on senile bores:

“Their senses serve not their bodies, their bodies obey not their minds . . . How many old men have been, for whom it had been better to have died in youth . . . “

The suggestion that Hamlet actually carried a copy of the Cardan volume, which Oxford published, when he appeared in this scene in Elizabethan times seems inescapable.

Hardin Craig’s essay does not cover many of the parallels we have listed up to this point, but it should be read in its entirety for further proof that “Cardan’s De Consolatione is preeminently ‘Hamlet’s Book.'”

Specifically (says Craig) it may have thrown light on Hamlet’s character as the author conceived of it, by identifying Hamlet’s pessimism with that of Jerome Cardan, thus making of Hamlet a slightly less personal tragedy and a more broadly human tragedy as the great Shakespeare in the great Renaissance thought of such a work. Hamlet becomes, from this point of view, the story of a hero struggling against the totality of man’s earthly tribulations, and in so doing revives the major question of antiquity.

. . . belief in the therapeutic power of books was characteristic of Renaissance students. If a hero found himself stricken with grief, as Hamlet did, it was natural that he should resort to a work on consolation.

Returning to Hamlet’s soliloquy, we find an illuminating interpretation of one of its otherwise obscure passages in this line of reasoning by Cardan:

. . . we are assured not only to sleep, but also to die . . . wherefore to bear every thing resolutely, is not only the part of a wise man, but also of a man well advised . . . Homer feigned Alten the Goddess of Calamity to be barefooted, as one that could not touch anything sharp or hard, but walked lightly upon the heads of mortal man. Meaning that Calamity durst not come near any but such as were of base mind, simple and subject to effeminacy. But among such as were valiant and armed with virtue, she durst not come . . . only honesty and virtue of mind doth make a man happy, and only a cowardly and corrupt conscience do cause thine unhappiness.

This passage deserves emphasis because it offers the first accurate interpretation of one of Hamlet’s arguments with himself which has seemed abstruse to generations of orthodox commentators:

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all:
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought:
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn away,
And lose the name of action.

Cardan has made the point that when our consciences keep reiterating that we are too cowardly and corrupt to present a valiant stand against misfortune we sink into an indolent acceptance of fate. And this is exactly the thought that Hamlet repeats in immortal paraphrase.

On another page of the Comforte Cardan compares the mentality of men and animals with this conclusion:

“Beasts therefore be able for one only art by memory, not perceiving reason at any time.”

This same observation reverberates from Hamlet’s outcry at his mother’s callousness in marrying her husband’s murderer:

O God! a beast that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn’d longer.

Hamlet’s loss of an admired father has frequently been cited as the young Earl of Oxford’s dramatization of his own bereavement. One of Cardan’s passages quite certain to have touched a responsive chord reads:

“This book hall be thought less needful in no part, than in comforting the sorrow which chanceth by the death of parents . . . “

. . . also serving, it may be superfluous to observe, to provide a leading motive for the play

. . . whose common theme
Is death of fathers.

Again, in Act IV, Scene 5 of Hamlet, when the King remarks:

When sorrows come, they come not single spies
But in battalions . . .

the thought appears to be a poetic rendering of Cardan’s

“Private calamities manifold we account those when a man by many mishaps at one instant is molested.”

Cardan also wrote:

“This worldly stage was purposely prepared that God the father might secretly behold us . . . “

many years before Shakespeare transformed it into:

All the world’s a stage . . .

Dr. Lily B. Campbell’s expert analysis of the Comforte, proving it to have been one of the Bard’s best-thumbed treasuries of ideas and creative suggestions, should also be read in full by all who are interested in the Oxford-Shakespeare identification. For against the realistic setting of such accumulated evidence will emerge more clearly than ever the figure of the poet-dramatist nobleman whose personal regard for these same ideas and suggestions first made them known to English readers.

As perhaps the foremost living American research worker in the field, and one who has amply demonstrated her right to such an opinion, Dr. Campbell remarks that a complete study of Shakespeare’s scholarship would be the work of a lifetime.

Edmund Wilson and other popular but ill-informed critics and commentators who persist in picturing the dramatist as an intellectual vagabond with no firm grasp whatever on the best thought of his age, would do well to ponder Dr. Campbell’s convincing work.

A single precis of ideas which she reprints from the 1573 Comforte can be shown to have influenced Shakespeare’s thinking profoundly:

A man is nothing but his mind: if the mind be discontented, the man is all disquiet though all the rest be well . (Cardan then proceeds to enumerate the chief evils which men encounter.) The first within us and our minds, with which temperancy do mete. The second without us, and they by wisdom are prevented. The third are those, that albeit they be indeed without us, yet are they inevitable, and against them none other defence we have than fortitude . . .

Who so doth mark it well, shall find that for the most part we are causes of our own evil . . .

(Finally the philosopher turns to the stage to point up his argument) the tragical poets have feigned the tragedies and furies to be only in kings, courts, and the comedies and pleasant plays in private houses.

The palaces of princes are ever open to great evils, neither are these monsters at any time from thence: as envy, hate, grudge, poison and persecution.

Yet the prince’s mind is the seat of all these, whereby it is neither suffered to sleep quietly by night, nor rest by day . . .

Pausing over the above reflections of the wise old Renaissance philosopher, a veritable chorus of Shakespearean echoes assails the memory:

From Hamlet:
. . . for there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.

From King Lear:
When the mind’s free, the body’s delicate.
* * *
Who alone suffers, suffers most i’ the mind.

From The Taming of the Shrew:
Our purses shall be proud, our garments poor;
For ’tis the mind that makes the body rich.

From Twelfth Night:
In nature there’s no blemish but the mind.

From 3 Henry VI:
Let thy dauntless mind
Still ride in triumph over all mischance.
* *
Though fortune’s malice overthrow my state,
My mind exceeds the compass of her wheel.

From Julius Caesar:
Men at sometime are masters of their fates.
The fault (dear Brutus) is not in our stars,
But in ourselves that we are underlings

From Othello:
Utter my thoughts? Why, say, they are vile and false,
As where’s that palace, whereunto foul things
Sometimes intrude not?

From Titus Andronicus:
The Emperor’s court is like the house of Fame,
The palace full of tongues, of eyes and ears.

From 2 Henry IV:
Then, happy low, lie down:
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

It is no reflection on Shakespeare to believe, as many will readily believe, (says Hardin Craig) that he read and was influenced by Cardan’s Comforte. Cardan was a very great man, and his book, though long neglected and little known, is a very great book.

Many will also readily believe that the reason why ‘Shakespeare” was so deeply influenced by Lord Oxford’s publication of the Comforte was because the author of the plays and poems and the man who introduced Cardan to English readers was one and the same person.


1. See “Hamlet’s Book” by Hardin Craig, Huntington Library Bulletin, No. 6, pp. 17-37.

2. Hint to Research Workers. If any of the personal memoranda or correspondence of Oxford’s Thomas Bedingfield has survived the ravages of time and war, it should be well worth studying for further Shakespearean associations.

3. See Mr. Rutherford’s “Daniel Frohman Introduces the Great Unknown” in the January, 1946 QUARTERLY.