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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Who Wrote the Plays of Shakespeare?

The late Joy Lonsdale was much intrigued by such matters. Here, found among her papers, is a commentary followed by an extract from a letter sent by one of her many academic correspondents. Buzzword posts it for your interest. (As for us - do we have an opinion? Only that if Shakespeare wrote the plays, he was assisted by others with great wisdom who interpolated profundities and ensured that they were uttered from the mouths of dolts such as Polonius. There is the long tradition of the fool at Court generally being the most perceptive person. But we digress.) See what you can make of this yourself:

My English friend and I have lately been discussing Gurdjieff and his numerous made-up words, such as "Trogoautoegocrat", which is based on four Greek roots, and he happened to mention that they were not quite as incomprehensible as "Honorificabilitudinitatibus" which appears in Act Five of Love's Labour Lost. Probably not too many people would even bother trying to work it out, and it certainly can't be done in the simple way that "Trogo…" can, for it is far more complicated, and a perfect anagram. Rather than retype it all out here, I will enclose a copy of part of Roy's letter dealing with it. What I find interesting is the mention of R. M. Bucke, who it seems was in the pro-Bacon camp.

Incidentally, Francis Bacon was a Rosicrucian, being at one time Imperator of the Order of England. This, to me, explains the Fr. in front of his name, which is short for Frater rather than Francis.

They also state that many scholars now believe from their researches that Bacon was the author of the "Shakespearean" plays, and that the Rosicrucian history states that he was also the author of the Manifestos, which brought about the revival of the Order in Germany in the 17th century.

This is debatable, for it is also thought by some that Johann Valentin Andreae wrote them under the influence of John Dee. (No one has ever claimed authorship, once a very common procedure for knowledgeable men imparting a teaching. They have no need of fleeting fame, or for the more prudent reason of avoiding a stake or the chop!)

So far, I have not come across Dee ever being mentioned in Rosicrucian literature - most likely because of the stigma of charlatan undeservedly attached to his name.

Francis Yates maintains that he was a Rosicrucian, albeit secretly ( as most were) because of the threat of the heresy charge in those days. He cleverly invented a doppel-ganger named Edward Kelly, on whom he could heap any blame if accused, but it backfired on him.