The Dark Side of Shakespeare (A Trilogy by W. Ron Hess)
********** Home **********
Intro to Authorship Question **********
Trilogy's Outline **********
Figures from Vol. II **********
Shakespeare Contacts **********
Article 1 - Rare Dreame **********
Article 2 - Cannibal TEM **********
Article 3 - Signatures **********
Article 4 - Illit Shaxper **********
Article 5 - Munday Press **********
Article 6 - Ziggurat Jig **********
Article 7 - Tree of Sunne **********
Article 8 - Poor DNB Woes **********
Article 9 - Heywood Bard **********
Article 10 - Euphues SONs **********
Article 11 - Sackville &Sh **********
Article 12 - Latin Poems ***********
Article 13 - Bad Ciphers **********
Article 14 - Willobie **********
Article 15 - SacvylesOA **********
Article 16 - Groatsworth **********
Article 17 - Ox's Medicine **********
Trilogy's Outline ***********

Annotated Outline of "The Dark Side of Shakespeare"
NOTE: What used to be a "Trilogy" concept in 2002 and 2003, rapidly expanded with additional appendices beyond Vol. III, and I continue to write additions which have been published in Oxfordian journals or here on my webpage.  After Vol. III is published in the Summer of 2012, the additional appendices will be downloaded in .pdf and/or MS Word formats to a set of CDs for separate sale.  Due to space limitations, I've been forced to package Vol. III with only those materials I most want to have put into print, relegating the rest to CDs (which works out best for Appen. P in particular, allowing a searchable access to its materials).  The material below is a bit out-of-date and will be updated at that time.  Here's hoping this isn't too confusing! 

Volume I: An Iron-fisted Romantic in England's Most Perilous Times

ISBN 0-595-24777-6 through For more information, to order, or "Browse Before You Buy," see

PREFACE: Why should we care about Shakespeare's life experiences?

Lays the groundwork for why understanding the life of the author of Shakespeare's works matters greatly in how we interpret, understand, enjoy, and benefit from those important works.

CHAPTER 1: What Do We Really Know About Shakespeare's Life?

Establishes that there is a legitimate "Shakespeare Authorship Question" about Mr. Shakspere of Stratford-upon-Avon; points to the "Induction" to Taming of the Shrew as showing what was the author Shakespeare's view of Mr. Shakspere; relates Mark Twain's view of the matter; and points to detailed refutations in Appen. O of crucial arguments needed to support Mr. Shakspere's insufficient candidacy.

CHAPTER 2: If Mr. Shakspere Wasn't Shakespeare, Then Who Was?

Develops criteria for comparing Shakespeare authorship candidacies; provides short biographies and key information about seven candidates, including Oxford, Derby, & Mr. Shakspere; discusses the importance of the travel itineraries of the seven candidates, showing that Oxford's and Derby's travels were by far the best match both in time and place for the travel allusions in Shakespeare's works (as detailed in Appens. A & B); discusses various clues to Oxford as Shakespeare from dedications in the 1623 1st folio; and features an overview of Shakespeare and Oxford written by Adm. H.H. Holland in 1923.

CHAPTER 3: Can We Restore Don Juan of Austria to His Rightful Place in History?

Examines the world of Don Juan of Austria, Philip II's heroic half-brother; proposes that in Oxford's travels in Italy he sought out and "danced with" Don Juan, Europe's most dangerous "war-man"; discusses the evidence linking Oxford to Don Juan, much of it from allegations made by Oxford's enemies; discusses contemporary fears of Don Juan invading England, which today may seem improbable, but at the time his legend and panache were such that the impossible often miraculously fell into place for him; discusses the inferiority of the Tudor claim to the throne of King Edward III vs. that of a Castilian claim; and discusses the many clues that Oxford and his allies tried to assassinate Don Juan, may have succeeded, tried to bask in the credit in any case, may explain the grant to Oxford of Castle Rysing, and is repeatedly alluded to in the Shakespeare works.

CHAPTER 4: Was Shakespeare's world view "the smoking gun" in our debate?

Discusses the nature of Shakespeare's many allusions to foreign personalities and situations; discusses the truly "internationalist" scope and focus of Shakespeare's "world view"; summarizes the detailed evidence about French and Italian travels in five of the plays, 4 of them from Prof. G. Lambin's 1962 opus (featured in its entirety in Appen. A); discusses Shakespeare's other "internationalist" allusions and sources; discusses the degree to which Shakespeare's "world view" matches that of Oxford's travels (as in Appen. C) and known political concerns; and shows that the type of "Academy" described in Love's Labour's Lost existed in Paris only from 1571 to 75, replaced in 1576 by a differently-focused "Palace Academy."

CHAPTER 5: Can We Restore Don Juan of Austria to His Rightful Place...?

Shows that Don Juan or his circumstances were notable features of each Shakespeare play, and because he died in Oct. 1578 this allows us to date "origination" of each of the plays to 5 Phases stretching from 1574 to 1586, when memory of Don Juan was still useful for contemporary drama; discusses Don Juan as the model for Molina's 1630 womanizing villain "Don Juan Tenorio"; discusses Don Juan's subordinate, Miguel Cervantes, future author of Don Quixote, and the major characters Cervantes modeled on Don Juan and his foster father Don Luis Quixada; discusses other important literature and arts that may have been influenced by Don Juan and his entertainments while he governed half of Italy in the 1570s.

CHAPTER 6: Was Politics Involved in the Creation of Shakespeare's Art?

Discusses the role of Oxford's ancestor (the 13th Oxford) in ending the Wars of the Roses, as "King-maker" in establishing and maintaining the Tudor dynasty, and a continuing role as "King-maker" demonstrated twice by Oxford's father (the 16th Oxford); discusses our 17th Oxford's political affiliations with an alliance surrounding his mentor, the Earl of Sussex, leader of opposition to the Court Party of the Earl of Leicester; discusses other likely allies of Oxford's who were closely affiliated with Sussex's policies, chiefly Charles Howard and Henry Carey; discusses the roles of the "Lord Chamberlain" and the play company he maintained during the 1570s; discusses the formation of the "Queen's Men" and concurrent consolidation of Blackfriars and the Boy's Companies under Oxford and his allies in a bold move in 1583 to drive Leicester and his allies off of the London and Court stages; discusses Leicester's temporary victorious return as anti-Spanish jingoism took control, but the re-establishment of Oxford's allies and relatives in dominance over the English stage and censorship well into the 17th century; discusses the possibility that the 17th Oxford was the "King-maker" of his time, who helped establish new dynasties in England, Scotland, France, the Netherlands, and even Italy.

CHAPTER 7: How were Shakespeare's Plays Developed and Preserved?

Dismisses the often-broached notion that the works of Shakespeare were elaborate and formal "group" efforts, and discusses fallacies that each "Groupist" explanation has fallen into; yet, provides a process dubbed "Passive Collaboration" which allowed for Oxford to originate works which he privately shared with his noble friends and allies during the 1580s, through which the plays might have been to some extent influenced by others; establishes that the Shakespeare plays went through a process parallel and concurrent to what is known to have existed for English Madrigals and other music, which developed in the private salons of the wealthy.

APPENDIX A: What was Prof. Lambin's 1962 analysis of Shakespeare's Travels in France and Italy?

Presents a complete English translation (largely done by the late Tal Wilson) of Prof. G. Lambin's 1962 examination of All's Well, Two Gentlemen, Tempest, & Measure for Measure, claiming that if anyone reads Lambin with an open mind, they must conclude that the author Shakespeare's use of exquisite detail about foreign locales, personalities, and events could only have come from his having traveled to France and Italy in the 1570s & early-80s; through his "Senior Editor's Notes," Mr. Hess transformed the "Derbyite" work of Lambin into one of the most powerful of "Oxfordian" books.


Volume II: An Elizabethan Courtier, Diplomat, Spymaster, & Epic Hero

ISBN 0-595-29390-5 To order or "Browse Before You Buy," see  Now available at and other major online booksellers.

FOREWORD to Volume II of III, by Dr. Gordon Cyr

"Oxfordians should get ready for a 'paradigm shift' equal to that of J. Thomas Looney's... if Hess is right. If he is not, enjoy a rollicking 'good read!' For such, Ron Hess is a well-informed and widely-read guide."

PREFACE to Volume II: Can Elizabethan History be Compared to Empirical Archaeology?

Demonstrates that even in "empirical" scientific areas such as Archaeology, there are disputes over interpreting "evidence" and long-held sanctimonious orthodoxies topple when a "paradigm shift" occurs.

CHAPTER 8: Did the 17th Earl of Oxford Operate a Powerful Secret Service?

Argues that "gentle Shakespeare" referred to high birth rather than to an effeminate or sweet nature (whoever wrote Titus Andronicus & Cymbeline was not "sweet!"); discusses the abundant evidence that Oxford maintained a powerful Secret Service operation, complete with many servants who doubled as spies or assassins, as well as other "more sinister henchmen"; and discussed the possibility that one was Mr. Shakspere, though evidence seems to show him to have been more a petty underworld thug and thief than any of the more worthy aspects one would expect of great Shakespeare!

CHAPTER 9: Was Oxford Engaged in Trapping Traitors?

Discusses ambiguities about Oxford's "true loyalties" as he supported Sussex's alliance, that he was likely a loyal Anglican who was capable of duping others into believing him a traitorous Catholic (similar to conduct of his servant Anthony Munday); discusses Oxford's attempt in 1579 to lay charges of treason on the Earl of Leicester, and similar libels made against Oxford himself in 1581; discusses Oxford's subversive neighbors in Cornwall, whose subsequent hard times may have secretly been in part due to Oxford; and discusses Oxford's apparent efforts to trap traitors abroad and in his later years.

CHAPTER 10: What Was The Truth About Oxford's Finances?

Establishes that "the Great Lord Burghley" was untrustworthy regarding Oxford's financial matters, in fact he was one of the greatest "kleptocrats" of that age, who participated in looting Oxford's patrimony even while Oxford was an infant; shows evidence that Oxford engaged in smuggling operations, possibly also gunrunning and piracy, and proposes that these may have helped Oxford supplement his dwindling finances as well as support Protestant causes abroad; and proposes that military careers of Oxford's brother-in-law and two cousins were subsidized by Oxford and in part help explain his financial woes.

CHAPTER 11: Did Oxford's Marriage to Anne Cecil Impact Shakespeare's Works?

Explores what one should expect from a "genius," using Albert Einstein's troubled private life as an example; proposes that Oxford's 1571 wedding to Burghley's daughter Anne Cecil was a "shotgun wedding," possibly involving a real or false pregnancy; analyzes the "bed-trick" genre of the time and discovers that Shakespeare's use of it uniquely adopted a form thrice reported to have been used by his wife at Oxford's expense; examines evidence that Anne may have been disobedient to her father and husband during Oxford's travels, but not sexually unfaithful; and proposes that a view of Oxford as having portrayed the Galahad-like pure knight-errant type from epic romance literature (i.e., "Astolfo" or "Palladine" = "of the Spear-shaker") might help explain many troubles with his wife.

CHAPTER 12: "WHAT" was Shakespeare?

Explores the likelihood that "Shake-Spear" was a "WHAT" rather than a "WHO," in that Oxford tried to adopt attributes of the internationally-celebrated English Paladins "Astolfo" (from Ariosto's Orlando Furioso) and "Palladine" (from Anthony Munday's translation of what began as an anonymous 1545 Spanish epic romance), where the name "Palladine" = "of the Spear-shaker"; explains Edward Webbe's 1590 account and Nathaniel Baxter's 1606 poem (dedicated to Oxford's daughter) as both portraying Oxford as a knight-errant in Italy; explains a need of secrecy for the "Shakespeare enterprise" in terms of the necessities of Sussex's anti-Leicester alliance and the later "Jacobean" alliance backing King James of Scots as successor to Queen Elizabeth; poses 25 salient questions about Mr. Shakspere and Shakespeare that can best be answered with Oxford as the "real" Shakespeare; and notes an obscure 1651 poem that may demonstrate a half century after his death Oxford was thought to have had a "Courageous Heart."

APPENDIX B: ...Defensible Early Dates for the "Origination" of Each of Shakespeare's Works?

Over 100 pages of detailed analysis of each Shakespeare work for early-dating allusions, drawing on systems used by Hess 2002 (Chap. 5), Holmes 2001, Dickinson 2001, The DeVere Society 2000, Hess 1999, Moore 1997, Ogburn Jr. 1984, Ogburn Sr. 1952, Clark 1931, and Holland 1933 & 1923, contrasted with the dysfunctional orthodox systems of Riverside 1974, Bentley 1961, Halliday 1952, and Chambers 1930, among others; argues that the "origination" period referring to Don Juan (from Chap. 5) was followed by revisions, rewrites, and additions up to Oxford's 1604 death, and no sources for any Shakespeare works MUST have come from post-1604 (especially not from refs. to Bermuda).

APPENDIX C: Was Oxford Merely a Profligate Tourist While He Was Overseas?

Disputes the usual attitude that Oxford's travels abroad were frivolous tourism or worse, showing instead that they were diplomatic-, trade-, and espionage-related missions; proposes that some evidence indicated teenaged Oxford and his uncle Arthur Golding may have traveled with Sussex's mission to Vienna in 1567-69, possibly briefly visiting Italy; lays out an itinerary for Oxford's travels abroad from 1574 to 78, showing that in terms of time and space the "Dancing with Don Juan" theme can be substantiated in detail, including his well-known trips to France and Italy in 1575-76, and possible excursions to France and the Netherlands in 1577 and 78; and lays out an itinerary for Don Juan up to his Oct 1578 death, showing that he made curious flanking maneuvers due east of Brussels and Antwerp, likely preparing the military victory that was achieved 5 years later by his nephew, the Prince of Parma (so, Oxford's alliance had good reason to try to assassinate Don Juan!).

APPENDIX D: Were Travels of Oxford's Son-In-Law Relevant to Shakespeare's Travel Allusions?

Re-examines Oxford's son-in-law, William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby, who was "the 2nd best" candidate for Shakespeare; shows that Derby's foremost attributes, his legendary travels, were insufficient to match Shakespeare's travel allusions, though some did match quite well; and examines in detail the partly fictional undated Sir William Stanley's Garland, showing that some of its wilder episodes were valid.

APPENDIX E: Was Anthony Munday's 1600 "Bel-vedre" Relevant to... "the Shakespeare Enterprise?"

Examines the 1600 "miscellany" Bel-vedre edited by Oxford's sometime servant Anthony Munday, noting its suspicious title page and that even its title was a perfect anagram for "good DeVere"; provided biographies for each of the 35+ Bel-vedre poets, including King James, Oxford, and many others proposed to have been among the "Jacobean" alliance; and drew a comparison with its supposed rival 1600 Englands Parnassus, proposing that its supposed editor "Robert Allot" was really a front for another Oxford-Munday project, and that Parnassus can serve as the key to deciphering Bel-vedre.

APPENDIX F: Was Anthony Munday's 1588 Palladine of England Relevant to... Shakespeare?

Develops the thesis that Munday repeatedly tried to identify Oxford as "of the Spear-shaker," but in each case he was politely rebuffed (as in Marc Antony's repeated offer of a crown to Caesar), and that the evidence was in a pattern of adulterated extant copies of various texts Munday logically would have dedicated to Oxford, and later did dedicate to Oxford's family members; develops the theme that the Oxford-identifying woodcut in the circa 1653-54 Palladine of England 2nd edition had been prepared by Munday himself prior to the 1623 1st folio of Shakespeare's plays; and introduces the theory to be expanded on in Appens. P & V that Munday was so closely linked to at least 27 of the most prominent Shakespeare printers & publishers (with many of his projects handled by them at the same time as they were handling Shakespeare projects) that the possibility existed for Munday to have been no less than "the Publishing Shepherd of the Shakespeare enterprise."


Volume IIIA: The Invincible Paladin, Maecenas, & King-maker of His Time

Publication details will be announced on

FOREWORD to Volumes IIIA, IIIB, & IIIC, by Victor Kabia of Sierra Leone

Mr. Kabia briefly outlines the Africa he experienced while studying English Literature under the British colonial system, political-social dimensions that paralleled aspects of Elizabethan England, and his life in the "Western World" that prepares him for a return to help reconstruct his tragically ravaged country.

PREFACE to Volumes IIIA & IIIB: How Close to Reality Has Our "Dark Side" Analogy Gotten?

Examines Victor Kabia's 1981 B.A. Thesis about development of 20th century African drama, and shows that by simply changing the African names to Elizabethan names, his Thesis may as well have described much of Shakespeare-Oxford's dangers, motivations, frustrations, and dark side world.  Elizabethan England in many ways was an Early-Modern "Third World Country!"

APPENDIX G: Was Ludovico Ariosto's 1516-32 Orlando Furioso Relevant to... Shakespeare?

Examines Ariosto's epic romance, showing that it was inspiration for Shakespeare-Oxford, for Don Juan, and for his father before him, Emperor Charles V; shows that the original model for Ariosto's Galahad-like "Astolfo" had been Charles V's uncle, King Henry VIII of England; shows that Spain's Philip II may have ineffectually tried to pattern himself on "Astolfo" in 1555-58; shows that Oxford's name, title, and heraldic symbols were "prophesied" by Ariosto; and shows that Don Juan's peculiar childhood and early career were oddly "prophesied" by both Ariosto and the earlier Chanson de Roland cycle.

APPENDIX H: Did Oxford and Don Juan Indulge in a Deadly Psychological "Dance"...?

Examines a thesis by Charles Burford (a collateral descendant of Oxford), about the psychology of an Elizabethan nobleman; presents the entire 1699 Tirata della Giostra (noted in 1959 by Mrs. Altrocchi) that put Oxford into an often-racy "Commedia dell' arte" vignette; shows that the Tirata can best be explained by a real-life grand masqued-ball held in the Summer of 1575 in Palermo, or more likely in Don Juan's palace in Naples, with Don Juan in the role of "Emperor Polidor of Trebizond"; and shows that the Tirata celebrated a pan-European crusade against the Ottoman Turkish Empire, but may also have held icy plans for a regal lady whose virginity was fervently sought by a grossly insane Emperor.

APPENDIX I: Was There a Dark Message in... Oxford's Jan. 1580/1 Tournament at Whitehall?

Gathers for the 1st time in History all 6 extant texts of Oxford's most suspicious tournament, held just prior to his worst and predictable social-political disaster; notes that with Oxford's "back against the wall," many aspects of this event must be viewed skeptically; explores the question of who was the Lady of Honor of Oxford's "Knight of the Tree of the Sunne," finding she may not have been Queen Elizabeth; explores a wild scenario with the possible intent of killing "the Beast" and abducting two queens; and examines Oxford's loyalties on that afternoon, when his fate rested on the point of a shaking spear.

APPENDIX J: Were Most of the Sonnets "Translations" of a 1570s-80s French Source?

Examines models to explain "Shake-speare's Sonnets," including "Bisexual," "Tudor Rose," and Hank Whittemore's numerical models; examines an intriguing model by orthodox David Honneyman, which if applied to Oxford may offer many valuable insights, yet has one great difficulty; examines the partial model of orthodox Leslie Hotson, which offers "internationalist" answers to a handful of the Sonnets; examines the most promising model of all, proposed by Sid Lubow, which uses A Lover's Complaint (ALC, published behind the Sonnets in the same 1609 booklet) as the key to the Sonnets in telling an elaborate version of the Echo and Narcissus myth, with the Sonneteer himself as Narcissus "the beloved youth"; examines clues that the "origination" period for ALC (and thus for many of the Sonnets) may have been in the same Don Juan-haunted 1570s to early-80s assigned in Appen. B to the plays; and proposes various explanations which draw out the best from several of the combinations of the above models.

APPENDIX K: Did... Spenser's... Faerie Qveene Contain Allegorical Views Of Oxford...?

Examines Spenser's late-1570s "origination" of his Faerie Queene (FQ) which he carried with him to Ireland in 1580 and continued to work on until he first made it public in the 1590s; proposes that FQ was begun when Oxford was seen by many such as Harvey, Lyly, Watson, and Munday as the foremost "English Paladin," and Oxford's able servant Walter Raleigh was still a reasonable pattern for his squire, even his second in duels; notes that Spenserian scholars have found allegorical characters inside of FQ for nearly every major Courtier to whom Spenser dedicated FQ, but notably not yet for Oxford; proposes that several major heroic characters in FQ began with Oxford as their models, and that one of the heros had a squire that scholars almost universally regard as having been modeled on Sir Walter Raleigh!

APPENDIX L: Was "Another Rare Dreame" the Oxfordian "Missing Link?"

Examines the 1593 supposedly elegiac book of poetry, The Phoenix Nest, which has several "E.O." poems indisputably by Oxford, and other poems anonymous or with initials assigned to possible poets; examines Oxford's short 7-stanza "What Cunning Can Express" which featured 11 thematic elements; examines a long 60-stanza "Another Rare Dreame" which shared all 11 of those same elements, and was only described as "learnedly set downe by a woorthy Gentleman, a brave Scholler, and M. of Artes in both Universities," which described a small category of persons including Oxford himself, and indeed the poem seems to losely describe an event of 1569 from Oxford's own biography; proposes that if "Another Rare Dreame," a poem orthodox scholars already rate as "Shakespearean" quality, is accepted as by Oxford, it provides more than enough high-quality 1590s era lines to serve as a fair comparison with Shakespeare's poetry then first appearing; and also examines in Phoenix Nest a short 12-stanza "The Chess Play," by "N.B." (= Nicholas Breton, or really Oxford's sometime servant Nathaniel Baxter?), which deliciously lampooned the official reaction to the "Marprelate Tracts" and deserves much study too.

APPENDIX M: Did Shakespeare use a "Code System," and what was the Significance of "Pallas?"

Skeptically but briefly evaluates 10 different Shakespeare-related "code systems," prividing two dozen suggested criteria for such evaluations; highlights code systems proposed by Dr. Albert Burgstahler & Dr.  A.W. Titherley, to illustrate how the first is a superior, fully-testable & verifiable system, while the second is a confused and confusing yet informative about what to look for in other code systems; in presenting a code system developed by Mr. Hess himself, examines every occurrence of a "Palladine Manner" (combinations of variations of "shake" and "spear" in close-by passages) to answer the questions of whether "Shake-spear" thought that name was his own surname or rather derived it from mythology, knight-errantry, and boyhood exercises that became habit in his mature years; provides a few pages of discussion of the significance of "Pallas" to the authorship question.

APPENDIX N: Was the Key to Willobie His Avisa... in the Deaths of "Sir John"... and "Don Juan"...?

Examines the 1594 poetry of Willobie His Avisa (WHA) which has several of the earliest independent references to Shakespeare and many have thought was possibly written by him; examines several orthodox models for "Mr. W.S." and "Mr. H.W." (or "Henrico Willobego, Italo-Hispalensis"), both described as unsuccessful wooers of "Avisa" (or "England's Lucrece"); notes that most models accept "Avisa" as allegorical of Queen Elizabeth and all other suitors for her hand were typically derived from the 1570s (such as Philip II and the Duke of Alencon), except that nearly all models have perversely force-fitted Shakespeare's patron Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, into the role of "Mr. H.W."; shows that "Italo-Hispalensis" and a Latinate parsing-out of "Henrico Willobego" actually fit best the "Italianate-Spaniard" Don Juan of Austria, who was also a 1570s wooer of Queen Elizabeth; and shows that the excruciating death described for "Mr. H.W." in WHA matched a nearly identical death of "Sir John Falstaff" in Henry V, as well as descriptions of the probable poisoning death of Don Juan.

APPENDIX O: Can We Completely Disable The "Orthodox Stratfordian Myth"?

Provides detailed refutation for three "facts" that the "Stratfordian Myth" must have, and without which it effectively collapses: a) in at least two experts' opinions, Mr. Shakspere's 6 supposed signatures were likely not by him, and thus from his illiterate formative surroundings he should be presumed almost certainly illiterate until otherwise proven; b) rash assumptions that Mr. Shakspere lent money in 1592 to a John Clayton fall apart with location by orthodox Prof. Leslie Hotson of a better candidate, a "William Shackspere" who lived only 11 miles from Clayton in Bedfordshire, thus depriving orthodoxy of any credible evidence that Mr. Shakspere was in London in the 1590s; and c) the ridiculous Greene's Groatsworth of Wit was a meandering hodge-podge of nonsense inapplicable to any specific person, let alone specifically to some non-entity residing in remote Warwickshire who would have been unrecognizable to the London paying-public.

Volume IIIB: Mapping the Contours of the 'Shakespeare Enterprise'

Publication details will be announced on

APPENDIX P: Can We Construct a "Chronology of Everything" Concerning the "Shakespeare Enterprise?"

This "Chronology" is so large, detailed, and valuable to researchers, that it has been relegated to an entire book unto itself.  Its purpose is to allow ALL Oxfordians to henceforth have the same "knowledge-base" and understanding of the facts for our assault on the orthodox myth!

Over 1,000 pgs. of detailed chronology showing that Shakespeare's life and works fit into a vast context in which heroes, writers, printers, publishers, politicians, and events all were woven into complex patterns; the Chronology is intended to become a valuable fully-searchable resource once Hess' Vol. IIIB is downloaded to .pdf format and made available on CDs..

Volume IIIC: The Shake-speare Enterprise in an Early-Modern World

Publication details will be announced on

APPENDIX Q: Was Shakespeare's Hamlet "Truly" His Most Autobiographical Play?

Notes the 12th century Danish "Amleth" story, the early-16th century real-life Danish history (involving an uncle and cousin of Don Juan as eery likenesses for "King Hamlet's Ghost" and "Prince Hamlet!"), the 1572 Belleforest "Hamlet," and Oxford's own life, showing each were partial inspirations for the Bard's most complex work; explores the question, "Why from Wittenberg?" in light of early Protestant and Danish politics, including an exchange of blasts from Sir Thomas Moore and Luther's lieutenant Johannes Bugenhagen, republished in 1568 when Oxford was still a student (and Mr. Shakspere was 4 years old); explores the real dimensions of "Horatio" and "Maecenas"; and briefly explores Dr. Jim Swank's discovery that the real-life "Rosencrantz" and "Guildenstern" visited London as diplomats in 1592, with even earlier instances of members of the Danish noble families visiting Oxford's Castle Hedingham too!

APPENDIX R: Did Oxford Conduct a "Personal Hoax"...?" (by Alan Tarica and W. Ron Hess)

Explores Alan Tarica's astounding discovery that like most nobles of his time, Oxford likely used a "Secretarial hand" in addition to his recognized "Italic hand," and that a reasonalbe "reconstruction" of Oxford's secretarial hand can be found in very peculiar places, such as in fragments of Shakespeare plays in manuscript and in all three coat-of-arms applications for the father of a certain man from Warwickshire; explores the discovery that after Oxford had written his letters from Italy, folded and addressed them on their obverse, underneath he inscribed a stylized WSS (= "Will Shake Spear") with a potential link and explanation of the "Shakespeare insignia"; and explores the discovery that Oxford's handwriting may be found in an early play manuscript of an unknown author that matches the profile of a young precocious Lord Bolbeck and may hold some of Oxford's original lute compositions.

APPENDIX S:  What Will be the Future of the "Shakespeare Authorship Question?" (by W. Ron Hess with assistance from Prof. Lew Gilstrap)

A revamping and update of Mr. Hess' 1998 article "Hotwiring the Bard into Cyberspace" from The Oxfordian, examining "Artificial Intelligence" technology, particularly "Expert Systems" and "Artificial Neural Networks," which may definitively and objectively determine authorship of anonymous or pseudonymous Elizabethan works; and outlines a "Business Case" with Mr. Hess' fellow faculty member from Johns Hopkins U.'s Graduate School, Prof. Lew Gilstrap, as the ideal & willing Project Manager.

APPENDIX T: Who Was the Main Author of the 1584 Pandora, Oxford or His Servant "Deny the Frenchman?"

Presents an analysis of the surprising career(s) of "Capt. Maurice Dennis," "Deny the Frenchman," or "John Soowtherne," Oxford's bodyguard, professional "hitman," traveling companion, and a most intriguing cog in the wheel of "the Shakespeare enterprise"; Details the full text and analyzes the 1584 Pandora, showing it was likely authored by Oxford and that "proto-Sonnets" that were precursors to the later Shake-speare's Sonnets may have originally been intended to be affixed to the back of Pandora, relating the Sonnets to both Ovid and Ronsard; Briefly refers to satirical parables touching on the puzzling scholarship of Prof. Alan Nelson (whose best work has been drama-history researches at Cambridge U.) and Profs. Elliott and Valenza (who were refuted in a 1999 article "Shakespeare's Dates" co-authored by Hess, Chow, and Bloch in The Oxfordian) which has been moved to Mr. Hess' webpage.

APPENDIX U: Do Letters of Don Juan of Austria Pertain to Oxford and Shakespeare? (by W. Ron Hess, Featuring Translations by Dr. Noemi Magri)

Collects together 28 letters written by Don Juan of Austria, 17 from an obscure Italian booklet containing the original archaic Castilian Spanish letters, graciously translated for Mr. Hess by Dr. Noemi Magri; proposes that some of those letters were relevant to Oxford's travels and certain Shakespeare lines, actually providing a sinister explanation for an otherwise blaise scene in All's Well; notes letters referring to an island ruled by a witch (= England), which Don Juan stated were in code, and in which he may have referred to "Count Orgazio" (Oxford?) serving as his intermediary to "my lady" (Mary Stuart) at a time when Don Juan had been affianced by the Pope to Mary with attendant orders to invade England, free her, overthrow Queen Elizabeth, wed Mary, and then mount the throne as Mary's consort; explores the mind of one of history's most fascinating men, the heroic "Victor of Lepanto," a near-Saint to Catholics then and now, but a war criminal and vicious menace to Protestants.

APPENDIX V: Was Anthony Munday the "Publishing Shepherd" of the "Shakespeare Enterprise?"

Notes Robert Brazil's discovery that until his death in 1602, Stationer Geoffrey Cawood was well-positioned to influence and even control the publication projects of the Shakespeare works published to that date, and yet goes beyond Brazil's insight to show that other Stationers were also key "players" in the "Shakespeare Enterprise"; Analyzes evidence about the 16th-17th century British Publishing Trade, the genres of poetry, drama, and romance epics which were its staples, and the particular role played by Oxford's sometime Secretary, sometime Spy, Anthony Munday; examines the material from chronologies in Appens. F & V suggesting that Munday may have served as the "Publishing Shepherd" of the "Shakespeare Enterprise," having important links to all of the key Stationers involved in Shakespeare projects through to and even beyond Munday's 1633 death.

APPENDIX W: Did Thomas Heywood Emphasize "Will Shake-speare" Among a Catalog of "Imitators" or even "Front-men" in Elizabethan and Jacobean Authors?

Amazingly, in Thomas Heywood's 1635 Hierarchy of the Blessed Angels, the poet-playwright "rival" of Shakespeare inserted a Catalog with two lists: List 1: Ancient Roman Latin Poet-Playwrights who had only one common trait, their proclivity to have "imitated" or "borrowed" from either Greek or Latin predecessors, and List 2: Elizabethan and Jacobean Poet-Playwrights (including "Will Shake-speare" and Heywood himself) who had only one common trait, their proclivity to collaborate with or imitate the works of others.  But the most surprising aspects of Heywood's Catalog were in how it  emphasized Latin "freed slaves" suspected as "front-men" for noblemen in the first list and then emphasized "Will Shake-speare" in the second list.  This was a astounding Catalog and "admission" about himself and "Shake-speare" by Heywood, with many other remarkable things about a book that was dedicated to King Charles and his Queen, authorized under the hand of no less than Archbishop of Canterbury Laud and the King's own Chaplain, having no possible higher authorities for its publication!

APPENDIX X: Can We Outline a Screenplay... to Illustrate "the Dark Side of Shakespeare?"

Provides a short outline with sample scenes for a "Dancing with Don Juan" screenplay or a "Shakespeare's Pistol" novel; and invites Oxfordians to assemble a team of novelists-playwrights to jointly write and publish such works in order to try to grab the public's imagination about Oxford and galvanize our opponents into more active engagement with our facts and construct;rather than each author going off on their own ineffective "ego-trips" as they've done too often in the past, proposes more cooperation and collaboration among Oxfordians.


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The Dark Side of Shakespeare (a Trilogy by W. Ron Hess)