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 **********
Article 16 **********

Written Nov 2011, Updated May 2012
Why Anti-Stratfordians Should Reject Robert Greene's 1592 "Groatsworth of Wit" (GGW)

W. Ron Hess (


Introduction:  Over the years since publication of my 1996 article in The Elizabethan Review, a number of anti-Stratfordian books have come forth with various ingenious theories about 1592 Greenes Groatsworth of Witte (GGW) and how it allegedly bolsters their own views about the "Shake-speare" (hereafter Sh.) authorship question.   My article's approach was that GGW was a hodge-podge of nonsense, and that none of it sensibly alluded to Sh., let alone to Mr. Shakspere or Shaxper of Stratford (hereafter Shax), or to any other authorship candidate.  The varying theories about GGW have demonstrated the utter lack of "certainty" about GGW.  Sadly, some of the books have ignored that prudent verdict.  Worse yet, because GGW is essential for the "Stratfordian Mythology" (about Shax having been Sh.), those have risked undercutting our anti-Stratfordian principles.  This article recaps and bolsters key arguments about GGW, and then briefly describes some of the books mentioned.  The one closest to my 1996 article's approach is the 2011 book by A.J. Pointon, which I specially praise.


The Foundation of a "Ziggurat of Error":

            Nearly every Stratfordian "biography" of Sh. begins with the traditions of Shax skinning a calf, poaching a deer, and then, shortly their "natural genius" got lost for 7 or 8 years, finding his way to London about 1590, and within a meager 3 or 4 years he had somehow shucked-off his native dialect (not just accent, this means different nouns, verbs, idioms, etc., a whole different sublanguage!) and miraculously began writing some of the greatest poetry and drama in the English language, using his newly adopted upper-class London dialect, replete with classical alliteration and continental travel lore, plus expertise in many specialties (law, medicine, astronomy, court politics, etc.).  Then, after a career of less than 20 years, while leaving official records of playhouse investment, real-estate transactions, enclosures, tax frauds, grain hoardings, adulterous daughters, money lending, and even felonious assault, he retired from his supposed literary trade and died some years later, singularly leaving not a single piece of evidence to solidly link him to the literary world.  Indeed, even his six known signatures attest through unpracticed variability to the fact that, for all that can be proven, he was almost certainly illiterate (see my webpage Articles #3 by Jane Cox and #4 by Robert Detobel)!


            What makes this Stratfordian mythology even remotely tolerable is a nonsensical run-on sentence in a short book called Greenes Groatsworth of Wit, Bought with a Million of Repentence (GGW), entered in the Stationers Registry (S.R., see Arber) on Sept. 20, 1592 (less than 3 weeks after Greene's Sept. 3 death), and shortly after published involving these personalities:

a) Allegedly written by Robert Greene -- famed satirist, his 1584 Gwydonius was dedicated to the 17th Earl of Oxford (Greene shared with Oxford, Francis Meres, and a few other authors the distinction of earning MAs at both Universities).

b) Edited by Henry Chettle -- in 6 years he would be co-writing plays for the Admiral's Men (Edward Alleyn's troupe, whose patron was Lord Adm. Ch. Howard, Baron Effingham, Oxford's 2nd cousin and best friend) with Anthony Munday (Oxford's servant c.1576-c.86).  Yet, Chettle began as a stationer, partnered with J. Danter.

c) Principally printed by John Wolfe (per Short Title Catalog [STC] from type used) -- within a year he would be appointed by the Bishop of London to Official Printer for London City; oddly his entries in the S.R. were often unassociated with Warden approvals, as if he was entitled to authorize his own projects.  Oddly, he was in Italy 1572-79, printing in Florence when Oxford was there in early 1576!  His partner and successor, John Windet, had been apprenticed to printer John Allde when Allde also took on Munday for the term 1576-84, and while Munday was also describing himself in book dedications as a servant of Oxford's.

d) Also printed by John Danter (per STC, for "quires D-F") -- friend and roommate of satirist Thomas Nashe (who had been at Cambridge with R. Greene 1582-86, and who Oxfordians believe was another servant of Oxford's at this time, largely from hints Nashe made in his Dec? 1592 Strange newes, as discussed below).  Danter's unusual 1589-99 printing career started with a year of partnering with Chettle, and  he was often associated with unlicensed projects (= "piracies!").  While still a journeyman, he likely printed the Sh.-related c.1587 Fair Em (dubiously attributed to Sh. in the mid-1600s).  On Aug. 27, 1596, Danter entered into the S.R. the 2nd edition of Munday's 1588 Palladine of England (= "of the Spear-shaker").  Munday's Jan 1, 1587/8 dedication to Oxford of Palmerin d'Oliva, Pt. 1, had promised his next translation (Palladine) was "already on the press" and also would be dedicated to Oxford (yet, as noted in my Vol. II, Appen. F, when Palladine was appeared in April 1588, it was instead dedicated to the Earl of Essex).  Danter never printed Palladine, which may be why the 2nd edition did not emerge until c.1554/5, during the Civil Wars, complete with what I've called "the Palladine woodcut," apparently identifying Oxford as = Palladine (or = Guy of Warwick?).

e) For publisher William Wright -- he had been jailed for  illegal projects and violent protests against the laws that gave 25 Master Printers exclusive privileges (a system principally established by Burghley in 1570 in order to control the number of legal presses in England).  He published 3 Munday projects (including the Oxford-related Jan 1, 1587/8 Palmerin d'Oliva, Pt. 1); all 3 were printed by John Charlewood (virtually Munday's partner 1577-92, who would die Feb 1593 after establishing the printing house that would print 1599 &1612 Passionate Pilgrim, 1619 "Pavier Quartos," 1623 F1, 1632 F2, & 1640 Poems, each important Sh.-related works).

Note the Oxford, Munday, and Sh. relatedness.  It might remind us of Agatha Christie's Murder On the Orient Express, where "everybody did it."  Yet, the great majority of Sh.-related works were done by stationers who were also involved with Oxford- and/or Munday-related projects, a pattern I found lasting from the 1580s to late-1600s!


            On the title page just above the printer's motto and imprint was stated that the booklet was "Written before his death and published at his dyeing request," or literally on Greene's deathbed.  Short though it was (see the entire text on the Luminarium website), it rambled, shifting abruptly from plural-to-single-to-plural, from topic to topic:

   1) a labyrinthine fable about "Roberto" who was bequeathed no more than an "old groat," wandered through Italy and the continent, met strange characters, took up bad habits, and returned with them to England (it used about 2/3 of the book's length);

   2) several pages abruptly beginning "To those Gentlemen his Quondam acquaintance,
that spend their wits in making Plaies
," addressed to 3 playwrights, who are given attributes allowing scholars to tentatively identify Marlowe, Nashe, and another, often identified as Peele; the third is rarely directly said to be Shax, though often implied;

   3) a famous run-on sentence we'll discuss below, alleged (with nearly unanimous certainty) without much evidence by Stratfordians to be aimed specifically at Shax;

   4) a sentence about usurers (plural) who lent at unconscionable rates to destitute playwrights (generally ignored by Stratfordians, still it is often applied to Shax):

"...know the best husband of you all will neuer proue an Usurer, and the kindest of them all will neuer seeke you a kind nurse: yet whilest you may, seeke you better Maisters; for it is pittie men of such rare wits, should be subiect to the pleasure of such rude groomes."

   5) two more short paragraphs flailing at actors (plural) in general;

   6) a short Aesop's fable about the Ant and the Grasshopper, presumably meant to illustrate further "Roberto's" life of wastefulness; and

   7) hardly countable as part of the whole was supposedly Greene's short dying letter to his wife and son at the end, allegedly found with the manuscript for the short book.


The Wonderful Run-on Sentence:

            With such a disconnected hodge-podge, it's a wonder that the Stratfordians insist it constituted an autobiography of Greene and a biography of Shax!  The only reason it is so treated is that Stratfordians MUST have something like it or else their candidate is wholly devoid of merit.  GGW's famous ranting sentence (#3 above) allegedly gives the Stratfordian mythology all it needs, but only as long as scholars are willing to pretend that it is aimed specifically at Shax (original italics, & my notes):

"Yes, trust them not: [A] for there is an vpstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, [B] that with his Tygers hart wrapt in a Players hyde, [C] supposes [D] he is as well able to bombast [E] out a blanke verse as the best of you: [F] and being an absolute Iohannes fac totum, [G] is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene [H] in a countrey." [I]



[A] "them" = actors plural, not just one.  Clearly at first nobody was singled out. 

[B] Aesop's Crow => Batillus => Contemptible Front-Men, a theme of Greene's 1584 Modesty, 1589 Camillas... Euphues, & 1591 Farewell repeated in posthumous 1593 Pierce's Super. & early-1603 Vertues (Dixon, 12-15).  Also note the abrupt shift from plural actors to a singularly bad actor, and shortly back again in the next sentence.

[C] "Tigers heart... Players hide" was a line later paraphrased in the anonymous 1594-5 Contention and Sh's 1623 1Henry6 (Queen Margaret taunts the captive Duke of York with his son's bloody shirt, and the Duke responds, "She wolf of France, but worse than wolves of France,/ Whose tongue more poisons than the adders tooth!/... O tiger's heart wrapp'd in a woman's hide!/ How couldst thou drain the lifeblood of the child/... And yet be seen to weare a woman's face?...").  With no credible evidence, Stratfordians insist that those two plays existed prior to 1592.  Even if so, my 1996 article (pg. 45) showed close parallels with other Oxford English Dictionary (OED) examples; e.g., from 1573 "Her cruel and Tigrish heart."  Thus, "Tigers heart wrapt in a [fill in the blank] hide" could have been an old rather common open phrase by 1592, not associated with any particular writer or bombast speaker.

[D] "supposes" per OED = pretends, fakes;  

[E] "bombast" per OED = any loud, inflammatory message, but Stratfordians oddly insist this meant specifically writing, as of works of the 3 playwrights being warned; 

[F] "blank verse" was an innovation used by Marlowe, so he's usually identified as "best of you."  But all literati used it by the 1590s, including Oxford's circle, and it was pioneered in the 1540s by Oxford's uncle, the sonnets writing Earl of Surrey; 

[G] "factotum" = petty official, subaltern; thus, with "absolute" = a rigid bureaucrat, including: 1] Revels Master & censor Sir Edm. Tilney or his nephew the future Sir Geo. Buck (who contributed a poem to Tom Watson's 1582 Hekatompathia, which Watson dedicated to Oxford) or 2] Edw. Alleyn (actor, Admiral's Men and theater Mgr. under his father-in-law Ph. Henslowe); other candidates have been either of the Burbages (James & Rich., father & son actors & company/theater managers), or Will Kemp (clown who succeeded to Rich. Tarlton's roles).  But, in the face of all this uncertainty, Stratfordians insist in certainty that with "Johannes" it = "Jack of all trades" = Shax as a "genius in everything" (forgetting the "master at none" part?).

[H] "Shake-scene" likely = bumptious "shaker of scenery," or possibly a thug, as in "shakedown artist."  A friend, Jerry Downs, once told me that because "Shake-scene" was italicized, it had to be a proper name.  I believe he was wrong: it's not italicized in the luminarium text!  But even if it was italicized, what about "Johannes," also italicized?  Surely this rant wasn't about "John Shakspere," Shax's father!

[I] "in a country" possibly = a country provincial, or while touring the Provinces?  Note it was "in A country," not "OUR," "THE," or "THIS," possibly ruling out that "a country" = England!  If so, it may hint at a member of one of the several acting troupes occasionally traveling abroad, mostly in the Netherlands to entertain the English forces commanded 1589-1604 by Oxford's cousin Sir Francis Vere.


            So, the entire Stratfordian Mythology rises or falls on the above sentence, because without it their candidate has no credible evidence of developing his expertise, learning and mastering a literate trade, or even being in the company of, competing with, or comparable to such as Greene, Marlowe, Nashe, etc.  As with Voltaire's opinion of God, if the Stratfordians didn't have GGW, they would have had to "invent" it -- which is precisely what I believe they've done.  Certainly, the printed book existed, but their interpretations of everything about it are so strained that it amounts to pure invention.


Stratfordian Weaknesses & A Pennyworth of Vestige:

            One matter ignored by Stratfordians is that GGW's prime pretense (i.e., Greene literally wrote himself to death in producing it) is a palpable fiction, probably for controversy and to hawk sales.  As pointed out in 1988 by Stephanie Hughes, other alleged "deathbed confessions" of Greene included:  1) Oct 6, 1592 Repentance of Robert Greene; 2) 1592? Greenes Vision: Written at the Instant of His Death; 3) 1593 Greenes Newes Both From Heaven & Hell; 4) 1594 Greenes Funeralls; & 5) 1598 Greene in Conceipt (by John Dickenson, who I believe was a pseudonym, where his last name could playfully derive from "Devil's son").  For over half a decade after his death, Greene's fictional confessions were butts of jokesters.  And Repentance (only 2 weeks after GGW's publishing) was printed by Nashe's friend Danter for Cuthbert Burby (who on May 1 had used Munday's printing partner Charlewood to publish the Oxford- & Munday-related Axiochus of Plato, and would later be a key Sh. publisher)!


            Another important matter generally misrepresented by Stratfordians, was that after his play Hoffman was entered in the S.R., Chettle himself proceeded in his Dec. 1592 Kinde Hartes Dreame, Conteining Five Apparitions (published by Chettle's old partner Danter) to deny that he'd written GGW, saying that he had in fact gathered it together from Greene's papers scattered with other publishers (e.g., likely from Danter!).  Writing that he'd gotten complaints about GGW from two persons (he coyly didn't say who or why), disdaining one of them, he apologized to the other:

"I am as sory as if the originall fault had beene my fault, because my selfe haue seene his [Nashe's?] demeanor no lesse ciuill than he excelent in the qualitie he professes: Besides, diuers of worship haue reported, his vprightnes of dealing, which argues his honesty, and his facetious grace in writting, that aprooues his Art."


            Stratfordians, with no evidence, absurdly insist that in the Kinde Hartes passage Chettle apologized to Shax of Warwickshire.  Why not to Nashe?  They won't say.  We could ask who better exemplified "facetious grace in writting" than Nashe, the biting satirist?  But more to the point, of all the literati of that time, Nashe was the only one known to have complained about GGW!  In the Late-Dec? 1592 republication of  his Aug. 1592 Pierce Penniless his Supplication to the Devil, Nashe inserted a note that he had been falsely accused of writing GGW, protesting that [underlining added]:

"Other news..., that a scald/ trivial lying pamphlet, called Greene's groats-/ worth of wit, is given out to be of my doing./ God never have care of my soul, but utterly/ renounce me, if the least word or syllable in/ it proceeded from my pen, or if I were any way/ privy to the writing or printing of it."

So, Stratfordians have deliberately discounted or ignored Nashe's verdict upon GGW, treating it instead as if Nashe had been lying and GGW remains gospel truth.  Why?  Only because they MUST!  Yet by doing so, they overlook that if Nashe was lying, it was he, and not Greene, who wrote GGW, thus debunking the Stratfordian view of GGW!


            Before we leave Nashe, let's not forget that at about the same time that his Pierce Penniless was republished, his famous Dec? 1592 Strange newes of intercepting certain letters... was published by Danter, in which Nashe gave various hints that he was a servant of someone very like our Earl of Oxford ("Verie, Verie friend Master Apis Lapis... infinite Maecenas to learned men" with "dudgeon dagger" and who had dined with Nashe and Greene a month before Greene's death, under the name of "Will Monox").  But, that's a complex argument for another time, except that it underlines the Nashe-Danter connection to this whole charade about Greene's deathbed confessions.  And if we are right about "VERiE, VERiE" being a clue to Oxford's involvement, then Nina Green may be right in her many e-mail assertions that GGW was really Oxford's project to bury Greene and begin using a new front-man (i.e., "Shake-speare!").


            Oddly enough, the Stratfordians themselves have offered a more substantive theory to discredit Greene's authorship of GGW, based on primative computer-aided stylistics analysis in 1969 by Prof. Warren B. Austin, who identified Chettle as GGW's principle author (as discussed in my 1998 The Oxfordian article).  This remains a minority opinion, but at least it shows uncertainty about whoever wrote GGW, or that he had a clear and specific agenda or target, let alone aimed at provincial Shax.  For uncertainty is the death knell for the Stratfordian mythology.  They insist that GGW "certainly" attacks Shax so that he can absorb each and every juicy attribute into his vapid biography, as "jealously" written by "leading playwright" Greene in the early 1590s.  Remove their "certainty," and their mythology goes the way of Baal or Isis, which is one reason why they can become so nasty in their denouncements of us "heretics!"


            So, let's assume that Chettle, for one, was mostly truthful in saying that he didn't write Greene's GGW, but merely cut-and-pasted together loose writings of Greene's that had been held by other publishers.  Certainly it's plausible, even if he fudged a bit about how much of Chettle's own paste had to be applied to slap-dash the hodge-podge together.  Thus, vestiges of GGW should be found long before 1592, though likely under slightly different titles.  Sure enough, there is at least one vestige, because a "Groat" was a Dutch coin called the "thick penny," valued at 4 pence or "pennies."  As noted in my letter to the editor of SOS News (Summer 2004), in the S.R. was an entry dated August 16, 1586 that listed 4 titles (with no notes about authors) entered by Edward White, who in 1587-88, 1592, and 1599 would publish 6 works by Greene.  Each of the 4 listed titles was reasonably analogous to works of Greene's, especially this one: "a penyworth of witt."  This is very likely an early part of Greene’s 1592 GGW, logically about 1/4 of it in fact!  And in 1586 the leading "Shaker-of-scenes" by far was the famous "Queenes Men" clown Richard Tarlton (in 1570 an author), who died in 1588.


            So, of the 7 parts of GGW listed above, which of them was appropriate to be 1/4 of the whole "groat?"  Clearly, it was either some part of the fable about "Roberto," or it was the rant addressed to 3 playwrights plus the run-on sentence about a despised actor.  That would be a choice between part of the alleged "autobiography of Greene," or else all of the alleged "biography of Shax" -- what a dilemma for Stratfordians!  Either way, if penned 6 years earlier, it debunks the Stratfordian "certainty" about GGW being a consistent, sensible, decipherable 1592 attack on Shax.  With 1/4 of GGW dating back to 1586, when presumably Shax was still practicing his "natural genius" on deer poaching, it backdates a key part of GGW essential to the Stratfordian mythology.  So, I think we can safely lay Baal to rest.  At the very least, it substantiates Chettle's claim that GGW was a pastiche of Greene's scattered works.  And therefore it may make Nashe's oath that he had nothing to do with GGW a bit less believable.  Although, Nashe's claim that GGW was a "scald, trivial lying pamphlet" can be trusted entirely, no matter who wrote it.


Anti-Stratfordian Use & Misuse of GGW:

            As we've seen, there was no "certainty" about anything in GGW, and every attempt to insinuate Shax into the mess is at best without foundation, and at worst a lie in support of a myth!  As a base upon which the entire Stratfordian Ziggurat of Bardolatry has been constructed, it's murky quicksand.  One would think that we Anti-Stratfordians should just let them sink with it, not try to prop-up any part of GGW, even if we think we can take advantage of its parts for ourselves.  That was essentially the argument in my 1996 article.  Some have taken similar lines as mine, but a few others have come up with ingenious ways to go astray, almost as if to rescue the Stratfordian myth!


            Before discussing a few post-1996 examples, note that Nina Green's "Phaeton" list had discussed "Marlovian" A.D. ("Dolly") Wraight's 1965-93 claims about GGW (pp. 129-99).  The late Mrs. Wraight argued logically that Admiral's Men actor-manager Edw. Alleyn met all criteria for GGW's scorned actor, far better than Shax.  But, less plausibly, she claimed Marlowe was Sh.  Still, this debunks the Stratfordian certainty, since Alleyn's were documented qualities, vs. imagined Stratfordian contrivances for Shax!


            Proceeding on, there have been several attempts to permanently bury the Baal of GGW, among them the excellent treatments of Stephanie Hughes in 1998 and of Jonathan Dixon in 2000, each noted above.


            Diana Price, in her 2001 book (pp. 45-57), argued from: a) the line about "usurers," b) other similar attacks in the literature against usurers, c) ample penny-pinching evidence in Shax's business records, and d) her own interpretation of the Trinity Church effigy as supporting Stratfordian claims, that the Stratford man was a despised moneylender and play broker, not a writer.  Thus, she did not accept Shax as GGW's despised actor, wisely avoiding overuse of GGW.  Naturally she met sarcastic ire from orthodoxy, as in


            In an otherwise excellent 2011 book (pp. 45-49, 97-101), astrophysicist Sabrina Feldman tried to build a case for Th. Sackville as Sh. (a good choice), but oddly used GGW's scorned actor to support Shax as a third-rate hack and modifier of plays in order to explain the inferior-quality apocryphal works.  She was oblivious to my webpage articles #3 & #4, showing that Shax was almost certainly illiterate.  Over a blog, some of her supporters contended that it may well be that he was illiterate, but Shax "could have dictated those works to others."  This is not very convincing, given the scarcity of known illiterate poet-playwrights, and that most of us believe the works were written to be read, by someone who could both read and write!  My website article #11 argued that Sackville may have been Sh's "literary mentor," and noted several projects Sackville collaborated in with Oxford and/or his circle.


            Richard Malim's very authoritative 2012 book summarizes the Oxfordian theory of the authorship, but in his Appendix B (pp. 240-46) he offers his radically different, but interesting, theory that Chettle was unsure about exactly who Sh. was, only finding out after GGW's publication that the 17th Earl of Oxford was the Bard.  It should be studied by all Oxfordians.  But some of his Appendix B was a bit strained, and Malim's theory of Chettle's confusion might be seen by many as confusing in itself!


            Saving what I regard as the best for last, A.J. Pointon's 2011 book (50-51, 142-143, 217-218, 233-37, 262-267) takes an approach about GGW completely compatible with what I've argued here and in my 1996 article (though he didn't seem aware of it).  On his pg. 233, he said of Nashe's "scald, lying, trivial pamphlet" assertion, "With that for a pedigree, one might expect scholars to treat it with caution.  Yet most orthodox scholars seem mesmerized by the fantasy forced on it by Tyrwhitt [in his 1717 discovery of GGW] and his successors."  I agree entirely, and will quit with these few examples!


Conclusion, GGW Should Be Rejected:

            I caution all scholars, particularly anti-Stratfordians, that attempts to utilize GGW (e.g., the brief attack on usurers, plural, or the run-on sentence) are likely ill-conceived, no matter how much they'd like to be able to definitively identify Shax's role in what I term "the Shake-speare Enterprise."  I think the strongest position for our respective cause(s), for alternative candidates for the authorship question, is to affirm that Chettle was more truthful and credible than Stratfordians would like to admit.  And therefore, there is no basis for the alleged "attack on Shax" in GGW, at least no "certainty."  The burden of proof should be firmly on orthodox scholars to prove otherwise, not on us to try to define for their benefit what role Shax may or may not have played.  Let them make what they can out of the various litigious records and contradictory dedications to "Shake-speare" in the 1623 F1.  Because, without GGW they have little to show until then, 7 long years after their man was unceremoniously interred in a provincial bone-yard, under an effigy of a man grasping at a sack of grain.


Works Cited:

Dixon, Jonathan, "The ‘upstart Crow’ supposes," SOS News., 36:1, Spr 2000, 7.

Feldman, Sabrina, The Apocryphal William Shakespeare: Book One of "A 'Third Way' Shakespeare Authorship Scenario, ISBN 978-145750-721-2,

Greene, Robert,  Greenes Groatsworth of Wit, bought with a Million of Repentance; full text is at

Hess, W. Ron, "Greene's Wit Revisited," The Elizabethan Review, Fall 1996, 41-48.  

--      "Hotwiring the Bard into Cyberspace," The Oxfordian, Vol. I 1998, 88-101.

--      "Letter to the Editor: Update on Greene's Groats-Worth," SOS News, 40:3, Sum 2004, 10.

--      Hess' webpage, features Article #3 by Jane Cox and #4 by Robert Detobel, together showing that Shax was almost certainly illiterate; #11 is about Sackville as Sh's "literary mentor."

Hughes, Stephanie H., Relevance of Robert Greene to the Oxfordian Thesis, Portland, OR, 1998, Paradigm Press.

Malim, Richard, The Earl of Oxford and the Making of Shakespeare, 2012,; best to order thru

Pointon, A.J., The Man Who Was Never Shakespeare, 2011,

Price, Diana, Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography: New Evidence of an Authorship Problem, 2001, Greenwood Press.

Short Title Catalogue (STC) or English STC (ESTC), see British Library link at

Wraight, A.D. ("Dolly"), Christopher Marlowe and Edward Alleyn, (1965) 1993, Chichester, Adam Hart. 

--      See also 

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