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The Woman Who Wrote Shakespeare; A Research Overview

The Woman Who Wrote Shakespeare; A Research Overview

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Published by JOHN HUDSON
Television production company research brief prepared to interest UK channels in making a TV documentary on the 'Dark Lady' Amelia Bassano Lanier (1569-1645) as the likely author of Shakespeare's plays.Email Darkladyplayers@aol.com
Television production company research brief prepared to interest UK channels in making a TV documentary on the 'Dark Lady' Amelia Bassano Lanier (1569-1645) as the likely author of Shakespeare's plays.Email Darkladyplayers@aol.com

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Published by: JOHN HUDSON on May 26, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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(2007) JOHN HUDSON All Rights Reserved
This research makes an extraordinary claim, namely that the plays of Shakespeare were written by a Jewish woman of color; her name is AmeliaBassano Lanyer ...who has so far been known as the first woman inEngland to publish a book of original poetry in 1611, and as a candidatefor the ‘dark lady’ of the Shakespearean
.In Elizabethan London
if a woman wanted to be a writer she could onlywrite translations, religious verse and adaptations—or else publishanonymously. In this environment if any writers had anything to say thatcriticized the Government or religion, they had to do it covertly, by usingsecret messages or allegory – the common literary technique by whichone thing is said explicitly, but it symbolizes something different. It wasin this threatening climate that somebody wrote the plays of WilliamShakespeare. Questions about who the author was have a long history. Asearly as 1678 Edward Ravenscroft wrote that someone ancientlyconnected with the stage told him that the play
Titus Andronicus 
was“brought by a private author to be acted” and that Mr. Shagspere -- togive him his original name before he changed it – was merely theproducer, who provided a cover story for the true “private author”.
(2007) JOHN HUDSON All Rights Reserved
The Revisions in the 1620’s
The most powerful evidence why Mr. Shagspere could not have writtenthe plays is that he died in 1616. However, subsequently someoneundertook very extensive re-writing of certain plays before they werepublished in the First Folio. Most significantly,
which had justbeen printed in 1622, was amended between 1622 and 1623 withhundreds of minor changes and 163 extra lines. These lines are addedespecially in Act 4, expanding the character Aemelia and her deathscene—and create the literary signatures described below, the so-called‘swan signatures’. A reference to the circulation of the blood appeared in
in 1623---although Harvey’s discovery was only announcedto the College of Surgeons in April 1616, while Mr. Shakespeare was onhis deathbed in Stratford. Newspaper reports published in October 1621were used to make additions to
Measure for Measure 
which areconsistent with the underlying allegory in the play. They are thereforelikely to have been made by the author if they were alive—which AmeliaBassano was, unlike either Mr Shagspere or the popular alternativecandidate the Earl of Oxford.
The Fool William In The Plays
The character “William” appears twice in the plays as an uneducated foolwho has to be given basic lessons. In
The Merry Wives of Windsor 
apassage was added in to the quarto version to show William being givenlessons in basic Latin, to make him into an educated ‘page’. In
As You Like It,
William has to be taught rhetoric. It looks as if the true author isgiving us their satire on William Shagspere. This view is reinforced by thefact that one of the other Williams hinted at is the ancestor of ChristopherSly in
The Taming of the Shrew 
, who is so much a drunken fool heconfuses William with Richard the conqueror. However he does haverelatives in the Stratford area, in precisely the same villages as Mr.Shagspere. The identification of Mr. Shagspere with this character is notnew—it was first made in 1669. These three associations of a fool withthe name William are not a co-incidence.
PART 2: WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE AUTHORThe Author’s Social Contacts & Knowledge
Rigorous textual analysis of the plays ascribed to Shakespeare suggeststhat whoever wrote them had social contacts and specialist knowledge of many fields that would have been beyond the life of the son of a glovemanufacturer from rural Stratford, who had recently arrived in Londonand still spoke the Warwickshire dialect. From the evidence of the playsand poems, the author must have been a major poet who had;
(2007) JOHN HUDSON All Rights Reserved
Friendship with Earl of SouthamptonExtensive contact and collaboration with the atheist Christopher MarloweContact with the Ambassador to Denmark, Lord WilloughbyContact with Earl of OxfordContact with Sir John Salisburie who commissioned
The Phoenix and the Turtle 
Good contacts with Lord Hunsdon and Sir George Carey whocommissioned playsFamiliarity with the household of Anne Clifford, referred to in
Twelfth Night 
Contacts with the musicians for the plays such as Robert JohnsonA musical knowledge more extensive than any other playwrightKnowledge of Italy and ItalianKnowledge of Hebrew, Judaism and the TalmudTechnical knowledge of falconryTechnical legal knowledgeMilitary knowledge including generalshipKnowledge of girls’ literature and early feminismVery extensive knowledge of the Bible in multiple translationsNone of these criteria match the man from Stratford. However theyprecisely match the social circles in which Amelia Bassano lived.
The World’s Most Musical Plays
The author uses 300 technical musical terms throughout the plays,referring both to music theory and to musical technique. Many take theform of musicians’ jokes that would be appreciated only by othermusicians. Altogether there are nearly 2,000 musical references in theplays, including quotations from one hundred songs. But very oddly thereare hardly any references to sacred religious music and settings of themass by composers like Tallis or Byrd even though in these years suchmusic was at its peak.The play that has most references is
The Taming of the Shrew 
with 110musical references, roughly one every minute, followed by
Twelfth Night 
 with 91 references. This is unusual since plays by educated gentlemenlike Marlowe, Chapman, Lodge and Greene average only 18 suchreferences per play. English literature’s most musical play up to this pointhad been by Lyly with 47 musical references and that had been composedto be acted by boys choristers. The average Shakespearean play contains23% more musical references than that, and 300% more than the averageplay by other writers.

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