Friday evening, May 29, at 7:00 p.m., Hank Whittemore will perform his one-man play, Shakespeare’s Treason, at the First Parish of Watertown, Unitarian Universalist, in Watertown, MA. There will be a discussion and reception after the performance.
On Saturday, May 30, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., we’ll hear presentations at the Watertown Free Public Library, also in Watertown Square. Below is a listing of our presenters and a description of their talks.
Cost: We are suggesting a donation of $10 for the Friday evening play, free to students. The Saturday event is free. Last year’s lunch was a huge hit with the group and we would like to provide lunch on Saturday at the library. If the weather is pleasant, attendees may have their lunch as a picnic in a nearby park. We are suggesting a donation of $20 for attending both Friday and Saturday events, (or $10 for either day) to offset the cost of lunch and other refreshments that will be provided throughout the weekend. You may make a donation by cash or check on the day of the event.
Registration: If you plan to attend, please RSVP by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 617-955-3198.
Saturday, May 30, 2009 at the Watertown Free Public Library: The program will start at 9:30 a.m. with coffee, and the first talk will begin at 10 a.m. Lunch will be 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. We will end by 4:30 p.m. There are restaurants in Watertown Square within walking distance of the library. People may like to go out to dinner in groups afterwards.
Alex McNeil, President of the Shakespeare Fellowship will be Master of Ceremonies for Saturday’s event. He will also lead us in a Shakespearean game after lunch.
10 - 11 a.m. Bonner Miller Cutting, "Shakespeare’s’ Will Considered Too Curiously"
When the Last Will and Testament of William Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is his "notorious bequest” of his second best bed to his wife. In this presentation, Will’s will is compared with other wills of the era, and it becomes clear that there is more to lament in this document than a single unfortunate word choice.
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Mark Anderson, "Overjoyed, Over Him, Overbury: The New ‘Cobbe Portrait of Shakespeare’ and what it means for the authorship question"
Mark will discuss his research and recent events regarding the Cobbe portrait.
12:15 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 - 2 p.m. - Oxfordian Shakespeare game with Alex McNeil
2:00 - 3 p.m. Marie Merkel, "Raising the Dead: Ben Jonson & The Tempest."
"Mysteriously, it seems an inaugural work…", Harold Bloom
According to most scholars, The Tempest capitalizes on hot news of the day: the 1609 Wreck of the Sea-Venture, in the Bermudas. Since the earl of Oxford died in 1604, the burden of proof has been on his supporters, either to discredit the play’s many echoes of the Bermuda shipwreck, or to find a new author. Mysteriously, The Tempest just happens to be Shakespeare’s most Jonsonian play.
3:15 - 4:15 p.m. Bill Boyle, "Shakespeare and the Succession Crisis of the 1590s"
The succession crisis of the 1590s was a result of Queen Elizabeth’s refusal to name a successor, or even to allow discussion about the succession. Yet Shakespeare’s Richard II is accepted by most scholars as a comment on Elizabeth’s weaknesses and an implicit "thumbs up" to any potential Bolingbroke-like usurpers to the throne (e.g., the Earl of Essex). How deeply involved was Shakespeare in commenting on the succession crisis? What other works of his and others —such as Willobie His Avisa— may have shared the succession agenda of Richard II?
Biographies of our presenters:
Mark Anderson is a journalist who devoted more than a decade to researching the life of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. The resulting book, “Shakespeare” by Another Name, is recognized as a major document of the Shakespeare authorship discussion. Mark has published articles on de Vere in Harper’s Magazine, The Boston Globe, and on PBS.org, and has lectured worldwide on the authorship issue.
Bill Boyle is a graduate of Lake Forest College (BA, English, 1967); SUNY-Albany (Mastersin Library Science, 1973). He presently works as a cataloger at the Social Law Library (Boston, MA). Bill has been active in the Oxfordian movement for 30 years and was editor of two society newsletters about Shakespeare and the authorship issue (1995-2005). He founded several websites in the 1990s: Shakespeare Oxford Society (1995), and: The Ever Reader (1998). Bill has presented papers at the Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference (Portland, OR) and the conferences of the Shakespeare Oxford Society and the Shakespeare Fellowship over the past ten years. On the Internet he is presently maintaining a new website and blog, The Shakespeare Adventure, www.shakespeareadventure.com, a Shakespeare library with an online catalog, New England Shakespeare Oxford Library, www.shakespeareoxfordlibrary.org, and is working on a Shakespeare Authorship Resources online database, to be announced later this year.
Bonner Miller Cutting has studied the authorship of the Shakespeare Canon for several decades. She is on the Board of Trustees of the Shakespeare Fellowship and is the President of the Lone Star Shakespeare Roundtable in Houston, Texas. Mrs. Cutting has recently presented papers at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, the 2008 conference on authorship studies held in White Plains, New York, and the Shakespeare Authorship Roundtable in Los Angeles. A Louisiana, native, Mrs. Cutting holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Tulane University and a Masters of Music Degree from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA.
Alex McNeil received his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from Boston College Law School. A non-practicing attorney, he is the Court Administrator of the Massachusetts Appeals Court in Boston. Alex became interested in the Shakespeare Authorship question after seeing the 1989 PBS Frontline program on the subject. He was one of the founding trustees of the Shakespeare Fellowship, and currently serves as its president. He is the author of Total Television, a reference book on TV programming, and can be heard on the radio as the Friday host of "Lost and Found" on WMBR-FM (88.1, Cambridge MA), a program spotlighting lesser-known pop and soul music of the 60s and 70s.
Marie Merkel’s poems have appeared in The Carolina Quarterly and The New Republic. She is the author of The First Mousetrap: Titus Andronicus and the Tudor Massacre of the Howards, a full-length study of the play’s links with Howard family history, and the dramatic methods used to conceal this politically explosive story.
Hank Whittemore began researching the life of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford in 1987. Since then he has been involved in organizations such as the Shakespeare Oxford Society, the Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference, the Shakespeare Authorship Roundtable and the Shakespeare Fellowship. In the winter of 1998-1999, after more than a decade of studying the Sonnets in relation to Oxford’s life, he discovered that the numbered verses comprise an elegant "monument" to preserve a political diary for posterity…
At the center of the structure, Edward de Vere explains his "invention" or special language (akin to the language of DNA) that determines the entire form and content of the sonnet sequence. The result is the "living record" of Henry Wriothesley, Third Earl of Southampton in relation to the ever-waning life, reign and dynasty of Queen Elizabeth I of England — a genuine historical document in which Oxford tells why and how he saved Southampton’s life by agreeing to bury the truth of his own life: "Your name from hence immortal life shall have, though I (once gone) to all the world must die."
The Monument demonstrates this discovery as it applies to each line of the 154 sonnets, while placing the entire sequence within a specific framework of historical circumstance and chronology. Also see: http://www.shakespearesmonument.com/