Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Tempest authorship -part 17

The Tempest,  (17)

3.6 Discussion

There is evidence that whoever wrote The Tempest had access to the TR, a point with which traditional scholars are in agreement. There are parallels between the TR and the TD suggesting that the intention of producing the latter was to re-frame the information about the poor conditions at Jamestown reported in the former (and other minor sources), so that the gossip of returning settlers did not jeopardize the recruitment of new investors and settlers. So the author of the TD had very likely seen a copy of the TR by November 1610, one year before the first known performance of The Tempest. At this point, Shakspere's supporters withdraw all interest, because in order to allow for the possibility that he wrote The Tempest, they must avoid the evidence that the TR was restricted. It also appears that the task of writing the Virginia Company's TD fell to Sir Francis Bacon who was Solicitor General, adviser to King James on plantations for the colony and, according to William Strachey, had a prominent position on the Council. The parallels between the TD and Bacon's work appear to confirm this. So it seems that both Shake-speare and Bacon were able to conduct a detailed consultation of the TR, a secret document that few Council members must have seen, and which sourced The Tempest. With the evidence here presented, even the most cynical judge cannot fail to conclude that Shake-speare the author must have been a prominent Council member of the Virginia Company and therefore was not the actor William Shakespeare. A fair-minded judge might draw a larger conclusion.

A reminder: the above posts on The Tempest were taken from the book The Shakespeare Puzzle (2009) by Barry Clarke, M.Sc.

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A note by Nigel Cockburn on Bacon’s main biographer James Spedding regarding the True Declaration:

“Spedding makes no mention of the True Declaration. In fact in the whole of his 14 volumes there is not the slightest mention (with two small exceptions) of Bacon’s interest in the New World – a remarkable oversight for a biographer. The two exceptions are that he prints without comment Bacon’s Essay on Plantations and also a speech by Bacon on 30 January 1621 in Parliament on the benefit of the King’s government”.

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