The Shakespeare hoax. The bard’s identity game is an old one. With Freud and Mark Twain even taking a kick at the can. James Hudson had a theory, plausible, in which Shakespeare was actually a woman, Amelia Bassano, a converso Italian Jew. Time will tell, but the Francis Bacon theory remains one of the most enduring, assuming proportions it is connected to Arcadia and the Rennes de Chateau mystery, placing it in the headlights of Dan Brown territory. But then again, it might be “much ado about nothing.”
Jonathan Kay:Various anti-Stratfordian conspiracists of 19th-century vintage, for instance, believed the works attributed to Shakespeare were in fact coded manifestos written by proto-republicans (led by Bacon) as a means to undermine Elizabethan tyranny. In the most ambitious version of this fantasy, it is imagined that Shakespeare’s — sorry, Bacon’s — plays actually created the template for the United States Constitution — and that Bacon’s plot against the monarchy, had it succeeded, might have pre-empted the need for an American Revolution, thereby saving the British empire.
Such intellectual “frolics” weren’t much fun for obsessive Shakespeare conspiracy theorists like Orville Ward Owen, a Detroit doctor who actually built a decoding machine — consisting of two large spinning drums on which he pasted thousands of pages of Baconian texts. (The device survives in a Montana museum.) In the blurred, moving texts, he hoped to see the secret messages that would unlock the secret of Shakespeare’s plays. These experiments took over his life….
…On his deathbed in 1924, he lamented his wasted years, and warned others to avoid the “Bacon controversy.” “When I discovered the Word Cipher, I had the largest practice of any physician in Detroit,” he warned an admirer. “[But now, I] lost my fortune, ruined my health, and today am a bedridden almost penniless invalid.”…
…Wiser words were never spoken by any crank.Read More:http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/11/03/jonathan-kay-on-the-freudian-roots-of-shakespeare%E2%80%99s-doubters/
In fact, the code that Bacon described unlocks many of the mysteries of the First Folio. The key to the Shakespeare code was embedded in a book that was widely circulated in his time and to the present. Yet it was more than 250 years before anyone realized that Bacon’s writings on ciphers were not just theoretical, but they were describing his method for recording a secret history of his times.
Francis Bacon used this and other codes to conceal his work in books published under his own name and under the names of Shakespeare, Spenser, Marlowe and others of the time. The hidden messages tell a startling story. The
veal state secrets and scandals—the marriage of a “Virgin Queen,” murder and intrigue, corruption and lies at the highest levels of the government. And they also tell the personal life story of Francis Bacon himself.Read More:http://www.reversespins.com/shakespearecode.html