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Streitz conducted extensive research, supplementing the findings of others, virtually erasing any doubt about the authorship question.
But he also uncovered some additional information. It turns out that de Vere was actually the illegitimate son of the "Virgin Queen," and that Hamlet was a personal rant from a man who was also denied his rightful place as heir to the throne.
If this were to happen today, it would be fodder for the supermarket tabloids. Why should we care about it? Beyond the fact that it's interesting, the writer of the works of "Shakespeare" was the most important writer in the history of the English language, and arguably the most important writer in the history of the world.
Paul Streitz's views are, of course, controversial. Most scholars have finally joined the "Oxford" school of thought, accepting the evidence that de Vere was the author. But even today, many others still adhere, out of loyalty, to the "Stratford" school, attributing the works, against all evidence, to the mythical bard. On issues of this importance, scholars are slow to change their views. Streitz's conclusions about de Vere's place in the royal family have given him a reputation as a radical, even among the Oxfordites.
Yet it is impossible to read his book without agreeing that Streitz's research is thorough and convincing. It's a fun read to be sure, but also an important work that will, over time, change the views of scholars on important historical events.
Following is a press release that further describes his book.
Streitz, like many other scholars, maintains that “William Shakespeare” was a pen name used by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. His book, Oxford, Son of Queen Elizabeth I (Oxford Institute Press; $32.50/hardcover; ISBN 0-9713498-0-0) puts together the final pieces of that historical puzzle while adding surprising new information about Oxford’s background. Most recently, the authorship issue was covered in a feature story by Richard L. Niederkorn in the New York Times on February 10th of this year.
In the summer of 1548, the fourteen-year-old Princess Elizabeth Tudor was pregnant by her stepfather, Thomas Seymour. She was sent to a secluded location at Cheshunt, England, where she gave birth to a boy. To cover up the royal scandal, the child was raised as Edward de Vere, foster son of John de Vere, ultimately inheriting the title of Earl of Oxford. His actual name was Edward Tudor-Seymour, Prince of England, 17th Earl of Oxford.
The cover-up was orchestrated by royal advisor William Cecil, who, 12 years later, murdered the elder de Vere and assumed care of the boy, as a ward of the crown. In 1571, as a result of a change in English law (recognizing illegitimate children of the monarch), Oxford became first heir to the throne, and in the same year, he married Cecil’s daughter. Oxford was an acknowledged playwright, poet, theatrical producer, musician, dancer, and literary figure. He wrote under several pen names, the most famous of which was “William Shakespeare.” His play Hamlet was largely autobiographical, portraying himself as the “prince” who was ultimately denied his right to the throne.
The full royal story of sex, murder, betrayal, incest, and art is documented in detail in Streitz’s book. It is published by the Oxford Institute, which sponsors symposiums and events to promote the awareness of the Earl of Oxford. Streitz is the director of the Oxford Institute, also a member of the Shakespeare-Oxford Society, the Shakespeare Fellowship, and the Shakespeare Association of America.
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