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Shakespeare’s Education

By Robin Fox
(Germany: Verlag Laugwitz, 2012)
182 pages, illustrated with bibliography
$9.95 plus $2.95 for shipping and handling in the US
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Fox delves into the Shakespeare Authorship Question with this collection of essays dealing primarily with education in Elizabethan England. Fox contends that the works attributed to William Shakespeare were written by Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, and supports his argument by careful analysis of the works of Shakespeare, especially passages related to schools and teaching and what they might suggest about the education of the author.

--Library Journal, December 2012

Fox’s book selects just a few topics in the authorship debate, but he explores them in fascinating and illuminating detail….What is more, Fox raises the intriguing possibility that the young de Vere himself may have been the actual translator of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

--Richard Waugaman, Society Journal, Autumn 2013

orld-renowned anthropologist Robin Fox turns his analytic eye on the Shakespeare authorship issue, and asks and answers some stark questions. He attacks some shibboleths on both sides of the debate, and comes to his own conclusions.

  • Why did Hamlet delay?
  • Why did Malcolm get cold feet?
  • Who was the model for Timon of Athens?
  • Where do Robin Hood and Will Scarlet come in?
  • Why do Henrys IV/V/VI/VIII get plays and not Henry VII?
  • Was there a plan to educate England under the Tudors?
  • What were the Grammar Schools and how good were they?
  • What was the education of royalty? How did it differ?
  • Could only a grammar school boy have written the plays?
  • What were the Petty Schools?
  • Why did pronunciation matter - who would have cared?
  • What does Shakespeare owe to evolution?

Of particular interest to Shakespeare scholars is his response to the question: why didn’t Shakespeare write a play about the first Tudor monarch? Examined another way – why do the historical Henry’s IV/V/VI/VIII get plays from Shakespeare, but not Henry VII? In this section from Shakespeare’s Education, Robin Fox conducts an historical analysis and provides a compelling solution. Why Is There No Henry VII? Click Here to View

Anthropologist and historian of ideas, Robin Fox is University Professor of Social Theory at Rutgers University. Educated at the London School of Economics, Harvard and Stanford University, Fox carried out research with Pueblo Indians, Irish islanders and Macaque monkeys in the Caribbean. He founded the department of anthropology at Rutgers in 1967 (among the top ten in the U.S.) and was for twelve years a director of research for the H. F. Guggenheim Foundation with Lionel Tiger, co-author of The Imperial Animal. His Kinship and Marriage is one of the most consulted social science texts in the world. Professor Fox’s latest book is The Tribal Imagination: Civilization and the Savage Mind, from Harvard University Press.

The author was elected a member of The National Academy of Sciences in 2013.

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