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Reflections on the True Shakespeare

Reflections on the True Shakespeare
By Gary Goldstein
Germany: Verlag Laugwitz, 2016
258 pages 
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Reflections on the True Shakespeare is a clear and fascinating presentation of Oxfordian scholarship regarding the Shakespeare authorship controversy. Among other topics, Gary Goldstein explores the extant poetry of the 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, as the juvenilia of the author we know as William Shakespeare; the use of the expanding popular theater as a vehicle of propaganda for the Tudor government; and the underlying presence of the Essex dialect in the plays. Throughout it all, he demonstrates an enduring curiosity, a wide and deep erudition, and an acute eye for crucial evidence.”

 –Don Ostrowski, Lecturer in History, Harvard University

riginal research on Shakespeare and his works, which appeared in US and British journals from 1989 to 2016 by Gary Goldstein, has been issued for global distribution by the German publisher, Verlag Laugwitz. Goldstein is former editor of Brief Chronicles and The Elizabethan Review, peer reviewed literary and history journals. To sample its research, click on this hyperlink to the chapter on Are These Shakespeare’s Letters?

Reflections on the True Shakespeare provides readers with solutions to wide-ranging and long-standing literary mysteries, from the authorship controversy to the reason for publishing the First Folio in 1623.

“The commonplace about Shakespeare’s First Folio of plays is that a pair of noblemen subsidized its publication to advance their positions at court,” notes Goldstein. “On the contrary, recent research shows that a coterie of Protestant aristocrats had the First Folio published in response to King James’s public attempt to marry his son to the Catholic sister of King Philip of Spain, known at the time as the Spanish Marriage Crisis.” 

Likewise, it appears that Shakespeare was fluent in Italian and employed elements of Dante’s Divine Comedy into several plays, such as Hamlet, Othello and Measure for Measure. What’s more, Shakespeare incorporated the local dialect of Essex County into three-quarters of the dramas. 

The book has received advance praise from scholars in the humanities, such as Warren Hope, Professor of English at the University of Sciences in Philadelphia. “Reflections on the True Shakespeare gathers a wide range of essays in a highly effective way. What sets Goldstein's work apart is the seriousness with which he treats his subject--seeing the authorship question as a cultural riddle with important implications--and the respect he has for fact. Most of the essays persuasively pile up factual evidence in support of a thesis and yet are written in a lively way so that the arguments are compelling. He is especially good on Shakespeare's knowledge and use of foreign languages but is also able to use the same approach to make a convincing case that Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, was James Joyce's candidate for Shakespearean honors.”

Another mystery is determining whether Shakespeare is the unidentified sitter in Nicholas Hilliard’s famous impresa, “Man Clasping a Hand from a Cloud,” first proposed by Harvard professor Leslie Hotson and confirmed in this book.

Using a combination of literary exegesis and historical research, Goldstein also seeks to resolve the following conundrums:

Where is Shakespeare’s poetic juvenilia?
Did Queen Elizabeth use the stage for political propaganda?
What was Shakespeare’s philosophy?
Did James Joyce place clues in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake about the identity of Shakespeare?

Gary Goldstein is former editor of The Elizabethan Review (1993-2001) and Brief Chronicles (2009-2011), peer reviewed journals, as well as co-producer of the 3-hour television special, Uncovering Shakespeare, moderated by William F. Buckley, Jr. in 1992. He received his master’s degree from New York University, and spent 25 years researching Shakespeare, the authorship issue and the Elizabethan Era. Mr. Goldstein has taught at Columbia University and City University of New York.

Verlag Laugwitz is a German publisher specializing in the literature of the English Renaissance, headed by Dr. Uwe Laugwitz. It has brought out German translations of four plays by Christopher Marlowe as well as eight Shakespeare plays, the latter by Frank-Patrick Steckel, including Othello and A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Among its recent critical titles are Such Fruits Out of Italy: The Italian Renaissance in Shakespeare’s Plays by Noemi Magri, PhD (2014) and Shakespeare’s Education by Professor Robin Fox of Rutgers University (2012).

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