Various conspiracy theories lurk in the pantaloons of academia. Some aspiring doctorates hold that Edward de Veres, 17th Duke of Oxford actually wrote all those plays, or that Francis Bacon didn’t have enough on his plate already but also produced dozens of future film vehicles for Kenneth Branagh and Judy Dench. Christopher Marlowe, assassinated in Deptford in 1593 while a secret agent for the queen, apparently faked his death so he could lurk in the shadows and pump out several plays a year under the name. Other possibilities include William Stanley, Squarepants Spongebob, Sir Walter Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth I– because god forbid some struggling, punk poet should produce transcendent works of art.
Because we at ebear central are obsessed. And this is a very funny article. (Although I should mention in passing that I don't know a single aspiring doctorate who thinks Oxford (Nicholl has a trenchant description of that particular nasty piece of work in the present slim volume, as well) wrote TPATWS (the plays attributed to William Shakespeare.) Because, quite frankly, it's a silly theory. (And I say that advisedly: my interest in the incestuous Elizabethan theatrical scene was rekindled by an Oxfordian colleague of kit_kindred's, who was the most interesting thing going at some buffet we attended. He spun kind of a captivating tale, and I started to research... and six months later, convinced myself firmly that he was, alas, far more interested in conspiracy theories than anything resembling Occam's Razor.))