Welcome to our 2022-23 Season!

This will be our 3rd Season via Zoom (35th or so overall) and it’s wonderful to have international speakers and an international audience. Join us on October 15th at 11am PDT on Zoom. Our 1st event of the new season is traditionally a fundraiser as we no longer fundraise via snail mail. By using either the Event Link or our direct PayPal link, you can support this event or our whole season. No one will be turned away, so please email us for the link, if you would like to attend but do not wish to make a donation at this time.

Our first speaker is Peter Dawkins. Peter is a specialist in sacred architecture and a pioneer in the rediscovery of landscape temples and the Western geomantic tradition. He is the Founder-Director of the Zoence Academy and Elder of Gatekeeper Trust, dedicated to evolving an understanding, care and healing of man’s natural environment. He has written several books, including Francis Bacon: The Herald of the New Age. We are very excited to hear him talk about Francis Bacon with regard to the Shakespeare Authorship Question.

Our second speaker, Ros Barber is a writer, academic and speaker.  She is a senior lecturer in the English and Comparative Literature Department of Goldsmiths, University of London, since 2013, having previously taught Creative Writing for 12 years at the University of Sussex. She is a literary historian focused on the Early Modern period, in particular, the poet and dramatist Christopher Marlowe, and his social circle. Her debut novel The Marlowe Papers (2012) won the Desmond Elliott Prize.

Our third presenter, Rosemary O’Loughlin, is an actor and a Shakespeare lover. In 2022 she debuted her one woman show, “A Rose by Any Other Name” at Edinburgh Fringe. Rosemary is an Oxfordian and we are thrilled to have her share a live excerpt from her piece via Zoom. Her Instagram handle is @shakespearedevere. Her Twitter handle is @shakesmonologue.

We hope to see you there to discuss whether or not Elizabethan England was the world’s greatest Salon or the birthplace of a single, literary genius!

Doubters on the Defensive

Here’s a great article courtesy of South African paper, The Independent:


Mark Rylance is one of Britain’s most famous actors.

Mark Rylance, one of Britain’s most respected actors and the founding artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, has defended his role in a film that pours doubt on the identity of the Bard.

The actor, who has signed a “declaration of reasonable doubt” about Shakespeare’s identity, also responded to claims that those who doubt the playwright are motivated by envy.

Anonymous, directed by Roland Emmerich, partly espouses the “Oxfordian theory” that it was Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, and not Shakespeare, who wrote some of literature’s greatest plays.

The film has reignited the debate between conspiracy theorists and those who defend Shakespeare’s legacy. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has set up an online campaign to combat the doubters, securing contributions from the Prince of Wales, actor Simon Callow and Gregory Doran, the chief associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

One defender, psychoanalyst Anouchka Grose, said: “Doubting Shakespeare’s authorship might be a way of dealing with envy and competition. If great people aren’t actually that great, then you don’t have to feel quite so measly in relation to them.”

Rylance said: “I was staggered. To make an analysis of why someone like me doubts that Shakespeare wrote the plays? Without meeting me, or asking me, or meeting anyone who doubts? Not even positing that it might be that we are curious about the truth? That we think this isn’t maybe true? They really are defensive. It’s a classic response that they attack us, our motivations.”

Rylance said he and fellow actor Sir Derek Jacobi, were part of a forthcoming “response” to the trust’s audio website, “60 Minutes with Shakespeare”, possibly in the form of a published letter. Both Rylance and Jacobi appear in Emmerich’s film, and have signed the declaration, run by The Shakespeare Authorship Coalition. Other high-profile signatories include actors Jeremy Irons and Michael York.

Rylance will discuss his views at the coalition’s annual conference at the Globe next month, where there will be a screening of the documentary Last Will and Testament. The film’s backers claim it is “the first major documentary on the authorship question for 22 years”.