The Shakespeare Code puts the life, loves and writing of William Shakespeare…
…….into a POLITICAL CONTEXT!!!
It is read by the Brothers and Sisters of The Code – an informal group of intellectually curious men and women….
……. drawn from at least ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY different nations!
(Please see The Shakespeare Code salutes the Nations!)
People who have been helpful to The Shakespeare Code, either by their words or actions, are inscribed on The Code’s coveted Roll of Honour.
So far they include (in no particular order):
5. Simon Callow
6. Greg Doran
7. Jane Howell
10. Alan Samson
11. Martin Green
12. Dr. James Kelly
13. Michael Hentges (see below)
14. Peter Ackroyd
The highest accolade The Shakespeare Code can offer is a Fellowship. This is awarded for outstanding service to The Code and bestows upon the recipient the inalienable right to place the designated letters F.S.C. after his or her name.
So far there are six Fellows…
5. Charles Sharman-Cox F. S. C.
The Shakespeare Code is compiled by ‘The Agents’ – a crack team of scholar athletes led by
Chief Agent Stewart Trotter
…and the self-styled ’Miss Moneypenny of the feline world’….
TRIXIE THE CAT!
Trixie first came to the attention of The Code by appearing in a portrait with the Third Earl of Southampton at Boughton House….
But the majority of posts are based onTrotter’s subsequent researches and those of The Code’s necessarily anonymous secret Agents.
The Code argues that Shakespeare, far from being a self-made man, relied heavily on the help of others, particularly the aristocratic, Roman Catholic family, the Southamptons….
…..Mary Browne, second Countess of Southampton….
…..and her wayward, gay, teenage son, Henry Wriothesley, third Earl of Southampton…
The Agents believe Shakespeare became part of the Southampton entourage and lived for a number of years at Titchfield in Hampshire, where he also worked as a local schoolmaster….
Plays were often performed as household entertainments at Place House …..
The women’s parts were taken by real women, as they were in Progress entertainments performed for Queen Elizabeth.
(It was only later, the Agents believe, that the plays were re-cycled for the general public, with boys taking the parts of women).
The Shakespeare Code argues that Shakespeare naturally reflected the political, religious and philosophical interests of his paymasters. So he finally ran into conflict with the Queen when the Earls of Southampton and Essex challenged her authority.
Many of Shakespeare’s plays are so politically subversive they had to be written in code.
It is this code which the Agents of The Shakespeare Code (aided by Trixie the Cat) endeavour to crack.
The Code also argues that Thomas Nashe….
….. collaborated with Shakespeare as his gag-writer.
We know FOR CERTAIN that Nashe collaborated with Ben Jonson….
….and Christopher Marlowe…..
Nashe’s name even appears on the frontispiece of Marlowe’s Dido Queen of Carthage….
So why shouldn’t Nashe have collaborated with William Shakespeare as well?
Nashe died in 1601.
After that Shakespeare wrote no more great comedies..
Martin Green, the eminent Shakespeare scholar, writes,
Everyone who writes about Shakespeare has the need to fill in, in some reasonable way, the great gaps in our knowledge of Shakespeare’s personal and professional life and reasonable surmises filling in the gaps are entitled to consideration so long as they are presented as surmises. But [The Code's] interpretations of various passages in Shakespeare’s plays and poems struck me as being not surmises but, for the most part, extraordinarily acute insights…..I am very, very impressed.
[Martin Green is the author of The Labyrinth of the Sonnets and Wriothesley’s Roses, brilliant books which draw on documents never quoted from before.]
If you are new to The Shakespeare Code, it is best to start with…..
Or you might like to try the three talks the Chief Agent gave at Grosvenor Chapel in Mayfair, London, W.1.: Shakespeare, Love and Religion, Parts One, Two, and Three. They give a chronological overview of the life and work of Shakespeare.