Syndic No.3
Syndic Literary Journal

Letters to the Publisher

Letters to the Publisher


Howard Schumann, Vancouver, BC writes:

“Regarding the article by Mr. Cook about Shakespeare’s books. The argument that he left no books is, even if untrue, certainly a very minor part of the case for Edward de Vere. His obvious biographical connection to the plays and poems constitutes a much broader argument.

As far as Heywood is concerned, Heywood’s statement about The Passionate Pilgrim is interesting. Though he never refers to Shakespeare by name, the implication of his reference to the complaint of the author leaves little doubt that he is referring to Shakespeare.

What is unclear, however, is when the objection was raised since there were several editions of the work, the first one as early as 1599. If it can be shown that the objection was raised after 1604 that would indeed be strong evidence that it could not have been Edward de Vere. Not knowing the date, however, leaves it open to speculation whether or not de Vere raised the objection shortly after its first publication, how Heywood learned about this, or even if the objection was something Heywood invented to strengthen his case. We simply do not know.”

Richard Cook responds:

“Mr. Schumann concedes that Shakespeare did indeed leave books to his heirs, as shown by documentation from shortly after Shakespeare’s lifetime. He then states that the books-or-no-books issue is “certainly a very minor part of the case for Edward de Vere” because de Vere’s “obvious biographical connection to the plays and poems constitutes a much broader argument.”

The fact is, there is no biographical connection at all between Edward De Vere and the works of William Shakespeare. Those who want to see a connection between the Works and de Vere’s life are straining to find coincidences in order to prove a pre-determined theory, which lacks actual historical or literary associations with the works of Shakespeare.

This un-historical approach to the historical question is exemplified by Mr. Schumann’s failure to acknowledge that the living poet who was plagiarized in The Passionate Pilgrim was first mentioned by Heywood after de Vere had been six years dead. We know this because we know the date of publication of the edition of The Passionate Pilgrim, which contained purloined poems about which Heywood complained. This was the 1612 edition.
I pointed this out in the article to which Mr. Schumann takes exception, wherein I wrote:

Because the 1599 edition of The Passionate Pilgrim had not contained Heywood’s purloined poetry, that edition gave no occasion for an objection from him. But the 1612 edition, containing two of Heywood’s long poems, prompted his public complaint.

Heywood stated of the poet in whose name the volume had appeared (“W. Shakespeare)” “he, to do himself right, hath since published them in his own name.”[citation in original article] This is a reference to the 1609 publication of two sonnets by Shakespeare, both of which had appeared in the editions of The Passionate Pilgrim. These two sonnets, now numbered 138 and 144, were included in a book registered by publisher Thomas Thorpe under the title, “Booke called Shakespeare’s sonnettes.”[citation in original article]

Mr. Schuman, missing the import of these comments, now writes, “If it can be shown that the objection was raised after 1604 that would indeed be strong evidence that it could not have been Edward de Vere.”

Well, the evidence is beyond dispute that a living poet – William Shakespeare – was referenced by Heywood in 1612, which was eight years after De Vere had died. De Vere being dead, could not have been referred to by Heywood in 1612, as living, and therefore could not be the author. Case closed.”

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Richard Cook, Cockeysville, MD writes:

A word of appreciation for Dick Meister’s timely piece (Syndic 2) on Ernesto Galarza, a curmudgeon, who ought to be remembered for his passion, his sense of injustice and his erudition.

Jim Drake saw me reading Galarza’s book, Spiders in the House and Workers in the Field, and remarked, “counting both of us, there are now two people in the world, who have read that book.”

There were more than two who read Galarza but not many more and certainly not as many as could profit from Galarza, a guy whose times was between the times – too late for the UAW and UMW organizing drives of the 30s and 40s and a little bit too early to appreciate the farm worker organizing of the 60s.

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