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What a guy

“William Shakespeare evaded tax and illegally stockpiled food during times of shortage so he could sell it at high prices, academics have claimed“.

24 comments to What a guy

  • Steven

    His profits – minus a few fines for illegal hoarding and tax evasion – meant he had a working life of just 24 years.”

    Yes, but he only lived to be 52 and there is the missing decade we know nothing about. It isn’t like Will retired at 50 and died at 90.

  • John Blake

    There was no “missing decade” because Edward de Vere died in 1604, about a year after completing “The Tempest” (his last work). His use of “Shakespeare” as a nom de plume was a well-known, even commonly acknowledged Elizabethan pun, using an illiterate Stratford wool-factor’s name because Athena the Spear-shaker was Earls of Oxford immemorial symbol.

    While inverse snobbery plus reluctance to admit falling for de Vere’s necessary but painfully transparent hoax may explain academics’ four centuries of ducking-and-hedging on this issue, graphic and textual analyses of original Folger manuscripts render this verdict irrefutable.

    In commissioning de Vere to commemorate her Plantagenet ancestors in absence of an heir, Elizabeth I found her grandfather Henry VII curiously absent. But this avaricious gangster had pillaged the de Vere estates, while Oxford viewed Henry VIII in only slightly better light. Any commoner performing “Merry Wives” would have been subject to evisceration on the spot, but for all his insider revelations de Vere as a great noble was immune.

  • Sean

    Interesting. So, not only is he the greatest writer in the English language by far – he was also an evil capitalist/tory/republican? Must suck to be a loser academic huh?

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Top man. And he could write a bit as well.

  • Paul Marks

    Thales (the first philospher) also engaged in “speculation”.

    And Edmund Burke worked for the repealing of all statutes against “forstalling” and “engrossing”.

    Those who complain about “speculation” in commodities are (at best) ignorant. The “speculator” does not create risk – he (or she) carries risk from others (such as farmers).

    By the way this is totally different from the deeds of Joeseph and ruler or Egypt.

    They used FORCE to take the crops of farmers without payment (the farmers could have stored their own crops) and then, when the bad years came, the government demanded first the livestock and then the land of the farmers in return for the food (the food the government had stolen).

    Yet private “speculators” (who pay for what they store) are held to be evil – and government robbers have been praised for thousands of years (and are still praised – Joesph and the long slieved coat (or coat of many colours, stage plays and so on).

    I find the attitude hard to understand.

  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray

    I wonder if there can be any person from those times whom we are certain to have existed? Did Shakespeare exist? Did he, if he existed, write any, some, or all of those works attributed to him? Were some of them ghost-written by Christopher Marlowe? Can anyone stop me from putting a question-mark at the end of each sentence???

  • RAB

    It seems not Nick.. brackets.. mushroom cloud!

    Yes Shakepeare existed and he was a bit of a Shylock too. He only left his second best Bed to his wife (beds were a big deal in the Elizabethan age).

    Why cannot you accept that Shakespeare was a mere Grammar school kiddie like me, who could write up a storm, John Blake? Why does he have to have been an aristocrat? Aristocrats had little or no formal education back then, apart from home tutoring. Shakespeare was the Bennett or Ayckbourn of his age. He put bums on seats, and continues to do so.

  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray

    His wife was Anne Hathaway, wasn’t it? Maybe we should interview her (she’s now in hollywood) to find out if he was a good man not averse to poetry, or did he just hath a way with the ladies?

  • I always did like WS… and now I like him even more.

  • Steven

    Why cannot you accept that Shakespeare was a mere Grammar school kiddie like me, who could write up a storm, John Blake? Why does he have to have been an aristocrat? Aristocrats had little or no formal education back then, apart from home tutoring. Shakespeare was the Bennett or Ayckbourn of his age. He put bums on seats, and continues to do so.

    And lest we forget, Shakespeare’s contemporaries had things to say about poor ol’ Will. Ben Jonson criticized Shakespeare for using too little Latin and even less Greek (a not so subtle dig at Shakespeare’s less than complete education?), Jonson still mourned Will’s passing and went so far as to edit the First Folio. What I know of men like Jonson and John Webster does not lend to the idea that given the egos involved any of them would have heaped praise on anyone who did not deserve it (or who was not a rich patron footing the bill).

    For those of you in the states, every year the American Shakespeare Center has an annual tour where they perform two Shakespeare plays and one of his contemporaries. Last year they did John Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore alongside The Winter’s Tale and something else. This year it was Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi and Will’s Twelfth Night and Love’s Labour’s Lost. Of course, if you’re ever in Staunton, Virginia, you can just see them at their playhouse. I wish that the likes of Jonson and Marlowe and Middleton and Tourner were given more exposure, but that’s just how it goes.

  • Roue le Jour

    Was he stockpiling Bacon?

  • Michael Jennings (London)

    is there a Shakespearean equivalent of Godwin’s Law that states that the moment someone mentions the Earl of Oxford, the conversation is over? I’m impressed that we got there after only two comments.

    I vote for Christopher Marlowe, personally. That many of the plays were written after he was dead, I don’t really mind. If L Ron Hubbard could become a better writer after he died, so could Marlowe.

  • Steven

    Was he stockpiling Bacon?

    Well played.

  • Sigivald

    “Who wrote the works of Shakespeare?”


  • Ignacio-Wenley Palacios

    My kind of guy. Definitely:

    “I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness.
    I never gave you kingdom, call’d you children,
    You owe me no subscription. Then let fall
    Your horrible pleasure. Here I stand your slave,
    A poor, infirm, weak, and despis’d old man.
    But yet I call you servile ministers,”

    King Lear
    Act III, Scene II

  • Richard Thomas

    And in tenuously related news, bitcoin hit $100 yesterday and touched $116 today. Alongside food & ammunition, a reliable store of value is needed. Gold & silver and other precious items have been this previously. Basically, anything but fiat at this point.

  • RAB

    Yes, a Cover Drive off the sweet spot from Roue there.

    But our better writers were all canny coves, wern’t they? Pepys buried his wine and Parmesan cheese in the garden as the Fire of London encroached on his home. Personally, and as someone who loves cheese of all descriptions, I have always found Parmesan to be vastly overated. But it was, and still is, bloody expensive.

  • Paul Marks

    I do not understand Bitcoin – that does not mean that it is not a good thing (there are a vast number of things in the universe that I do not understand), but it is not for me (only deal in stuff you understand).

    Also Putin’s boy Max Keiser is now backing it – just as is backing claims that electricity would be “too cheap to meter” if it were not to the plots of the “military industrial complex”

    The thing about Keiser (and co) is that sometimes he is telling the truth and sometimes he, and his guests, lie.

    I am too old and too tired to spend lots of time working out when a liar is telling the truth.

  • only deal in stuff you understand

    Indeed, Paul – if only more people, well, understood that. Of course most people don’t really understand conventional (fiat) money either – but they are also coerced into dealing in it, so there we go.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes indeed.

  • Laird

    If I only dealt in thing I understood I’d never learn anything new. The best way to learn is to get your fingers burned occasionally.

  • Laird, there is no such thing as perfect understanding. I think that what Paul had in mind (and what I had in mind) were matters in which we have very little understanding or even none whatsoever. This is certainly the case with bitcoin for great many people. Rather more surprisingly and worryingly, this is also the case with conventional money – although I’m sure for far less people than it is with bitcoin.

  • Richard Thomas

    Possibly the most important thing to know about Bitcoin is that the presses stop at 21 million. After that, no more. The rest depends on how you feel about deflation and whether you believe about it what the people who would like to steal your wealth through inflation will tell you about it.

    There’s a whole bunch of other stuff about security and easy transferability and pseudonimity but the above, I feel, is definitely one of the main planks that will work to its success.

  • Richard, a question that occurred to me today: one of the arguments for gold is that its “intrinsic” value (please note the quotes:-O) is not likely to ever go to zero. My question is (to you or others who may have a clue), is this the case with bitcoin? From the little that I can tell, the answer seems to be ‘no’.