The Lame Storyteller, Poor and Despised
Studies in Shakespeare
By Peter R. Moore
(Germany: Verlag Uwe Laugwitz, Nov. 2009)
$12.95 plus $2.95 for shipping and handling in the US
If you are interested in the Shakespeare authorship question, regardless of your opinion of it, this is an extremely valuable posthumous collection of essays. For me, the most important is the essay on the dating of the plays, which meticulously shows where and how the traditional dating of the plays--to fit between 1590 and 1616--is certainly wrong. The main (and best) chronologist which Peter Moore looks at is Sir E.K. Chambers, showing how Chambers' premise (that the dates needed to fit that time frame in order to be consistent with the biographical Shakespeare) distorts his treatment of any (and some obvious evidence) that the plays began in the mid-1580s and probably ended by about 1604. But there are many fascinating essays in the book that should give pause to the accepted wisdom that Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the plays.
--Alan Venable, author of Hurry the Crossing and The Checker Players
Peter Moore's work deserves to find its way onto library shelves as well as into the hands of sympathetic readers.
--Brief Chronicles, Vol. 2, 2010
This book should form an essential part of every Oxfordian's library: many of its conclusions force orthodox opinions into logically impossible distortions
Richard Malim, TheDeVere Society Newsletter, 2010
I urge everyone who cares about the Shakespeare Authorship Question to get The Lame Storyteller. Get it, read it and talk about it. Whether your interest is to acquire a deeper understanding of some of the more knotty issues or to argue effectively... Peter Moore is your man, for no one has ever put the argument more succinctly.
--Stephanie Hughes, The Politic Worm, 2011
eter Moore established himself as a scholar of the Renaissance in England by contributing articles to six peer reviewed journals in Europe and the United States for a fourteen year period, from 1993 to 2006. The journals are The English Historical Review and Notes and Queries (Britain), Neophilologus and English Studies (Holland), Cahiers Élisabéthains (France) and The Elizabethan Review (United States).
I edited and published four of the pieces which appear in this collection in The Elizabethan Review, and found Peter’s incisive thinking, tenacious research and lucid prose a revelation. In fact, he was that most rare of Shakespeare scholars—a literary historian, and each article printed here reflects the benefits of that inter-disciplinary background.
Of particular interest to Shakespeare aficianados is this analysis of the results of the Claremont McKenna College project on who wrote Shakespeare, led by Professors Ward Elliott (political science) and Robert Valenza (mathematics). Over a three-year period, they conducted "internal evidence stylometric tests" that evaluated the claims of 58 candidates to the authorship of the Shakespeare canon. In this paper from The Lame Storyteller, Peter Moore examines the College's methodology and results.
Claremont McKenna College's Shakespeare Clinic: Who Really Wrote Shakespeare?
Born February 28, 1949 in Bern, Switzerland, where his father was serving as the US military attaché, Peter’s career as an independent scholar was dissimilar from the typical Shakespeare scholar in profound ways: he was a professional military officer, graduating the University of Maryland with a degree in engineering and achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. He also graduated from the University of Maryland with a masters degree in economics, served as a legistative aide to US Senator John East of North Carolina, then became an official at the Georgia Department of Education. He ended his career by serving as a director at a national non-profit organization in Washington, DC dedicated to working with troubled teenagers. On November 29, 2007, he died in Virginia at the age of 57 from cancer.
What spurred Peter to become a Shakespeare scholar was reading Charlton Ogburn Jr’s The Mysterious William Shakespeare in the late 1980s, which persuaded him of the case for Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford as William Shakespeare. More to the point, Peter considered the authorship question the pre-eminent issue in the Humanities.
As a result, Peter embarked on an eight-year investigation into the Oxfordian case that generated 18 papers which appeared in The Shakespeare Oxford Society Newsletter and The Elizabethan Review. After finishing his book on the Sonnets, Peter was faced with rejections from publishers who insisted his lack of academic credentials prevented them from printing his discoveries. (The core of that book is presented here in four articles.) At that point, Peter decided to earn his research bona fides by gaining acceptance in European academic journals. In a dozen years, he published 11 notes, articles and monographs on William Shakespeare, Andrew Marvell, and historical figures of the Tudor period, such as the Earl of Surrey and Sir Walter Ralegh, in five journals.
The first section of this book focuses on Shakespeare's plays and sonnets without regard to authorship. The second section focuses on the case for Oxford as Shakespeare. The intellectual work Peter was inspired to perform because of the authorship question informs all of his writing in the field.
Why publish the papers of a man who was neither formally trained in Shakespeare studies nor an experienced instructor of Shakespeare—the marvelous results of his research.
1. Identifying Shakespeare’s Rival Poet in the Sonnets as Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex; confnirming the case for Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, as the friend to whom the first 126 sonnets were addressed; showing that Sonnet subseries 1 to 126 as well as 127 to 152 (the Dark Lady sonnets), are both in their proper order, though the latter was penned before the midpoint of the first subseries; and demonstrating that Sonnets 78 to 100 can be dated to events in the life of the Earl of Southampton between his return from the Azores voyage in late 1597 and his departure for Ireland in early 1599.
2. Presenting a revised chronology of the complete plays of William Shakespeare by moving their initial date of composition back five years and the terminus date back eight years from Sir E.K. Chambers’ chronology of 1590 to 1613—to a new framework spanning the years 1585 to 1604.
3. Identifying many of the literary and biblical sources of Hamlet’s soliloquies—the Earl of Surrey’s “Psalm 8,” Piers Plowman, etc.—while revealing how Shakespeare sets religious logic against human emotion throughout the play to establish the inner dynamic of Hamlet.
4. Identifying the sources and explicating the debate between Christian and pagan philosophies that undergirds King Lear, showing how pagan values may be rendered into Christian terms and vice versa through the mediation of nature.
5. Demonstrating how Shakespeare employed the concepts of time and Epicureanism in devising the dramatic action of Macbeth.
6. Offering a theory of Shakespeare’s motivation for the composition of The Two Noble Kinsmen—and why he failed to finish it.
7. Identifying Elizabethan playwright Thomas Dekker—rather than William Shakespeare—as the object of Ben Jonson’s ire in the poem, “On Poet Ape.”
The Lame Storyteller, Poor and Despised
Part One: New Shakespearean Vistas
The Rival Poet of Shakespeare’s Sonnets
Dating Shakespeare’s Sonnets 78 to 100
Every Word Doth Almost Tell My Name
The Order of Shakespeare’s Sonnets
Hamlet and the Two Witness Rule
Ophelia’s False Steward
Hamlet and Surrey’s “Psalm 8”
Hamlet and Piers Plowman: A Matter of Conscience
The Nature of King Lear
Macbeth, Time and Epicureanism
Shakespeare’s Iago and Santiago Matamoros
A Biblical Echo in Romeo and Juliet
Kill, Kill, Kill
Part Two: An Oxfordian Foundation
The Abysm of Time: the Chronology of Shakespeare’s Plays
Ben Jonson’s “On Poet Ape”
A Theory on The Two Noble Kinsmen
The Demolition of Shakspere’s Signatures
Experts Prove Shakespeare Had a University Education
Masked Adonis and Stained Purple Robes
George Chapman’s Neglected Praise of the 17th Earl of Oxford
The Lame Storyteller, Poor and Despised
Suffolk’s Head and Royal Behavior
The Fable of the World, Twice Told
The Earl of Oxford and the Order of the Garter
Oxford in Venice: New Light on an Old Question
Claremont McKenna College’s Shakespeare Clinic: Who Really Wrote Shakespeare?
Demonography 101: Alan Nelon’s Monstrous Adversary
The Stella Cover-Up
Developments in the Case for Oxford as Shakespeare
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