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Jack Graham

Jack Graham writes and podcasts about culture and politics from a Gothic Marxist-Humanist perspective. He co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper. Support Jack on Patreon.


  1. Jarl
    July 14, 2018 @ 11:28 am

    Kyle Kallgren did a great video essay on this topic for one of his Shakespeare months and covered a lot of similar ground, very informative.

    That said, the idea of a Forrest Gump-esque comedy about a bumbling fraud being set up to play the role of Shakespeare is incredibly, intensely enjoyable. I would totally watch that movie.


  2. prandeamus
    July 14, 2018 @ 12:12 pm

    I found Bryson’s book very amusing, as his work usually is. He makes a very common sense point that that the we know very little about most average people in the the Tudor/Stuart period. The only reason we have the six signatures and a cross-reference to, say, the Mountjoy case, is because of obsessive research. We have equally as many gaps for Greene, Jonson and most of the King’s men. Far fewer modern writers feel the need to make Jonson a subject of conspiracy theories. Marlowe comes close, but let’s be honest, fewer people know who he was.

    I find it fascinating that the true authorship question even exists. One guy, about whom we know frustratingly little except a body of plays and poetry, “obviously” couldn’t be the author. It must have been some other guy about whom we know very little. Except, usually, that the other guy was posh. The fact that anyone cares enough to make a case at all is snobbery writ large, a belief that a middle-class bloke of average means from a Midlands market town obviously could not be a poetic talent.

    (I claim no special knowledge in this area.)


  3. Ben Knaak
    July 14, 2018 @ 11:37 pm

    The amusing thing about anti-Stratfordians compared to most other flavors of truther is that they invert the usual dynamic of the popular conspiracy theory. Usually it’s the Man (the Jews, if it’s a right wing conspiracy theory) who are pulling the wool over our eyes, trying to keep us down by hiding the truth. But for anti-Stratfordians, the Man is (for the first and only time in all of history) being unfairly denied credit for something by a commoner. We are the ones keeping the Man down. (Or, in the versions where [Insert Favored Author Here] is himself responsible for the deception, the Man did a jolly good job of tricking us plebs and we should all applaud his noble and modest act).

    Of course, that doesn’t make for a very good underdog story, so there’s also a conspiracy of well-heeled academia who willfully refuse to see the truth.


  4. Aylwin
    July 16, 2018 @ 3:33 pm

    My favourite aspect of anti-Strat silliness is the self-collapsing logic of the basic premise: “This lowly yokel had none of the right educational credentials to have written these erudite plays, so therefore someone must have chosen him as a suitable front-man to pretend to have written them!”


    Truth is often stranger than fiction, whereas a con has to be plausible.


  5. Daru
    July 28, 2018 @ 10:37 am

    hadn’t gotten around to listening to your podcast yet, but I will now. One of the things that made me laugh out loud (in shock!) was the fact the film-makers had seen it as necessary to get Derek Jacobi speechifying to us about the ‘reality’ of things – I had until then no idea he was an anti-Stratfordian and it did have the effect of undermining my love for him a bit.


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