Smother'd in Surmise
— Edward de Vere — introduction

so prove it,
That the probation bear no hinge nor loop
To hang a doubt on ...
Othello, Act III, sc III

We shall not therefore demand any external guide to the presence of the secret texts.  We shall only ask whether the solutions are valid: that is to say, whether the plain texts make sense, and the cryptosystem and the specific keys can be, or have been applied without ambiguity.
The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined, William F. and Elizabeth S. Friedman, 1957

Major Hochstetter:
What they're using here is a variation on the old Fessenhoffer Cipher.  Basic vowel substitutes.  A becomes E if followed by P.  When preceded by U, then E becomes B and U becomes P and sometimes Y except after C.  However, what they've done here –
General Burkhalter:
Just read the message.
Major Hochstetter:
The message is: "I am foul.  Lurch let in cragnik."
Hogan's Heroes, The Missing Klink (1969) , script Bill Davenport

The permutations of meanings are clearly numerous.  What they are not is ambiguous.
The De Vere Code, Jonathan Bond, page 80


Jonathan Bond, in his book The De Vere Code, is not a full blooded anti-Stratfordian; he argues that only the collection of sonnets (and two other poems) attributed to William Shakespeare were composed by Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.  He is somewhat ambivalent about the contribution of de Vere to the writing of Shakespeare's plays.

Bond presents data that he has deduced by "decoding" the controversial dedication to Shakespeare's sonnets and by finding clues embedded in Shakespeare's texts.

The difficulty that I have, and I suspect others have also, is in making an objective evaluation of the decoded material.  How do we determine a confidence figure (as we do when evaluating numerical data) for data which have been obtained by a sequence of processes which have been selected from alternatives on the basis that they give the desired outcome?  Likewise, how do we determine a confidence figure for an ever-lengthening paternoster of surmises, assumptions, possibilities, conjecture and spectulation?

The title for the de Vere section of the Drystone site comes from Macbeth Act I Scene III.

My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
Shakes so my single state of man that function
Is smother'd in surmise, and nothing is
But what is not.

Navigate by Site Map Overall site view with pages selectable by mouse click.
Prologue, defining the problem Jonathan Bond has not provided a summary of his book's claims against which the evidence presented there can be gauged.  Here is, in lieu, a fair evaluation.
De Vere or not de Vere? Akin to Hamlet, Jonathan Bond faces a dilemma.
Card games The question is, as if in some crazy card game, do two NEVILLEs beat one WRIOTHESLEY?
Thirteen eleven plus two equals twelve plus one – numerically and anagrammatically
Resolution and more resolution The opening passages of Bond's final two chapters have a touch of "having established that Smith shot Jones, it is now possible to establish how he did that across the English Channel" about them.  Points that seem merely academic to Bond are crucial to substantiating his claims.
Epilogue, a reflection Ultimately we discover (again!) that the only message concealed in the dedication is a message that there is no message.

Names, websites:

My Australian culture would have me refer to Jonathan Bond as Jonathan.  However this tone could be viewed as unwarranted familiarity on my part, particularly considering the thrust of my arguments.  Hence I will use the academic or British style of address – Bond.

Web based material by Bond is available – (discontinued?).

Abbreviations and Notation:
JBnn — page nn of Jonathan Bond, The De Vere Code, 2009.
BJnn — page nn of Brenda James, Henry Neville and the Shakespeare Code, 2008.
LGnn — page nn of Bruce Leyland, James Goding, Decryptions of Shakespeare's Prefaces, 02/01/2009.
JBnn — page nn of Jonathan Bond, The De Vere Code, 2009.
DSnn — Drystone internal reference.
ACBI — Jonathan Bond's interview on
BJWS — Brenda James' web site
COD — Concise Oxford Dictionary, 6th ed.
BDPF — Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Centenary ed.
HCS — The Harvard Concordance to Shakespeare, 1969-70.
Mal Haysom    initial posting 22/06/2011     last update November 6, 2015