|Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel?
|By the mass, and 'tis like a camel, indeed.
|Methinks it is like a weasel.
|It is backed like a weasel.
|Or like a whale?
|Very like a whale.
Brenda James in her book, Henry Neville and the Shakespeare Code, argues that the works attributed to William Shakespeare are in fact the
works of Henry Neville, a contemporary of Shakespeare well known as a traveller, an English ambassador and for being associated with the Earl of
Essex's uprising. Neville's part in the uprising resulted in his internment in the Tower of London for 2 years.
James provides a considerable quantity of material to support her hypothesis. She includes data that she has deduced by "decoding" the
controversial dedication to Shakespeare's sonnets and by finding hidden clues in Shakespeare's texts.
Her decoding research is supplemented by the work of James Goding and Bruce Leyland.
The difficulty that I have, and I suspect others have also, is in making an objective evaluation of the decoded material. What is
"little doubt" or unmistakable (BJ113) to one person may be mere speculation or coincidence to another. 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 are admitted to be hunches
and seemingly selected from a myriad of alternatives on the basis that they give the desired outcome?
The title for the Neville section of the Drystone site comes from the Bob Dylan song – It's All Over Now, Baby Blue.
The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense
Take what you have gathered from coincidence
If you should have any interest in this topic (and I can understand even a Shakespeare devotee saying, with a shrug, "who cares?") perhaps start with the page, decoding from grids.
My Australian culture would have me refer to Brenda James, James Goding and Bruce Leyland as Brenda, James and Bruce (respectively ;-). However this tone could be viewed as totally unwarranted familiarity on my part, particularly considering the thrust of my arguments. Hence I will use the academic or British style of address – James, Goding, Leyland.
Web based material by James, Goding and Leyland is available – James (discontinued?) – Goding and Leyland.
Abbreviations and Notation:
BJnn — page nn of Brenda James, Henry Neville and the Shakespeare Code
LGnn — page nn of Bruce Leyland, James Goding, Decryptions of Shakespeare's Prefaces
BJWS — Brenda James' web site
JBnn — page nn of Jonathan Bond, The De Vere Code
COD — Concise Oxford Dictionary
, 6th ed.
BDPF — Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
, Centenary ed.
HCS — The Harvard Concordance to Shakespeare