EVERY WORD DOTH ALMOST TELL MY NAME
THE laudatory preambles in this book hardly prepare readers for the shocking revelations it contains.
This seemingly innocent little tome is in fact a literary hand- grenade.
The Hobart author, like the subject he has chosen is bit of a mystery.
Geologist and apparent Shakespearean scholar P. D. McIntosh immerses himself in the extremely wellworn and mostly spurious debate about the authorship of the works of the most famous literary figure in history.
McIntosh points out, and most would agree, that Shakespeare, the man, is indeed an enigma. The absence of diaries, letters, invitations or other personal memorabilia about him have long fuelled the speculation of historians and others. Who was the real Shakespeare? Only his monumental works remain. They speak for themselves.
Admittedly, even as a schoolboy, I wondered incredulously, at a time in history when travel and communication were crude and limited, where the son of a poor merchant could acquire such background knowledge for his works.
McIntosh believes answers can be found partly within Shakespeare’s 150plus sonnets. With forensically detailed analysis he examines more than 140 of these and concludes that there is a strong possibility that they have been written by no less than the monarch at the time Queen Elizabeth I.
The timing and the circumstance are right. Most of the sonnets, McIntosh suggests, reflect Elizabeth’s romantic trysts with her court favourite Lord Essex. Apparently, Elizabeth was unwilling or unable to publish them herself and by some devious arrangement they found their way into the hands of Shakespeare.
Admittedly, the Queen was an eminently qualified scholar. She was multilingual and a highly skilled communicator. Also, the intense depth of feeling expressed in the sonnets has made them legendary pieces of romantic literature.
One would assume they could only be a consequence of very real and deeply held feelings. The depth of research and analysis here is quite phenomenal. The logic within is selectively compelling, But is it the truth? Readers will draw their own conclusions.