Just in case you were waiting impatiently for the next literary mystery to be solved, I have good news for you: your wait is over. Turns out that the mystery of Shakespeare’s sonnets has been solved. I, for one, am glad. The mystery of Shakespeare’s sonnets solved? Hurrah! I can finally sleep at night.
There’s a new book that explains all of this, a 900-page tome containing the sonnets and critical edition by Hank Whittemore called The Monument: Shake-Speares Sonnets. The apparent mystery? Well, let’s see: Shakespeare was not Shakespeare at all, but was instead Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, who was sitting in on the trial of Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, who was imprisoned in the Tower of London following the failed Essex Rebellion of 1601. Even more exciting than that (really) is the fact that within the 154-sonnet collection, there are 100 sonnets that serve as a poetic record of these events (and, according the book’s website) a “correction of the official record.”
In a news release about the book, the author says that all people who are interested in Shakespeare should check this out because
it’s really bitchin’ it’s “the first coherent explanation of all 154 sonnets ever presented, placing them in the correct historical context and thereby transforming each line according to the poet’s true meaning.”
So there’s that.
I guess it’s nice to know that someone out there is able to tell us what Shakespeare (a.k.a. the Earl of Oxford, or whatever) really meant with all those sonnets, because God forbid anybody pick them up and enjoy them at face value.