i.e. a solution that "merges" the arguments of those who think that Christopher Marlowe wrote Shakespeare and those who think that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford wrote Shakespeare?
We have derived a theory that might possibly mesh many pieces of the available evidence into one picture, though of course, raising new issues.
We think that one could argue that the literary works that are assigned to the great "bard" William Shakespeare were actually written by the physical person of Christopher Marlowe.
Marlowe's death could have been faked, as many have previously argued, to save his talented life from being extinguished for his youthful heretical views, but he then would have had to be "removed" from the scene and must have had an alias PRIOR to the publication of the works of William Shakespeare. That is the key issue. A resurrected Marlowe must have had one (or more) new -- discoverable -- alias names.
He could arguably have been sent into exile in Italy in the service of the Queen and nobility, who supported him, viz. who wanted to exploit his talents to their advantage. In Italy he would have acquired first-hand experience about that country, knowledge so well demonstrated in Shakespearean plays. The same applies to the "low countries" and knowledge of Denmark for "Hamlet".
Upon his return to England, he could have lived incognito under the patronage of Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, under various aliases, in our theory, chiefly Anthony Munday. There are problems with dates of birth here for Marlowe and Munday, but Munday's year of birth is unknown and much chronological data about Marlowe is suspect. Theoretically, both could be merged and be correlated with the birth of Shakespeare.
Anthony Munday could in our opinion be an alias derived to one-half from Maundy Thursday, arguably the date to be ascribed to the birth viz. baptism of William Shakespeare, but likely also the date of birth viz. baptism of Munday. A chance confluence of birthdays? We do not think so.
The other half of the alias could be derived from St. Anthony of Padua, the Patron Saint of Lost and Stolen Articles, not unfittingly chosen, if it were an alias for a "lost, exiled" soul in Italy. Recall that Marlowe was a brilliant, consummate intellectual, who loved such word plays.
Shakespeare's first play, The Taming of the Shrew, in fact takes place in Padua, Italy at a time estimated as 1589 or the early 1590's, when Marlowe is alleged to have passed away under hard-to-believe circumstances, and its plot is significant when we consider our theory about the relationship of Marlowe as writer and De Vere as patron, quoting the Wikipedia:
"The Taming of the Shrew is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1592. The play begins with a framing device, often referred to as the induction, in which a mischievous nobleman tricks a drunken tinker named Christopher Sly into believing he is actually a nobleman himself." [emphasis added]That mischievous nobleman could have been drawn on the figure of Edward De Vere, the Earl of Oxford, as Marlowe's benefactor, and the "sly" Christopher Sly could have been modeled on the resurrected Christopher Marlowe.
The British Library writes about the origin of The Taming of the Shrew:
"The Taming of the Shrew has been dated as early as 1589, which would make it not only Shakespeare’s first comedy but also his first play. The available evidence supports a very early date for the play’s creation, and 1590-1591 is often suggested. The Taming of the Shrew must be dated in relation to the anonymous play The Taming of A Shrew, entered on the Stationers’ Register in 1594 and printed the same year.As for the "resurrection" of Marlowe as Munday, it may be significant as a matter of the preponderance of the circumstantial evidence, that Munday, when he was briefly an actor on stage, played the part of the "ghost" in Hamlet. It is quite possible that it WAS literally his own "role" that he was playing.
The 1594 edition of The Taming of A Shrew is now generally thought of as a 'bad' quarto of Shakespeare’s play. It appears to be a memorial reconstruction by actors of The Taming of the Shrew, with assistance from an unknown writer, and was probably written in 1592. Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew quotes from Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy, for which the earliest recorded performance is in 1592, although Kyd’s play was probably written between 1587 and 1590." [emphasis added]
When later in London after his sojourn in Italy, Munday published some materials under the strange alias of Lazarus Pyot, a perhaps telling choice of alias name, surely based on the Biblical Lazarus, i.e. Lazarus of Bethany, who in the Gospel of John finds himself being raised from the dead by Jesus.
All of the above would fit a theory that Munday was Marlowe, resurrected and incognito.
It is furthermore likely that Munday then published other written works not only under his main alias, but also under various other aliases. He may have done so in order not to have his materials seen as being under one authorship, thereby avoiding literary suspicion about his true identity.
Indeed, the first appearance of the name "William Shakespeare" as an author suggests exactly that conclusion, as we discussed in the previous posting, as the play Sir John Oldcastle was originally published in the year 1599 under authorship attributed in a diary by Philip Henslowe to Anthony Munday, Michael Drayton, Richard Hathaway and Robert Wilson. Of course, true collaboration can also not be excluded, if it can be proven that these were real people.
The exact same play then surfaces in a "first edition" in the subsequent year 1600 and is suddenly and strangely attributed on the title page to a certain "William Shakespeare" (STC 18796). This is "the Bard's" first officially published appearance on the English literary scene by name, for a play published one year earlier and attributed to FOUR authors, none named Shakespeare.
Had Anthony Munday and his patron Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, decided to put the authorship of Munday's plays (and collaborators, if there were such, which is possible) as performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men, under the name William Shakespeare?
Shakespeare was a well-liked Lord Chamberlain's Men member and stage player from Stratford upon Avon, who likely had left Stratford to avoid criminal charges for stealing, and who in London at one time was the lodger of a man named Christopher Mountjoy. See Charles Nicholl, The Lodger Shakespeare at the New York Times, a name that appears, however, only coincidentally similar to Christopher Marlowe's first name and Munday's last name.... but one must check all options in order not to overlook something.
It was, after all, Anthony Munday who ultimately in 1605 became the honored "pageant writer" of the City of London, an honor which would have been fitting for "the real Bard".
It was Munday who once stated that he ALSO worked on dramatic plays as an aside, in his spare time....
As written at the Wikipedia about Anthony Munday (we have added one link here, to English Romayne Lyfe (1582), but omitted Wikipedia's own links, so please go to the Wikipedia to see those):
"Anthony Munday (or Monday)(1560? – 10 August 1633) was an English playwright and miscellaneous writer. He was ... the son of Christopher Munday, a stationer, and Jane Munday. The chief interest in Munday for the modern reader lies in his work as one of the chief predecessors [sic, perhaps not a "predecessor" but he personally] of Shakespeare in English dramatic composition, as well as his writings on Robin Hood....After all, a writer with Shakespeare's talent would not just have written dramas and comedies, and Munday's literary exploits would fit the bill of expectations that one would have for a man with the writing gifts of "the Bard", who, in our view, can ONLY have been Christopher Marlowe himself, living as a "ghost" in a Lazarus-type resurrected incognito identity.
By 1578 he was in Rome. In the opening lines of his English Romayne Lyfe (1582) he states that he went abroad solely in order to see strange countries and to learn foreign languages; but he may have been a spy sent to report on the Jesuit English College in Rome or a journalist intent on making literary capital out of the designs of the English Catholics then living in France and Italy. He writes that he and his companion, Thomas Nowell, were robbed of all their possessions on the road from Boulogne to Amiens, where they were helped by an English priest who entrusted them with letters to be delivered in Reims. These they handed over to the English ambassador in Paris. Under a false name, as the son of a well-known English Catholic, Munday gained recommendations which secured his reception at the English College in Rome. He was treated with special kindness by the rector, Dr Morris, for the sake of his supposed father. He gives a detailed account of the routine of the place, of the dispute between the English and Welsh students, of the carnival at Rome, and finally of the martyrdom of Richard Atkins....
His political services against the Catholics were rewarded in 1584 by the post of messenger to her Majesty's chamber, and from this time he seems to have given up acting. In 1598-1599, when he travelled with the Earl of Pembroke's men in the Low Countries, it was in the capacity of playwright to rewrite old plays [which many of Shakespeare's plays are, i.e. "rewrites"]. He devoted 'himself to writing for the booksellers and the theatres, compiling religious works, translating Amadis de Gaule and other French romances, and putting words to popular airs. [emphasis added]
He was the chief pageant-writer for the City [of London] from 1605. These works included London's Love to Prince Henry (1610), his publication describing the city's pageant on the Thames for the investiture of Prince Henry as Prince of Wales in May 1610. One of the more gorgeous Lord Mayor's shows was that of 1616, which was devised by Munday....
At what date he acquired the title of "poet to the city" is not known.... [so why that title to Munday and not to Shakespeare, lest they be one and the same?]
Munday was a very prolific author in verse and prose, original and translated, and may be counted among the predecessors [sic, it was likely he himself, not a predecessor] of Shakespeare in dramatic composition. One of his earliest works was The Mirror of Mutability, from 1579: he dedicated it to his long-time patron Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, and perhaps then belonged to the Earl's company of players, to which he had again attached himself on his return from Italy. Munday's Banquet of Dainty Conceits was printed in 1588.
Nearly all the existing information respecting Anthony Munday's dramatic works is derived from Philip Henslowe's papers. At what period he began to write for the stage cannot be ascertained: the earliest date in these manuscripts connected with his name is December 1597; but he may have been a member of the Earl of Oxford's theatrical company before he went to Rome prior to 1578. In the old catalogues, and in Gerard Langbaine's Momus Triumphans, 1688, a piece called Fidele and Fortunatus is mentioned, and such a play was entered at Stationers' Hall on 12 November 1584. There is little doubt that this is the same production, two copies of which have been discovered, with the running title of Two Italian Gentlemen, that being the second title to Fidele and Fortunatus in the Register. Both copies are without title-pages; but to one of them is prefixed a dedication signed A.M., and we may with tolerable certainty conclude that Anthony Munday was the author or translator of it, and that it was printed about the date of its entry on the Stationers' Books.
Munday wrote two plays on the life of Robin Hood, The Downfall and The Death of Robert Earl of Huntington. first mentioned in the records in 1597-8 and published in 1601."