AMONG THE MANY revealing circumstances that identify the poet-dramatist
Earl of Oxford as the personality behind the pen-name of "William
Shakespeare" none is more telling than the fact that books which
are intimately associated with Oxford's intellectual development are
clearly traceable in the great plays and poems. There are more than
a dozen such booksamply certified as unquestionable Shakespearean
source materialwhich contemporary records show the Earl owned,
or which were publicly dedicated to him. Many others were written by
his personal friends, relatives or known proteges.
One of these key exhibits which Lord Oxford took a personal hand in
bringing to the attention of Elizabethan readers in the year 1573 is
a small blackletter translation from the Latin which bears the title
of Cardanus Comforte. While Ward's Seventeenth Earl of Oxford
gives an adequate account of the young nobleman's connection with the
launching of the English version of the Comforte, Ward makes
no direct claim for its connection with the Shakespearean creative arcana.
It may surprise certain readers, then, to learn that this work of Renaissance
philosophy has long been recognized by accredited investigators as the
source from which the author of Hamlet drew inspiration for memorable
scenes and striking passages in the playincluding practically
the whole mood and much of the metaphorical treatment of the famous
Hardin Craig, well known Professor of English at Stanford and the University
of North Carolina, has made a careful study of the relationship between
Cardanus Comforte and the creative background of Hamlet.
1 And although he has always
been considered most correctly orthodox in his views on the Shakespeare
authorship problem, Professor Craig is so convinced that the mysterious
Bard's mind was saturated with the philosophy of the Comforte
when he created his greatest play that Craig calls his essay on the
subject "Hamlet's Book."
Of course there is no personal evidence that William of Stratford ever
owned a copy of this stimulating workor any other of the many
books that the real man behind the pen-name knew so intimately. Oxford,
on the other hand, seems to be the only Elizabethan poet and dramatist
of contemporary reputation whose intellectual association with "Hamlet's
Book" is clear-cut and unquestionable.
In point of fact, the Earl not only impelled his friend, Thomas Bedingfield,
to complete the translation of the Comforte into English, but
wrote both prose and versified introductions
to speed its acceptance by Elizabethan readers, found a printer to put
it into type "by commaundement" (as the accompanying typography
of the original title-page shows) and without doubt paid all costs incurred
Yet Professor Craig, by adroit suppression of these interesting facts,
has managed to write his study of Cardanus Comforte's relationship
to Hamlet without giving the slightest hint that Lord Oxford
took any part whatever in introducing so important a work to the intelligensia
of the Shakespearean Age! Perhaps the good Professor was afraid that
if he mentioned Oxford as the prime mover in giving "Hamlet's Book"
to the same public that was later to hear so many of its ideas immortalized
on the stage, he might be accused by his Stratfordian brethren of gratuitously
adding fuel to the flame of the Oxford-Shakespeare heresy that has already
scorched their articles of faith so seriously.
However that may be, Professor Craig has our sincere thanks for drawing
the attention of present day students to the many significant parallels
between Hamlet's ethical reflections and those of the Comforte
which the literary Earl enthusiastically sponsored. Not that Craig is
by any means the first to cite these remarkable parallels. Francis Douce
appears to be entitled to the honors of priority in this respect. More
than a hundred years agoin the 1839 edition of his Illustrations
of ShakespeareDouce pointed out the striking similarities
between passages in the Comforte and Hamlet's soliloquy. He ends his
comments as follows:
"There is a good deal on the subject in Cardanus Comforte,
a book which Shakespeare had certainly read."
Again, in 1845, the Reverend Joseph Hunter's New Illustrations of
Shakespeare verified the findings of Douce regarding the playwright's
indebtedness to the Renaissance philosopher. Hunter sums up the Comforte
with this striking statement (which has the warrant, we gather, of ancient
English Stage tradition):
"It seems to be the book which Shakespeare placed in the hands
A more modern commentator, Dr. Lily B. Campbell of Los Angeles, gifted
author of an illuminating work on Shakespeare's Tragic Heroes (1930),
also stresses the relationship between the youthful Oxford's favorite
work of philosophy and Hamlet's views on life and death. She
"It is easily seen that this book of Cardan has long been associated
with Hamlet. I should like to believe that Hamlet was actually
reading it or pretending to read it as he carried on his baiting of
Thus we have four able Shakespearean scholars of the past and present
in virtual agreement that Oxford's own printing of Cardanus Comforte
is preeminently "Hamlet's Book."
Such a situation may mean nothing at all to professional defenders
of the Stratford myths, who have grown hoarse and irritable in advocating
their surmises at the expense of more realistic documentation. But to
those who have followed development of the Oxford-Shakespeare claims
without prejudice, it will cast another floodlight of corroboration
upon the fact that Oxford's mental reactions and creative idiosyncrasies
are exactly those we should expect to find in the real life author of
Bearing in mind the vital implications of this promise, let us now
consider in a little more detail the book known as Cardanus Comforte,
together with the playwright Earl's interest in subject matter, and
some of the significant passages that connect this work with thoughts
and situations so masterfully developed by the spokesman of the English
Written in Latinthen the international language of European scholarshipby
Girolamo Castellione Cardano of Milan, the book was first published
at Venice in 1542 by Girolamo Scoto, one of the famous printers of the
period. The Latin title of the 264 page volume is De Consolatione,
and the title-page bears Cardan's personal motto, Fiat Pax in virtute
tua (Let Peace come of your virtue).
Jerome Cardan, as he is now designated by English writers, was one
of the most learned and at the same time refreshingly human of the creative
minds that gave verbal expression to the Revival of Learning. The illegitimate
son of Facio Cardano, an eminent jurist of Pavia, Cardan was born in
1501 and died in 1576. He was well educated by his father and encouraged
to seek knowledge in various fields, with the result that during his
lifetime he won considerable renown as physician and astrologerthe
two callings being then closely allied. His more enduring talents as
mathematician, philosopher, autobiographer and poet are such that he
would undoubtedly be better known to modern readers were it not that
so few of his writings have been translated from the original Latin.
Cardan's autobiography, De Vita Propria Liber (The Book of
My Life), which was not available in modern English until 1930 when
Jean Stoner's edition was published by E. P. Dutton & Co., gives
a much truer and more understandable account of an intelligent man's
life during the Italian Renaissance than the sensational braggadocio
of Benvenuto Cellini. Several of Cardan's treatises on the workings
of the human mind under abnormal stress would also still be of interest,
we are told, to modern students of psychology and psychiatry.
Much trouble dogged the footsteps of the scientifically inclined philosopher
throughout his career. He intimates that he wrote his Consolatione
(Comforte) for the purpose of rationalizing some of the many
bitter disappointments he had already experienced, and by way of personal
fortification in meeting future griefs and inhibitions.
"This work," he says, "was at first called The Book
of the Accuser, because it contended against the vain passions and
false persuasions of mankind: afterwards it was changed to Consolation,
because it appeared that there were a far greater number of unfortunate
men needing consolation, than of fortunate ones in need of blame."
The human sympathy which Cardan expresses in this one passage is typical
of his general out look. By the same token, it is also typical of Shakespeare
who rarely fails to give even his deepest-dyed villains opportunity
to air their grievances against fate. Comfort, consolation
and their derivatives are words for which the Bard displays a significant
partiality. They are used over and over again, in the same sense that
the Cardan translation employs them for a grand total of 237 times.
Of the thirty-seven plays now attributed to Shakespeare, every one yields
multiple examples. Comfort may be said, in fact, to be one of
those words that "almost tell (the) name" of the man who composed
Shakespeare's Sonnet 76an eventuality that he views as undesirable.
In four of these autobiographical poems, the "fair, kind and true"
young man who bears "name of single one" with the poet is
described as the latter's predominating comfort.
Cardan's philosophy of consolation which made such a deep impression
upon Shakespeare owes, in turn, a joint debt to Socrates. Plato, Catullus
and Marcus Aurelius, but is shot through with the lively and realistic
questioning of an active participant in the Revival of Learning. Wisdom
and Wit go forward hand in hand. Neither does Cardan scorn to pause
by the broad highway every now and then to chant a snatch of poetry
appropriate to some phase of his commentary on the human journey.
It is a pity that no cheap reprint of this quaintly informative chronicle
of "the intimate wisdom of things," as H. G. Wells defines
philosophy, is not now available to general readers. For aside from
its technical interest as basic Shakespearean source material, the book
should delight anyone interested in studying a Renaissance mind in the
making. As it is, the Bedingfield translation which Oxford put to press
exists only in the few extant copies of the editions of 1573 and 1576.
These are classed among the rarer Elizabethan items and cannot be consulted
at first hand in this country except at such libraries as those of Yale
and Harvard Universities, the Huntington in California and the Folger
and the Library of Congress in Washington. Hardy souls, willing to risk
eyestrain, can, however, view microfilm reproductions of the original
blackletter Comforte at the New York Public Library and some
of the other larger libraries. To alleviate the general inconvenience,
perhaps some one of the American publishers who have expressed interest
in the Oxford-Shakespeare case of late may see his way to the issuance
of a new edition of this unique work. Printed in clear type with spellings
modernized to match current versions of the Shakespeare plays, the undertaking
could be made to pay for itself and would also serve the cause of good
The letter addressed to the Earl of Oxford by Thomas Bedingfield, translator
of Cardan's De Consolatione, which is printed at the beginning
of the Comforte, is dated "From my lodging this first of
January, 1571." This probably means in reality 1572, for the legal
year then began on Lady Day, March 25th, although January 1st (curiously
enough) was called "New Year's Day." And it was the custom
for friends to exchange personal gifts at that time as is now the more
general practice at Christmas.
In any event, Edward de Vere was still on the threshold of manhood
when Bedingfield sent him the manuscript and covering letter which begins:
My good Lord, I can give nothing more agreeable to your mind and
fortune than the willing performance of such service as it shall please
you to command me unto. And therefore rather to obey than to boast
of my cunning, and as a new sign of mine old devotion, I do present
the book your Lordship so long desired . . .
It thus becomes apparent that this work which is so definitely associated
by scholars with the Shakespeare creative background was Bedingfield's
New Year's gift to his aristocratic friend and fellow student.
Sure I am (the letter goes on) it would have better beseemed me to
have taken this travail in some discourse of arms (being your Lordship's
chief profession and mine also) than in philosopher's skill to have
thus busied myself: yet sith your pleasure was such, and your knowledge
in either great, I do (as I will ever) most willingly obey you.
It speaks well for the character and mental proclivities of the young
Earl of Oxford that he had encouraged or "commanded" Bedingfield
to the accomplishment of this work of permanent, cosmopolitan interest.
The situation, however, is all of a piece with Oxford's recorded career
as an inspiring leader and generous, supporter of so many of the scholars
and literary innovators whose works are clearly reflected in the deep
well of Shakespeare's knowledge. The catholicity of the Earl's interests
set him apart from other noblemen of his period. Even at the early age
of fourteen we find dedicated to him by his uncle, Arthur Goldingnot
some boy's book of sport or extravagant adventurebut a translation
of the Histories of Trogus Pompeius. In the dedication Golding
. . . it is not unknown to others, and I have had experience thereof
myself, how earnest a desire your honour hath naturally graffed in
you to read, peruse, and communicate with others as well the histories
of ancient times, and things done long ago, as also of the present
estate of things in our days, and that not without a certain pregnancy
of wit and ripeness of understanding.
These first-hand comments on Oxford's intellectual curiosity, eagerness
for discussion, flair for self-expression and energetic determination
to give permanent form and substance to the ideas in which he and his
fellows were interested are of primary importance in understanding his
personality. It would be indeed a foolish and prejudiced "authority"
who would undertake to discount such evidence as we have from Golding
and Bedingfield. For the qualities they attribute to the youthful peer
are plainly consistent with the development of a great creative artist.
Thomas Bedingfield is one of the able and trustworthy Elizabethan soldier-scholars
whose friendly admiration for Oxford helps offset the slanderous gossip
and petty tittle-tattle that still passes for truth about the Earl in
such works of reference as the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the
Dictionary of National Biography.
The Bedingfields of Oxborough, Norfolk were one of the famous Roman
Catholic families of the periodhighly respected by friend and
foe alike. Thomas was the second son of Sir Henry of Oxborough, Knight
Marshal of the army of Mary Tudor, Governor of the Tower of London and
member of the Privy Council. When Mary's half-sister Elizabeth was imprisoned,
Sir Henry Bedingfield acted as her jailer and incidentally as the future
ruler's incorruptible protectora service which earned him Elizabeth's
undying regard. Thus young Thomas Bedingfield became one of Gloriana's
Gentleman Pensioners or personal bodyguard. He appears Oxford's senior
by ten years or more, having been admitted as a law student at Lincoln's
Inn in March, 1556. Bedingfield's deprecation of his translation of
Cardan's, philosophy and later disapproval of the Earl's determination
to publish his workall fully covered in Ward's reproduction of
their correspondenceneed not be taken very seriously. It was a
well established custom for gentlemen in Court circles to disclaim any
serious intent as authors. Moreover, despite his protestations, Bedingfield
continued to dally with the quill. In 1584 he published a translation
of Claudio Corte's The Art of Riding, another book that Shakespeare
"is believed to have read," for scholars now quote the Corte
translation in tracing contemporary authority for the "points"
of a good horse so realistically described by the author of Venus
Again in 1595 Bedingfield issued a translation of The Florentine
Historie written in the Italian tongue by Niccolo Macchiavelli.
In his valuable new work on Shakespeare's History Plays, Dr.
E. M. W. Tillyard states his belief that the dramatist had the same
thorough knowledge of Macchiavelli's writings that the foremost Elizabethan
politicians possessed. He adds the weak surmise that the man of Stratford
had picked up this knowledge as a member of "the Southampton circle."
Oxfordians, it seems hardly necessary to observe, will view the matter
in an entirely different light.
Bedingfield retained the Queen's favor for many years, and in 1603
was appointed Master of the Tents and Toils for life. He died in 1613
and was buried in the Church of St. James Clerkenwell, London. This
brief outline of his career is included here because Thomas Bedingfield's
name and best known literary work are destined to become increasingly
familiar to all students of the actual Elizabethan background out of
which a masterpiece such as Hamlet took form and expression.
Reproduction and discussion of the introductory letter addressed to
Bedingfield and the verses signed by Oxford which follow it in Cardanus
Comforte must be reserved for another time. Both of these contributions
are crammed from beginning to end with thought-patterns, words and phrases
of the most direct and striking Shakespearean quality. Two or three
such parallels have been pointed out in the past by J. T. Looney in
his Poems of Edward de Vere (1921), by Percy Allen in his
Life Story of Edward de Vere as "William Shakespeare" (1932)
and more recently by Forrest S. Rutherford in these pages.
3 But full treatment of so important a branch
of the evidence requires additional time and space. As a challenge to
the most skeptical eye that may light upon these lines, I will only
say at this time that in his personal contributions to the 1573 Comforte,
Oxford employs certain words and phrases, first literary use of which
is attributed to Shakespeare by no less an authority than Murray's
New Oxford Dictionary which is supposed to be the last word in
Getting back to early identifications of Cardan's Comforte with
the text of Hamlet, we find Hunter quoting most of the Italian
philosopher's remarks in the section headed "Death resembled
to sleep" in comparison with the distraught Prince's meditations.
Hunter remarks that "the following passages seem to approach so
near to the thoughts of Hamlet that we can hardly doubt that they were
in the Poet's mind when he put this speech (the soliloquy) into the
mouth of his hero":
. . . what should we account of death to be resembled to anything
better than sleep . . . most assured it is that such sleeps he most
sweet as be most sound, for those are best where in like unto dead
men we dream nothing. The broken sleeps, the slumber, the dreams full
of visions, are commonly in them that have weak and sickly bodies
. . . But if thou compare death to long travel . . . there is nothing
that doth better or more truly prophecy the end of life, than when
a man dreameth that he doth travel and wander into far countries .
. . and that he traveleth in countries unknown without hope of return
. . .
Act III, Scene 1.
To die;to sleep-
No more;and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to,'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die;to sleep;
To sleep! perchance to dream; ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause . . .
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns,puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of.
The echoes here are indeed clear. As Hardin Craig points out, such
parallels are much more numerous and "of a more fundamental character
than even Hunter seems to have realized . . . since the philosophy of
Hamlet agrees to a remarkable degree with that of Cardan."
Thought after thought, reference after reference and heading after
heading throughout the Comforte will arrest the attention of
any alert reader of Shakespeare, recalling not only passages from Hamlet,
but many of the other plays, poems and sonnets.
"Adversity some time the mean of good hap" is a caption
that should not be overlooked. It covers a line of thought that Cardan
elsewhere tells of expanding into a fuller study of "the uses
of adversity." This later essay was not translated into English
during the Shakespearean Age, but the Bard most certainly had it in
mind when he wrote that familiar passage in As You Like It. Who
was most likely to have had access to Cardan's original publicationsthe
bookless man of Stratford, or the intellectually insatiable Earl whose
interest in Cardan's work cannot be questioned?
Anecdotes and allusions to historical characters that we find in the
Comforte also suggest stimulating influences thereby set working
in the mind of Oxford, the future dramatist:
"Cassius and Brutus did aid Julius Caesar to fight against
his country, but being made Emperor they slew him."
* * *
"The death of Lucretia is well known who violently bereft
of her honor, sticked herself."
* * *
"Cleopatra although she might have lived in honor, yet because
she would not be carried about in (a) triumph, caused a Serpent to
bite her body and thereof willingly died."
* * *
"Portia, the daughter of Cato . . ."
And so we might continue to fill many pages with names and allusions
familiar to every schoolboy.
Returning to some of the other thoughts that bring the Comforte
and Hamlet into realistic proximity, the passage in the former
work which is headed "Old men's company unpleasant"
immediately recalls Act II, Scene 2 of the play, where the Prince, book
in hand, tries to escape Polonius' questionings by turning upon the
aged and garrulous courtier a cutting paraphrase of Cardan's remarks
on senile bores:
"Their senses serve not their bodies, their bodies obey not
their minds . . . How many old men have been, for whom it had been
better to have died in youth . . . "
The suggestion that Hamlet actually carried a copy of the Cardan volume,
which Oxford published, when he appeared in this scene in Elizabethan
times seems inescapable.
Hardin Craig's essay does not cover many of the parallels we have listed
up to this point, but it should be read in its entirety for further
proof that "Cardan's De Consolatione is preeminently 'Hamlet's
Specifically (says Craig) it may have thrown light on Hamlet's character
as the author conceived of it, by identifying Hamlet's pessimism with
that of Jerome Cardan, thus making of Hamlet a slightly less
personal tragedy and a more broadly human tragedy as the great Shakespeare
in the great Renaissance thought of such a work. Hamlet becomes,
from this point of view, the story of a hero struggling against the
totality of man's earthly tribulations, and in so doing revives the
major question of antiquity.
. . . belief in the therapeutic power of books was characteristic
of Renaissance students. If a hero found himself stricken with grief,
as Hamlet did, it was natural that he should resort to a work on consolation.
Returning to Hamlet's soliloquy, we find an illuminating interpretation
of one of its otherwise obscure passages in this line of reasoning by
. . . we are assured not only to sleep, but also to die . . . wherefore
to bear every thing resolutely, is not only the part of a wise man,
but also of a man well advised . . . Homer feigned Alten the Goddess
of Calamity to be barefooted, as one that could not touch anything
sharp or hard, but walked lightly upon the heads of mortal man. Meaning
that Calamity durst not come near any but such as were of base mind,
simple and subject to effeminacy. But among such as were valiant and
armed with virtue, she durst not come . . . only honesty and virtue
of mind doth make a man happy, and only a cowardly and corrupt conscience
do cause thine unhappiness.
This passage deserves emphasis because it offers the first accurate
interpretation of one of Hamlet's arguments with himself which has seemed
abstruse to generations of orthodox commentators:
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all:
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought:
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn away,
And lose the name of action.
Cardan has made the point that when our consciences keep reiterating
that we are too cowardly and corrupt to present a valiant stand against
misfortune we sink into an indolent acceptance of fate. And this is
exactly the thought that Hamlet repeats in immortal paraphrase.
On another page of the Comforte Cardan compares the mentality
of men and animals with this conclusion:
"Beasts therefore be able for one only art by memory, not
perceiving reason at any time."
This same observation reverberates from Hamlet's outcry at his mother's
callousness in marrying her husband's murderer:
O God! a beast that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer.
Hamlet's loss of an admired father has frequently been cited as the
young Earl of Oxford's dramatization of his own bereavement. One of
Cardan's passages quite certain to have touched a responsive chord reads:
"This book hall be thought less needful in no part, than
in comforting the sorrow which chanceth by the death of parents .
. . "
. . . also serving, it may be superfluous to observe, to provide a
leading motive for the play
. . . whose common theme
Is death of fathers.
Again, in Act IV, Scene 5 of Hamlet, when the King remarks:
When sorrows come, they come not single spies
But in battalions . . .
the thought appears to be a poetic rendering of Cardan's
"Private calamities manifold we account those when a man
by many mishaps at one instant is molested."
Cardan also wrote:
"This worldly stage was purposely prepared that God the father
might secretly behold us . . . "
many years before Shakespeare transformed it into:
All the world's a stage . . .
Dr. Lily B. Campbell's expert analysis of the Comforte, proving
it to have been one of the Bard's best-thumbed treasuries of ideas and
creative suggestions, should also be read in full by all who are interested
in the Oxford-Shakespeare identification. For against the realistic
setting of such accumulated evidence will emerge more clearly than ever
the figure of the poet-dramatist nobleman whose personal regard for
these same ideas and suggestions first made them known to English readers.
As perhaps the foremost living American research worker in the field,
and one who has amply demonstrated her right to such an opinion, Dr.
Campbell remarks that a complete study of Shakespeare's scholarship
would be the work of a lifetime.
Edmund Wilson and other popular but ill-informed critics and commentators
who persist in picturing the dramatist as an intellectual vagabond with
no firm grasp whatever on the best thought of his age, would do well
to ponder Dr. Campbell's convincing work.
A single precis of ideas which she reprints from the 1573 Comforte
can be shown to have influenced Shakespeare's thinking profoundly:
A man is nothing but his mind: if the mind be discontented, the man
is all disquiet though all the rest be well . (Cardan then proceeds
to enumerate the chief evils which men encounter.) The first within
us and our minds, with which temperancy do mete. The second without
us, and they by wisdom are prevented. The third are those, that albeit
they be indeed without us, yet are they inevitable, and against them
none other defence we have than fortitude . . .
Who so doth mark it well, shall find that for the most part we are
causes of our own evil . . .
(Finally the philosopher turns to the stage to point up his argument)
the tragical poets have feigned the tragedies and furies to be only
in kings, courts, and the comedies and pleasant plays in private houses.
The palaces of princes are ever open to great evils, neither are
these monsters at any time from thence: as envy, hate, grudge, poison
Yet the prince's mind is the seat of all these, whereby it is neither
suffered to sleep quietly by night, nor rest by day . . .
Pausing over the above reflections of the wise old Renaissance philosopher,
a veritable chorus of Shakespearean echoes assails the memory:
. . . for there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes
From King Lear:
When the mind's free, the body's delicate.
* * *
Who alone suffers, suffers most i' the mind.
From The Taming of the Shrew:
Our purses shall be proud, our garments poor;
For 'tis the mind that makes the body rich.
From Twelfth Night:
In nature there's no blemish but the mind.
From 3 Henry VI:
Let thy dauntless mind
Still ride in triumph over all mischance.
Though fortune's malice overthrow my state,
My mind exceeds the compass of her wheel.
From Julius Caesar:
Men at sometime are masters of their fates.
The fault (dear Brutus) is not in our stars,
But in ourselves that we are underlings
Utter my thoughts? Why, say, they are vile and false,
As where's that palace, whereunto foul things
Sometimes intrude not?
From Titus Andronicus:
The Emperor's court is like the house of Fame,
The palace full of tongues, of eyes and ears.
From 2 Henry IV:
Then, happy low, lie down:
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
It is no reflection on Shakespeare to believe, as many will readily
believe, (says Hardin Craig) that he read and was influenced by Cardan's
Comforte. Cardan was a very great man, and his book, though
long neglected and little known, is a very great book.
Many will also readily believe that the reason why 'Shakespeare"
was so deeply influenced by Lord Oxford's publication of the Comforte
was because the author of the plays and poems and the man who introduced
Cardan to English readers was one and the same person.
1. See "Hamlet's Book" by Hardin Craig, Huntington Library
Bulletin, No. 6, pp. 17-37. back
2. Hint to Research Workers. If any of the personal memoranda
or correspondence of Oxford's Thomas Bedingfield has survived the ravages
of time and war, it should be well worth studying for further Shakespearean
3. See Mr. Rutherford's "Daniel Frohman Introduces the Great Unknown"
in the January, 1946 QUARTERLY. back