Saturday, 30 June 2012

Chapter 1 Real William Shakespeare

Chapter 1

The Sonnets and the Queen

WHEN I HAD COMPLETED my book Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, (see this blog for the download) I began looking for other references to Queen Elizabeth's beauty. My first port of call, so to speak, was Elizabethan's who wrote. So this naturally led me to start with William Shakespeare. Modern and past writers once again, seemed unable to produce any major links between Liz and Will and this I found odd and disappointing. They did however suggest that Will wrote the Merry Wives of Windsor for her, or at her request. So I scrutinised my copies of the complete works for references to Elizabeth in that play. Using my knowledge gained from the fact-laden books I have read, plus my own endeavours, I found nothing of significance to show there were any obvious comments about Elizabeth in the play at this stage of my investigations. The same was not true for other parts of my Complete Works. I stared in amazement at the first few sonnets! There was Will talking about beauty and urging somebody to marry and have children. It didn’t need a degree to work out who he was referring to - Queen Elizabeth.
Research was needed and sure enough I found that I was not the first to see that the sonnets are about Liz. George Chalmers in 1790 made the connection. Much later in 1956 George Elliot Sweet jumped to an even bigger conclusion that Elizabeth had written the entire lot and plays as well, all from reading the epilogue of the play Henry VIII. (All is True). In spite of that the idea to most writers, historians, seems ludicrous and the subject matter of the poems on further examination doesn’t fit in with them being solely about Elizabeth. We can not be certain they even are about William or wrote by him, say some writers. This is of course complete nonsense. True the sonnets are not completely about the Queen; nevertheless she can not be dismissed at this stage.

This seems to be the excepted story of the 154 sonnets:
1. There are 3 or 4 people involved: a poet, a friend (to the poet), a handsome young man, and the mistress' of the poet (a dark lady).
2. The poet urges the young man to marry and have children.
3. The friend steels the poet's mistress.
Some believe the handsome man and the friend are the same person. Others also think that the friend is a 'rival poet'.

Why this explanation of the sonnets has come about is anyone's guess! Though with the academic lobby it doesn’t surprise me why they can’t get past it. For it does not stand up even though a long list of names, all very plausible, probably why the professors love it, now exists for each of the people. This is why the sonnets baffle us. We are lead to believe the sonnets tell a story or are biographical. Therefore writers have to invent the characters to tell the story or in other words a self fore-filling tale, the literally equivalent of perpetual motion. But do they tell a story? Or tell us of William's life? Or are they just one of statements or a series of statements? Certainly some have themes and yet it is evident to myself that no story is told. If they are about is life, it's more likely his love life. What I have noticed about them is some are negative and some are positive in the way they express what is being said in each. Sometimes the last two lines appear to contradict the other lines of the stanza.
In my view they are statements, but don't take my word for it let's break the stupid story idea by simply reading the end lines of sonnet 42:

"But here's the joy: my friend and I are one.
Sweet flattery! Then she loves but me alone!"

So you can see there is no friend or rival poet, just the poet writer in a curious double play on himself. Similarly the Dark Lady or mistress are also double play allusions and are connected to the negative sonnets I mentioned earlier. It's as so the writer of these sonnets is putting themselves down, as in 130 with the exception of the last two lines and especially the last line which reads:

"As any she belied with false compare."

This line is extraordinary! As it suggest that the verse above was written by a woman and not only that, but by a woman who thinks she is ugly or is putting herself down. This means the sonnets could have been written by a woman! Well not Mary Queen of Scots, when did she ever put herself down or some other woman then? Indeed, yet not all of them, for the sonnets NAME whom the man is.

Sonnet 136 last line: "And then thou lov'st me, for my name is Will."

So we know that William Shakespeare wrote some of the sonnets and the rest of the above sonnet, plus several others furthermore refer to Will, with the original title and volume, being printed with his name on. Pure Shakespeare fans reckon he could have written these feminine verses, yet surely he would have needed a split-personality and would be incredibly vain to write everything? Realistically the vast amount of small detail, which William is unlikely to know, from his background, puts an end to this idea. This is why the believers of other candidates jump on their bandwagon. Paradoxically these small details can help us prove the Shakespeare connection, but not as a sole writer of the sonnets.
The handsome young man or boy, as he is sometimes referred to in the sonnets, you might be asking, who's he? With careful checks of the sonnets I can suggest to you that there are only two people involved, being that we have dismissed two from the story theory, just leaving a woman, and the other William himself. With that the only conclusion to be drawn is that William is the handsome lad, being referred to by the woman. Now that just leaves us to work out who that woman was!
Before we delve further it’s interesting that the Sonnets seem to be Shakespeare’s Holy Grail. In that if you prove they were written by somebody else then the Bard didn’t write them. A clear distinction is made between Sonnets and plays. For example even Stratfordians will allow saying that the Bard can work in collaboration on some plays, but never on Sonnets, it’s that simple. Therefore with this background you can’t have TWO writers on the Sonnets, so what I’m writing hear is heresy.
Onwards we go with the heresy then. Scanning through the poems does not reveal her name. It
might have been in once according to sonnet 81 line 5, though an early sonnet (17) insinuates no one would believe him (William) of her beauty. I know the feeling William! Whoever she was she was very beautiful and the most famous lines Shakespeare wrote follow on in the next stanzas, starting with the words "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"
To go through the list of candidates that university people have come up with for the Dark Lady seems pointless to me, especially when they have created one of the biggest frauds about Shakespeare that anyone can come up with. In their efforts to go along with political correctness, which was clearly based on University ideas in the first place, students came to unfounded conclusions based on the sonnets. Once again I can debunk these ideas.

The Wilde Thing

If you think that only one person (the Bard) wrote all the sonnets things become ludicrous. The sonnets as a whole have suggested that William might be gay to some writers; this is of course the academic world at its most stupid level. Take away the sole writer and they suggest, if the women who wrote sonnet 2 is anything to go by, that William was the 'toy boy' of a much older women - 40 years or so older to be precise. The Will is gay lobby get very mixed up with their arguments, though if a man reads all the sonnets out loud, in particular the ‘boy’ verses you could convince anyone. So far I have not been able to track down the person or persons who suggest that William is gay to the rest of the world, though clearly it’s not a recent argument. Oscar Wilde tried to use them in his defence in court. Courts of the past don’t tend to get things
right in modern eyes, though the dismissal of this evidence turned out to be correct, by accident then judgement! Sonnets are the only thing to ‘suggest’ gayness in Shakespeare. However the sonnets can suggest other conditions or states of mind.
For instance the ‘old’ verses for me give the game away! Because 130 alludes to a woman, this also means she is old, as William certainly was not! The other thing is that this woman was not married and believed that William was also not married. We know that William was married to Anne Hathaway (which rules out her as the woman of the sonnets, plus she was not that old) and so was deceiving this woman and his wife, assuming that they were written after 1582. This adds up to some pretty convincing evidence the sonnets had to be vague about who is involved and why. There is also an indication in number 36 to show that honour is important and other lines in this stanza have a bearing on this, more on this later. Back to Oscar for a tick, he should have realised that what Shakespeare had produced was a private script, which somebody printed anyway. Yet then he had his own agenda, as those presumably gay, academics do when they still see them as gay writings.
With the gay Shakespeare put in the bin of absurdity, we can continue to search for the woman of the Sonnets. They do give us loads of clues to this female’s identity. It would be needless to say all of them when one is sufficient. Have you ever wondered why the sonnets are full of illusions and direct references to roses? As in line 3 No.95 "Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name!" Yes 'budding name'. Well there you go! Enter Elizabeth Tudor, The Tudor Rose, to quote Will, “A rose by any other name.”
Now the older woman, when William was 18 the Queen was nearly 50, so that ties in. He married Anne at 18 as well, this would be quite an achievement if he was seeing the Queen also, but we can not go much pass that date because of the 'youth' and 'boy' in the poems. Actually we can, in view of the Elizabethan's used the term youth right into a person’s twenties. In 1590 for example Liz was 57 and to her a 26 year old man may have been just a boy. Alternatively it might have been her affectionate way. Many of her letters have the word love sprinkled through out them, even very important ones. Of course you may now be saying that she would have known about Will being married. However Robert Dudley kept his marriage to a lady in waiting secret from her, although she did find out eventually. William's marriage was no big secret and he might have augured that if nobody asked about it he wasn't going to say. Anne was back at Stratford, Will in London could do as he liked and nobody was going to tell anyone in Stratford of his doings, because transport was poor. I dare say gossip never reached Stratford, in deed they don't seemed to have known much about William's fame in Stratford, till after his death. There’s no reason to assume too that they were all written at the same time, even year. The adultery angle doesn’t come in if some where written before, say 1580 or earlier.

A Strong Blond

This leaves the beautiful woman. In Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, I argued that Queen Elizabeth was a beautiful blond. During her early reign she never reportedly had any accurate paintings painted, or any that I could confirm as being spot on, however when she was in her fifties the artist Nicholas Hilliard returned from France. Lots of small miniatures were produced of her. The academic writer Roy Strong has shown these to be part of a cult. Saying her features had been ‘Transformed into the face of a 16 year old girl.’
You won’t be surprised to hear that I totally disagree with this conclusion. It’s clearly based on a belief, which can not be supported by evidence. She looks nothing like a 16-year-old. My belief is that Hilliard produced the nearest thing we have to a photo of her. Unlike Strong, I can sight this as picture as evidence. You can see wrinkles and evidence of aging. I am not arguing that Liz has the body of a 16 year old, yet what I will say is that it is possibly for a woman to look 30 years younger say than she is. There are many women alive now that look much younger and if they do young men will consequentially chase after them. This could be certainly true of Elizabeth and is nothing to do with flattery or power. Young men or old were not rewarded for just being at court. Indeed you had to do something brave or a real achievement to get an honour from the Queen. Statistically only 878 people were knighted in her entire reign. Everyone in the court would have known that by her middle age and anyone trying to gain anything through flattery would soon loose a lot. Our Queen Elizabeth gives out more honours and nobody flatters her!
The cult idea does not stand up either under investigation. Indeed a beautiful woman would likely keep her good looks through her life. Not always yet why disbelieve people from that time? It is true that they used allegory and yet to see it in everything and link unconnected items together is perhaps taking things too far. As Roy says there is a basis of truth in many poems, paintings of the Queen. Might not this truth be that at sixty plus Elizabeth was still beautiful?
To establish if she was indeed extremely attractive, in the 1590's, for the sonnets that could have been written at later dates, we need independent witnesses. These by definition must not be English, poets or painters, as these could link us back to the cult idea and prove it true. There are such persons whose comments on the Queen were recorded. The first, Monsieur de Maisse, who saw her in 1597, is too neutral as it can be read by us to mean one of two things.
These are his words...
When anyone speaks of her beauty she says that she never was beautiful, although she had that reputation thirty years ago. Nevertheless, she speaks of her beauty as often as she can.”

This does make her appear vain somewhat, Yet again that is what expert lobby have jumped to. I can however look at this simple statement two ways. Like the ‘Strong’s’ of this world or alternatively that the man is perplexed by her denials, when he can clearly see she is attractive. However he does not say she is admirable and if she did use the word ‘reputation’ she must have a distorted view on beauty. Why? Because it is very difficult to be regarded as beautiful, you either are or are not. People decide if you are, with the exception if they have not seen the person. Therefore someone can then have a reputation of being beautiful under those circumstances, which in Elizabeth’s case doesn’t apply.
I believe that if Elizabeth were shown to be attractive at her age many modern historians would be seen as ageist! Another term invented by them. So that's what I will now do, with the help of the second independent witness.
Paul Hentzner was a German traveller and saw the Queen in 1598. She was going to the chapel, at Greenwich, one Sunday morning. Despite being in a procession, Paul could see quite clearly, enough for him to see her eyes in his complete description of her.
Unfortunately he wrote in Latin, so the document needs translating. Latin is taught very little today. I need a Latin to English Dictionary to be able to read it. A lot of the academics should use one too. Instead they relied on a translation printed in 1757 written by Richard Bentley which was edited into a book by Horace Walpole. Sadly, I, for the various reasons given in my previous book, have not been able to see either the original document or this translation. Roy Strong used the translated version in one of his books. In a book by Mary Edmond, she put some of the Latin words and the translated versions in side by side. I decide to check them. Mary by the way accepted the translated words as gospel, like Roy seems to have done. Some of the words checked out, using my Dictionary, like: labiis compressis - lips narrow, the way she spoke: blanda & humanissima - pleasant & very gracious. Others were totally wrong: fulvum - red (hair), face candida - fair.
In my book 'fulvum' for the colour of her hair translates as yellow or gold or sandy and definitely not red! In Latin the word for Red hair is rufus!
The next word confirms that she was a breath-taking attractive woman at the age of 65. ‘Candida’ does not translate as fair, but white and beautiful. I believe it has also become a female name with the same meaning. Fans of seventies pop, will recall the group ‘Dawn’ had a hit with a song called that. Hentzner also states she is very majestic and one word which should not need translation - magnifica.
He does show signs of her age, but the overall impression is one of a very beautiful woman and stately Queen. He also has no axe to grind and therefore convinces me. If there are some that are still not convinced an Envoy of the Duke of Wurttemberg, in 1592, said she could compete with a maiden of 16 in grace and beauty! These three statements attack the cult idea, as it depends on the basis that Elizabeth was not attractive in her later years. No games were played, so if men go around professing love for her than, more often than not they do.

The Queen of the Greeks

With the cult gone, I believe this opens up the floodgates to all the other Elizabethan writers and painters, who saw the Queen as beautiful. Edmund Spenser dedicated his book the Faerie Queen to her and helps create the ‘Gloriana’ image of Liz. Now we know why. To them she was a sort of goddess, like the classical ones such as: Diana, Helen, Venus and countless other Greek and Roman Gods, together with their properties: ageless, immensely powerful, beautiful and un-spoilt by men (a virgin). Elizabeth was, after the defeat of the Spanish Armada, supported by the one true God, in their eyes. She would become known to the world as ‘Good Queen Bess.’ Children even sing her praises today. Many people rose to greatness during her reign. Great houses were built and wealth was created. Thomas Dekker sums it all up: “Brought up a nation that was almost begotten and born under her.” In what has become known as her ‘Golden Speech.’ She addressed her people as loving subjects and said “you will never have a more loving prince.” It looks like (if we are honest with ourselves) she was right even up to the present day. Historians of our times only see the problems of her latter years. Well even I know she wasn’t a god! Back then if you didn’t have a problem with her, then she wasn’t far off being one. Little wonder that William Shakespeare was very much in love with her. In the sonnets he begs us to compare her with a summer's day, which he then criticises for not being as good as Liz. Yet in number 18, the same one, his own confidence declares that while anyone is alive she can live in his lines. Liz read this and followed it with the next sonnet (19) copying what Will thought about his words. The 'long-lived phoenix' she refers to is of course herself, telling time to 'burn' it. This is a classic Elizabeth, where she puts herself down in the verse, widely seen throughout the sonnets. The last line of the same stanza, starting with the words 'My love,' poses an awkward question? Was Elizabeth really in love with William Shakespeare? The problem is that she is so affectionate that she uses the word love too much. The sonnets also solve the problem for in number 21 she spells out the kind of love she means. It starts negative and critical of Will's sonnet 18. I suppose we should accept this from her by now. William didn't and added the last two lines, sort of dismissive if you read it alone and not linked to the above stanza. Yet she changes the style of the verse with the words 'true in love'. Again in 22 she starts and he finishes the last two lines. Now we learn they have swapped hearts, a sure sign of love. We become also involved in the intimate details of the two lovers. Which being love and lovers often makes no sense! Who says love should? To continue, apparently his heart in her is now dead! Her heart in Will is alive and he isn't going to give it back to her. Why is his heart dead? We could guess all right lets! He is upset over her criticism of verse 18, or perhaps her hatred of herself. Hearts can not live without love or self-love, hence hers being alive in William's body. There I told you love makes no sense!!
In sonnet 23 Elizabeth reveals one of her great weakness, her 'fear of trust' and it is she who describes herself as an 'unperfect actor on the stage,' not William.

Knowing the Last Lines

You may be wondering why I believe that the last two lines of some sonnets are written by Will or Liz and may even think its nonsense! Well the sonnets answer that one easily. Numbers 100 to 102 are one-writer sonnets and negative, however 103, reading them in order, is critical of the previous sonnets. It starts "Alack, what poverty my Muse brings forth," and reveals "hath my added praise beside." This is why I believe last lines are added and 103 are by William and 100 to 102 are Elizabeth's. Unfortunately working out which one of them wrote each sonnet is not always easy. Although I can find no proof, I think some lines, in some stanzas are mixed, as in numbers: 3,4,41,42,61 and 96.
I'll show you what I mean with 3 & 4. These are experiments in verse, as number 1 is clearly all William's work and number 2 all Elizabeth's. Presumably one of them said let's make them different whilst keeping to the correct structure of the stanzas. Like this:

Sonnet 3
"Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest
Now is the time that face should form another,
Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest."
"Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.
For where is she so fair whose unear'd womb
Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry?"
"Or who is he so fond will be the tomb...."

The rest of the stanza is all William' work.
Sonnet 4 is the same style, with the almost backbiting comments at one another. This time only lines 5 & 6 are by Liz:
"Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse
The bounteous largess given thee to give?"

'Niggard' appears to be a comment aimed at Shakespeare by Liz. Yet I don't believe he was mean, and it refers back to William's first Sonnet where he had used the word and called her ill bred. Will hit back with the phrase "profitless usurer". Today we call ‘usury’ interest. The use of that word was in this context is quite an insult. There was at this time a ten- percent limit on usury (interest) before some form of punishment was imposed. Even then if you were caught giving money and charging any amount for it you'd be in big trouble. For one man, not convicted I might add, was told to read the 15th psalm, plead guilty, and give 5 shillings to the poor! Still, Will did add profitless, going somewhat to play the insult down. Another sign of true love I'm afraid!
Because there are only a few sonnets mixed, they must have agreed that these stanzas didn't work. On the whole they seem to have gone with a stanza by one and the two last lines by the other, or whole stanzas each. A quick not accurate count reveals that they seem to have written 125 sonnets each.

Metaphorically speaking

Proof of Elizabeth writing her 125 sonnets can be found in her use of metaphors, which she was using at the early age of 13 to her brother Edward. Such as this: ‘Like as the richman that daily gathereth riches to riches, and to one bag of money layeth a great store til it come to infinite, so methinks your Majesty....’
This is so like the sonnets as to be unbelievable! No. 60 'Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore...' and No.118 'Like as, to make our appetites more keen....' Also these are Liz's own work as well! At one point she even uses her own Latin motto, translated into English, for the benefit of William, in Sonnet 76. Clues such as this few writers not alone Shakespeare would have known.
Remember the "Dark Lady"? Well it’s actually Elizabeth in a way. All right Peter Jones, I know it’s a “preposterous” idea, however in No. 127 (by William) it says 'now is black beauty's successive heir And beauty slandered with a bastard shame...’ Okay it is poetry, but as Elizabeth was declared illegitimate and she was heir of Anne Bolyn, who reportedly had black hair, as the first line says (Anne) was in the ‘old age’ not seen as a beautiful woman, all the history fits together like a jigsaw. If you use Mr Jones’ theories on Shakespeare on himself, you might be able to prove his ideas are from Mars or some other silly place! Carrying on the theme of black in the Sonnets, connecting 130 to 131 works, as 131 says that “In nothing art though black”. Or in other words in nothing is Liz black, apart from her ‘acts’ (deeds) and this nasty bit she will write next. Which is precisely what I think William intended, nevertheless this does not fit in with 127, as far as the context of order is concerned. The mistress in this refers to a double of Liz (imaginary) like the rival poet is the double of Shakespeare. Its creation stems from 130. So for Will to start using it in reference to the Queen before is odd, thus contradicting 131 too soon. For that is clearly his desire in 127. In this he fights, in words, to get Elizabeth ‘crowned’ as the Queen of Beauties, using her own words as his weapons. Not an easy task, as Liz as such a low opinion of herself. William gets right to the point on sonnet 1, “Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.”
Then later in number 9 he goes into what I call ‘Freud Mode’ as he tries to work out why she is like this. William resolves on it being fear that she may die before any husband, then he returns to the theme of having children to keep beauty alive. Liz would have none of it and declares, ‘No love toward others in that bosom sits’ (hers).
Shakespeare is shocked to say the least and reply's in No. 10:"For Shame deny that thou bear'st love to any, Who for thyself art so unprovident!"
Because she was Queen of England he follows that with the next line: "Grant if thou wilt, thou art belov'd of many".
Before returning to the self hate argument, he says it is “most evident” she loves no one, because she is out to destroy herself. Possessed with hate, she presumably could not love anyone fighting herself and William pleads with her to change her mind. "Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love?" He asks and then shows us how she appears on the surface: “gracious and kind” while self-hate boils underneath. You would think that something might have clicked inside her, alas no. She tells Will to make a child for love of me that beauty can live in his children, of course by another woman, and in the next sonnet she says his problem is youth and when he his her age he would have a different outlook on life. What a woman! Poor William he must have been a glutton for punishment from her and yet he continued. He would only question her beauty when summer itself became like winter (12). Elizabeth returns to same argument of Will getting married in the next. However he was married and had produced children already. He does not let on and answers in the last two lines: "You had a father; let your son say so."
At no point does he say daughter, possibly because like many of that time he wants a King, though it too could be no more then the sexist attitude of men at that period. Moreover it was also a belief then; that the female merely carried the child and all characteristics came from the male only.
Both William and Elizabeth would appear to have been interested in what we call astrology and astronomy. These now are virtually separate though as you can tell from No.14 are very mixed up then. Liz is known to have consulted astrologist and used their advice, she clearly told Will about it. Debates rage now if astrology works, yet people still use it, we’re told even top figures consult them!

Taking Liberties

Liz might well have been jealous of Will's youth and his looks, but she was no man. Yet we all know that Henry VIII was determined that she was a boy. This explains Sonnet 20, so Will puts this in by saying "And for a woman wert thou first created" then goes on to say that Nature messed up by not adding the male genital, which pleased William! The last two lines are sexually explicit. Unbelievably Will does not write them!
Line one "But since she PRICKED thee out for women's pleasure,"
My capitals on that word because apart from the pun on the word picked, the line clearly stands for the fact that nature put a penis on William, the next line is stronger still!
"Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure".
In other words I'm your lover and I will use what you have! At the extreme end of this, would imply sexual intercourse. I don't think this was intended, however these are Elizabeth's lines and there is little doubt that when she wanted to express her sexuality she did. No I think she never went all the way and as she said she would live and die a virgin. It’s not too far fetched an idea, as some people seem to think. After all we are acutely aware these days of the dangers of sexual intercourse. Many of us now practice Safe Sex, not involving intercourse, so why couldn't Elizabeth then?
As you will see the other side of the Queen (as opposed to the shy low self-esteem side) was flighty and raunchy. WOW did she have some lovers. She makes some comments on this in No. 31, when Shakespeare is metaphored as a 'grave' where her 'lovers trophies hang'. Which if you don't get the meaning is that Will looks like them all. Even Will had is share of lovers, in the royal palaces he must have encountered the ladies in waiting on the Queen. Will being good looking of course, would naturally attract their attention. Liz noticed this! So in the sonnets 40/41 Will has to tell the Queen "Take all my loves" and "those pretty wrongs that liberties commits" when of course he's away from the Queen. Yet Liz understands! She breaks in on 41 saying "Beauteous thou art, therefore to be assailed". Liz states that when a woman woos what man would leave! The verse then says "Aye me!" Yes William would and he wrote that. Liz then calls him a ‘straying youth’ and the last two lines rap Will - 'by being false to me'. So she did not let him off the hook for his straying.
Speaking of straying in the literal sense, both of them left one another for periods of time. Will mentions his absence in No 109. There are no specific details of where Will went and yet we do know that the theatre companies did tour because the money from royal performances was not great, but it is clear that the Queen went to different places on what have become her progressions. The following sonnet tells us how she often thought about her tours, which she seems to think that they made her looked down upon, when she uses phrases like "Motley to the view" and "Sold cheap what is most dear". It's as though these tours robbed her of her virtue. We know that she hated flattery too and in 114 she calls it "the monarch's plague". In the same sonnet there are lots of references to royalty, which you would expect from a Queen. What you wouldn't expect is for that Queen to call herself a 'mistress'. Nevertheless that is precisely what she does in the extremely negative 130. Will didn't allow her to get away with it and calls her 'tyrannous' in the next and in 132 Liz tones down the verse.
Shakespeare's sense of humour crops up 135 with an elaborate tongue-twister on his own name. Elizabeth's humour was no different and has a go at tongue-twisting in 136, still using William's name and she is also recorded as using nicknames for some of her friends/lovers, though I cannot detect any for Will here in the sonnets.
Which brings us to if there is any other proof that William and Elizabeth were lovers?

Take My Hand

Painting is the answer, some of the sonnets mention limning, made famous at that time by Hilliard and Isaac Oliver in their miniatures of the Queen and others. As I have already stated, I believe these to be fairly accurate. Mary Edmund in her book is practical certain that William met both painters, with London being so small. Leslie Hotson in 1977 identified Shakespeare in a 1588 picture by Hilliard, of a man clasping a hand. Shakespeare was 24 then and the hand in this picture certainly resembles the Queen's in other pictures by the artist. Of course he couldn’t conceive of a humble person breaching the class barrier. Not alone it was being reversed. Some experts have come to the conclusion that he is holding a god’s hand. Thus he is holding the hand of the patron of poets or something. The Latin motto is obscure and my translation of it may not be perfect, yet I think it fits in with them both. Remember the Latin spelling may have varied then, if you want to translate it yourself!
"Greek lovers therefore" or the original "Attici amoris ergo".
Shakespeare was of course interested in Greek writings, as was Liz. Both were into music also, which has Greek connections but the main suggestion, I think, is one of the Greek Gods and Goddess who were lovers. Interestingly enough the Sonnets end with Gods and Goddess, showing the connection between the Sonnets and Hilliard's miniature. Naturally this means that both William and Elizabeth saw each as gods. Poor me, I thought we only saw Shakespeare as a god. Maybe Hilliard pushed it to far for another miniature done in 1590 also shows William, but this one is much plainer, though it does not name him and puts his age at 27. In spite of that the features are similar and the Bard is recorded as only roughly knowing his age. This one was done by Oliver, who clearly did not know about William's connection with the Queen. Then again did he approve, of either the relationship, or the god connection? Having said that I don't think Isaac Oliver got on well with Elizabeth and they may have quarrelled over his paintings of her! His miniatures are more controversial then Hilliard's with his Ladies often painted with their hand on their breast. Perhaps it was William who didn’t like Hilliard’s motif! Chances are the Queen didn’t! I am also going to stick my neck out and say that the miniature of Henry, Prince of Wales (by Oliver) is actually a picture of William in stage costume playing Mark Anthony or Julius Caesar. But before we get carried away with ourselves, it’s worth mentioning that Roy Strong
thinks Hilliard’s painting is that of Thomas Howard the Earl of Suffolk. Curiously most writers have thought that William only played bit parts or none at all. I think this idea is total rubbish and even the printed pamphlets on plays list Shakespeare first in the cast list if you need more proof.
So, so much for no pictures of him, actually I think there are quiet a number as I will show you in later chapters.



The cat comes out the bag

Near the start of this chapter I said that honour was important to them both and it’s when you hit sonnet 121 that it really comes into play. This sonnet is all by Elizabeth, and is for me the worst in its language towards William. Remember his sonnets are for her and Liz's sonnets are for him, we should never forget that. For the sonnets were not meant for all to see! Cruelly it starts "Tis better to be vile than vile esteemed". Clearly something is on her mind. WE by now should know what it is when she uses "false adulterate eyes".
William has been gossiped about in the Queen's presence. She says "No, I am that I am, and they that level abuses at my abuses reckon up their own". A possibly indication of a personal attack on her by someone who was not Shakespeare, she goes on to say these people are 'bevel'. Surely this word means they are corrupt and may have been the same as our word 'bent' and she also says she is straight - not corrupt. "My deeds must not be shown" for her honour is a stake. In other words her duplicity is William's lie about his marital status and as this sonnet goes on, the 'evil' of the deed, as she saw it.
Finally Elizabeth sums up with the essence of her argument in this sonnet, which could give us an indication of why she stayed a virgin: "All men are bad and in their badness reign."
Perhaps it was just aimed at William Shakespeare instead. You would have thought that William would have commented on this, the rest of the sonnets don't though and Elizabeth doesn't stop writing them either, in the remaining one's. So it could be out of sequence and deliberately so, for it could give rise to who’s involved in these sonnets. It would make a dramatic end to them!
The last sonnet she writes in the order of them is 152. The truth is out HIS 'bed-vow broke' and the strange "new faith torn". She even knows Ann's maiden name, for in line four 'hate' is there! This line sole purpose is undoubtedly to convey that word, a pun on Hathaway. The effect of this truth on Elizabeth is devastating. She says "All my honest faith in thee is lost."
Shakespeare tries to redeem himself in the last two lines of 152, yet whom is he trying to kid when he finishes with: "To swear against the truth so foul a lie!"
Its here after 152 were I think sonnet 121 would be.

They don't end there for two poems, not a bit like the previous 152 sonnets, can be found. They are William's work and I think they and some others tell us how William first met Queen Elizabeth in a code of strange poetry. Why are they here at this point in the sonnets? Probably just the rejected poet turning back to the past to hide his true feelings of deep hurt. Nonetheless this does not destroy the Queen’s relationship with the poet and writer of plays. Such a powerful link is not easily severed, but honour was saved!
Well there you have academia's world ‘mystery’ of the sonnets solved. The answer being they are complex poems between a young man and an older woman, who just so happen to be William Shakespeare and Elizabeth Tudor. First bit solved, with the exception of the NEW FAITH TORN remark of the Queen.

You can download this chapter here. It also includes footnotes not shown here And you can see all 154 Sonnets showing which person wrote what in the PDF file below it.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Record Business Top 100 charts

Superpop Top 100 June 1979 to January 1980

I'm interested in music charts in general, not just those used by the Real Chart. Back in the late 70's a paper was published that was aimed at the pop market. It was called Superpop, sadly it didn't last long. But it was good while it lasted. At first it featured the British Market Research Bureau's top 75 chart, copying the style it was laid out in trade paper Music Week. Perhaps because it was also used by rival music paper Record Mirror, at the end of June it changed to a chart published by another music trade paper Record Business Magazine. There top 100 chart was being used by commercial radio stations for some time before. R.B.'s top 100 started in 1978! 
It had several advantages for Superpop, the first being it was a top 100! It was also claimed to be more accurate as it used a sample of 300+ shops, whereas the top 75 used only a max of 250 shops. However it also used an element of radio airplay in determining the chart positions. So it was more like the USA chart in that respect. However it also suffered from chart hyping like the other one. Though Superpop went bust in January 1980, taken over by rival Record Mirror, Record Business continued to produce a top 100 chart till the middle 80's I understand. The top 40 or 30 being broadcast by Independent Local Radio Stations till it's close, when the switched to the MRIB top 75, another chart that used airplay, but not in the top ten.
Superpop was printed on newsprint and each page is about A3 in size. Having recently got an A3 scanner I decided to scan the pages to show you all.
However I should tell you that the sheets are not in good condition. The pages have become a bit tatty in places. Also they were folded for storage, so they are creased as well. The newsprint has aged too. Worse still cuttings have been removed from them, so there are holes!
A couple of the chart pages have not survived, or due to holidays are absent.
There's some scribbles in places too, however some of it is helpful. Such as the weeks in charts (blue pen numbers) and green lines under records that fell out the following week.

There are some good things too. Such as radio stations playlists for the week in question.
The ones that include the top 75 charts (playlists) have often local sales top ten of the radio stations, except Radio Hallam who always supplied their hit picks! 

Here's a sample so you know what to expect!

Here are the links to the Superpop pages. I couldn't upload the full file so I have split them into 4 files. You get two months of chart for each file. The purple links will work now.

This last one contains odd bits of charts I found from broken up papers (at the end page).

These two have just been found....

PS I have not kept any of the full issues of the paper, only these bits of chart pages.

New Information
I have been given scans of the Record Business Top 100 Charts from the start in 1978 to 1979. However because they are big PDF files and also taken from the British Library I cannot post them here.
Nevertheless I can try and extract the charts and post them here. This might take some time! And what format they will be in I don't know yet. But please don't request them. They will be uploaded here when I have sorted them.

I did try to put the PDF images into Serif DTP. It's supposed to recognise the fonts and type and convert it to text. It didn't recognise even the large typefaces and made the whole thing just an image file.   

Have now scanned the 1979 charts as there are less of them. Quality is OK, you should be able to read them. Thought they would come out better, but as the A3 scanner is playing up I had to use the Epson printer scanner, which is very slow at scanning. Great for printing, but crap at scanning. The Cannon printer scanner I had was great at scanning and rubbish at printing! Ah well you can't have both!!
Record Business Magazine split the chart into two sections 1 to 60 then 61 to 100. They also had a "ones to watch" section, if these are there they are included. The charts date from January to March.
Many thanks to the British Library for them.
I have also been sent photocopies by a Blog Reader of the Record Business Charts for the whole of 1980. I have split the charts into two files. They are black & white copies of the coloured pages. The scans are originals and show up the flaws of the copier such as out of focus text. The first file has all the charts from January to May. The second file has all the charts from June to December. Unfortunately the person that copied them either forgot to do the August chart pages that contain the 61 to 100, or was not able to do them. So you will only see the 1 to 60 pages and a blank sheet will the words that the page is missing. He has also sent me some of the other years and these will be posted shortly.
Record Business 1980 charts June to December PDF

British Library Copies
I have also been contacted by Stewart Hardman who has visited the British Library in London and copied the chart pages with his Camera Phone. Now this is not as easy as it sounds. For the Record Business Magazines are in tightly bound volumes so the pages will not go flat. And because the camera lens is not as adjustable as the human eye the depth problem can cause the pages to go out of focus. So some pages are harder to read than others. I think in some he has compensated by taking another shot of the page. He's also done some of the Album Charts that R.B. did. Some of these shots I have noticed he captured other charts such as the Independent Single Charts, though they are from complete. Stewart tried to do the 1979 albums, but the results were too poor to upload to the site. 
Record Business 1979 Singles New
Record Business 1980 singles Page 2 only   New
Record Business 1980 Full albums New
Record Business 1981 Singles Part 1 New
Record Business 1981 Full Albums New
Record Business 1981 Singles Part 2 New


I thought you might like to see these interesting snippets form the actual pages of Record Business telling us about how the chart was compiled.














The Network Chart

Following on from the Superpop charts, a company called MRIB started to produce a chart mostly for Independent Local Radio Station's that combined together to broadcast The Network Chart. Only the top 30 was broadcast between 5pm and 7pm and was in direct competition with the BBC chart. It had one advantage over the BBC chart in that it was compiled by Friday a few days before the transmission of the show. This meant that is was faster than the BBC chart who were broadcasting the chart the week before! However unlike the BBC chart it had an element of Radio Airplay in it.
It was carried by the pop paper Number One, which came out midweek and therefore had to carry the previous Sunday chart. I collected the paper and I can now present the Network Chart to you. Starting with 1985.
However.... It seems that I can't find the January charts, except one, so they start in February!!!
Number One presented them without any dates on the pages. But they did include the last week, weeks in chart, highest position, figures. Though I think you'll find that the highest position are not always right!! I have marked the ones that have fallen out. And put what I believe is the date. Another number is inked on some charts, these are the Number One Issue Numbers.

Update - missing charts from January and from the main file have been found and are in the marked linked.

Network charts 1986

Network charts 1987

Network charts 1988
The first set of these charts copied the style of the 1987 charts. They again are not complete, but some do include the album, video, indie 45's, dance 45's and heavy metal 45's. 
I scanned them at only 240 dpi, first without using the descreen setting. Printed material can't show shades as seen in pictures etc so they are converted into dots, this fools the eye (or more correctly the brain) into seeing the shades. However a scanner or camera when making an image producers weird visual effects when it sees a screened image. This might make them hard to read. I scanned this batch using a HD monitor and when I looked at the finished results, I found them hard to read.  You will be pleased to here that I have now rescanned them with the Canon at 400 dpi. The old low quality one kept to show the difference.  

The next set of network charts were scanned at 300 dpi with a descreen. 
Number One Magazine decided to change the design again. They put on a huge logo for the Network Chart and split the top 10 away from the top 75. Also the top ten included the covers of the singles. Like with me this proved to be popular with those who wanted to use these pictures for tape covers. So you will see some missing! The top 75 went on the next page with some of the other top ten charts. The albums went on to a third page. Since it takes about just over 3 minutes to scan one of these pages. I decided to leave off the album page. However the good news is I will scan the entire batch and post it at a later date. 
As always there are missing issues. Though I can't find any trace of them! But I do remember one issue they put a free gift of some scratch and sniff cards. But it smelled so bad we had to chuck out the entire issue!!!
There is one of the 11 to 75 section missing. The top ten is there, but I can't find the rest!

I have recently come to the conclusion that if there was a holiday or something that would cause a big delay to the production of the Number One paper then the issue was never published. However for some reason the issue number - such as issue 248 in the 1988 series - was treated as if it was printed and then the next one actually published was given the next number (249) rather than giving it issue 248. This was perhaps done to avoid production errors when supplying artwork to the printers. Or maybe the issue was indeed "sett up" but never sent to the printers!  
I have split them up for ease of scanning and for those who haven't got a good download speed!

Network Charts 1989

Number One continued to use the new style of 1988 till March 89, then changed over to doing it sideways on. Or Landscape A4 rather than Portrait. However they run it too close to the edge of the paper and the scanner cannot fit the entire page on. However this only effects an advert for a record on the bottom. The charts are intact. There is one or two images cut out. This does effect an Indie chart.  There's an amusing mistake on one page of the January to March PDF. It's on issue 294 (8/2/89). A photo of Sam Fox is credited as being Morrissey!
I've used the A3 scanner for both of these PDF's. It's quicker when scanning though is prone to a few more errors. However it does create larger PDF files.
Various Charts and other items
Now a first! A Full issue!!!

Thanks to the purchase of a new scanner, the Canon LIDE 220, I can scan things much quicker and produce a decent PDF file of multi pages. So I have done a test of the scanner with a full issue of the paper. Due to the fold action some of the pages moved so there is some side cutting off, especially as the paper wasn't quite A4 in size, but it's very readable the quality. The issue was picked at random and there was a page that had something cut out. But if you have never seen the paper it does give you a feel as to what it was like. The file is 10MB in size - 42 pages.  

As requested by blog reader, I have scanned the Dance, Independent etc, not covered or included in the other Network Charts. Sadly many of these were not kept or are mixed up. I have used the A3 scanner to get them, but the side effect is to leave a black border around not "A3" sheets. If you wanted you could get it removed using a PDF editor if it's a problem.
Also included in this section is a single sheet of the MRIB best sellers for 1988.
Plus On the PDF called "How Charts are Formed" is various articles from Pop Papers on the differences between the MRIB and Gallup Charts, an interview on how Mark Goodier did the Radio One top 40, a 1983 article on the Dataport machine used by Gallup, plus Pete Waterman from 1989 on chart sales. 

The charts compiled by MRIB continued to be used by Number One Magazine till it's demise in August 1990. In this set of PDF's are included the top 75, chart triv page, 75 albums, plus a multitude of top ten charts featuring Indie, Metal, Video and Film.
With all of these it makes them big files. So I have split them up. Starting with Part One which covers January to March. 
Part two has the first chart missing altogether, the entire issue is also missing. There are two missing odd charts, which has been cut out from the main body of the magazine. These are missing at the moment, but might turn up later.  A third was found and added at the end, together with the id page it belongs with. The last chart featured has the front and rear covers of the magazine, plus the page contents page. If you look closely at this it shows that it has been issued by the BBC.    

Number One did reappeared on September 29. But it had been taken over by BBC Magazines. As a result they changed the charts to those used by the BBC IE: CIN/Gallup. I suppose you would expect that, since the BBC pay for the CIN chart!!! Also you wouldn't expect them to use the chart used by Independent Radio, the competition to the BBC Radio One.  However the magazine was just competing with Record Mirror by using the Gallup Charts, being just a little more "glossy" than RM as it became known. But it was up against Smash Hits too. In the end the BBC ended "Number One" and just put out "Top of The Pops" magazine instead.  

Thanks to another Chart watcher Dave Taylor I'm able to bring you scans on PDF's from another Music paper called Sounds. These all date from 1981 to 1985.
Sounds (as you will see) from the first few 1981 charts started by using the Official Chart. Sometime in the year it switched to the Record Business Chart top 100. Later on it went over to the MRIB chart.
These are an excellent collection of charts and don't just included the singles charts. As there are albums and Independents just to name a few.
The scans themselves were done by Dave Taylor, who I would like to thank for them. Sounds was a newsprint paper and didn't use colour (at least not on these chart pages). Newsprint goes yellow over time and so hence the colour of the scans.  
As with all these Pop Papers deadlines on holiday days mean missing charts. However there are some gaps in these PDF's that probably won't account for them. I suspect either Dave didn't have a copy or they have got lost in time.

I am sad to report that since these charts were done that Dave Taylor has passed away.

1981 and 1982 are the completest ones he has sent. Though 1982 stops short in the first week of December.
The 1983 PDF consists of just two charts for January.
The 1984 & 1985 start in December of 84 and end in the middle of February 1985.

Various Charts - as requested by blog readers!

As requested by reader CSR (see comments below) I have scanned what's left and what I have so far found to a PDF file of the Various Charts featured in Number One paper. Sadly there's only 13. Plus one or two have been chopped up a bit. They consist of: USA singles and albums (top 30 Billboard), UK Dance 30, Independent Singles 30, Readers' Chart, Writer's Chart, Video top 10. Plus a top ten chosen by an artist. The Dance, Independent, Video charts are all compiled by MRIB. 
They were scanned with the A3 scanner, even though they are only A4 in size as it's quicker. I've put a white sheet of paper around each page to stop the black background of the scanner. I could do them as an A4 scan, but the Epson scanner is much slower when you increase the quality. Having said that the A3 scanner is playing up, so any future ones might have to be done with the Epson. This issue has now been resolved thanks to the purchase of the Canon.

Melody Maker article from the year 2000
In this article by music paper Melody Maker from May 2000, the paper speculates about if the charts still matter or have they gone down the toilet, thanks to boy bands, girl bands, and UK garage acts! 
And they hadn't even heard of One Direction and The Saturdays!

Chart Runs

These below are chart runs of various charts, including for the first time Music Echo Charts! Music Echo was one of the first papers to publish a top 100 chart. And it did so at the hight of the 1960's when the Beatles were at full power from 1964 to 65! These chart runs are being supplied to me by Blog reader Kjell Naas. He has worked very hard to sort out these chart runs and his hard work will be much appreciated by all who see them. 
Chart runs by the way are listings of each hit week by week. For example: The Beatles - I Feel Fine: 1,1,1,1,2,2, etc....

Independent Local Radio Charts

I can now bring to you Capital Radio Charts starting with the very first top 40 charts from 1974. Capital Radio was the first ILR station to start broadcasting in 1973, covering the London area. The charts were devised by the station itself based on the musical policy of Capital. Therefore unlike the proper charts they were not based on sales of a record. This makes them much faster at picking up new hits. Though not all records made the Capital Chart. The station would exclude records it didn't like or thought were too silly to play on air. Just because a record was a top seller nationally didn't mean it would ever see a position on Capital's chart. Likewise many records that have become known as turntable hits (because they were played by DJ's a lot) also didn't make the sales charts, but have made these charts. 
Capital broadcast these charts on a Saturday and a few listeners noted them down on sheets of paper. Thanks to a couple of these listeners I can bring you these charts. Of course when human beings write down things from the radio, they can misspell the names and titles of the records. If they missed the DJ saying the name or if the DJ didn't say it, then the person writing them down might get the title from the song. And as artists sometimes say words in a song many times, but call the song something different - errors will appear in the listings. 
Capital also would put records in their chart that only they had access to at the time. The public couldn't actually buy the records for at least another week. Or they had just been issued they day before the chart came out. In-fact it's possible that some records featured on these charts never made it to record shops, whilst other made it weeks later. 
For all these problems of spelling, correct titles and artists, release dates. Readers should search the original titles on the 45 Cat website.
The first of the these Capital Charts from 1974, were written down by Howard Pizzey and John Shirley. The copyright on these 1974 chart(s) belongs to them. Anyone wishing to use them for publishing purpose should contact me, using the comment box below (mark it Private - so it won't get published on the blog) and I will forward the request to them.     

The 1975 and 1976 Capital charts will be posted eventually!

A Request... If anyone wrote down any other Independent Local Radio charts - not the network charts which are on here - could they send me a copy of them so I can put them on this section of the blog. To contact me just post a message below in the blog comment box and mark it private, so it doesn't get published and I will get back in touch with you.