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Edward De Vere
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    (April 12, 1550-June 24, 1604)
    Born in Castle Hedingham, England, United Kingdom
    17th Earl of Oxford
    Elizabethan courtier, poet and playwright
    Sponsored two acting companies
    Alleged to be the 'real' author of Shakespeare's plays
    According to John Aubrey's 'Brief Lives,' he went to Europe for an extended period due to 'an unfortunate flatulence' in Queen Elizabeth's presence.
    He killed an unarmed cook while practicing fencing and escaped punishment by claiming the dead man had thrown himself onto Oxford's sword (1567).
    He repudiated his Catholicism and accused several of his Catholic friends of treason (1580).
    He had a daughter out of wedlock (1581).
    Little of his own poetry and none of his plays have survived.
    The theory that he was really Shakespeare runs into the minor complication that someone kept releasing Shakespearean plays after his 1604 death.
    While he was off in Europe, his wife had another man's child (1575).
    On his way back from Europe, he was robbed by pirates.
    He was a patron of writers such as Edmund Spenser.
    In 'The Wit's Treasury' (1598), he was described as 'the best for comedy.'
    If being dead couldn't stop V. C. Andrews from releasing new books, why should it stop Oxford?

Credit: C. Fishel

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