A Statement of Claims:
It must be said that The De Vere Code – Proof of the true author Shakes-speares Sonnets is a well written book. Jonathan Bond
has demonstrated skills in style, delivery and timing that made reading the work a pleasant and absorbing task. His words settle nicely on
the page. If the measure of Bond's writing ability is a measure of his stagecraft, then it would be a rewarding experience to view his
performance as actor. The thoroughness of his research is to be commended.
But Drystone's interest is primarily in content and not in delivery. And here the analytical and literary approaches rub
uncomfortably. If (in some manner) Bond's hypothesis had been published as an academic paper rather than a book, it would have been more
accessible to critical analysis, for in addition to the actual paper, an abstract would have been available.
This paper presents the finding that Edward de Vere … The paper shows that decryption of the … using a grid
method … produces names and …. The paper contends the dedication was forwarded to …
Also the content of the paper would have been formally structured and picturesque detail "on a warm evening in early June … I saw
something that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end", and extraneous colour "the next evening, Galileo found Jupiter
again and to his astonishment", would have been absent and consequently the task of an investigator would have been more straightforward.
Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have
belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.
Much Ado About Nothing, act V sc I
However The De Vere Code is, for analytical purposes, akin (and there is no malice in this observation, I readily acknowledge the work's
quality – and after all it is a book, not a paper) in structure to a Dogberry report. For example, an important sequence of arguments,
dealing with the near five year gap between de Vere's death and the publication of the Sonnets, are presented for the first time, and almost
incidentally, in the book's epilogue.
Since the author has not provided a summary of the book's claims against which the evidence presented in his book can be gauged, I propose, in
lieu, the following as a fair estimate.
1) All the 154 Sonnets, including the two that had appeared in The Passionate Pilgrim in 1599 (JB100), that were published in the 1609 text were written
by Edward de Vere.
2) Edward de Vere also wrote Venus and Adonis in 1593 and Lucrece in 1594, works traditionally attributed to William Shakespeare.
3) Evidence for de Vere as the author of the Sonnets is encrypted in the dedication.
4) The mechanism for the inclusion of the dedication in the 1609 publication is obtained from examination of the interactions and relationships
between de Vere and some of his contemporaries, in particular Henry Wriothesley, William Herbert, Ben Jonson, Philip Sydney and Thomas Thorpe.
5) Edward de Vere composed the dedication to the Sonnets. De Vere died in 1597. A sequence of events over 12 years resulted
in the publication, by Thomas Thorpe in 1609, of the Sonnets and de Vere's dedication. Thomas Thorpe attached his own name to the dedication.
About 5% of the total works attributed to William Shakespeare are contested by Bond. In The De Vere Code Bond is ambivalent about
the other works traditionally attributed to William Shakespeare. However in an interview on about.com (ACBI) he said:
"The ciphers in the dedication reveal that Edward de Vere wrote the Sonnets – it is therefore also likely that he wrote the two long
Shakespeare poems Venus and Adonis and Lucrece. And given the established connections between these poems and the Shakespeare
plays, it follows that de Vere also had a hand in writing the plays." (ACBI)
Bond makes no comment about the authorship of A Lover's Complaint, a poem published along with the Sonnets in 1609.