Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford

(1550—1604) courtier and poet

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married Lord Burleigh's daughter, and high hopes were placed on him as a courtier and patron, but they were dissipated by his capricious and quarrelsome temperament. His most famous quarrel was with Sidney, whom, according to Greville, he addressed as ‘puppy’ in a dispute at the tennis court in 1579. One of the 15 or so surviving poems attributed to him is entitled ‘Love compared to a tennis playe’. T. J. Looney identified him in 1920 as the author of Shakespeare's plays, and a sizeable body of ‘Oxfordians’ have since built on this claim.

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism.

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