How Hang Shakespeare All Started

Is there ONE movie that you have seen more than twice? We all have our favorites but there is one movie that I personally have watched at least six times. Maybe more! Ask my wife. She will probably roll her eyes when you ask her. Here’s a hint. There is now a TV series by the same name on Hulu. (The film is at least 25 years old!) The name of my often-watched movie? Four Weddings and a Funeral. It’s a lovely romantic comedy and I am a big fan of the British screenwriter, Richard Curtis, who also wrote Yesterday, Love Actually and Nottinghill but the main reason I had to watch Four Weddings and a Funeral again and again was to figure out the occupation of the main character, Charles, played by Hugh Grant.

Do you remember what Charles did for a living? The film skips over it so quickly that it took a visit to Roger Ebert’s website to finally figure it out. Spoiler alert: it is not very satisfying but at least it will give you closure.

That is the kind of thing that gnaws at me, and like a dog with a bone, I will keep going back to figure something out!

Edward de Vere was Shakespeare

Similarly, when I watched the documentary film, Nothing is Truer than Truth, there was a tiny detail that was not really explained in the film that got me wondering. Here is the detail and see if it would bother you: Ready?

Okay, in the film, we are told that in 1575, Edward de Vere, the 17th earl of Oxford was 25 years old. He had recently married but he left his wife at home in England in order to travel to France, Germany, and Italy where he spent the next 16 months – and then he returned. Upon arriving home, De Vere discovered that his wife has given birth to a daughter and becomes enraged. He is consumed with jealousy and convinced that he has been made a “cuckold” even though he had received a letter from his father-in-law several months earlier that his wife had given birth.

The question in my mind was *Why would anyone want to go to Italy back then? Especially someone with a new baby. Wasn’t there a plague pandemic back then?*

I did a Google search and yes, Google confirmed it. Italy was in the midst of the plague which was killing thousands of people. In fact, de Vere had to obtain special authorization from Queen Elizabeth I to go to Italy because the crown did not want the plague to come into England.

To find out the reason why I believe Edward de Vere traveled to Italy, please check out Hang Shakespeare!