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Give ‘Anonymous’ failing history grade

(Christopher Rawson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) As I suppose Barbara Vancheri says in her review, “Anonymous” is an entertaining movie of political intrigue, with a charismatic central figure. What I especially enjoy, with my decades of background in the history and literature of Elizabethan England, is its visualization of so many of its scenes, incidents and personalities.

But let’s face it, it’s primarily fiction. And as commentary on whether Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, “was Shakespeare,” it’s just a fervid testament to the attraction of conspiracy theories.

I’ll pass quickly over the revisionist biography of Elizabeth I, with her sexual appetite and series of noble bastards, incest included. I especially object to stripping this Elizabeth of the governing skills that the real Elizabeth demonstrably had. And Ben Jonson’s descendants should sue. But on to Shakespeare.

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