We constantly hear from Oxfordians, as they assess the so-called autobiographical content of Hamlet or Macbeth or even Coriolanus, that 'there are just too many coincidences for [insert name of play] not to have been written by the Earl'.
Since their less diaphanous arguments have mostly been torn to shreds, this has become one of the core substances of the argument for many Oxfordians. Literary biographical fantasy is rapidly replacing the rewriting of history at the heart of Oxfordian activities. It raises the question, of course, 'how many coincidences count as too many?'
At Oxfraud, as always, our primary instinct is to help. How can we measure biographical coincidence in a scientific manner, bringing the weight of autobiographical suggestivity to bear on the key literary task of attribution?
A measure of coincidence
What has been needed (and for a long time now), is a standardised unit of measure for autobiographical coincidence. Only by measuring against a standard unit can varying degrees of coincidence be added together to amass a value which could then be described as 'too much coincidence' or 'too many coincidences'.
How will this help in the case of Shakespeare and De Vere? If the sum is to be accurate, it is essential to be able to assign different scientific values to, say, the fact the Oxford and King Lear had the same number of daughters or that Lear and Earl are anagrams. Then there are all the Burghley connections.
Values need to be assigned to people who look like real characters in Elizabethan society using a ratio which reflects the likelihood of acquaintance with the authorship candidates under investigation.
Which brings us to The Vere. The standard value, a single Vere, is set high. The highest odds coincidence is that of being captured by pirates. Oxford is the only candidate who can boast this qualification. The value of the Vere is therefore calculated at the rate of 100 of these coincidences. A single pirate coincidence is therefore worth 10 milliVeres or 1 deciVere.
At the low end of the scale, the relationship between Polonius and Burghley can rate no more the 10 nanoVeres. Polonius, really, could have been any character at any court tending to prolixity, just as Osric, well… you get the picture.
Now the task is straightforward.
A value of 1 MegaVere will replace the non-scientific "too many" value in autobiographical coincidence and will be all that is required to deprive an author of credit for his work. If Oxfordians can, therefore, find 100 instances of the same value as the pirate coincidence, they will have proved their case and can move on to the next author.
The threshold of disattribution will need to be reset for each author, of course. You can't expect to strip Dickens of his authorship, given his prodigious output, having discovered just a single MegaVere of autobiographical coincidence with the life of William Thackeray or Emily Pankhurst. An International Committee must be set up to instigate and maintain threshold values for all of the authors out there.
A simple task, one would think, compared to current Oxfordian methods of trying to discredit Shakespeare.