Christopher Marlowe Wrote The Sonnets
This is the book that I wrote 15 years ago (2005) outlining the case that Christopher Marlowe identifies himself as the author of Shakespeare's Sonnets. This book is currently not in print, but I am working on a new and revised version. In the meantime I retain this description of the original book as a matter of historical record.The Sonnets are the closest thing we have to Shakespeare's autobiography, yet the story they tell has no connection whatever to the life of the Stratford actor/broker. That story, however, makes perfect sense as the account of Christopher Marlowe and his circumstances following a disappearance from the scene in May 1593.
The evidence proving 'William Shakespeare' to be Marlowe's pen-name in the years after 1593 comes most explicitly in an acrostic message hidden in the poem proclaiming - KIT MARLOWE WROTE THIS. The validity of this message is confirmed by the way that every precise detail of its construction serves to delineate Marlowe's "Masonic mark". A host of secondary evidence is also presented.
Readers' comments about the book include phrases like, "An amazing discovery", "A remarkable piece of work", "An enormous tour de force", "Devastating", "Brilliant and important".
This book is the product of fifteen years intensive research. It started with a hunch that the only person capable of filling the requirements of the mystery of William Shakespeare's identity was his brilliant forebear Christopher Marlowe. Over time, this hunch solidified into conviction and especially so after I came into contact with A.D. Wraight and her solution to the authorship problem, The Story That The Sonnets Tell. After reading Wraight's book, I set out to see if I could find concrete evidence that would prove the historical case beyond doubt.
It occurred to me that if Kit Marlowe had survived and written Shakespeare's plays and poems he would have almost certainly have wished to let posterity know, in some way, that it was him and not the Stratford actor/broker who was the true author. When considering how he might have done this, I was struck by another observation of Wraight's that the author was likely a Freemason. Following from this, I felt sure that the key to the evidence I sought would lie in Masonic forms of cryptography.
The cryptographic technique most commonly associated with Freemasonry is literary cabala (see Masonry and the Cabala). This form of cryptology, which involves coding units of text to create specific numerical patterns with their own embedded messages, would obviously be suitable for a writer like Shakespeare to use. The first problem involved finding the code for English used by the Freemasons. This is one of the best-kept secrets of Freemasonry, but eventually I tracked it down in the most authoritative work on numerology and cabala from the early sixteenth century - Henry Cornelius Agrippa's 'Three Books of Occult Philosophy' (1531).
The next problem was that, although when I applied the code to Shakespeare's Sonnets the patterns that emerged were far from random, I could not make sense of them. There were some tantalising clues, but I couldn't piece together the whole picture. It was obvious that there was a further level of encryption at work. Eventually I cracked this, too: I stumbled on the second key, which involves a permutation according to the most fundamental figure of Masonic 'sacred geometry' - the right-angled triangle. This geometric figure constituted Marlowe's personal Masonic mark. It is a device he used with complete consistency throughout the Sonnets when recording and coding his identity.
With the two keys in my possession, I was finally able to unravel the cabalistic messages 'William Shakespeare' left in his autobiographic Sonnets.
However, this was not the end of the matter. In January 2003 I stumbled on something even more exciting. I found an acrostic cryptogram embedded in the verse structure of the Sonnets. This amounts to nothing less than a signed confession of authorship - a totally unambiguous message written by 'our ever-living poet' KIT MARLOWE.
|Part 1 - The Set Up|
|I The Shakespeare Problem||An outline of the reasons why William Shakspere of Stratford-upon-Avon could not have been the author of Shakespeare's literary works.|
|II The Key Suspect||An explanation of why Christopher Marlowe is far more likely to have been the true author.|
Part 2 - Forensic Background
|III The Meaning of Numbers||Examines the role of numerology in Renaissance philosophy and specifically focuses on Professor Alastair Fowler's study of the numerology underlying Shakespeare's Sonnets.|
||This chapter starts by confirming that Freemasonry was active and flourishing in England in Shakespeare's time. It proceeds to examine evidence that Shakespeare's plays are full of Masonic references and allusions, and makes a particular study of Anthony and Cleopatra. Finally it looks at Masonic symbolism embedded in the Sonnets.|
|V Cabala||An introduction to literary cabala. Historical examples in Hebrew and Greek are cited from the first verse of Genesis and the name Jesus Christ, respectively. The significance of the numbers 2701, 2368 and 3168 is explained in some detail.|
|VI Later Cabala||The gematria code of Latin and English is recovered from darkness of sworn oaths of secrecy. Examples of its use, both by Shakespeare's contemporaries, and in the symbolism of Freemasonry are demonstrated.|
|VII The Suspect's Form||An examination of Christopher Marlowe's track record as a cabalist. The gematria properties of his famous play Tamburlaine are brought to light.|
|VIII A Hostile Witness||Gematria based techniques are tested against the touchstone of standards laid down for literary 'ciphers' by the famous cryptologists William and Elizebeth Friedman. A seminal distinction is established between 'odd numbers' and numerical patterns - the former being meaningless, the latter having the potential to be highly meaningful.|
3 - The Evidence in the Sonnets
|IX A Smoking Gun||The first body of evidence is found in Thomas Thorpe's dedication prefacing the Sonnets. We find out, for example, how the number 2120, which is the value both of "OUR EVER-LIVING POET" and the whole dedication, indicates the Freemason Christopher Marlowe. Many strands of confirmatory evidence are presented.|
|X A Set of Fingerprints||Lines in the Sonnets corresponding to the gematria value of Marlowe's name are analysed. We find that the poet left us his calling card under the names 'Kit Marlowe', 'Christopher Marlowe' and 'Christopher Marlowe Master Mason'. Sophisticated and mutually referring patterns are found at these locations.|
|XI A Signed Confession||A sensational cryptogram is revealed by means of an acrostic letter grid. The message states very bluntly - KIT MARLOWE WROTE THIS. The text of the message is explicitly signalled and it also embodies numerical features that prove its intentionality through systematic reference to Marlowe's Masonic Mark. The acrostic grid also has other underlying patterns pointing directly to Marlowe's claim to authorship.|
4 - A Lover's Complaint
|XII A Counter-signature||An almost identical cryptogram is revealed in Shakespeare's poem A Lover's Complaint that accompanied the Sonnets in their first edition. The validity of Kit's second message is also demonstrated.|
|Revenant||An examination of the prologue to Marlowe's play The Jew of Malta gives broad hints as to Marlowe's doings in the aftermath of his 'murder'. This prologue has cabalistic features making it extremely personal to Christopher Marlowe; thus identifying him with the speaker Machevill, who scoffs at rumours of his own death.|
|App 1 Cipher examples||Some contemporary cipher examples from Shakespeare's time.|
|App 2 The Great Pyramid||How Shakespeare may have got the information he incorporated into the Sonnets about the Great Pyramid.|
|App 3 The Great Seal||
Some interesting points of similarity between the symbolism of the Great Seal of America and that found in the Sonnets.
|App 4 Hebrew and Greek gematria||The codes and how they were used.|
|App 5 Geometry||A simplified guide to some of the (sacred) geometry needed to understand how gematria works in practice.|
|App 6 My Name||References to 'My name' in the Sonnets.|
Peter Bull 2004-2022