Objections to Oxford as
"They think that only an earl or a duke could really write plays like that, when you and I know what rot that is."
The speaker is Professor A. L. Rowse, a British historian and staunch defender of the Stratfordian faith. Aging but alert, feisty, and self-assured, he's being interviewed on a PBS-TV "Frontline" program about Oxford as the possible author. The setting is "the Birthplace" at Stratford-on-Avon. 1
Rowse continues: "It's always the clever grammar school boys who write the plays, you know, like Christopher Marlowe or Ben Jonson or Nashe or Robert Greene or any of them. The plays are never written by an earl."
The objection is a familiar one. Substituting an aristocratic courtier to the queen for the Stratford glover's son as the author Shakespeare seems much too radical. That two such different men could both be proposed as the poet/dramatist is hard to believe. After all the years of research and scholarship, certainly the incumbent must be the true author. Besides, earls don't write plays.
Oxfordians, of course, see no reason why genius should be found only in commoners. They cite Count Tolstoy, Lord Byron,