In response to Professor Leonard Barkan's letter to PAW (July 7, 2022) that Princeton undermines academic excellence by writing about Dr. Richard Waugaman’s research and conclusion that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, wrote the Shakespeare works, I would note that Shakespeare of Stratford’s parents were illiterate, his wife and children were illiterate, and somehow he became the world’s greatest writer. Waugaman’s candidate (and mine) was superbly educated in fields of languages, literature, and law, traveled to Italy and the Continent at a time when the Queen’s permission was needed (along with bodyguards to fend off bandits). He lived in Italy for more than a year, where a dozen plays are set, with street names and customs accurately described. Stratfordians have tried for more than 100 years to malign Oxford, ever since he was identified as the leading or only candidate. Interviews such as this one promote intellectual clarity. Information about Oxford is available through

Bob Meyers
Alexandria, Va.