References in Popular Culture
Satirist Max Beerbohm published a cartoon entitled "William Shakespeare, his method of work", in his 1904 collection The Poet's Corner. Beerbohm depicts Shakespeare receiving the manuscript of Hamlet from Bacon. In Beerbohm's comic essay On Shakespeare's Birthday he declares himself to be unconvinced by Baconian theory, but wishes it were true because of the mischief it would cause — and because having one hero who was both an intellectual and a creative genius would be more exciting than two separate ones.
In P. G. Wodehouse's story The Reverent Wooing of Archibald, the dedicated "sock collector" Archibald Mulliner is told that Bacon wrote plays for Shakespeare. He remarks that it was "dashed decent of him", but suggests he may have only done it because he owed Shakespeare money. Archibald then listens to an elderly Baconian expounding an incomprehensible cipher theory. The narrator remarks that the speech was "unusually lucid and simple for a Baconian". Archibald nevertheless wishes he could escape by picking up a nearby battle-axe hanging on the wall and "dot this doddering old ruin one just above the imitation necklace".
NBC-TV Cartoon Peabody's Improbable History, Episode 49, October 31, 1961 includes a segment regarding the authorship question involving Francis Bacon. In the cartoon, Shakespeare is quoted as saying, "Bacon, you'll fry for this!"
The 1981 cold war thriller The Amateur, written by Robert Littell, involves CIA agents using Bacon's biliteral cipher. In the course of the plot, Professor Lakos, a Baconian theorist and cipher-expert played by Christopher Plummer, assists the hero to uncover the truth. Littell published a novelization of the story in the same year.
In 1973 Margaret Barsi-Greene published the "autobiography" of Bacon expounding the "Prince Tudor" version of Baconian theory. In 1992 this was adapted as the play I, Prince Tudor, wrote Shakespeare by the dramatist Paula Fitzgerald. In 2005 Ross Jackson published Shaker of the Speare: The Francis Bacon Story, a novel also based on the Prince Tudor model.
Read more about this topic: Baconian Theory
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“Sanity consists in not being subdued by your means. Fancy prices are paid for position, and for the culture of talent, but to the grand interests, superficial success is of no account.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“There is a continual exchange of ideas between all minds of a generation. Journalists, popular novelists, illustrators, and cartoonists adapt the truths discovered by the powerful intellects for the multitude. It is like a spiritual flood, like a gush that pours into multiple cascades until it forms the great moving sheet of water that stands for the mentality of a period.”
—Auguste Rodin (18491917)