The Prince Tudor theory (also known as Tudor Rose theory) is a variant of the Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship, which asserts that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford was the true author of the works published under the name of William Shakespeare. The Prince Tudor variant holds that Oxford and Queen Elizabeth I were lovers and had a child who was raised as Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton. The theory followed earlier arguments that Francis Bacon was a son of the queen. A later version of the theory, known as "Prince Tudor II" states that Oxford was himself a son of the queen, and thus the father of his own half-brother.
This hidden history is supposed to explain why Oxford dedicated the narrative poems Venus and Adonis (1593) and The Rape of Lucrece (1594) to Southampton and to explain aspects of the poems' contents. The content of Shakespeare's sonnets has also been used to support the theory, as, to a lesser extent, have episodes in the plays.
The Prince Tudor theory has created a division among Oxfordians. Many orthodox Oxfordians regard the theory as an impediment to Oxford's recognition as Shakespeare, whereas the Prince Tudor theorists maintain that their theory better explains Oxford's life and the reasons for his writing under a pen name.
... The Prince Tudor II scenario also constitutes the main plot of the feature film Anonymous (2011), written by John Orloff ...
... Allen developed the theory in his 1934 book Anne Cecil, Elizabeth Oxford ... secret drama, which has become known as the Prince Tudor theory, was covertly represented in Oxford's plays and poems and remained hidden until Allen and ... (1952) by Charlton and Dorothy Ogburn included arguments in support of this version of the theory ...
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