Whilst Shakespeare's genius is universally recognized, there is a hidden, secretive side to his work that is little known: the fact that he made use of a mysterious code that figures widely in the esoteric literature of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. This title explores and reveals what Shakespeare alluded to as 'a Secret booke'.
And now I will unclaspe a Secret booke, And to your quicke conceyving Discontents, Ille reade you Matter, deepe and dangerous As full of peril and adventurous Spirit...- William Shakespeare, "King Henry IV", Part I. Whilst Shakespeare's genius is universally recognized, there is a hidden, secretive side to his work that is little known: the fact that he made use of a mysterious code that figures widely in the esoteric literature of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. The Bard of Avon was a master of such encoding, and his methods were continued, in the Folio of 1623 and in his various memorials, by those who had known him. However, Shakespeare was not the inventor of this code. Among the many arcane authors who made use of it before him was Michel Nostradamus, the famous French prophet and savant. As David Ovason reveals, many leading esoteric writers - alchemists, occultists and Rosicrucians - contributed to this 'Secret booke'. Among the more outstanding English literary figures who used the code were the mysterious adviser to Elizabeth I, John Dee, the turbulent author of "The Alchemist, Ben Jonson", and the more classically-minded Edmund Spenser, whose poem "The Faerie Queene" is the best-known esoteric work of the period. "Shakespeare's Secret Booke" reveals many other literary figures who together form a remarkable underground literary movement, including the most influential esotericist of the period, Jacob Boehme, and alchemists such as the English polymath Robert Fludd. Another was Shakespeare's contemporary, the youthful Johann Valentin Andreae, credited as author of "The Chymical Wedding" - a Rosicrucian work replete with sophisticated examples of encoding. The fact that all these writers used the same or similar encoding points to a secret teaching designed to be recognized by initiates. Ovason explores and, for the first time, reveals what Shakespeare alluded to as 'a Secret booke'.
DAVID OVASON is the author of numerous books on historical and esoteric subjects. His most recent works include The Secrets of Nostradamus (1997), The Zelator: A Modern Initiate Explores the Ancient Mysteries (1998), The Secret Architecture of Our Nation's Capital (1999), The Two Children: A Study of the Two Jesus Children in Literature and Art (2001), The Secret Symbols of the Dollar Bill (2004) and The History of the Horoscope (2005).
Introduction Chapter One The Secret Number Hamlet and ghosts - The Sonnets - The Tempest - Authors of the Secret booke - George Sandys - Four encoded portraits - Abraham Cowley - Love's Labour's Lost - William Blake - Robert Fludd - The two cupids Chapter Two Shakespeare's Curse Stone Shakespeare's tomb - Washington Irving - Ben Jonson - Francis Bacon - The curse-stone code - Samuel Ireland - The code unravelled Chapter Three Some Rosicrucian WorkS Ethan Allen Hitchcock - Shakespeare's tomb code - Liber M Mysterium Magnum - D.L.S. - Magica - Khunrath's Amphitheatrum - The Mystic Rose - The Phoenix, or Hermes Bird - Flaming Rose - Robert Fludd - Tabula Smaragdina - Atalanta fugiens Chapter Four The Sacred Monas of John Dee John Dee - Monas Hieroglyphica - John Milton - The Alchemist of Jonson - Alpha, Omega and Crux - Daniel Mylius - Saint Luke and Saint Matthew - Two Children - Michelangelo Chapter Five The Rosicrucian Code The Rosicrucian Temple of Schweighardt - Johann Valentin Andreae - Ezechiel Foxcroft - The Chymical Wedding - Pearls before swine - The Fifth Day - Naked Venus - The encoded script above the Venus - The Tree and the Fruit - The code within a code - Atman, Buddhi and Manas - Fludd's diagram of the secret Ternary - The Paracelsian Three Principles - Salt - Sulphur - Mercury - A Rosicrucian diagram of the secret Ternary Chapter Six Nostradamus his Codes Nostradamus - Propheties - First two quatrains - Iamblichus - Language of the Birds - Michael Maier - Jocus Severus - Quatrain 3:3 - The Battle of Lepanto - Pierre l'Estoile - Urbanus VIII - Bees - A 33-encoded quatrain Chapter Seven The Ego in Strife: Law & Boehme Portrait of Jacob Boehme - William Law - The Clavis - An Illustration of the Deep - Thomas Heywood - Michelangelo's Creation of Adam - Charles Bovelles - Das Auge and the A - Reincarnation diagram - Der Weeg zu Christo - Vesica Piscis Conclusion Picture section
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