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Shaker of the Speare: The Francis Bacon Story Hardcover – Jul 13 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Book Guild Ltd (July 13 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857769414
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857769418
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 998 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,112,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Clayton Buerkle on Oct. 12 2005
Format: Hardcover
Fascinating Fact-Based story of Shakespearean author Francis Bacon. Ross Jackson does an excellent job of fleshing out the obscure life of Francis Bacon, well-known as a leading philosopher, statesman, and essayist and yet quietly perhaps the greatest writer ever. I'm familiar with many of the reference sources in Jackson's companion book used to support his novel, and though he used only a portion of the available evidence he seems to have chosen that evidence which is most credible. So the story is very believable and the documentation sound. Lately I've also been reading the works promoting the authorship of William Shakespeare, whose name was on many (but far from all) of the published plays. And they seem to say "Don't even bother looking at any of the research or evidence suggesting someone other than William Shakespeare as the author. No, just believe US when we tell you that he wrote all the plays!" This prejudice needs to stop and evidence to the contrary deserves to receive a fair hearing. Mr. Jackson is the latest writer to explain why and how Francis Bacon used a 'mask' to cover his Shakespeare authorship, having assembled an excellent platter of impressive but little-known evidence and surrounded it with an engaging story of one of the most influential personalities in history. Will Jackson's books be the ones that finally pry open the steel-trap strutterers of Stratford?? Stay-tuned!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arlene Mckibbon on Aug. 15 2005
Format: Hardcover
Shaker of the Speare
A Powerful Debut Novel
This book is a wonderful blend of true romance, intrigue, suspense and love triangles, political manoeuvrings, all blended together with documented historical facts. Just looking at the clever portraits on the book jacket gets your immediate attention. I couldn't put this book down until I was finished! The royal families and their tensions mixed up with alliances, posturing, high level cheating, and eternal speculations as to who would succeed the infamous Virgin Queen, not to mention how the Shakespeare works emerged as an essential part of Bacon's method of teaching at a time when very few could read. The balancing in this novel is really well done; keeping the reader in continual suspense. And I loved the frequent touches of subtle humour. Will she or won't she? Who will get her in the end? Is she really what she seems? The writer here puts an entirely new light on the amazing story of Francis Bacon and Will Shakespeare. With the Companion book beside me, I would flip back and forth to check up on the historical evidence, and see for myself how it really occurred. It is a truly breathtaking story, and well written. The dialogue is captivating. I would love to see it as a film.
The most interesting critique of this novel is the unique style of writing, which the author employs. Ross Jackson's method seems to be very similar to that of the book's subject, Francis Bacon. Ross Jackson uses this novel in subtle ways, to educate the reader, just as Bacon did in his own times. It is packed with fascinating historical information, all emerging naturally from the story. I enjoyed the background information about the secret societies of those times, ancient myths, legends, as well as the devious ways and nasty means employed by the courtiers close to the royal families, to ensure their own future positions. Overall it is an excellent read, and will leave you wanting to see more from this new author.
Arlene McKibbon
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Giovanni Ciarlo on Aug. 8 2005
Format: Hardcover
One of the things I enjoyed the most about this book is the realization that here is a writer who has never written a novel before doing a masterful job in a totally new genre. I've known Ross Jackson's writings over the years for his philosophical, social and collective values as related to sustainable life styles, Ecovillages and modern economics. Following this line I read "Shaker of the Speare" with an eye out for a description of the utopian society one would expect from a writer of futures visions and environmental economics. In fact Jackson resorted to a key element in sustainability and ecovillages, in my view: the use of art as a way to imagine what may be possible under unseen circumstances. His deep commitment to this process has given us a Jewell of a novel that everyone must read, both for its artistry and for the daring premise of its story.
The artist is an expert manipulator of images and visions in order to create a reality not otherwise available to him/her-self and others. Quite often these possibilities open the door to the impossible and new revelations about human nature and natural systems follow. I think that is exactly what Jackson has done with "Shaker of the Speare." He has taken circumstantial evidence from an extensive research process to rewrite a most intriguing piece of history about what took place in Elizabethan times in Europe, but which also affected the New World and the colonization of North America by the English. This is a serious work clad in drama, tragedy and spiritual-romantic ideals worthy of a Shakespearean play. To back up his thesis Jackson has provided us with a companion book, sold separately, that lays out all the evidence in a form of workshop, on its characters and their time.
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Curiosity about Shakespeare and who was he really Aug. 15 2005
By Arlene Mckibbon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Shaker of the Speare
A Powerful Debut Novel
This book is a wonderful blend of true romance, intrigue, suspense and love triangles, political manoeuvrings, all blended together with documented historical facts. Just looking at the clever portraits on the book jacket gets your immediate attention. I couldn't put this book down until I was finished! The royal families and their tensions mixed up with alliances, posturing, high level cheating, and eternal speculations as to who would succeed the infamous Virgin Queen, not to mention how the Shakespeare works emerged as an essential part of Bacon's method of teaching at a time when very few could read. The balancing in this novel is really well done; keeping the reader in continual suspense. And I loved the frequent touches of subtle humour. Will she or won't she? Who will get her in the end? Is she really what she seems? The writer here puts an entirely new light on the amazing story of Francis Bacon and Will Shakespeare. With the Companion book beside me, I would flip back and forth to check up on the historical evidence, and see for myself how it really occurred. It is a truly breathtaking story, and well written. The dialogue is captivating. I would love to see it as a film.
The most interesting critique of this novel is the unique style of writing, which the author employs. Ross Jackson's method seems to be very similar to that of the book's subject, Francis Bacon. Ross Jackson uses this novel in subtle ways, to educate the reader, just as Bacon did in his own times. It is packed with fascinating historical information, all emerging naturally from the story. I enjoyed the background information about the secret societies of those times, ancient myths, legends, as well as the devious ways and nasty means employed by the courtiers close to the royal families, to ensure their own future positions. Overall it is an excellent read, and will leave you wanting to see more from this new author.
Arlene McKibbon
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
modern masterpiece March 31 2010
By D. Call - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I can say nothing but reinforce what has already been said by other reviewers. Ross Jackson has created nothing short of a masterpiece. While reading, I tend to become overwhelmed of the magnitude of the events occurring at this time. Ross allows the reader to feel the emotions within Sir Francis Bacon's circumstances. I am very hesitant on spending much on a book, but this book is well worth the price. I suppose it's a way of saying "thank you" for such a splendid work. From start to finish (which I have a few chapters left!), Ross keeps the intensity of Francis' situations. I have yet to purchase the companion guide, but will happen in good time. To Mr. Jackson, Thank you for this wonderful work. You have done this world a great service. Maybe it doesn't create world peace (haha), but it does shed a light on an important historical era.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Jackson Shakes the Speare Aug. 8 2005
By Giovanni Ciarlo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
One of the things I enjoyed the most about this book is the realization that here is a writer who has never written a novel before doing a masterful job in a totally new genre. I've known Ross Jackson's writings over the years for his philosophical, social and collective values as related to sustainable life styles, Ecovillages and modern economics. Following this line I read "Shaker of the Speare" with an eye out for a description of the utopian society one would expect from a writer of futures visions and environmental economics. In fact Jackson resorted to a key element in sustainability and ecovillages, in my view: the use of art as a way to imagine what may be possible under unseen circumstances. His deep commitment to this process has given us a Jewell of a novel that everyone must read, both for its artistry and for the daring premise of its story.
The artist is an expert manipulator of images and visions in order to create a reality not otherwise available to him/her-self and others. Quite often these possibilities open the door to the impossible and new revelations about human nature and natural systems follow. I think that is exactly what Jackson has done with "Shaker of the Speare." He has taken circumstantial evidence from an extensive research process to rewrite a most intriguing piece of history about what took place in Elizabethan times in Europe, but which also affected the New World and the colonization of North America by the English. This is a serious work clad in drama, tragedy and spiritual-romantic ideals worthy of a Shakespearean play. To back up his thesis Jackson has provided us with a companion book, sold separately, that lays out all the evidence in a form of workshop, on its characters and their time. The companion brings home the notion that the story in the novel is not just made up, but rather a very possible interpretation of what the author describes with some poetic license in the text. It also has a few pages of interesting graphics and period symbols that help understand the correlation between fiction and reality.
The novel is striking in its use of credible dialogues and character development. It paints a picture of royal intrigue, secrecy and corruption of public knowledge for the sake of power. But one of Jackson's main intentions is simply to prove how circumstances and faith played a major role in concealing the identity of the world's greatest writer of all time, William Shakespeare. Throughout the novel we find credible scenarios under which many of the Shake-Speare sonnets may have been written. The numerous plot lines are skillfully spun-out with a style that draws the reader into the story without realizing how radical it truly is. The themes of royal lineage, power struggles, spiritual devotion, political betrayal, corruption and incompetence inside the emerging most powerful country in the world are endless and engaging. My first impression was how similar it is today as it was four hundred years ago when England went from the progressive rule of Queen Elizabeth to the corrupt and irresponsible rule of King James. The tactics used then for control of public opinion and to justify unacceptable actions by the rulers of the world are no different from those used today. The only difference perceived on the surface is that the nobility has been replaced by the corporations.
But what lies at the bottom of the novel is the artistic journey and philosophical development of one of the greatest minds to walk the earth. The story is the life of Sir Francis Bacon, who has been misunderstood by history and underestimated by critics in the shaping of the modern English language. He may be responsible for the writing of the King James Bible, and has quite possibly given us the complete works of William Shakespeare while at the same time elevating the Rosicrucian Order of Freemasons and the Knight Templar to a global spiritual movement. He is recognized as one of the greatest legal minds of its times. It is hard to believe that a single individual could do all the things Bacon is credited with, but the novel makes an unquestionable case for it.
"Shaker of the Spear" is in the same vein as "The Davinci Codes" and I hope it has as much success with the general public. But if the story it tells is true, it has a far more revolutionary importance for English history and for understanding the role of artistic expression in our society.
by Giovanni Ciarlo

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