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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 Publishing 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: #1,393,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

J.T. Ross Jackson is a Canadian-born naturalized Danish citizen living in Copenhagen with his wife Hildur. They have three sons, Rolf, Thor and Frej. Ross earned his B.Sc. in Engineering Physics at Queen's University in Canada, and did post-graduate studies in the United States, where he received his M.S. in Industrial Management at Purdue University and his Ph.D. in Operations Research at Case Western Reserve University. What started as a visit to Denmark to get some international business experience in 1964 ended in a permanent move after he met Hildur. Most of his professional career has been as an independent management consultant, with a specialty in software development for financial institutions. In 1987, his long-standing interest in the environment and spirituality resulted in the founding, with Hildur and other Danish friends, of Gaia Trust - a charitable association that supports persons and organizations that are working for the transition to a sustainable planet. He has been chair of the group since that time. Gaia Trust's funds were earned from a commercial subsidiary, now sold off, which specialized in foreign exchange management, based on theories and software developed originally by Ross in the early 1980s.Gaia Trust's main project to date has been the establishment and support of GEN - the Global Ecovillage Network an international network of ecovillages, which are working models of sustainable living for the new millennium, integrating ecological, social and spiritual aspects into a holistic lifestyle.

"Shaker of the Speare; The Francis Bacon Story" is Ross' first novel. He has written two other books, on his spiritual journey and on why he supports the eco-village movement as an alternative to commercial globalisation.Ross is currently working on a book on why and how we must break away from the dominant neo-liberal economic system, which is systematically destroying both the environment and local communities across the world, while creating unacceptable and politically explosive inequities among world citizens.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

It was late afternoon when Axel knocked on his door while Robert Dudley was resting on his simple bed, waiting anxiously to hear what was happening. He could see from Axel’s face what was coming. “We have received a message, sir. I am afraid you will not like it. Wyatt has been crushed. It is all over. There are many prisoners heading this way by barge from Westminster. We are going to be very crowded this evening. I have heard that there are so many prisoners that even The Tower, Marshalsea and King’s Bench together cannot hold them all.” “Oh, my God,” said Dudley, as he sat down wearily on the edge of his bed, “then we are all done for.” “I have also spoken to Lady Jane Grey. She has received the news of herself and Guildford, but does not wish to see anyone, not even Guildford. I conveyed to her Mary’s offer of a last visit with him, but she turned it down. She is a brave lady, sir.” “I know. She is a very noble person.” “Do you know what she said, sir? She said her presence would weaken rather than strengthen him, that he should take courage from reason and constancy from heart. She said they would meet in a better world where unions were indissoluble, and theirs would be eternal. I took her message to Guildford, and he cried. Sir, I feel sorry for her. She has the true nature of a Queen.” “Yes, Axel, she does. She is a genuine Tudor.” The next few days were a continuing living nightmare for Robert Dudley as he witnessed through a small window a constant procession of his family, friends and allies to the block. One of the first was his brother Guildford. He cringed as his brother’s severed head was held high with the traditional cry “So perish all the Queen’s enemies. Behold, the head of a traitor.” The next day it was Lady Jane’s turn. He watched as the seventeen-year old mounted the platform with regal dignity, accompanied by Queen Mary’s personal chaplain, Dr. Feckenham, and two ladies-in-waiting. Lady Jane addressed the large crowd that had gathered and recited the fifty-first psalm, then brushed aside help and made her away to the block, where she tied a handkerchief over her eyes. There followed a five minute silence, whereby officials awaited a possible last-minute reprieve from the Queen, and the gathered crowd asked themselves what this beautiful young lady had done to deserve such treatment. The executioner kneeled and asked for her forgiveness, which she gave willingly. Her last words were, “Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Dudley turned away and would see no more. Over the next fortnight, the slaughter continued throughout the city, as over one hundred of Wyatt’s men were hanged, drawn and quartered, their bodies dangling at the gates to the city, at Cheapside, Aldgate, Leadenhall, Holborn, St. George’s, Charing Cross, Bermondsey Street, even at St.Paul’s Churchyard. Others were hanged outside the city at Maidenstone, Rochester, and Sevenoaks. To the citizens, it seemed there was no end to the revenge. The prize, Sir Thomas Wyatt himself, was kept alive for Simon Renard. Every attempt was made to force Wyatt to implicate Elizabeth, including torture on the rack, but without success. Finally, after he had been formally tried, and sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered, Renard decided to pay him a personal visit in the Tower. Renard entered the dimly lit rack room, where Wyatt was strapped firmly to the rack, his only clothing a brief loincloth. Renard requested the guards to leave them alone. Renard spoke politely, walking up to Wyatt’s side. “Sir Thomas. I don’t believe we have met. I am Simon Renard.” “I know who you are,” squeaked an exhausted and weak Thomas Wyatt, his head leaning to one side to make eye contact. “Good. Then let us not waste time. I will get right to the point. I am not interested in your life, Sir Wyatt. It means nothing to me. I am interested in Elizabeth. I am prepared to make you a proposition. Your life for your signature.” He pulled a document from his inner pocket and held it up to the light for Wyatt to read. “The deal is simple. You admit Elizabeth’s consent. You go free. You can be out of here within the hour.” Wyatt struggled to clear his throat. His lips were caked with dried blood. He was clearly in great pain. “Do you want the truth or a signature?” he croaked. Renard smiled. “Truth? What is truth, Sir Thomas? I would prefer to have both — the truth and your signature. Look here! I know you are an honourable man. I am not asking you to lie. But you and I both know that you did not embark on this adventure without some sign, however small, implicit or explicit, from Elizabeth, to you or to one of your lieutenants. I am a reasonable man. That is all I want you to concede. Perhaps her consent was not specific. A wink? A pregnant silence? I don’t care. Truth? You can define your truth however you like, Sir Thomas. Then you can have a clear conscience and your freedom.”

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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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