The Palace of Pleasure (1566)

The Palace of Pleasure, 1566Figure 1

Palace, 1566, ERLE, CODEX, ECHO, DYER

Fig. 2

Palace, 1566, CODEX, ECHOFig. 3

The Palace of Pleasure, 1566, VEREFig. 4

   We have seen from the discussion of Arthur Golding and Edward de Vere’s collaboration on the translation of  Ovid’s Metamorphoses (1567)  that de Vere was already working with transposition codes as early as 1564.  In November, 1558, Oxford was enrolled at St. John’s College (at the age of eight), Cambridge where, five years later (1564), was awarded a B.A. from Cambridge, and Masters of Art degrees from both Cambridge and Oxford at the age of 16.  Dates and places for his education are reported differently by many sources.  Some claim the masters degrees were awarded (earned) by Oxford, but most report they were honorary.  In 1567, at the age of 17, Oxford entered Gray’s Inn to study law.

   The year 1566, then, takes on added significance in the light of the places where Oxford took his education.  The Inns of Court, as well of both Cambridge and Oxford were widely renouned for the writing and performing of plays.  Elizabeth I is reported to have attended  some of these plays, and Oxford was reputed to have written several plays while studying at university and law school.

   So, why does the presence of the letter-string “DYER” make sense in Array 20 of the 1566 frontispiece to The Palace of Pleasure?  Edward Dyer and Edward de Vere were life-long friends, and, at one point, were in the employ of the spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham, and were trained as spies to work with codes and ciphers.  Both were poets.  It is therefore not surprising that, in Sonnet 76, the letter-string “DYER” is fused with DEVERE.  The question arises, then, did Oxford include Dyer’s name as one of his pen-names?  

Two of the most faithfullest Freendes  (1571):

Damon and Pithias, 1571 Frtps. JPEGFig. 5

Damon, Pythias, VERE, DYER, JPEGFig. 6



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