Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (1550–1604) was a courtier who wrote a number of love poems. Several of his poems appeared in print in a number of anthologies and miscellanies (according to Wikipedia), e.g. in The Paradise of Dainty Devises (1576), The Phoenix Nest (1593), England's Helicon (1600) and The Teares of Fancie (1593).

What I haven't been able to find, however, is when his (surviving) poems were first published together in single volume, possibly with just his poems. I assume this would have been after his death, but I would like to know whether this was before or after that infamous conspiracy theory reared its head in the 1920s.


After some more searching, especially on WorldCat, I have come to the conclusion that the first edition of Edward de Vere's poems was Thomas Looney's, published in 1921. You can find this edition in WorldCat.

Thomas Looney's main claim to fame (or shame) is the invention of the Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship. According to this theory, Edward the Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, who died in 1604, wrote Shakespeare's play, including those published after 1604 that allude to events that took place after his death (e.g. the Gunpowder Plot of November 1605).

The introduction to Looney's edition of The Poems of Edward de Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford is available on the website of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship. A digitised version of the entire book can be downloaded from the website Forgotten Books. For a web version of the poems, see Wikisource.

An earlier edition of Edward de Vere's poems also included poems by a few of his contemporaries. See especially The poems of Thomas, Lord Vaux ; Edward, Earl of Oxford ; Robert, Earl of Essex ; and Walter, Earl of Essex : for the first time collected, published in 1872 ("Printed for private circulation; 156 copies only"). Some people may be able to download the digitised version linked from the entry in Core.ac.uk.

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