M isconceptions over Macaulay and the Friedmans proved sufficient to cause many anti-Stratfordians to shy away from the Baconian camp. The Strats (for the time being) were breathing a sigh of relief. However, the “Shakespeare Problem” refused to go away.
Quite conveniently, in 1920, an English school teacher by the name of Thomas Looney extrapolated a third possible Shakespearean author in his book Shakespeare Identified . Looney correlated places and events mentioned in the Shakespeare works with the travels and circumstances in the life of Edward De Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. Furthermore, De Vere made a somewhat compelling match with many of the criteria essential for the Shakespeare authorship. Looney’s book became the ideal ploy for misdirecting attention away from the Baconian trail.