It provides a broader array of material, ranging from extended introductory essays on individual plays and poetic texts (each with a plot summary and covering such matters as text and sources, artistic features, critical history, and, for the plays, stage history and screen versions), to brief entries on topics as diverse as stage furniture, the Oxfordian theory
, enjambment, Frances Yates, Shakespeare in China, and Cole Porter.
Not that I was not much impressed with Thomas Looney's book Shakespeare Identified, which tops the required reading list of Oxfordian Theory
(later authors have written more convincingly on the Earl's behalf) and is the first 20th-century book to champion De Vere as the true author of Shakespeare's plays.
A major difficulty in the Oxfordian theory
, however, is his death date (1604), because, according to standard chronology, 14 of Shakespeare's plays, including many of the most important ones, were first staged after that time.