In her own words...
I was a graduate of Syracuse University and felt deprived that I had never learned about the four hundred year-old Shakespeare authorship mystery from any of my English or history professors.
In 1985 I met an elderly geophysicist and retired naval officer named George Elliott Sweet who had written a book in 1956 titled, "Shakespeare, The Mystery". He was a direct descendant of Sir Francis Drake.
After spending several months immersed in Sweet's research about Queen Elizabeth, Christopher Marlowe and a front-man named Shakespeare, I began to ask questions about Francis Bacon and Edward DeVere.
To my everlasting good fortune, Charles Champlin, wrote two articles for the L.A. Times expressing his own interest in a good mystery after attending a dinner at Cal-Tech in Pasadena where a group of early Oxfordians (including future SAR board members) tried to convince him of their cause.
Mr. Champlin and I met and decided to put together a proposal for a seminar at U.C.L.A. Extension but it was rejected because they feared a reprisal from their English department. This rejection inspired us to gather some experts and conduct our own seminar. These are the people who were instrumental in beginning the line of inquiry that would become the Shakespeare Authorship Roundtable.
Thad Taylor was a Stratfordian with an open mind who ran the Globe Playhouse in West Hollywood and hosted our first event.
Calvin Hoffman was a Marlovian who in 1955 wrote, "The Murder of the Man Who Was Shakespeare". He twice got permission to open Thomas Walsingham's tomb in search of buried manuscripts.
Louis Ule was the author of an extensive biography of Christopher Marlowe. Written in 1979, the title was "On Marlowe's Trail".
Ruth Loyd Miller meticulously republished original source material on Edward DeVere, including J. Thomas Looney's "Shakespeare Identified" (1920).
John and Barbara Crowley were prominent Oxfordians and part of the Cal-Tech literary dinner that piqued Charles Champlin's interest in the authorship debate.
Richard Roe, a Medieval church expert (introduced to the controversy by Barbara Crowley's father) who would later write "The Shakespeare Guide to Italy".
Patricia Winkworth was the founder and director of the Ojai Shake-speare Revels.
After our first gathering, I had no idea that I had done something unique by grouping together some very learned people who did not agree on the identity of the "real" Shakespeare. It was very heartwarming when each of them thanked me for having had the opportunity to meet one another.
We vowed to meet again in six months and put Shakespeare on trial. After six months we all realized we had hardly cracked the surface in our endeavor to explore the controversy. With great enthusiasm the group suggested we continue to meet on a regular basis and we have been meeting ever since!