as a young lad, de Vere lived with a guardian after his father died, received a world-class education, and had access to a phenomenal library. This library included, at the time, the only extant copy of Beowulf. Beowulf, though well-known today, was almost lost to the ages, but for *that one copy.* De Vere’s tutor, an old English scholar, signed his name in the copy (a common thing, back then, kind of like a check-out slip.) Consider, if you will, the obvious plot and character parallels between Hamlet and Beowulf. The author of Hamlet clearly had read Beowulf and understood deeply. (Any other explanation is like denying the literary relationship between “Heart of Darkness” and *Apocalypse Now.*) De Vere was one of very few people in England or elsewhere with access to Beowulf, let alone that his tutor signed it at the time he tutored de Vere.