Proving ShakespearePaul Edmondson, Stanley Wells & Ros Barber
‘‘William Shakespeare,William Shakespeare,his method of work’,his method of work’,1904 by MaxBeerbohm
Shakespeare and AuthorshipM.A. in Shakespeare Authorship Studiesat Brunel UniversityConcordia University
No intellectual justification?Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre,Concordia University,Portland Oregon
Part One: Sceptics- ‘The Unreadable Delia Bacon’ by Graham Holderness- ‘The Case for Bacon’ by Alan Stewart- ‘The Case for Marlowe’ by Charles Nicholl- ‘The life and theatrical interests of Edward de Vere, 17thEarl of Oxford’- ‘The Unusual Suspects’ by Matt Kubus
‘The Unreadable Delia Bacon’Collaborative authorship, a ‘school’, ledby Sir Walter Ralegh.Style difficult to read; hypothesis neveractually proven (and unprovable); morelike Gothic fiction...Book The Philosophy of Shakespeare’sPlays, 1857.
Delia Bacon‘The brave, bold genius of Raleigh flashed new life into that little nucleus ofthe Elizabethan development. The new Round Table, which that newly-beginning age of chivalry, with its new weapons and devices, and its newand more heroic adventure had created, was not yet full till he came in.The Round Table grew rounder with this knights presence. Over thosedainty stores of the classic ages, over those quaint memorials of the elderchivalry, that were spread out on it, over the dead letter of the past, thebrave Atlantic breeze came in, the breath of the great future blew, when theturn came for this knights adventure; whether opened in the prose of itsstatistics, or set to its native music in the mystic melodies of the bard whowas there to sing it.’ p. 42
Who else?Roger Manners, 5thEarlof RutlandQueen Elizabeth I Ben JonsonEdward De Vere, 17thEarl of OxfordSir Walter Raleigh Lady Mary SidneyWilliam Stanley, 6thEarl of DerbySir Henry NevilleDaniel Defoe
‘Mathematically, each time an additional candidateis suggested, the probability decreases that any givenname is the true author.’Matt Kubus, ‘The Unusual Suspects’.
Part Two: Shakespeare as Author‘Theorizing Shakespeare’s Authorship’ by Andrew Hadfield‘Allusions to Shakespeare to 1642’ by Stanley Wells‘Shakespeare as collaborator’ by John Jowett‘Authorship and the evidence of stylometrics’ by Macdonald P. Jackson‘What does textual evidence reveal about the author?’ by James Mardock andEric Rasmussen‘Shakespeare and Warwickshire’ by David Kathman‘Shakespeare and School’ by Carol Chillington Rutter‘Shakespeare Tells Lies’ by Barbara Everett
Evidence for Shakespeare:publications, theatrical knowledge,references, memorial andposthumous evidence...
Publication EvidenceVenus and Adonis (dedication 1593and the 15 reprints up to 1636)Lucrece (dedication 1594 and the 7reprints up to 1632)Henry VI Part 2 (Q3 1619)Richard II (Q2 1598, Q3 1598, Q41608, Q5 1615)Richard III (Q2 1598, Q3 1602, Q41605, Q5 1612, Q6 1622)Love’s Labour’s Lost (Q1 1598)Henry IV Part 1 (Q2 1599, Q3 1604,Q4 1608, Q5 1613)A Midsummer Nights Dream (Q11600, Q2 1619)The Merchant of Venice (Q1 1600, Q21619)Henry IV Part 2 (Q1 1600 )Much Ado About Nothing (Q1 1600)The Merry Wives of Windsor (Q11602, Q2 1619)Hamlet (Q1 1603, Q2 1604)King Lear (Q1 1608, Q2 1619)Shakespeares Sonnets (Q1 1609)Pericles (Q1 1609, Q2 1609, Q3 1611,Q4 1619)Troilus and Cressida (Q1 1609)
‘Shakespeare and School’‘The ‘ Kyng’s newe Scole’ was not exceptional. It was part of the Tudors’post-Reformation expansion and reformation of the education system: aproject so comprehensive that by 1660 only in two counties of Englandwould a boy have lived further than twelve miles from a free grammarschool. Ben Jonson was a grammar school boy. So, I believe, was WilliamShakespeare. And if the educational system that produced England’sgreatest theologians, ambassadors, lawyers, physicians, moralphilosophers and political thinkers also produced its best playwrights,Erasmus, for one, wouldn’t have been surprised.’Carol Chillington Rutter, ‘Shakespeare and School’
Part Three: A Cultural Phenomenon ... DidShakespeare Write Shakespeare?‘“This palpable device”: Authorship and Conspiracy in Shakespeare’s Life’ byKathleen E. McLuskie‘Amateurs and Professionals: Regendering Bacon’ by Andrew Murphy‘Fictional treatments of Shakespeare’s Authorship’ by Paul Franssen‘The Declaration of Reasonable Doubt’ by Stuart Hampton Reeves‘“There won’t be puppets will there?”: “Heroic” authorship and the cultural politicsof Anonymous’ by Douglas M. Lanier‘“The Shakespeare Establishment” and the Shakespeare Authorship Discussion’by Paul Edmondson
Anti-Shakespearian responses…‘A Declaration of Reasonable Doubt’,
‘The “Declaration of Reasonable Doubt”’‘What, then, has the Declaration achieved in its (to date) five years of existence?What is it capable of achieving? […] The Declaration that [William] Leahy publiclysigned in 2007 has, next to his name, spaces reserved for the ShakespeareBirthplace Trust and the Shakespeare Institute, both of which are missingsignatures (I could not find anyone at either institution that remembers beingapproached). [This] seems to be a gauntlet thrown down at the ‘orthodox’Shakespearians, whom the Declaration seems to simultaneously deride for theirsmall-mindedness and yet crave acceptance from.‘Stuart Hampton-Reeves, ‘The “Declaration of Reasonable Doubt”
‘Afterword’ by James Shapiro‘The dismal box-office showing of Anonymous has undoubtedly beena setback for them; and Emmerich’s own admission that theShakespeare Birthplace Trust shares the blame for his film’s rapiddemise is an indication that an organized response contributed tothat end, and was a much better strategy than the one for too longadopted by Shakespeareans, which was to ignore the problem andhope that it would go away. The facts and analysis presented inthis volume will make responding to the next film, or the nextcampaign, or the next question posed about Shakespeare’sauthorship by a student or a stranger or even a teacher that mucheasier.’
Questions• www.shakespearebitesback.com• www.60minuteswithShakespeare.com• Our Next Webinar:• ‘Reviewing Shakespeare’, Monday 6 May 4pmregister at: www.bloggingshakespeare.com
Proving ShakespearePaul Edmondson, Stanley Wells & Ros Barber
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