Shakespeare beyond Doubt: Evidence, Argument, Controversy
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Did Shakespeare write Shakespeare? The authorship question has been much treated in works of fiction, film and television, provoking interest all over the world. Sceptics have proposed many candidates as the author of Shakespeare's works, including Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe and Edward De Vere, the seventeenth Earl of Oxford. But why and how did the authorship question arise and what does surviving evidence offer in answer to it? This authoritative, accessible and frequently entertaining book sets the debate in its historical context and provides an account of its main protagonists and their theories. Presenting the authorship of Shakespeare's works in relation to historiography, psychology and literary theory, twenty-three distinguished scholars reposition and develop the discussion. The book explores the issues in the light of biographical, textual and bibliographical evidence to bring fresh perspectives to an intriguing cultural phenomenon.
Europe, one in Australia and just one in Britain. Virtually none of these English ‘academics’ have published significant (or insignificant) work on Shakespeare beyond the authorship question. However, two names stand out both for the quality of their Shakespeare scholarship and their contribution to the Declaration's agenda: Michael E. Egan and William Leahy. Michael E. Egan has a prolific and varied career as a writer on topics ranging from Ibsen to Shakespeare. He is also the editor of The
Harvard University Press, 1962), p. 91. 4 E. K. Chambers, William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems, 2 vols. (Oxford University Press, 1930), vol. I, p. 231. 5 Simon Palfrey and Tiffany Stern, Shakespeare in Parts (Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 2. 6 James J. Marino made this argument in ‘Shakespeare After Editing’, a paper given 9 April 2011 at the meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America in Bellevue, Washington. 7 Many textual aspects of Q1 have suggested
error, corruption and piracy, of course, but the fact that Corambis also appeared in a later German adaptation of the play, Der bestrafte Brudermord, suggests that this change, at least, was intentional. 8 See James Marino, Owning William Shakespeare (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), pp. 84–90. 11 Shakespeare and Warwickshire 1 Ignatius Donnelly, The Great Cryptogram: Francis Bacon's Cypher in the So-Called Shakespeare Plays (Chicago, New York and London: R. S.
organizations and scholars are accustomed to being slandered with the accusation that they are defending Shakespeare's authorship, and what is often slightingly referred to as ‘the Shakespeare industry’, for selfish, commercial reasons. Nevertheless the authorship discussion is a complex intellectual phenomenon well worthy of objective consideration. It raises questions about the nature of historical evidence, the moral responsibility of academic enquiry, the place of artists’ works in relation
exercise, given the grammar school's near-exclusive maleness, is that it routinely found its material in texts that focused on women's feelings: Niobe mourning her children; Juno railing against the surviving Trojans’ escape; ‘infelix Dido’, betrayed, furnishing her own funeral pyre; abandoned Ariadne, watching from the cliffs of Naxos Theseus's sails disappearing; Hecuba clamouring over her husband's slaughter, her daughter's sacrifice, her last boy-child's murder. All of these were stories boys