Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 193. Monday, 10 August 1992.
Date: Sunday, August 9, 1992, 21:19:00 PDT
Subject: Foster, Sonnets
Dear Prof. Cook,
May I make a brief request?
Would the group please stop giving Donald Foster credit for the
(absolutely unexceptionable) point about the publication of the 1609
sonnets being entirely unproblematic? This was first brought to the
attention of the scholarly world by Sir Sidney Lee in 1905 (!), in the
introduction to the OUP facsimile of the sonnets--this is, as I recall (I
don't have the article in front of me) even cited by Foster; it was
extended in Katherine Duncan-Jones' "Was the 1609 Shakespeare
Sonnets Really Unauthorized?" [answer: no], RES, n.s. 34 (May 1983),
151-71--I think not cited by Foster, but it probably appeared too late
for him to take it into account. As for the business of WH being a
misprint for WS, it is about as persuasive as any argument that assumes
that if the text we have doesn't support our argument, we can always
invent a ghost text that does.