Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0830. Friday, 21 October 1994.
Date: Thursday, 20 Oct 1994 12:45:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 5.0825 Authorship
Comment: Re: SHK 5.0825 Authorship
David Kathman calls Ward Elliot's computer study "pretty significant evidence
which can't be lightly brushed aside."
I haven't seen Elliott's work yet. I'd like to. It sounds interesting. But
it cannot serve as evidence that William Shakspere of Stratford wrote the
works. There are no writings of the Stratford man to test against the works
(unless one wants to use the will?).
The same problem applies to Oxford. There are some poems and letters that
survived under Oxford's name (unlike Shakspere), but it is not a good sample
for comparison. If Oxford was "Shakespeare", then what we have under his own
name is not typical of his mature work. We knew this. This is not significant
evidence against his authorship.
And while it is true that studying the variability of "Shakespeare" (as was
done apparently) helps in this regard, it cannot cope completely with what
history has given us.
This is no criticism of Elliot's work, which as I've already mentioned, I
haven't read. It may tell us some interesting things about Shakespeare/Oxford.
But it doesn't tell us anything about Shakspere of Stratford.
Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA