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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: May ::
Music to Shakespeare Songs from His Time; Ironside
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0561.  Wednesday, 14 May 1997.

From:           Gabriel Wasserman <
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Date:           Monday, 12 May 1997 18:49:18 -0400
Subject:        Music to Shakespeare Songs from His Time; Ironside

> I have a reference query that can't be entirely answered in the Folger's
> hallowed halls, but that I'm sure will elicit a good response from
> fellow-SHAKSPERIANS!  Do any of you out there know places in modern
> music where Shakespeare is mentioned?  (I know we've just done movies
> and TV shows! )  Two to get the list going are Elvis's "Are You Lonesome
> Tonight," which mentions "the world is a stage," and the Indigo Girls'
> song "Romeo and Juliet."
>
> Any more......?  All suggestions welcome with thanks in advance!
>
> Georgianna Ziegler
> 
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This Q got a lot of responses.  I was recently thinking about a related
question, and am surprised that none of the responses mentioned it: WHAT
ABOUT MUSIC TO SHAKSPERE'S SONGS FROM HIS TIME?  [i.e. 1580-1640]

I've heard it said that the *ONLY* surviving contermporary settings to
Shakespeare's stuff are Morley's *It Was a Lover and his Lass*, Morley's
*Passymeasures Pavanne*, and Byrds piece of the same name.  I know that
that's not true, for what about John Robert's stuff, Iacke Wilson's
stuff, Robert Downe's stuff, Mprley's other stuff, Anonymous's stuff,
etc.?  There's a good, albeit incomplete, list of settings in *The
Reader's Guide to Shakespeare*, but, as I said, it's incomplete.  (Also,
I don't have it here at home.) Could anybody supply a complete list?
Are there any good books ye could recommend?

Also:

>The thing to keep in mind, is that SHAXICON analyzes just a part of the
>spectrum that may or may not define an author's work as *that* author's
>work, albeit a very rigorous sampling. Although I've now read Foster's
>work on the Elegy, and am as forcefully struck as Foster by the
>parallels found in the elegy and Shakespeare's works, such elements as
>are *not* examined by SHAXICON continue to contradict.
>
>Edmund Ironside, examined by Sams in "Shakespeare's Edmund Ironside" is
>a case in point. Sams, setting aside his tone of voice (which Jonathan
>Hope describes as smacking of nineteenth century monomania),
>nevertheless makes a rigorous and thorough argument in favor of
>Shakespeare's authorship using a very different set of criteria than
>Foster's SHAXICON. Which set of criteria, when they disagree, holds more
>weight? In light of this question, I would enjoy an opinion on the elegy
>from someone like Sams or Hope.

Well, Hope's on this list.  Though I know that he believes the *Elegye*
to be un-Shakespearian, I know not much more.  (How do ye like my
non-use of the auxiliary 'do'?)  I think we should let him speak for
himself.  Jonathan?

>I suspect Sams' criteria would suggest
>that Shakespeare was *not* the author - where is the natural world so
>prevalent in all of Shakespeare's other writings? - for example.
>
>Anyway, Edmund Ironside is interesting because, as far as I know, it is
>one of a few apocryphal works on which all three authors (Foster, Hope,
>Sams) have published opinions, and they all come to somewhat different
>conclusions. Sams finds the whole of it Shakespeare's.
>
>Jonathan Hope writes (The Authorship of Shakespeare's Plays): "As has
>been stated, Edmund Ironside is one of only three non-canonical plays to
>fall within the range of the Shakespearean comparison sample for
>auxiliary 'do' use.

[NB: As per the preceding paragraph in Hope's book, the other two are
*Edward III* and *Locrine*             --GZW]

>No individual scene in the play gives an
>un-Shakespearean result, and the auxiliary 'do' evidence is entirely
>compatible with Shakespearean authorship of the whole text of the play."
>Hope then goes on to say that "Edmund Ironside" "certainly stands as a
>strong candidate for further detailed examination of possible
>Shakespearean authorship."
>
>Foster's conclusions are as stated below...
>
>Patrick
>
>*Edmund Ironside*:
>
>>Don Foster believes this was written by Robert Greene, though I haven't
>>seen his evidence in detail.

I'd like to see a lot more discussion on this.  Why is the major
academic community's thought on it: "*Edmund Ironside*?  Isn't that the
manuscript some guy found in his underwear drawer a wile ago?"
 

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