The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0027  Thursday, 7 January 1999.

From:           Syd Kasten <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 7 Jan 1999 08:31:26 +0200 (IST)
Subject:        Re: Psalm 46

Thanks to Paul Franssen for his relating to my question as to the origin
of the 46th Psalm thing, and for pointing me to Anthony Burgess' use of

>As far as I have been able to establish, the idea seems to have
>originated with Anthony Burgess, in his Shakespeare biography (simply
>entitled Shakespeare) of 1970; see pp. 233-34. It is of course possible
>that Burgess got it from some earlier source, but he does not say so.
>Burgess then used the idea to good effect in his hilarious Shakespeare
>story, "Will and Testament," which is embedded in his novel Enderby's
>Dark Lady (1984).

However, it surely was not a product of Burgess' fertile mind. My memory
seems to connect it with a book I read, probably somewhere between 1944
and 1946, on cyphers, codes and cryptograms, possibly of that name. The
46th Psalm thing was given as an example of encryption. I read the book
at the time of life when I had not yet learned that the name of the
author was at least as important as the title, and before losing the
innocent idea that anything in print is true.  I don't remember there
being footnotes or bibliography.

This takes us back a bit over 12.5% of he time elapsed since the
publication of the King James' Version.  Is there anyone out there who
can take it back further?

Best wishes,
Syd Kasten

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