Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: April ::
Re: Apocryphal Works
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0706  Wednesday, 5 April 2000.

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 04 Apr 2000 08:47:15 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0690 Apocryphal Works & Holographic Research

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 04 Apr 2000 15:56:47 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0690 Apocryphal Works & Holographic Research


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 04 Apr 2000 08:47:15 -0700
Subject: 11.0690 Apocryphal Works & Holographic Research
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0690 Apocryphal Works & Holographic Research

For reasons to ignore Charles Hamilton's attribution of The Second
Maiden's Tragedy to Shakespeare, John Ciccarelli may want to have a look
at the review of Hamilton's book in Small Press Magazine, Winter 1995,
and the article Testing the Second Maiden's Tragedy in Performance,
Shakespeare Bulletin, vol. 15, #2, Spring 1997.

Brian Vickers will also discuss it in his forthcoming book, I imagine
due out in year or two.  Brian?

Those are the references I know off the top of my head.  I trust other
list members will give you more.

Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 04 Apr 2000 15:56:47 -0400
Subject: 11.0690 Apocryphal Works & Holographic Research
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0690 Apocryphal Works & Holographic Research

John Ciccarelli wrote:

> Hamilton argues that
> by using Shakespear'e will, which he insists was written by him, that we
> can discover other samples of his writing.  The crux of his thesis being
> that the 'Second Maiden's' manuscript and Shakespear'e will were written
> in the same hand as well as that of Hand D in Sir Thomas More.

This, indeed, was the thesis of Hamilton's book; but not long after the
book was published he seems to have forgotten that he wrote it.  I
attended a (rather abominable) performance of "The Second Maiden's
Tragedy" revised to call the main character "Cardenio" shortly after
Hamilton's book came out.  Hamilton was there and answered (or tried to
answer) questions from the audience.  I asked if it was not a fact that
it is hard to discern one person's secretary hand from another's, and he
said that in fact he did not rely on any claimed handwriting similarity,
but, rather, the style of the play.  This surprised me, as Hamilton's
field was disputed documents analysis, not literary criticism.  In any
event, he then made the point that the play was a "romance," like Per,
Cym, WT and Tem, and, since it was written late in WS's career, it was
probably by him.  At this point, I lost interest.  In fact, SMT is
Senacan; it reminds me of nothing in the Canon so much as Titus
Andronicus, and it is as about as romantic.

>  There is a school of
> thought that Shakespeare did not actually right the will himself, but
> was taken down by a clerk, therefore Hamilton's arguement is void
> because his source material is suspect.  If this is the case, however,
> why is third page of the will almost illegible, as if written by an
> unsteady hand, and why does the will include the phrase "by me",
> indicating it was written by Shakespeare?

Lawyers wrote wills for clients in the early 16th Century just as they
do today, and Shakespeare's will does not appear homemade to me.  "By
me" was just a formality signifying that the person whose signature
follows adopts the instrument as his own.

> Is any research into this area taking place?  If not, why isn't there?

There is too little autograph material available to make handwriting
analysis fruitful.  Probably, the most innovative research in the area
is Don Foster's SHAXICON work, which I believe is solely responsible for
the inclusion of EdwIII in the Riverside (2d Ed).  I am not aware of any
other complete works that incorporate this play, and the Riverside
includes it by itself with no other company than "Elegy" at the end of
the book, instead of folding it into the Histories section.   My
personal view is that the computer nodded; there is nothing in this play
that reminds me of a genuine Shakespearean play.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.