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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: April ::
Re: Feathers
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0977  Monday, 30 April 2001

[1]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Friday, 27 Apr 2001 13:04:41 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 12.0968 Re: Feathers

[2]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Friday, 27 Apr 2001 10:07:12 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0968 Re: Feathers

[3]     From:   Marcus Dahl <
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        Date:   Saturday, 28 Apr 2001 16:17:39 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0924 Re: Feathers

[4]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Sunday, 29 Apr 2001 14:41:31 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0968 Re: Feathers


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Friday, 27 Apr 2001 13:04:41 -0400
Subject: Re: Feathers
Comment:        SHK 12.0968 Re: Feathers

Feathers feature prominently in the crest of the heir apparent to the
British throne, where they are known as 'Prince of Wales's feathers'.
Also, 'Acts of Union' took place well before 1800 in these islands.
Think of 1536 and 1543: dates that live in infamy.

T. Hawkes

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Friday, 27 Apr 2001 10:07:12 -0700
Subject: 12.0968 Re: Feathers
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0968 Re: Feathers

>  >If we don't include the "shades" of the past in our discourse, we run
>>the risk of reinventing the wheel again and again; in other words, going
>>in circles.
>
>My intention was that the "shades" should be considered in context, that
>is the latest scholarship (which should have evaluated earlier
>scholarship).

Unfortunately latest scholarship doesn't always evaluate past
scholarship, particularly in short articles. Also, there are fads in
scholarship, as in anything, and one can waste an awful lot of time in
some intellectual eddy that has little reference to the overall history
of the discussion.

>I was anxious to avoid Dover Wilson's views being
>discussed without reference to later work.  I intended my phrase
>"thoroughly chewed over most recently" to refer (however inelegantly) to
>recent publications which evaluate both the evidence and previous
>scholarship.  A sensible way of thoroughly proceeding would be to take
>the latest publications and work back through time via the citations.
>It might be philosophically desirable to recapitulate the entire history
>of scholarship in the field by starting at the beginning, but it
>presents practical problems, as Stephanie has found by asking who has
>dealt with Feuillerat's work.  There are various bibliographical tools
>which can help.  One is the "Arts and Humanities Citation Index".  This
>lists the following reference as citing Feuillerat's book:

Thanks for the tip. Much appreciated. (And sorry for the
finger-wagging.)

One of the great benefits of a list like this is that a simple question
can eliminate a great deal of digging through articles. If there is
someone on the list that has read Feuillerat (and perhaps also has an
opinion) and can point me to particular articles or books, it can save
hours of effort (and adds the pleasure of discourse).

Stephanie Hughes

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marcus Dahl <
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Date:           Saturday, 28 Apr 2001 16:17:39 EDT
Subject: 12.0924 Re: Feathers
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0924 Re: Feathers

Hi All,

Sorry for delay in answering...have been in sunny Spain...making notes
for future corrective articles methinks...

Good to see that John Briggs can read modern books and is indisposed to
rouse the shades. However as he presumably knows, Dover-Wilson is pretty
central to the Oxford editors' ideas about 1HVI (etc) while the new
Arden (1HVI at least as I haven't troughed through 2HVI yet) in no way
presents a new analysis of the text(s) - being merely a re-rehearsal of
the old arguments (John Jowett though noble I'm sure is of course one of
the Oxford Editors and as such of a certain pre-disposition).

Briefly checking the SR will show that John Brigg's assumptions about
the time of writing RE "history plays" (how quickly - sense of influence
etc) are simplistic and he must know how contentious the date of
Henslowe's 'Harey' is (namely - which play is it and does it influence
or follow the trend for history plays - my suspicion is follow - "follow
what?" being the question) John will also know what doubts about the
chronology of 1HVI, 2HVI, etc do to arguments about the date of
Rich.III, ED.III, ED.II etc. The Groats quote is of course in both 3HVI
and  True Trag. My reference to "twenty years" read pedantically makes a
date of 1612 for the authorship of the Folio plays (the number picked i
will admit with a certain foolhardy arbitrariness by yours truly was
meant merely as a loose reference to the gap in time between folio and
quarto editions). John doesn't however answer the query about
inconsistency which I raised in relation to the span of time between Q
and F editions.

Incidentally a brief check of grammatical function words and do
auxiliary (again depending on who you ask of course) has 1HVI as earlier
than 2 & 3 which are quite close together and 3 obviously linked to
Rich.III which i am presuming John doesn't think was written before 1HVI
(though he might).

On the issue of tone it does surprise me that John Briggs thinks that a
play which begins "Hung be the heavens with black" (note the grammatical
form) is later in tone than 2 & 3. I (honestly) have no firm opinion on
this (though you'll no doubt hear more from me on the subject soon) but
in the mean time I advice all those who don't merely take John's word
for it to check the texts (also the critics including JDW, Hart,
McKerrow, Merriam, Matthews, Sams, Elliott, Proudfoot, Hattaway etc).

On reading just a small part of the available literature I think
Shaksperians will find that the proud consensus of three so admired by
John Briggs is perhaps not the whole story.

Woodenly yours,
Marcus.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Sunday, 29 Apr 2001 14:41:31 +0100
Subject: 12.0968 Re: Feathers
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0968 Re: Feathers

John Briggs wrote

> Although the Act of Union (39 & 40 Geo. 3 c.67) was
> passed in 1800, it came into effect in 1801, so the
> bicentenary is being celebrated this year. (Presumably
> not by Gabriel...)

> None of this alters the fact that Shakespeare portrays
> the English, Welsh, Scots and Irish as participating (not
> totally harmoniously) in Henry V's enterprise.  As this is
> anachronistic in at least two senses, it seems worth
> pondering his motives.

Indeed. In suggesting that one country was made in 1800 you gave the
simplistic impression that Shakespeare was merely ahead of his time.
Rather than being prolepsis, the play shows the imaginative and
rhetorical processes which go into the ceaseless (and never entirely
successful) efforts to construct such ideal unities out of political and
economic realities.

Naturally, such processes and efforts are required too in nationalist
struggles for independence, which is why many of us support those
struggles only as finite steps towards better futures, not as solutions
in themselves.

Gabriel Egan
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