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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: October ::
Re: LLW
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2355  Tuesday, 16 October 2001

[1]     From:   David Crosby <
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        Date:   Monday, 15 Oct 2001 11:32:48 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 12.2343 Re: LLW

[2]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 16 Oct 2001 08:31:53 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 12.2343 Re: LLW

[3]     From:   Bob Grumman <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 16 Oct 2001 05:26:45 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2343 Re: LLW


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Crosby <
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Date:           Monday, 15 Oct 2001 11:32:48 -0500
Subject: 12.2343 Re: LLW
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.2343 Re: LLW

Mike Jensen's memory remains fairly trustworthy about the play that
almost didn't make it into F.

snip
"In fact, one of the plays is not in some copies of F, and is in
others.  *T&C*?  Sorry.  I just tried to look it up in the book I
thought had this info, and could not find it.  I'll be grateful if
someone will please confirm and supply a reference or three.  We know
better than to trust my memory."

Peter W.M. Blayney's _First Folio of Shakespeare_ (Folger Library
Publication, 1991), pp. 17-24, has a convenient summary of the evidence
concerning _Troilus and Cressida_ and its place in F. It is even clearly
illustrated for those of us who have trouble imagining various
imposition schemes. Blayney credits Greg and Hinman, so that makes
three.

Dave

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Tuesday, 16 Oct 2001 08:31:53 +0100
Subject: 12.2343 Re: LLW
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.2343 Re: LLW

Larry Weiss wrote:

"It seems to me that the very simple inference that WS wrote a sequel
which is unfortunately lost to us.  This theory fits all the facts."

Well, I think the relevant facts are:

1.  LLW is not in F.
2.  We lack the Q text of LLW.
3.  We lack the "bad" Q of LLL.
4.  There doesn't seem to be a timeslot for writing LLW.

Fits ALL the facts?

John Briggs

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Grumman <
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Date:           Tuesday, 16 Oct 2001 05:26:45 -0400
Subject: 12.2343 Re: LLW
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2343 Re: LLW

> > my solution is as follows:  the lost quarto (probably a "bad"
> > quarto) was entitled "Love's Labours Lost, Love's Labours Won",
> > and this title was independently mistaken by both Meres and
> > bookseller as being two works.  I know this is a bit messy, but
> > as I said before, no one theory fits all the facts!
>
> I don't think John Briggs's solution fits very many of the facts.  For
> one thing, Meres lists ":his Love's Labours Lost, his Love's Labours
> Wonne" -- clearly two titles, not one.  Secondly, the bookseller's
> inventory lists each play on a separate line.  Thirdly, "Love's Labors
> Lost, Love's Labours Won" is not a particularly good title for this
> play.

I have to go along with that.

> The end of LLL contains strong suggestions that the story is to be
> continued and language reminiscent to me of modern broadcasters'
> exhortations to "stay tuned ... same time, same station," such as
> Berowne's "that's too long for a play." Shakespeare was in all other
> cases quite insistent on marrying off the main characters (consider
> M/M), it seems inherently improbable that he would end a play with
> none of the four main couples getting married, and, instead,
> assigning tasks to all four male characters that would be potentially
> amusing to see executed but which we are left only to imagine.

The problem with that last is that I don't see how he could make a whole
play out of it.

> It seems to me that the very simple inference that WS wrote a sequel
> which is unfortunately lost to us.  This theory fits all the facts.

Not quite.  You still have the problem of Meres's knowing of a play
written after Loves Labours Lost that Heminges and Condell don't.  So
far as we know, Heminges and Condell got all the plays known to have
been completely written by Shakespeare into the First Folio.  There's
also the problem of Meres's knowing of LLW but not of The Taming of the
The Shrew, which seems to me for many reasons to have to have been
written before Meres wrote his book.

> As for Bob Grumman's question:  Yes, T/S was listed separately in the
> bookseller's list.   His argument that LLW would have been in F1 if it
> existed as a separate play strikes me as essentially circular and
> somewhat wishful.

I don't understand why my argument would be circular.  I do think the
bookseller's mentioning both titles is a strong point against my
theory.  But it's possible there could have been two editions of Shrew,
one with the final title, one with the previous.  As for wishful, what I
would wish was that there WAS a lost comedy by Shakespeare we could hope
would one day be discovered.  Although if it was indeed lost, it is
unlikely it was very good.

I'm certainly not convinced that LLW was Shrew, but still think it more
likely (if only slightly) than LLW's completely disappearing.

                                                --Bob G.

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