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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: July ::
Re: Shakespeare and Protestant Historiography
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1827  Friday, 20 July 2001

From:           Takashi Kozuka <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Jul 2001 16:31:03
Subject:        Re: Shakespeare and Protestant Historiography

Jack Heller writes:

>This [Gary Taylor's] article predates Richard Wilson's identification of
>Shakespeare with the "Shakeshafte" in E. Campion's associates.

Many people misunderstand the role of Richard Wilson in the development
of the Lancastrian theories. (I'm not saying that Jack does, as I don't
know it.) Neither Taylor nor Wilson was the first scholar who linked the
"Shakeshafte" in Alexander Houghton's 1581 will and Shakespeare. The
link between them has a long history, as a chapter in my dissertation
(PhD thesis) demonstrates. In his TLC article (1997), Wilson pushed the
theories one step further by arguing that Shakespeare was recruited by
Campion, that they went to Houghton Tower (although, as Peter Milward
commented, Houghton Tower was not the residence of Alexander Houghton),
and that Shakespeare gave up his old faith and became a poet after
Campion was arrested and executed.

As Katherine Duncan-Jones mentioned, we have two separate issues (though
they can be linked, as the Lancastrians have done): whether or not the
"Shakeshafte" was Shakespeare; and whether or not Shakespeare was a
Catholic. In addition, we must be careful when we use such terms as
recusants, papists, Catholics, Jesuits, etc.

At our forthcoming conference (22-23 September) Wilson will give a
lecture entitled "'Secret as a Dumb Man': Shakespeare's Silence". We'll
have lectures on Shakespeare, Marlowe and Jonson by distinguished
scholars. If you would like to attend the conference, you can print out
the booking form off our website (please highlight the booking form
before printing it out!):
http://www.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/ren/new_directions.htm Alternatively,
you can e-mail me at 
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Best wishes,
Takashi Kozuka

PS In his TLS article Wilson used the modern spelling "Hoghton". In this
posting (as in my dissertation) I used the 16th-century spelling
"Houghton".

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