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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: February ::
Re: Shakespeare's Will
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0590  Thursday, 28 February 2002

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 08:47:23 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0581 Re: Shakespeare's Will

[2]     From:   Jonathan Hope <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 17:53:57 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0581 Re: Shakespeare's Will

[3]     From:   Martin Steward <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 18:08:39 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0581 Re: Shakespeare's Will

[4]     From:   Philip Tomposki <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 14:15:57 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Shakespeare's Will

[5]     From:   Dom Saliani <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 19:32:44 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 13.0581 Re: Shakespeare's Will


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 08:47:23 -0800
Subject: 13.0581 Re: Shakespeare's Will
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0581 Re: Shakespeare's Will

Vick Bennison wrote,

>I just finished reading Charles Hamilton's 1985 book "In Search of
>Shakespeare".  Among his several claims is that Shakespeare's will is
>holographic...   If we don't know
>what Shakespeare's handwriting looked like (except for the six
>signatures that do not look significantly unlike the writing in the
>will), why can we claim so adamantly that he did not write it?

and adds this:

>P.S.  Even gullible little me finds many of Mr. Hamilton's claims
>dubious, but let's stick to the will, please.  Thanks.

Sorry.  This is actually off the point of the will, but I think it
should be better known.

Shortly before he died, the University of California, Berkeley, invited
Charles Hamilton to present his case that *The Second Maiden's Tragedy*
was Shakespeare's lost play *Cardineo.* His case was based on his belief
that he has an adequate sample of Shakespeare's handwriting, since he
claimed to have proven the will is in Shakespeare's hand.  He then
created charts of letters from the will and the manuscript of *SMT* to
show that the handwriting was the same.  The next day, Alan Nelson of
the U.C. faculty used Mr. Hamilton's own charts to show the
dissimilarities.

Mr. Hamilton seemed to find Shakespeare's handwriting in a lot of
surprising places.  I don't remember him ever proving something was NOT
in Shakespeare's hand.  He even claimed that Shakespeare ghosted some of
Bacon's essays.  It is reasonable to regard Hamilton's claims with a
degree of skepticism.

Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jonathan Hope <
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Date:           Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 17:53:57 +0100
Subject: 13.0581 Re: Shakespeare's Will
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0581 Re: Shakespeare's Will

At the risk of appearing willfully mischievous, could I point out that
the authenticity of the signatures on the will is not certain.  David
Thomas' *Shakespeare in the Public Records* (1985: Public Record
Office), page 34, notes that signatures were often 'supplied' in a
different hand from their own by the scribe - wills were proved by
executor's oath *not* by the signature.

Jonathan Hope
Strathclyde University, Glasgow

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <
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Date:           Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 18:08:39 -0000
Subject: 13.0581 Re: Shakespeare's Will
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0581 Re: Shakespeare's Will

Surely there is no "Mystery" here - except the mystery of whose
handwriting is on Shaxpere's will. It will always be a mystery, I fancy,
because it is almost certainly just the hand of one of Collins's
scriveners.

I guess for full details one should refer to

Chambers, William Shakspeare (Oxford 1930), Vol II, pp.169ff.

and

B. R. Lewis, The Shakespeare Documents (Stanford 1941), Vol II,
pp.471ff.

Although I don't recall if whether of these authorities make this
particular suggestion (they probably did not see the need)...

m

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Philip Tomposki <
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Date:           Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 14:15:57 -0500
Subject:        Re: Shakespeare's Will

Vick Bennison

 

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