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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: March ::
Re: Second Maiden and Cardenio
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0702  Friday, 8 March 2002

[1]     From:   Jonathan Hope <
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        Date:   Thursday, 7 Mar 2002 16:35:39 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0683 Re: Second Maiden's Tragedy

[2]     From:   Ward Elliott <
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        Date:   Thursday, 07 Mar 2002 17:28:12 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 13.0683 Re: Second Maiden's Tragedy

[3]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Thursday, 07 Mar 2002 14:55:32 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0683 The Distress Lovers


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jonathan Hope <
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Date:           Thursday, 7 Mar 2002 16:35:39 +0100
Subject: 13.0683 Re: Second Maiden's Tragedy
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0683 Re: Second Maiden's Tragedy

>In regards to the lost 'Cardenio', it seems the only candidate that
>comes close would be the Lewis Theobald play "The Distressed Lovers".
>While I've seen this alluded to in several play critiques and WS
>biographical data, I haven't seen any particular research done on the
>play itself.  Does anyone know of any published stylistic studies done
>on the play?  Are there any passages/sections that resemble Shakespeare?

I think you mean *Double Falshood* - there's a section on this in my
book *The authorship of Shakespeare's plays* (CUP 1994) - pages 89-100.
The evidence is not clear because of the way Theobald tended to adapt
Shakespeare (I look at his adaptation of *Richard II* as a guide to
this), but scene 1.02 looks like it might have a 'Shakespearean'
original underlying it, while 2.03, 4.01 and 5.02 look more
'Fletcherian'.

Generally the linguistic evidence supports the notion that *Double
Falshood* is an adaptation of a play by Shakespeare and Fletcher.

Jonathan Hope
Strathclyde University, Glasgow

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ward Elliott <
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Date:           Thursday, 07 Mar 2002 17:28:12 -0800
Subject: 13.0683 Re: Second Maiden's Tragedy
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.0683 Re: Second Maiden's Tragedy

Isn't The Double Falsehood the proper Theobald candidate for
Shakespeare's lost Cardenio?  See Wells & Taylor's Textual Companion to
Shakespeare, p.  133.  Students in the Claremont Shakespeare Clinic
tested it, along with The Second Maiden's Tragedy, in the 1990's and
found neither play a likely Shakespeare ascription on stylometric
grounds.  No Shakespeare play had more than three rejections in the 51
tests used.  The Double Falsehood  had 16 rejections, The Second Maid's
Tragedy had 27 rejections.  The odds that Shakespeare could have
produced such an outcome by chance are several billion times worse than
those for his least Shakespearean comparable core play, The Merry Wives
of Windsor.  A description of the Clinic's methods and preliminary
findings may be found in CHum 30:191 (1996), slightly revised findings
in CHum 32: 425, 453-54.

Ward Elliott

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 07 Mar 2002 14:55:32 -0500
Subject: 13.0683 The Distress Lovers
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0683 The Distress Lovers

> In regards to the lost 'Cardenio', it seems the only candidate that
> comes close would be the Lewis Theobald play "The Distressed Lovers".
> While I've seen this alluded to in several play critiques and WS
> biographical data, I haven't seen any particular research done on the
> play itself.  Does anyone know of any published stylistic studies done
> on the play?  Are there any passages/sections that resemble Shakespeare?

I found a little volume about this play at the New York Public Library
many, many years ago.  The book printed the play, gave its history and
had a commentary on its likely provenance.  The author concluded that
Theobald had palmed off one of his own monstrosities as a revision of a
play by Shakespeare which Theobald said he had in MS.  Theobald probably
intended to be caught out.  For example, there was a line in the second
half that was taken by the first audience as an acknowledgment that is
was a joke.

This seems perfectly credible to me.  I can't believe that a bardolator
like Theobald would have revised a genuine MS by Shakespeare.  He is far
more likely to have included it in his edition of the works.  Remember,
the Theobald edition came out after Pope's (not a close friend of
Theobald -- see the Dunciad), and Pope deleted six plays that had been
added in the second reprint of F3, so it would have been opportune for
competitive reasons to add another play if it could be justified.

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