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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: January ::
Re: Shakespeare's Handwriting
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.044  Wednesday, 8 January 2003

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 07 Jan 2003 07:49:32 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.032 Re: Shakespeare's Handwriting

[2]     From:   Tom Reedy <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 8 Jan 2003 0:52:25 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.032 Re: Shakespeare's Handwriting

[3]     From:   Tom Reedy <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 8 Jan 2003 1:2:34 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.032 Re: Shakespeare's Handwriting


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Tuesday, 07 Jan 2003 07:49:32 -0800
Subject: 14.032 Re: Shakespeare's Handwriting
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.032 Re: Shakespeare's Handwriting

Re: Charles Hamilton's analysis of Shakespeare's handwriting, it should
also be noted that Hamilton's claims were based on his belief that
Shakespeare's will was entirely in Will's hand, a belief rejected by
nearly everybody.

The samples he used to "authenticate" *The Second Maiden's Tragedy* as
*Cardenio* were based on the handwriting of the will, and are therefore
highly suspicious.  Alan H. Nelsen later used Hamilton's own alphabetic
tables to show the dissimilarity of the handwriting of the will and *The
Second Maiden's Tragedy.* To learn more about Hamilton and Nelson, and
with some hesitancy about self-promotion, see my article "TESTING THE
SECOND MAIDEN'S TRAGEDY IN PERFORMANCE", Shakespeare Bulletin, vol. 15,
#2, Spring 1997.  The author name is that of my secret identity, Michael
P. Jensen.

All the best,
Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Reedy <
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Date:           Wednesday, 8 Jan 2003 0:52:25 -0600
Subject: 14.032 Re: Shakespeare's Handwriting
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.032 Re: Shakespeare's Handwriting

>Currently tearing through Shakespeare: The Evidence and intrigued by
>the notion that Will may have had a palsy of the hands. (Scrivener's
>Palsy) I had never thought of this in explaining the handwriting
>samples. However, I am unaware of "how" people wrote back then.
>Elizabeth's handwriting seems to be neat and precise as well as Bacon's.
>I have seen my father's handwriting deteriorate as well over the years.
>Very shaky. Very scratchy. It takes him awhile to address a letter.
>Can anyone here suggest an authority on the subject?
>
>Whitt Brantley

I'm assuming the subject is how people wrote back then rather than
scrivener's palsy (the pre-computer era's version of carpel tunnel
syndrome).

*Elizabethan handwriting 1500-1650* by Giles E. Dawson and Laetitia
Kennedy-Skipton (Norton 1966) is a good book to start with. Anthony G.
Petti's *English literary hands from Chaucer to Dryden* (Edward Arnold
1977) is excellent, also.

For Shakespeare's hand in particular, I don't believe that Edward Maunde
Thompson's *Shakespeare's handwriting* (Oxford UP 1916) has been
surpassed yet. Thompson also contributed a chapter on Shakespeare's
handwriting to *Shakespeare's hand in the play of Sir Thomas More*
(Cambridge UP 1923) edited by Alfred W. Pollard.

Tom Reedy

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[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Reedy <
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Date:           Wednesday, 8 Jan 2003 1:2:34 -0600
Subject: 14.032 Re: Shakespeare's Handwriting
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.032 Re: Shakespeare's Handwriting

Richard Burt <
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 > writes,

>Jonathan Goldberg's book, Shakespeare's Hand is just out.

Jonathan Goldberg's book, Shakespeare's Hand, doesn't have anything to
do with Shakespeare's handwriting, according to the review of it at
amazon.com.

Tom Reedy

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