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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: January ::
Re: The Puritan
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0161  Wednesday, 29 January 2003

[Editor's Note: This thread has reached its useful end. If you wish to
continue this discussion, please do so privately. --Hardy]

[1]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Jan 2003 10:58:05 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0147 Re: The Puritan

[2]     From:   Bill Lloyd <
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 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Jan 2003 13:27:00 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0147 Re: The Puritan

[3]     From:   Roger Parris <
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 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Jan 2003 13:44:26 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0120 Re: The Puritan


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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 >
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Jan 2003 10:58:05 -0500
Subject: 14.0147 Re: The Puritan
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0147 Re: The Puritan

Gerald E. Downs <
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 > writes responding to John W.
Kennedy,

>>The context, I'm afraid, is simply that Jerry Downs is an
>>anti-Stratfordian (but of unclear allegiance)

>I believe the authorship question is taboo on the SHAKSPER list. Any
>attempt on my part to respond to this statement would be disallowed, I'm
>sure.

A cute diversion, I'm sure, but the fact remains that these are your own
words, dated February 13, 2000:

...the works of Shakespeare did not originate with William of Stratford
on Avon. To me, 'apprenticeship' is in this case more than a word in
passing, it is an insurmountable obstacle to the works from such an
unheralded beginning.

>Again, this forum restricts discussion. I advocate scholarship and
>condemn name-calling.  Donald Foster has suggested that William Strachey
>had possibly caused the publication of The Puritan over his own
>initials. His supporting evidence for this suggestion is that Strachey
>had access to the playbook and that he was in London at the time.
>Neither of these assertions is true. What objection can be made to
>correction of factual error?

On news:humanities.lit.authors.shakespeare, you have repeatedly accused
Foster and others of deliberate academic fraud, of knowingly publishing
falsehoods, on this subject and on others.  Such accusations are
libelous in the extreme.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Lloyd <
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 >
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Jan 2003 13:27:00 EST
Subject: 14.0147 Re: The Puritan
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0147 Re: The Puritan

Gerald E. Downs <
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 > wrote:

"I believe the authorship question is taboo on the SHAKSPER list. Any
attempt on my part to respond to this statement would be disallowed, I'm
sure... The respected scholar Brian Vickers has published a very
convincing book, <Counterfeiting Shakespeare>, that calls the
scholarship of Donald Foster into question. The book is well worth
reading. Its indictment is not just of the advocates of Shakespeare's
authorship of "The Funeral Elegy," but of the general condition of a
scholarly community that allows such faulty work to pass unopposed...
Again, this forum restricts discussion. I advocate scholarship and
condemn name-calling.  Donald Foster has suggested that William Strachey
had possibly caused the publication of The Puritan over his own
initials. His supporting evidence for this suggestion is that Strachey
had access to the playbook and that he was in London at the time.
Neither of these assertions is true. What objection can be made to
correction of factual error?"

I find Mr Downs's pose of pious victimhood to be ingenuous. If by
"name-calling, he means "anti-Stratfordian", does he deny his position
on the great non-question? Instead it is he who argues dirty-- in the
'discussion' with David Kathman on the Shakespeare Authorship page
descends almost to the level of playground taunting.

I have read Brian Vickers's book on the Funeral Elegy, and while it is
certainly critical of Donald Foster, and of certain incidents and
exchanges, it is not an "indictment" of "the general condition of [the]
scholarly community," nor even of Foster. Vickers is among other things
a splendid controversialist, and Downes has mistaken his whip hand for a
trigger finger.

My guess is that Mr Downes had been hired by the Strachey family,
fearful of being associated with such a dull poem, to attack Donald
Foster for even suggesting that William Strachey might be the author.
Downes thinks Foster is wrong. I'm sure Gerald Downes has never been
wrong about anything. Nya nya nya na na!!!

Bill Lloyd

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger Parris <
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 >
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Jan 2003 13:44:26 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 14.0120 Re: The Puritan
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0120 Re: The Puritan

>I am missing the context of Gerald Downs's
>discussion of the play The
>Puritan. However, I have had the impression that
>authorship studies of
>the play have generally agreed in an attribution to
>Thomas Middleton.
>The last I heard, The Puritan is supposed to be
>included in the Oxford
>Complete Works of Middleton when it is finally
>published. Middleton was
>writing for the Children of St. Paul's in 1606 and
>1607. The play is
>certainly a city comedy in the same vein as most of
>Middleton's
>contemporaneous work. It also figures prominently
>for condemnation in an
>antitheatrical sermon by William Crashaw, the
>Puritan father of the
>later Catholic poet Richard.
>
>Jack Heller

Exactly so. Further Middleton has long since been shown by a heavy
preponderance of internal evidence to have acted as reviser or
collaborator in both "Macbeth" and the perhaps unacted "Timon of
Athens". Both of these works in their present forms are ordinarily dated
l606-l607.In other words Middleton's Shakespearean work was coincident
with the publication of "The Puritan" under the initials "W.S.".

According to advance reports Brian Vickers, a most thorough and reliable
critic, will attempt to show in his forthcoming book that both of these
works are not revisions, as was previously believed by the leading
proponents of these two authorship attributions, but collaborations. If
so it will raise entirely new problems, and new possibilities, about the
role played by publisher George Eld both here and (as Thomas Thorpe's
selected printer) in the spurious "Funeral Elegy" both signed and
dedicated by "W.S.".

On the old assumption that Middleton was brought in to complete
unfinished Shakespearean manuscripts, it is obvious that Eld and later
Thorpe, both of whom otherwise handled genuine, if not necessarily
legitimate Shakespearean materials, were not expecting any trouble from
Gentle Master William.

Still rising young dramatists Middleton (Shakespeare's alleged
collaborator at the time) and Ford could only have suffered the most
extreme embarrassment by these seemingly devious editorial attributions.
And we know Shakspere eventually did file a protest on behalf of
Jaggard's similar treatment of Thomas Heywood.

While Foster has come to grief on his own authorship and publication
theories thus far. His errors have opened up a hornet's nest so far as
future authorship and editorial discussions of Jacobean Shakespeare are
concerned.

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