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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: April ::
Re: The Strachey Letter
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0763  Wednesday, 23 April 2003

[1]     From:   John Zuill <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 22 Apr 2003 18:32:08 -0300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0756 The Strachey Letter

[2]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 22 Apr 2003 18:54:32 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0756 The Strachey Letter

[3]     From:   Ira Zinman <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 22 Apr 2003 23:44:02 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0756 The Strachey Letter


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Zuill <
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Date:           Tuesday, 22 Apr 2003 18:32:08 -0300
Subject: 14.0756 The Strachey Letter
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0756 The Strachey Letter

>Sir William Somers to Virginia in the summer of 1609

Um, that has to wrong. I am Bermudian and we all grew up knowing it was
George Somers.

John Zuill

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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Date:           Tuesday, 22 Apr 2003 18:54:32 -0400
Subject: 14.0756 The Strachey Letter
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0756 The Strachey Letter

Elliott H. Stone <
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 > continues his "stealth" Oxfordian
rant.

>However, those that would claim that Shakespeare was a common plagiarist
>have recently received a good thrashing, as well they should, by that
>careful scholar Brian Vickers.

It is one of the most thoroughly established facts about Shakespeare
that he regularly performed acts that would be regarded as plagiarism
today.  Or is it a further part of your contention that Holinshed's
Chronicles, North's edition of Plutarch, "Pandosto", "The Palace of
Pleasure" (not to mention the "Decameron"), etc., etc., were, all of
them, based on Shakespeare's plays and falsely back-dated as part of the
Great Oxfordian Coverup?

>Was William Strachey a competent poet or writer capable of the wonderful
>descriptions that appear in the letter? Wasn't Strachey a convicted
>swindler, a liar, a traitor, a bankrupt and a man who plagiarized from
>all the leading explorers in the New World i.e. Raleigh and Smith?
>Wasn't he the man that the Stationer's Company forced to return his
>profits on his early sight seeing book on France to the original writer?
>Was he not the man that reopened the Children's Theater after it was
>closed by the Crown and its true owner had fled to the continent? (Is
>this the man who wrote the terrible versification of the satire known as
>THE ELEGY BY W.S.?) Is this the man we are to believe that Shakespeare
>used as a mentor!

No-one, of course, has ever said any such thing.  What has been claimed
is that Shakespeare used William Strachey's "True Reportory of the
Wrack, and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates Knight.", in combination with
Sylvester Jourdain's "A Discovery of the Barmudas" and the anonymous "A
True Declaration of the Estate of the Colonie in Virginia" as source
material for "The Tempest".  The close parallels, not only verbal, but
also -- and far more importantly -- in the nature and succession of
incidents, have been listed by David Joseph Kathman in "Dating 'The
Tempest'", at http://www.shakespeareauthorship.com/tempest.html

>It seems more than likely that Strachey was the plagiarizer and the
>thief. Is it not true that his letter was used by him to BLACKMAIL the
>shareholders of The Virginia Company? I suggest that the Strachey letter
>be run through a computer program to determine if it truly has his DNA
>or that of Shakespeare's? The hard part will be trying to find anything
>that is truly Strachey's and not stolen literary property!

Yet _all_ the accounts of the wreck of the Sea-Venture are in
substantial agreement with each other, and with "The Tempest".

>The likely scenario is that Jonson was editing the First Folio

Unsupported supposition #1

>and gave
>his business partner William Strachey some material to use to help him
>stave off his creditors and his pending incarceration in Debtor's
>Prison!

Unsupported supposition #2

> There is no doubt that the First Folio contains material from
> the Jacobean period, added after earlier staging,

Unsupported supposition #3

>that may refer to
>topical events like the Bermuda shipwreck. There is nothing new about my
>view. This was the view of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain and Herman
>Melville all men who understood a little bit about writing and literary
>criticism.

...and nothing to speak of about Jacobean social or literary history.

I've already rumbled you.  Kindly take your anti-Stratfordian fantasies
back to news:humanities.lit.authors.shakespeare, where they belong.
They're not wanted here.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ira Zinman <
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 >
Date:           Tuesday, 22 Apr 2003 23:44:02 EDT
Subject: 14.0756 The Strachey Letter
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0756 The Strachey Letter

I am mystified at the emphasis placed on the Tempest being based, at
least in part on the ship wreck described by Strachey or any other
wrecks for that matter, and there were many.  The heart and Soul of the
Tempest, it seems, has to do more with relationship of the two brothers
and the forgiveness afforded by Prospero, and many other underlying,
overt and more esoteric themes.

The wreck of Sir Thomas Gates ship and the survival in the Bermudas is
one of many tragedies at sea and rescues at sea.  What have they to do
with the deposed Prospero being set adrift with his young daughter.  I
understand the dating of the Tempest has become an incessant issue with
the authorship debate and who wrote what when.  But the survival of the
Gates vessel in reality has little to do with the important themes in
the Tempest don't you think?  It seems a creative mind like
Shakespeare's could have manufactured a shipwreck scenario with or
without Strachey's story.

Regards,
Ira

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