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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: October ::
Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed by
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1985  Monday, 13 October 2003

[1]     From:   Stanley Wells <
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 >
        Date:   Friday, 10 Oct 2003 13:37:37 +0100
        Subj:   Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed by Stanley Wells
in TLS

[2]     From:   Steve Roth <
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 >
        Date:   Friday, 10 Oct 2003 08:22:30 -0700
        Subj:   Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed by Stanley Wells
in TLS

[3]     From:   Bob Grumman <
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        Date:   Friday, 10 Oct 2003 16:22:13 -0400
        Subj:   Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed by Stanley Wells
in TLS


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stanley Wells <
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Date:           Friday, 10 Oct 2003 13:37:37 +0100
Subject: 14.1975 Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.1975 Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed
by Stanley Wells in TLS

Jonathan Hope is properly scholarly in his scepticism, and right to be
unwilling to accept the authenticity of the document on my word alone. I
can only say that over the years I have had quite a lot of experience in
reading Elizabethan manuscripts, and that if I had thought there was the
slightest reason to doubt the authenticity of all or of any part of this
document I should of course have said so. The idea that anyone would
forge so substantial and so learned a treatise, and one with highly
personal references, is beyond my belief.  There is no sign of any
interlineation of a kind that might lead one to suspect forgery, and
Shakespeare is only one aspect of its interest. I feel sure that if the
owners eventually release the document for firsthand examination by
other scholars my view of it will be vindicated.

Stanley Wells

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Roth <
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Date:           Friday, 10 Oct 2003 08:22:30 -0700
Subject: 14.1866 Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1866 Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed
by Stanley Wells in TLS

>"It is to be hoped that his work will eventually be made available
>for detailed study in an annotated edition."

Ah, the fate of the Dead Sea Scrolls (to cite a well-known, extended,
and particularly charged  example).

An unmediated facsimile and/or transcript on the web--soon--would be of
great interest and value to many of us, and to the community of
Shakespeareans as a whole.

This goes to the "business" of being a scholar, of course--how are
scholars compensated (financially or otherwise, directly or not) for
such discoveries? How should they be, while keeping the rapid and
widespread dispersal of new discoveries at the forefront? A question
made more complex by the web.

Chiming in on the RII tangent:

That when the searching eie of heauen is hid,
Behinde the globe that lights the lower world,
(Quarto version)

This would make perfect sense if it referred to a solar eclipse.
Sublunary and all that. And S. is fond of eclipse references. But
nothing else in the passage supports that reading.

Steve

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Grumman <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 10 Oct 2003 16:22:13 -0400
Subject: 14.1975 Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1975 Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed
by Stanley Wells in TLS

Jonathan Hope writes,

>We seem to be discussing Stanley Wells'
>find as though its authenticity
>was proven.

One way of guessing its authenticity or lack thereof even from a
modernization of the essay would be by its references to no longer
extant Elizabethan literature.  In other words, does it include
quotations from any texts not known to present-day scholars?  I would
expect it to if it was authentic, so if it did not, it would make it
suspicious to me.  If it did, the forger would have had to have been
especially clever, and very talented if he was able to make the quoted
material seem authentic, and unlike the writing of the alleged essayist.

I'd love it to be authentic, but I'm afraid I'm losing hope that it may
be. What could keep photocopies of it from being released, for instance?

--Bob G.

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