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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: July ::
Re: Michael Wood's In Search of Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1445  Thursday, 17 July 2003

[1]     From:   D Bloom <
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        Date:   Friday, 11 Jul 2003 10:05:07 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Michael Wood's In Search of Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Takashi Kozuka <
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        Date:   Sunday, 13 Jul 2003 20:25:41 0000
        Subj:   Re: Michael Wood's In Search of Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <
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Date:           Friday, 11 Jul 2003 10:05:07 -0500
Subject: 14.1392 Re: Michael Wood's In Search of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1392 Re: Michael Wood's In Search of Shakespeare

There seems to be a tendency by the Pro-Catholic Party to assume that if
Shakespeare wasn't a militant Protestant (like Sidney and Spenser, for
example) he must have been a Roman Catholic. That doesn't necessarily
follow. There are many degrees of belief and commitment, though when the
extremists are running wild it makes sense to keep yours guarded if you
aren't one of them

Cheers,
don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Takashi Kozuka <
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Date:           Sunday, 13 Jul 2003 20:25:41 0000
Subject:        Re: Michael Wood's In Search of Shakespeare

It seems that Michael cannot escape from criticism. This weekend's
Guardian has Gary Taylor's bitter review of the programme. That said, I
found some parts of Keith Hopkins's criticism rather unfair.

Keith wrote that Michael "seems not to be aware again of the most recent
research [...]" I wonder which research Keith is referring to. Keith
also wrote that Michael "seems to think he has made a terribly exciting
discovery". Michael is aware that it's not the case. If the programme
gave that false impression, it must be partly to do with the way he
presented it.

I know Michael attended seminars and conferences not only on Shakespeare
biography but also on early modern history to catch up with the recent
development in these fields. Michael also interviewed scholars. Among
them were Richard and Stanley who appeared in the second and the third
parts (respectively). But Michael told me once that the BBC was not keen
about academics' appearances/involvement in its programmes, and a friend
of mine told me that she had heard of the same story about the BBC.

As to Honnan's biography, I believe that Michael did read it because in
his book he describes it as "a very enjoyable survey". (If he himself
didn't read it, his research assistant must have.) Before speculating
what Michael did or did not read, one should at least have a look at the
bibliography in his book. What is more meaningful than speculation is to
examine how (and discuss why) Michael did or did not use the information
available to him.

Keith later wrote that "Shakespeare's Roman Catholic family background
is pretty much a matter of established fact". It should be pointed out
that those who argue for Shakespeare's possible Catholicism commonly
neglect negative evidence and counter-arguments, and present a partial
(and misleading) picture of the Shakespeare family.

Now my post sounds like "In Search of Michael Wood"...

Best wishes,
Takashi

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