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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: January ::
A Lover's Complaint & John Davies of Hereford
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0066  Monday, 12 January 2004

From:           Katherine Duncan-Jones
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Date:           Friday, 9 Jan 2004 15:48:48 -0000
Subject:        A Lover's Complaint

I'm a bit surprised that no-one so far has mentioned the strong evidence
offered by John Kerrigan in his 1986 Penguin edition and by myself in my
1997 Arden that 'A Lover's Complaint' is a designed component of the
Shakespeare's Sonnets volume as published in 1609. It's true that
Vickers doesn't mention them, either, and starts from the now widely
rejected assumption that Shakespeare's authorship of the 'Complaint' is
in doubt. Stylometric analysis by Mac Jackson, and studies of published
sonnets sequences + Complaints by Kerrigan and myself, all strongly
support the view that Sonnets and Complaint together form a generic
whole, with the female-voiced Complaint both complementing and
contrasting with the male-voiced Sonnets.

A further, smaller, point: Vickers and others write as if 'Spenserian'
diction and style in the 'Complaint' support the argument for John
Davies of Hereford as author. But as Kent Hieatt has been demonstrating
over many years, Shakespeare himself frequently echoed Spenser's
'Complaints', and especially so in the Sonnets.

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