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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: April ::
Shakespeare Apocrypha
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0915  Wednesday, 21 April 2004

From:           Ward Elliott <
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Date:           Tuesday, 20 Apr 2004 23:19:46 -0700
Subject: 15.0903 Shakespeare Apocrypha
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0903 Shakespeare Apocrypha

Peter Bridgman wonders if any apocrypha plays pass the stylometric tests
and any folio plays do not pass.

Our tests say no and yes, respectively.  I can't remember which of these
are in which folio, but many of the plays in the standard "Complete
Works" appear to be co-authored or other-authored: Henry VI, all parts;
Titus Andronicus; Pericles; Two Noble Kinsmen; Henry VIII. But most are
not.  With our latest, most ruthless exclusion of questionable
Shakespeare plays from baseline, a core of 29 plays remains.  None of
these have more than two rejections in 48 tests. No play by an
identified other author has fewer than ten rejections.  No anonymous
play from our apocrypha list has fewer than seven rejections.  The odds
of so many rejections coming from Shakespeare's hand by chance, by our
calculations, are vanishingly low.  Here are the rejection totals for
some of our apocrypha plays:

Play            Sh. Rejections
short name              Full name
FVH5            16      Famous Victories of Henry V
TOAS            15      The Taming of a Shrew
IRON            12      Edmund Ironside
ARDN            10      Arden of Feversham
YRKI            14      The Contention of York, Part I
YRK2            17      The Contention of York, Part II
LEIR            8       King Leir
RCD3            15      the anonymous tragedy, Richard the Third
STMO            7       Sir Thomas More
EDW3            13      Edward III
KJN1            14      The Troublesome Reign of John, King of England, Part
I
KJN2            16      The Troublesome Reign of John, King of England, Part
II
LOCR            22      The Lamentable Tragedy of Locrine
WOOD            20      Woodstock
MUCE            11      Mucedorus
OLDC            11      Sir John Oldcastle
CROM            13      Thomas Lord Cromwell
DEVL            11      The Merry Devil of Edmonton
PROD            16      The London Prodigal
PURN            19      The Puritan
YKSH            14      A Yorkshire Tragedy
MAID            22      The Second Maiden's Tragedy
FALS            11      Double Falsehood
FAIR            22      Fair Em
MERL            11      The Birth of Merlin

Yours,
Ward Elliott

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