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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: February ::
Date of King John
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0268  Thursday, 10 February 2005

[1]     From:   Michael Egan <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Feb 2005 08:10:29 -1000
        Subj:   SHK 16.0235 Date of King John

[2]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Feb 2005 08:13:14 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0253 Date of King John


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Egan <
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Date:           Tuesday, 8 Feb 2005 08:10:29 -1000
Subject: Date of King John
Comment:        SHK 16.0235 Date of King John

Mssrs Grumman, Godshalk, Evett and Lloyd demand impossible levels of
proof, unfortunately typical of this kind of debate. Almost nothing to
do with Shakespeare is 100% certain, including the fact that he attended
school, composed his plays in the years generally accepted, etc., though
much of what we think we know is overwhelmingly probable. The best I can
offer is preponderance of the evidence (i.e, the standards of a civil
not a criminal trial). My language reflects this: '...the F1 text was
probably never performed before 1623,' etc. All we can say is that there
is no KJ Quarto, no record of its performance before the 18th century
(as Beaurline's stage history reports) and that the condition of the F1
text supports the non-performance hypothesis.

Of course it is possible that John was set from a draft and, as  Bill
Lloyd notes, maybe performed at Blackfriar's (but when?). The real
question however must be, what happened to the fair copy, if it existed
in a version repeatedly staged? Why was it not available to the F1
editors who were the author's close colleagues and friends and had
access in other cases to his best texts? We must also take into account
Heminge's and Condell's claim that their copies were 'cur'd
..perfect...and absolute in their num

 

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