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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: March ::
Date of King John
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0464  Friday, 11 March 2005

[1]     From:   Jim Carroll <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Mar 2005 13:21:05 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0456 Date of King John

[2]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Friday, 11 Mar 2005 12:08:41 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0456 Date of King John


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jim Carroll <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Mar 2005 13:21:05 -0500
Subject: 16.0456 Date of King John
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0456 Date of King John

Bob Grumman <
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 >wrote on Thursday, 10 Mar 2005
11:58:27 -0500:

 >Apologies. I use the term, "prove," intelligently, not as lawyers
 >use it or as dictionaries sometimes use it, but as scientists use it.

Brian Vickers, who elsewhere has complained of Donald Foster's hubris in
assigning the Funeral Elegy to Shakespeare with too much certainty,
believes that some scenes of Titus Andronicus were written by George
Peele, and now tells us ("Words that Count", pp 78-79),

"Elsewhere I have reviewed the twenty-one separate tests that, so far,
have identified Peele as the author of these scenes, and until someone
manages refute all of them, he must be granted the status of
Shakespeare's first co-author."

This despite the fact that act 1 of Titus more closely resembles
Gorboduc than anything by Peele. But Titus/Peele is another issue.

Since Vickers is convinced that act 1 of Titus was written by Peele, he
nows feels free to use anything in that act as evidence that Peele wrote
TR. For example, he lists uses of the word "remunerate", because he says
that "remunerate" was "one of Peele's favorites." (WTC p79), and gives
one example from Peele's "Battle of Alcazar", one from Peele's "Edward
I", one from act 1 of "Titus Andronicus" and one from TR. I don't know
if there is more than one example in each work, but I do know that it
appears to have been one of Shakespeare's "favorite" words too, since it
is present (as "remuneration") 7 times in the space of just 16 lines in
LLL (3.1.131-147), twice more in that act (170-172), and again in act 5
(5.1.73).  And in Troilus and Cressida. As Harold Love pointed out in
his essay in the Times Literary Supplement for December 19, 2003:

"Vickers also regularly breaks the fourth of Muriel St. Clare Byrne's
rules for the valid use of parallels by proceeding "from the collaborate
to the anonymous" as well as transgressing Samuel Schoenbaum's vital
additions to those rules by using attributed works as evidence for
further attributions. These are regrettable lapses from rigour."

In other words, I don't think Bob Grumman has to take seriously the
words "prove" or "conclusively" in this context at all.

Jim Carroll

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Friday, 11 Mar 2005 12:08:41 -0000
Subject: 16.0456 Date of King John
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0456 Date of King John

Bob Grumman wrote

 >I use the term, "prove," intelligently, not as lawyers use
 >it or as dictionaries sometimes use it, but as scientists use it.
 >You can't prove anything in history.  Whether Vickers demonstrated
 >Peele contributed to the Troublesome Raigne "conclusively," I doubt,
 >but it's possible--if he has any direct evidence of it.  I believe he only
 >has stylistic evidence (i.e. subjective evidence).

Heavens, man, read the thing before giving an opinion about what it
might or mightn't prove. You sound daft dismissing it unread.

The distinction you make between scientific and historical proof is
vulnerable from several angles at once, and on consideration I think
you'll find you don't mean it. Take the simplest objection:
when a scientist writes up an experiment, she is giving an account of
the (recent) historical past. If you think that nothing can be proven
about the historical past, you don't think she's capable of proving
anything.

Also, there's nothing inherently subjective about stylistic evidence.
That some stylometricians falsely claim that they are working with
purely objective data is not a good reason to leap to the opposite claim.

Gabriel Egan

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