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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: March ::
Date of King John
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0511  Friday, 18 March 2005

[1]     From:   Bob Grumman <
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        Date:   Thursday, 17 Mar 2005 19:54:24 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0498 Date of King John

[2]     From:   Edward Brown <
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        Date:   Friday, 18 Mar 2005 06:08:28 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0498 Date of King John


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Grumman <
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Date:           Thursday, 17 Mar 2005 19:54:24 -0500
Subject: 16.0498 Date of King John
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0498 Date of King John

 >>I am making the simple distinction between the objective evidence of a
 >>letter by an Elizabethan that says Peele wrote such-and-such, and
 >>someone's opinion that some line in a play sounds like Peele.  The
 >>latter can be persuasive--but not CONCLUSIVE.

The letter would be direct objective evidence. That wouldn't necessarily
make it persuasive, just much more so than someone's opinion of who may
have written certain lines.  (Or of who may have used some ratio of
adjectives to nouns or whatever.)

 >What you call the "objective evidence" of the letter is only worth
 >something if one thinks it reliable, which may well depend on who one
 >thinks is the author of the letter.

More likely, it would depend on other direct objective evidence.

 > Such a letter might purport to be by
 >an Elizabethan but if it "sounds like" a forgery by, say, William Henry
 >Ireland ("Peelle wrotte thee playye off . . . ") then its value as
 >evidence falls. That's why your objective/subjective distinction is
 >false. Furthermore, stylometry isn't restricted to matters of opinion
 >about what "sounds like" what. Having suspected that the letter might be
 >an Ireland forgery, one would seek to test its internal features (not
 >really style, but quasi-objective matters about writerly habits) against
 >other texts that are accepted as Ireland forgeries.

I'm using style very loosely.  I'm aware of the other related things
that could be used.

 >By your criteria, Bob, the ineluctable danger of forgery would mean that
 >no argument could be conclusive.

No argument in history can be conclusive, only beyond reasonable doubt
probable (which, yes, is almost conclusive).

 >Yet you set out to show that conclusive
 >argument was possible,

No, I set out to show that the words "proven" and "conclusively" were
misused.  You are consistently misreading me.

 >only Vickers couldn't have made it by his methods
 >(of which you appear ignorant).
 >
 >Regards,
 >Gabriel

Vickers is dealing with history.  My only point was that he hasn't
proven anything because events in history cannot be proven.  My argument
is not with his hypothesis but with the, to me, foolish misuse of the
words, "prove" and "conclusively."

--Bob G.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edward Brown <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 18 Mar 2005 06:08:28 -0600
Subject: 16.0498 Date of King John
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0498 Date of King John

Gabriel, I am afraid you are standing on quicksand here. Come on give
Bob his due.

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