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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: April ::
Love's Labours Won
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0810  Wednesday, 27 April 2005

[1]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Apr 2005 16:47:33 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0798 Love's Labours Won

[2]     From:   Duncan Salkeld <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Apr 2005 22:22:28 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0798 Love's Labours Won


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Tuesday, 26 Apr 2005 16:47:33 -0400
Subject: 16.0798 Love's Labours Won
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0798 Love's Labours Won

Mr. Levanthal's analysis is interesting, but I don't think it makes its
case that MA/N had to be LLW because it was omitted from the
bookseller's "list."  That list was an inventory of books the seller had
on hand.  There are a great many books that had been printed before 1603
which are not on the list, presumably because they were not in stock.
That is the most likely explanation for the omission of MA/N.

 >I think it is entirely possible not only that Much Ado was performed
 >by September 1598, as stated by Mr. Erne, but that Meres knew about it
 >before it was publicly performed.

I suppose it is "possible"; but it is highly improbable.  Please
remember that Meres was not presenting a catalog of Shakespeare's works,
but, rather, a list of those of his works which he and the public found
particularly worthy.  There was just not enough time for MA/N to have
achieved sufficient regard to be included if it had been written in the
early part of the range given by the Oxford editors.  Also, please bear
in mind that "Palladis Tamia" required time to be accepted for
publication and set up in print.  Meres did not have the advantage of
desktop publishing.

 >Is it possible that the copyright owner of LLL, which was published in
 >1598, objected to Shakespeare naming his new play LLW, which Shakespeare
 >responded to by changing the name from LLW to Much Ado About Nothing?

Again, highly improbable.  Titles cannot be protected under today's
liberal copyright laws.  I doubt very much that the embryonic copyright
notions in the first Elizabeth's times would have extended such protection.

Mr. Levanthal's prodigious analysis is most striking for its failure to
address the internal evidence at the end of LLL that a sequel was
contemplated.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Duncan Salkeld <
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Date:           Tuesday, 26 Apr 2005 22:22:28 +0100
Subject: 16.0798 Love's Labours Won
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0798 Love's Labours Won

Kathy Dent must be broadly right (as usual). Pierce Penniless his
Supplication to the Devil is an example of the early English genitive,
and Summers Last Will and Testament an example of the more modern usage.
Pilgrim's Progress, I believe, used the apostrophe. No apostrophe was
used for the title of A Midsummer Night's Dream, in the Stationer's
Register 1600, Q1, Q2 and F. Possessive apostrophes were not used in
common English or secretary hand prior to 1625.

Duncan Salkeld

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