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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: September ::
Two New Authorship Studies
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1644  Tuesday, 27 September 2005

From: 		Bob Grumman <
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Date: 		Monday, 26 Sep 2005 17:49:39 -0400
Subject: 16.1616 Two New Authorship Studies
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1616 Two New Authorship Studies

Michael Egan wrote:

"Elliott declines to come to trial on equal terms, so I'll put the 
matter clearly thus: He and his intellectual allies have decisively 
proved by numerical analysis that certain anonymous Elizabethan and 
Jacobean dramas are not by Shakespeare. But every other measure (line 
and word parallels, analogies of character and scene structure, thematic 
convergence, philosophical and historical viewpoint, and many other 
dimensions familiar to literary criticism) show quite otherwise."

To which I replied:

"Every other measure?!  Come on, Michael.  One measure is hard evidence, 
like names on title pages, and neither side has that.  Mr. Elliott and 
the other stylometricists haven't come close to convincing me of 
anything yet, but I'm convinced what they have to offer will become of 
central importance to authorship studies eventually."

To which Michael Egan replied (after deleting the context of my remark):

"Come on to you, Bob, all of Shakespeare's MSS. are lost, so there are 
no names on any extant title pages."

You've lost me, Michael.  I'm talking, obviously, about published plays 
with names on their title-pages.  As I keep having to tell 
anti-Stratfordians, these names are evidence--hard evidence.  They have 
to be taken into consideration in considering a play's authorship.

References by contemporaries to someone as the author of a play are 
other instances of hard evidence.  Names in the Stationers' Register are 
yet others.  Such measures clearly do not show otherwise about the plays 
you and Elliott are discussing as you contend.

All I'm saying is that you should have said, "many measures show 
otherwise" than that "every measure" does.

"Even contem

 

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