The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1644 Tuesday, 27 September 2005
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.