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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: August ::
Shakespeare's Will
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1342  Thursday, 18 August 2005

From:           Louis W. Thompson <
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Date:           Wednesday, 17 Aug 2005 14:39:51 EDT
Subject: 16.1331 Shakespeare's Will
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1331 Shakespeare's Will

Shakespeare's "Last Will and Testament" has many interlinear edits. His
only gift to his wife - his "second-best bed" - was stuck between the lines.

A forgery? Come on! How does an edit qualify a document as a forgery?

I refer you to Charles Hamilton's "In Search of Shakespeare."  He looked
at the will and came to the conclusion that it is in Shakespeare's
handwriting.

I spent years in newsrooms during the typewriter age. Only the tyros
turned in neat, perfect copy back then. The veteran journalists and the
best writers turned in copy with many corrections between the lines.

I'll bet Shakespeare stopped caring much about the appearance of his
manuscripts about the time of his first success in London. His plays had
to be copied and re-copied anyway: for the actors and the prompter.
Shakespeare's only responsibility was to turn in a masterpiece that was
readable.

Why don't we have any of Shakespeare's manuscripts? Perhaps it is
because no one valued them after a clean copy was made.

The "Last Will and Testament" looks messy now - but to Shakespeare it
may have looked like a day at the office.

A writer with Shakespeare's power and high standards.....would he allow
anyone else to write his will?

Louis W. Thompson

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