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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: July ::
Shakespeare by the Numbers
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1260  Friday, 29 July 2005

[1]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Jul 2005 13:21:27 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1251 Shakespeare by the Numbers

[2]     From:   Michael Egan <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Jul 2005 17:55:42 -1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1251 Shakespeare by the Numbers


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 28 Jul 2005 13:21:27 -0400
Subject: 16.1251 Shakespeare by the Numbers
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1251 Shakespeare by the Numbers

I take it that Don Foster's SHAXICON has been surpassed and is now a
dead letter.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Egan <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Jul 2005 17:55:42 -1000
Subject: 16.1251 Shakespeare by the Numbers
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1251 Shakespeare by the Numbers

I'd like to take Prof Elliott up on his wager, and look to collect my
1,000 pounds shortly. Within a few months (publication date is scheduled
for late summer/early fall from Edwin Mellen Press) my study and
Variorum Edition of Richard II, Part One (aka Woodstock) will be
available. Here's my challenge, Ward: if you can refute my
non-stylometric evidence and thus show that the play is not by
Shakespeare, I'll fork over one grand sterling. But if you cannot,
you'll write me a check for 1000 British big ones. US currency
equivalent will be acceptable.

There are more important stakes here, and I don't just mean the addition
(or not) of a whole new play to the canon. It's this: Ward and his
cohorts have proved to their own satisfaction, by stylometry, that the
play is not by Himself. But if (as I believe I show) it irrefutably is,
will the Burnet C. Wohlford Professor of American Political Institutions
at Claremont McKenna College finally admit that his techniques are
insufficient on their own to settle the matter of attribution, at least
when it comes to Shakespeare?

Pale trembling coward, there I throw my gage...
If guilty dread have left thee so much strength
As to take up mine honor's pawn, then stoop:
By that and all the rites of knighthood else,
Will I make good against thee, arm to arm,
What I have spoke, or thou canst worse devise.

--Michael Egan
Scholar in Residence
Brigham Young University, Hawaii

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