The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0157 Monday, 13 March 2006
Date: Sunday, 12 Mar 2006 01:46:18 -0800
Subject: 4,000 Ways to Spell Shakespeare
Browsing among the many titles Google has been scanning in the libraries
of Stanford, Michigan, Harvard, NYPL, and the Bodleian
(http://books.google.com), I came across a pamphlet by George Wise, /The
Autograph of William Shakespeare: With Fac Similes of His Signature as
Appended to Various Legal Documents.../ (Philadelphia: Peter E. Abel,
While adopting the now-standard spelling himself, on the authority of
"Mr. Howard Staunton, of Mr. Dyce, of Mr. Halliwell, of Mr. Collier, and
of Messrs. Singer and Lloyd, as well as the editors of the Cambridge
Shakespeare", Wise counts 37 ways to spell Shakespeare among legal and
genealogical records (p.15). Perhaps the pamphlet was not long enough,
for he then embarks on the most curious venture to list some 4,000 ways
to spell Shakespeare "according to English orthography" (pp. 17-32).
This is something to behold.
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