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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: April ::
Thomas Kyd and 1 Henry 6
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0236  Tuesday, 22 April 2008

[1] 	From:	Gabriel Egan <
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	Date:	Friday, 18 Apr 2008 23:08:10 +0100
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0232 Thomas Kyd and 1 Henry 6

[2] 	From:	John Briggs <
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	Date:	Saturday, 19 Apr 2008 17:11:50 +0100
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0232 Thomas Kyd and 1 Henry 6


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Gabriel Egan <
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Date:		Friday, 18 Apr 2008 23:08:10 +0100
Subject: 19.0232 Thomas Kyd and 1 Henry 6
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0232 Thomas Kyd and 1 Henry 6

John Briggs writes:

 >Vickers' [TLS] piece would have certainly benefitted
 >from someone else looking at it: for example, he
 >claims that the Temple Garden scene (2.4) was added as part of a 
revision by Shakespeare after
 >the summer of 1594 - this is implausible for more
 >than one reason . . .

Would you care to name one? (It seems such a tease otherwise.) In case 
others want to know of errors in Vickers's piece, there's one in the 
opening sentence: the Red Lion wasn't "converted" to a playhouse, as 
Vickers writes, since the Red Lion was a farmhouse and the theatre was 
built in a yard in the garden.

But that's trivial. Vickers key pieces of evidence are phrases that 
appear in Kyd, and in the plays that he wants to attribute to Kyd, and 
nowhere else. That last point is vulnerable, since Vickers has in the 
past claimed that certain phrases are unique when in fact they can be 
found elsewhere. SHAKSPERians may remember that part of Vickers's claim 
for Peele's authorship of Act One of Titus Andronicus was that the stage 
direction "enter ... others as many as may be" appears in Peele Edward I 
(at 1.1.40) but in no other plays of the period. As I mentioned on 
SHAKSPER (SHK 14.0994 on 20 May 2003) there are several examples of 
virtually the same phrasing to be found in Literature Online:

Anonymous (Jacobean and Caroline)
Swetnam, the woman-hater, arraigned by women (1620)
"...with a Proclamation, and as many Women as may be, with..."

Anonymous (Tudor)
Clyomon and Clamydes (1599)
"...as valiantly set forth as may be, and as many souldiers as can..."

Armin, Robert, fl. 1610
The two maids of More-Clacke (1609)
"...Enter Earle, Lords, Ladies, so many as may be, S. Wil...."

Chettle, Henry, d. 1607?
Hoffman (1631)
"...Enter as many as may be spar'd, with..."

Fletcher, John, 1579-1625 / Massinger, Philip, 1583-1640
The double marriage (1647)
"...Gunner, Citizens, and Souldiers, as many as may be..."

Unless I've forgotten entirely, I don't think this evidence ever got 
countered or explained away.

It may be worth someone's time to go through all the phrases in 
Vickers's TLS article that he claims are unique to Kyd and see if they 
can be found elsewhere in LION.  Vickers doesn't say just what Marcus 
Dahl and Lene Petersen did to "produce a corpus of seventy-five plays 
produced before 1596" to be used for his searches for unique phrases, 
but it apparently didn't include modernizing the texts for he quotes 
plays using original spellings. Given the variability of spelling in the 
period, it may be that (even when trying to search for all possible 
spellings) Vickers missed some 'hits' in the plays that would weaken his 
case.

If anybody would care to do the checking in LION but hasn't the TLS 
article to hand, I'd be happy to send it electronically, or just a list 
of the phrases that need checking. This is the sort of testing that 
empirical work such as Vickers's ought to be put to, and it oughtn't to 
have a whiff of incredulity about it: scientists are rightly disdainful 
of humanities scholarship because we have such weak procedures for 
testing empirical claims.

Gabriel Egan

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		John Briggs <
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Date:		Saturday, 19 Apr 2008 17:11:50 +0100
Subject: 19.0232 Thomas Kyd and 1 Henry 6
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0232 Thomas Kyd and 1 Henry 6

A thought occurs to me: where does that leave Edward III? Vickers 
doesn't mention it. The conventional wisdom is that the same team were 
responsible for both 1 Henry 6 and Edward III: Shakespeare seems to 
revisit the themes of both plays in Henry V. Dating of Edward III is 
uncertain, but it seems to be later than 1 Henry 6.

John Briggs

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