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Home :: Archive :: 2011 :: September ::
Thomas Woodstock

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0233  Wednesday, 14 September 2011

 

[1] From:         Julia Griffin < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         September 13, 2011 2:16:38 PM EDT

     Subject:     Re: Thomas Woodstock 

 

[2] From:         William Sutton < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         September 13, 2011 3:21:43 PM EDT

     Subject:      Re: SHAKSPER: Thomas Woodstock 

 

[3] From:         Michael Egan < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         September 13, 2011 7:41:20 PM EDT

     Subject:      Woodstock 

 

[4] From:         John Briggs < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         September 13, 2011 8:42:41 PM EDT

     Subject:      Re: SHK 22.0231 Thomas of Woodstock 

 

[5] From:         Christopher A. Adams < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         September 14, 2011 2:29:47 AM EDT

     Subject:      Re: Thomas Woodstock 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:         Julia Griffin < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         September 13, 2011 2:16:38 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: Thomas Woodstock

 

Given that Larry Weiss and others have produced a long, closely-argued paper about this Woodstock question, is it not time for this discussion to take some account of it, rather than re-stating or re-questioning the same points as if for the first time?

 

Julia

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:         William Sutton < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         September 13, 2011 3:21:43 PM EDT

Subject:      Re: SHAKSPER: Thomas Woodstock

 

Thanks for the extra info Michael and Tom. I'm not sure how much progress is being made by suggesting co-writing with others. We have known of several other authors he co-wrote with, right? Pericles being a fine example. 

 

If this is to prove he who must not be named wrote the plays, yikes! 

 

Seduced by the dark side.

 

Yours in the name of Will,

W. S.

 

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:         Michael Egan < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         September 13, 2011 7:41:20 PM EDT

Subject:      Woodstock

 

Dear Peter Holland:

 

Commonsense observation tells us that the sun revolves around the earth. But since the earth demonstrably revolves around the sun, clearly there is something wrong with commonsense observation.

 

Michael

 

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:         John Briggs < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         September 13, 2011 8:42:41 PM EDT

Subject:      Re: SHK 22.0231 Thomas of Woodstock

 

Before this all gets out of hand, perhaps I should point that Thomas of Woodstock is generally accepted as having been one of Shakespeare's sources for Richard II. This is mentioned in passing in the new Oxford Shakespeare Richard II (of which more in another post) and is stated most succinctly in Charles R. Forker's Arden3 edition of Richard II (2002):

 

"That Marlowe's Edward II and the anonymous Woodstock served in their different ways as models for Richard II is virtually certain." (p. 116)

 

Both Edward II and Thomas of Woodstock seem to have been in turn influenced by 2 Henry VI.

 

We don't know to which company Thomas of Woodstock" belonged, so we can't really begin to speculate how Shakespeare knew it, but he does seem to have re-written a lot of Queen's Men plays.

 

John Briggs

 

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:         Christopher A. Adams < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         September 14, 2011 2:29:47 AM EDT

Subject:      Re: Thomas Woodstock

 

In response to Michael Egan's citation of parallel phrases/passages:

 

I don’t wish to speak on behalf of Brian Vickers, or his research associate Dr. Marcus Dahl, but as someone familiar with their work, I would question the value of the parallel phrases you cite.

 

First, in their methodology BV/MD look for (or, place greatest emphasis on) three-word phrases that are exact matches. So, for instance, the first passage you cite: (‘Faith, my lord, his mind suits with his habit’ and ‘I will believe thou has a mind that suits / With this thy fair and outward character’) contains no actual matching three-word string. The closest would be ‘suits with his’ and ‘suits with this’. Indeed, a quick check of LION for ‘suits NEAR mind’ shows that the idea (though not the phrase), while not terribly common, has parallels in other works.

 

In response to ‘I agree that many of these are fairly ordinary, but there are a lot of them’: Three-word collocations, to be not only valid, but also valuable, must pass the ‘negative results’ test. That is, it is not enough that the same phrase (or a variant of a phrase) appears in two works. To be valid it must appear exclusively in those works (or in other works of the author canon being tested against). While copiousness of examples may point to a possible conclusion, copiousness alone is not valid for demonstrating a conclusion. If, on the other hand, you had 1500 parallel phrases that only appeared in the test text and in the Shakespeare canon, then I would be more inclined to say that the test text is, in fact, part of the Shakespeare canon (in combination with other evidence).   

   

Here’s a random sampling of a few of the phrases/passages you cite. A search for the phrase ‘That’s all one’ in works by authors living in the years 1575-1650 showed 150 hits in 113 dramatic works. The phrase ‘There’s no remedy’ showed 70 hits in 57 works. The phrase ‘(have/hath) taken great pains’ turns up surprisingly few hits in the early 1600s, two in Shakespeare (TN and MV). Though, cf. Fletcher/Rowley? in Maid of the Mill.  The phrase ‘There is no way’ shows 65 hits in 61 works in drama alone. Needless to say, ‘that’s all one’, ‘there’s no remedy’ and ‘there is no way’ are useless phrases for advancing an attribution argument. 

 

If you are going to present an argument based on parallel passages/three-word collocations, only focus on those strings which are exclusive to 1 Richard II and Shakespeare. You may discover that your original 1500 parallels have shrunk.

 

Christopher Adams

 

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