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

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0253  Friday, 30 September 2011

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

     Date:         September 29, 2011 5:37:51 PM EDT

     Subject:      Woodstock 

 

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

     Date:         September 30, 2011 3:02:45 PM EDT

     Subject:      Re: Thomas of Woodstock 

 

 

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

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

Date:         September 29, 2011 5:37:51 PM EDT

Subject:      Woodstock

 

Gerald E. Downs writes of Thomas of Woodstock:

 

> I guess rather that the play is not the result

> of unbroken transcription; that authorship claims

> are premature, if not impossible; and that the real

> value will be in the study of its transmission.

> Though a connection with Shakespeare is hypothetically

> possible, the worth of the manuscript is not to be

> found in stylometrics but in it's helping to show

> how theater was done.

 

Very true. The manuscript of this play was central to a critique of New Bibliography presented by William B. Long in the 1980s that has proved highly influential. According to Long, New Bibliographers were wildly mistaken about how theatre was done. However, Long overstated his case and made some significant errors regarding this play, and those who wish to pursue this point might want to read my article "Precision, consistency, and completeness in early-modern playbook manuscripts: The evidence from Thomas of Woodstock and John a Kent and John a Cumber" that will appear shortly in the journal The Library. I'd be happy to send anyone who asks for it a pre-publication copy of the article.

 

Gabriel Egan

 

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

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

Date:         September 30, 2011 3:02:45 PM EDT

Subject:      Re: Thomas of Woodstock

 

Ward Elliott (WE) writes: 

 

>years ago we offered a thousand-pound bet that no one 

>can come up with an untested non-Shakespeare play that 

>will pass as a Shakespeare “could-be” by our computer 

>tests.  The offer still stands (our brief, 3, our 2004, 363-65). 

>No one has ever taken us up on it.

 

JE: I'm considering accepting Ward Elliott's bet (not Michael Egan's counter-bet). I only ask that WE provide an objective precise standard for deciding the outcome. Unless I missed it, WE has provided no such distinct criterion, despite his bemoaning the subjective standardless critique of others. For example, using WE's 29-play Shakespeare baseline with its earlier set of 48 tests, would I win the bet if the previously untested play I submitted showed a maximum of three rejections, or of four rejections, or some other as yet unspecified standard? Please specify.

 

Regards,

Joe Egert

 
 

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