The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0098 Tuesday, 12 March 2013
Date: Sunday, March 10, 2013 12:58 PM
Subject: Shakespeare Beyond Doubt: Publication and Webinar
[Editor’s Note: I have adapted the information below from various e-mails I have received from Paul Edmondson. –Hardy]
The Cambridge University Press will launch Shakespeare Beyond Doubt: Evidence, Argument, Controversy with The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust at this year’s celebration of Shakespeare’s Birthday in Stratford and at The Shakespeare Centre.
The book will also form the basis of an event at this year’s Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival, a webinar towards the end of April sponsored by C.U.P. (and hosted by The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust), and a podcast to be made with the University of Warwick in time for Shakespeare’s Birthday.
You might like to let your colleagues, students, friends, and contacts know about a webinar, ‘Proving Shakespeare’, we’re hosting about Shakespeare Beyond Doubt: Evidence, Argument, Controversy on Friday 26 April at 6.30 pm (British Time). You can register for it free of charge via this link:
I’ll be chairing a discussion for an hour with Stanley Wells and we are delighted to be joined by our special guest, Ros Barber, author of The Marlowe Papers: A Novel in Verse. If you sign up you’ll be able to listen to webinar live and submit questions during the discussion. You can sign up by clicking here.
Shakespeare Beyond Doubt: Evidence, Argument, Controversy
Paperback (ISBN-13: 9781107603288)
Did Shakespeare write Shakespeare, and why should we care?
A collection of essays by major authorities in the field discuss the authorship debate surrounding Shakespeare’s work
Provides a wide range of discussions of all significant aspects of the topic in a readable and engaging style
Offers a comprehensive and grounded scholarly exploration of this hotly debated field
Shakespeare Beyond Doubt: Evidence, Argument, Controversy is organized in three sections. The first is ‘Sceptics’. There you will find essays on the most popular alternative nominees for the authorship, namely Sir Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford. These have been produced by world experts on those three subjects (Alan Stewart, Charles Nicholl, and Alan Nelson), all of whom set out authoritatively to demonstrate how none of those nominees could have written, or indeed were capable of having written, the works of Shakespeare. The ‘unreadable’ work of Delia Bacon is re-appraised by Graham Holderness and Matt Kubus has contributed a piece about the many other ‘unusual suspects’ who have been nominated over the years.
Section two, ‘Shakespeare as Author’, presents the evidence for Shakespeare and includes an essay which considers how we construct early modern biographies by Andrew Hadfield and an overview of all the allusions to Shakespeare up to 1642 by Stanley Wells. John Jowett shows how we know Shakespeare collaborated (thereby making a nonsense of any ‘cover-up’ story), and Mac Jackson shows what we can learn from stylometric tests for different authorial hands. James Mardock and Eric Rasmussen look at what the textual evidence of the printed works tells us about their author, and Dave Kathman finds Warwickshire writ large across Shakespeare’s work. Carol Rutter demonstrates that the whole of Shakespeare was written by someone who attended grammar school but who did not need to have attended university, and Barbara Everett shows how absurd it is to read the works as truthful windows onto Shakespeare’s own life.
The third and final section, ‘A Cultural Phenomenon: Did Shakespeare Write Shakespeare?’, includes articles by Kate McLuskie on conspiracy theories, by Andrew Murphy on the clash between professional academics and amateurs with regard to Delia Bacon, and by Paul Franssen on how the authorship discussion has been treated in works of fiction. Stuart Hampton-Reeves critiques the anti-Shakespearian ‘Declaration of Reasonable Doubt’ and Douglas Lanier critiques the film Anonymous. My contribution is a piece about the so-called ‘Shakespeare Establishment’ and the authorship discussion.
The volume closes with an ‘Afterword’ by James Shapiro and ‘A Selected Reading List’ by Hardy Cook.
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0096 Friday, 8 March 2013
Date: March 8, 2013 12:46:37 AM EST
Subject: Folger’s New Online Texts Go Up Against Moby Shakespeare
I don’t recall anyone mentioning the Folger Digital Texts initiative (http://www.folgerdigitaltexts.org/). These modern-spelling texts derive from the Folger Shakespeare Library editions, a series completed by Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine in 2010 and published by Simon & Schuster. The first dozen texts online in mid-January are, naturally, the most popular plays.
One can guess the orientation of the project toward classroom use, as the format uses the same page and line numbers as the printed editions, and glosses and emendations are in progress. But there can be more serious uses. For example, all the texts are coded in TEI5 and can be downloaded. And while the reader may notice line numbering every five lines, a discreet column to the left has through line numbering, and line-keyed notes are planned.
The editorial introduction (in the right sidebar at http://www.folgerdigitaltexts.org/?chapter=4) indicates an ambition to replace the so-called Moby Shakespeare, the basic but widely available texts based on the Clark and Wright Globe edition of 1864. (Folger puts a “TM” indicating trademark after “Moby,” though its creator, Grady Ward, put the texts in public domain in the 1990s.) The series editors write (in part):
Until now, with the release of the Folger Digital Texts, readers in search of a free online text of Shakespeare’s plays had to be content primarily with using the Moby™ Text, which reproduces a late-nineteenth century version of the plays . . .
When the Moby™ Text was created [sic; in 1864], for example, it was deemed “improper” and “indecent” for Miranda to chastise Caliban for having attempted to rape her. (See The Tempest, 1.2: “Abhorred slave, / Which any print of goodness wilt not take, / Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee . . . ”). All Shakespeare editors at the time took the speech away from her and gave it to her father, Prospero.
The editors of the text that became the Moby™ Shakespeare produced their text long before scholars fully understood the proper grounds on which to make the thousands of decisions that Shakespeare editors face. The Folger Library Shakespeare Editions, on which the Folger Digital Texts depend, make this editorial process as nearly transparent as is possible, in contrast to older texts, like the Moby™, which hide editorial interventions.
Eric Johnson, developer of Open Source Shakespeare, wrote about the history of the Globe/Moby texts in his master’s thesis: http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/info/paper_toc.php His Shakespeare texts too are based on the 1864 Globe edition.
Meanwhile, the complete Moby texts, with Grady Ward’s databases and wordlists, at http://icon.shef.ac.uk/Moby/