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Where's the Arden Edward III?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0004  Wednesday, 8 February 2006

[1] 	From: 	John Briggs <
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	Date: 	Friday, 9 Dec 2005 19:12:15 -0000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.2034 Where's the Arden Edward III?

[2] 	From: 	Bill Lloyd <
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	Date: 	Monday, 12 Dec 2005 17:58:32 EST
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.2034 Where's the Arden Edward III?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John Briggs <
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Date: 		Friday, 9 Dec 2005 19:12:15 -0000
Subject: 16.2034 Where's the Arden Edward III?
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.2034 Where's the Arden Edward III?

Al Magary wrote:

 >This reminds me to ask whatever happened to the apparently announced
 >Arden Shakespeare edition of _Edward III_ that seemed to endorse the
 >play as the Bard's work.

I've no idea, but Stanley Wells told me that Gary Taylor and William 
Montgomery will be editing it for the Oxford Shakespeare (they prepared 
the text for the Oxford Complete Works, Second Edition).

Cambridge got in first, of course - Giorgio Melchiori in 1998.

John Briggs

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Bill Lloyd <
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Date: 		Monday, 12 Dec 2005 17:58:32 EST
Subject: 16.2034 Where's the Arden Edward III?
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.2034 Where's the Arden Edward III?

Some clarifications to the story Al Magary cites:

 >BBC News had a 1998 story...
 >In 1904 [Edward III] appeared in a list of 14 plays possibly by the Bard,
 >but [the forthcoming Arden edition] is the first time it has been 
recognised
 >by the official arbiters of Shakespeare's literary legacy.

But Edward III was included in the 1997 Riverside II, and was published 
in a separate volume of the New Cambridge Shakespeare in 1998. It was 
also included in the Leopold Shakespeare of 1887.  So whatever the 
merits of the Arden edition (considerable no doubt) it wasn't the First 
Official Time.  I assume the "list of 14 plays" from 1904 is a confused 
reference to its appearance among the 14 plays included in Tucker 
Brooke's 1908 *Shakespeare Apocrypha*. The introduction to this volume 
contains a "list" of 42 plays attributed to Shakespeare at one time or 
another.

 >The official acceptance comes as welcome news to Eric Sams, a retired
 >civil servant and amateur literary scholar who put the case for the
 >Bard's authorship in his book Shakespeare's Edward III, published in 1996.
 >The book was poorly received by academics, with one review dismissing
 >Sams as "a particularly pesky gnat, raging at orthodoxy with all the
 >passion of the outcast Lear - as yet to equally forlorn effect."...

This suggests that Sams led the charge for the acceptance of Edward III. 
But Capell first suggested it was in part by Shakespeare in 1760, and 
over the years many scholars and critics argued in favor, or accepted it 
as probable (see the intro and bibliography of Melchiori's New Cambridge 
edition), including Kenneth Muir in 1960 and Eliot Slater in 1988. Even 
though in this case Sams happened to be right, the description of his 
angry, scattershot approach to scholarship is apt. 'Academics' didn't 
criticize his work because he wasn't one of them, but because of its 
content and quality; but he apparently couldn't accept this.

Bill Lloyd

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