The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1690  Wednesday, 24 July 2002

From:           John W. Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 23 Jul 2002 20:27:23 -0400
Subject: 13.1684 Re: Double Falshood and I
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1684 Re: Double Falshood and I

>A note for the record.
>John W. Kennedy posted a very handsome HTML text (and a functional ASCII
>text) of Double Falshood at
>http://pws.prserv.net/jwkennedy/Double%20Falshood.html, and he commented
>briefly on the collated text he has produced for the Sh. community.
>Backing up to his homepage, however, I found a clearer statement of his
>interest in this play:
>"Among my interests are...William Shakespeare, the greatest writer who
>ever lived,
>--despite the efforts of barking loonies to spread the unfounded rumor
>that he was really someone else, and
>--whose lost play Cardenio, despite the claims of yet more barking
>loonies, is partially preserved in Lewis Theobald's Double Falshood; or
>The Distrest Lovers..."

Frankly, my chief interest in the play was that I couldn't find it
on-line, so I decided to do it myself.  While working on it, I have
tried to familiarize myself with the existing scholarship on the subject
of "Cardenio" and "Double Falshood", and I have also studied "The 2nd
Maiden's Tragedy".  I am convinced that the text of "Double Falshood" is
best explained as being truly derived from the lost "Cardenio", for the
usual reasons.  (I have not read Harriet Frazier; her work is not
readily available to me, but, to be frank, the very titles of her
original essays smack to me of obsession.)  I am not aware that any
genuine scholar takes Hamilton's claims seriously; I certainly can't.
The Dramatis Personae made up of Latinate type names and anonymous
descriptions, the lack of setting in place or time, the wholly
unconnected A and B plots, and the unintentionally comic excesses of the
latter would be enough to condemn it without Hamilton's Pelion-upon-Ossa
attempt to make "Double Falshood" a subsequent redaction.

My opinions on the "authorship question" are regularly to be found on
news: humanities.lit.authors.shakespeare.  They have, however, virtually
no bearing on my interest in "Double Falshood", and none at all on my
labors of comma-catching.

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