The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0974  Monday, 19 May 2003

[1]     From:   Kevin De Ornellas <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 16 May 2003 13:18:47 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0967 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

[2]     From:   Marcus Dahl <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 16 May 2003 13:16:56 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0967 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

[3]     From:   Bill Lloyd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 18 May 2003 16:34:33 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0967 Re: King John, Titus, Peele, Attribution

[4]     From:   Brian Vickers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 19 May 2003 12:30:17 +0200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0967 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

From:           Kevin De Ornellas <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 16 May 2003 13:18:47 +0000
Subject: 14.0967 Re: King John, Titus, Peele
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0967 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

Sean writes:

>>Brian Vickers writes
>>Historically, we know that every professional dramatist in this period
>>took part in collaborative play-writing.
>Really?  Does that include Marlowe?

It should do.  Those of us lucky enough to be going to see 'Dido, Queen
of Carthage' at the Globe this summer will realise that there is as much
Nashe as Marlowe in that play.  And don't forget that the printer of the
'Tamburlaine' Octavo claims to have edited out parts that were 'unmeet
for the matter'.  And think about the complicated, multi-authored
theatrical and textual history of the 'Faustus' texts.  The 1633 Quarto
of 'The Jew of Malta' can hardly be said to be derived wholly from
Marlowe's manuscript.  'The Massacre at Paris' seems like some actor's
abbreviated version of a Marlowe play.  Aside from the erotic
translations and the narrative poems, 'Edward II" is the nearest that we
have to a 'pure', non-collaborative Marlovian production.

Kevin De Ornellas
Queen's University, Belfast

From:           Marcus Dahl <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 16 May 2003 13:16:56 EDT
Subject: 14.0967 Re: King John, Titus, Peele
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0967 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

Well it might include Marlowe - Sean - look at the title page for Dido
(though of course this TP does not constitute categorical *proof* as the
TPs for the Shakespeare Apocrypha illustrate).

The Tragedie of Dido Queene of Carthage: Played by the Children of her
Chappell. Written by Christopher Marlowe, and Thomas Nash London
Printed, by the Widdowe Orwin, for Thomas Woodcocke [etc.] 1594

Personally I think there is a problem of statistical size of data in all
of this - discrimination over scenes using most statistical techniques
that I've seen gives pretty large error margins - essentially anything
over 5% is enough for room to doubt and this is all that is being
discussed in Titus.

As a colleague of mine pointed out, there is also the problem of actorly
/ theatrical intervention to obscure whether or not Peele (or anyone
else) amended certain sections of the text - as there is in the case for
example of Orlando Furiosio or many of the so-called 'bad' quartos of

There is however (as Brian Vickers ably illustrates) plenty of evidence
for collaborative practice of theatrical writers in the Early Modern
period - see: G.E. Bentley, or better still Greg's edition of Henslowe's

Marcus (Discriminant Analysis over Scenes in 1HVI makes for difficult
error margins) Dahl

From:           Bill Lloyd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 18 May 2003 16:34:33 EDT
Subject: 14.0967 Re: King John, Titus, Peele, Attribution
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0967 Re: King John, Titus, Peele, Attribution

First let me say that I enjoy arguing about stuff-- arguing in the good
sense-- hashing things out. From what I've observed, many SHAKSPERians
feel the same way. It's not necessary that we agree and we can even
disagree vigorously. I don't think I've made ad hominem attacks on
anyone [though I've seen this done on SHAKSPER-- e.g., Weinstein vs.
everyone, people being called insane, etc]  Compared with those strings,
I don't think the Titus-Peele string has become particularly strident--
yes, people are arguing back and forth, but are mostly trying to argue
substantively. I don't agree with much of what Bob Grumman, Martin
Steward, and Jim Carroll have to say on these recent subjects but I
don't think they are idiots or lack integrity or argue in bad faith.
And, not that I accused anyone specific of being a Bardolator, but is
that really an insult? There's a little bit of bardolatry in each of us,
otherwise what are we doing in this conference? But it seems to me that
a statement like "It's impossible for me to believe that Jonson, Heminge
& Condell would have bothered to put together a book of Shakespeare's
plays if they did not believe him to be the sole author" priveleges
"sole author<ship>" in an anachronistic, yea, a Romantic way, and
implies that if the works did not have 100% Shakespearean integrity that
it would not have been worth collecting them at all ["would have
bothered"], and as Brian Vickers points out, seems to be stating it as
an article of Faith ["impossible for me to believe"].  I said I was
"puzzled" by this attitude, and that it was "ALMOST AS IF they
fear<ed>...  disinstegration", and yes, guessed [and implied] that it
might be a romantic need to elevate the Beloved Author to a place where
he is not sullied by association with 'lesser' writers.  If I am wrong
in my analysis, I suppose I must return to merely being puzzled.

I'm afraid I enjoy making rhetorical pronouncements or summings up as
much or more than the "sez who?" style of argument, but let's do some of

Sean Lawrence sez "Really? Does that include Marlowe?" when Brian
VIckers states that "we know that every professional dramatist in this
period took part in collaborative play-writing."    Well, yes, it
includes Marlowe. The title page of Dido Queen of Carthage attributes
the play to Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Nashe. The date and auspices
of this play are problematic and it's been suggested that Nashe merely
fitted up for the boy players or for publication an old or incomplete
play of Marlowe's; but this suggestion is no more probable than the one
that Marlowe and Nashe, who were at Cambridge together and were
associates later, seem to have written a play together. In cases where
it can be determined, two or more names on a title page more often refer
to collaboration in the strict sense, rather than the later rehandling
of one author's work by another.  Next, the printer's preface to
Tamburlaine states that in the staged version of the play, there were
passages of low humor that were omitted in the printing, and implies
that these were not of Marlowe's composition. Finally, though this
strays into "can you prove that?" territory, many scholars believe that
the comic scenes in Faustus A-text were written not by Marlowe but by a
collaborator. [Nashe or Porter have been suggested as possibilities.]

Jim Carroll wants "convincing evidence" [i.e. evidence that convinces
him] for re-attribution and Bob Grumman "believe<s> stylometric
studies... too primitive to count for much". We may be at a dead end
here. Many respected authorities [e.g. the editors of the Oxford
Shakespeare, and of the recent editions of Dekker, and of Beaumont &
Fletcher, as well as [this is just my impression it is true-- I haven't
done a census] much of the scholarly community accept the worth of
well-done statistico-linguistic analyses [e.g. Hoy's of Beaumont &
Fletcher and their collaborators and revisers].  I myself find the best
of these arguments convincing, though I don't completely agree with
every one of them-- for instance I think that there IS some Greene in
Groatsworth, though much Chettle too. But if someone is simply not
convinced, or has no faith in those kinds of analyses per se, then not
much can be done about it. Absolute proof is not attainable in these
kinds of questions-- nor in most other questions.

Jim Carroll "know<s> that <Shakespeare> collaborated at least once,
because the first two acts of Pericles are clearly not his".  May I
suggest that this is inconsistent with his view of the authorship of
Titus and his demands for convincing Proof? Pericles was published
during Shakespeare's lifetime with only Shakespeare's name on the title
page. If it is so clear that he did not write the first two acts, how
did the editors of the recent Arden edition get away with rejecting
George Wilkins and attributing the whole play to Shakespeare? I [and
most others] think they're wrong of course; but the division of Pericles
between Shakespeare and probably-Wilkins depends on exactly the same
kinds of impressions, followed by evidence and arguments that have led
to the attribution of Act I of Titus to Peele. Out of curiosity, what
does Jim Carroll [or the other anti-Peelers] think of the supposed
presence of Thomas Middleton in Timon of Athens? or Fletcher in Henry
VIII? These re-attributions are more widely accepted than Peele in
Titus. What is convincing about the argument for Wilkins in Pericles
that fails to work in the argument for Titus? As far as I know, what
happened was that the 'suspicious' parts in both plays didn't seem to
some scholars very much like the work of Shakespeare, and upon closer
examination did seem to resemble the work of another writer, and then
different kinds of evidence were brought to bear and they tended to
point to the same other writer. Ditto for Henry VIII and Timon. The
"years of scholarly apparatus" that assist Jim Carroll in disintegrating
Pericles also exist for Titus, Timon and H8. It's been about 100 years
since Peele was suggested in Titus, about 80 for Middleton in Timon and
something like 130 for Fletcher in H8, and each of them has had multiple
backers. I don't mean to sound flip here [ok, I do] but if the case for
Titus had first been made100 years earlier, then would Jim Carroll be

Jim Carroll "doubts very much that there were any intimate associates of
<Beaumont or Fletcher> still alive <in 1647> who would have known for
sure who wrote each work..."  Well, the King's Men as they were then
[for this company's continuity, see Judith Milhous & Robert D. Hume,
"New Light on English Acting Companies in 1646, 1648 and 166O", RES 42
(1991), pp. 487 ff.] signed the dedication of the 1647 B&F folio.
[Bentley, on the same page cited by Jim Carroll, says of this dedication
"This is a striking analogy to an earlier collection of plays from the
repertory of the King's company, the Shakespeare Folio of 1623...."]
These players included John Lowin, Richard Robinson, Joseph Taylor,
Robert Benfield and Thomas Pollard.  Lowin [who joined the King's Men in
1603] and Robinson must have acted in virtually every play B&/orF ever
wrote for the King's Men; Taylor was leading man in the Fletcher plays
written 1619<>25; Pollard and Benfield seem to have joined the company
shortly before Taylor. Lowin and Taylor were the company's leaders for
years [and would one supposes have known or remembered who wrote what];
and Taylor, Lowin and Pollard were acting in Fletcher et al.'s Bloody
Brother as late as 1648.  [You'll all find this in your Bentley.] It
wasn't that they were unlikely to know, but that it didn't matter that
much. What was important was that these were 'Fletcher plays'. I can't
find the reference right now, so please forgive my paraphrase, but one
of the Fletcher plays had a prologue or epilogue in which something was
said to the effect that "if  Fletcher wrote but one act, the whole play
rose up written" [Anyone have the specific ref out there?]. Titus [and
Timon and Pericles and 1H6 and H8] ARE Shakespeare plays; that
Shakespeare [as was common] had someone else work with him on these few
does not [necessarily] diminish them. And I don't think Heminge and
Condale would've thought so either.  As to what Bentley thought of the
various B&F collaborators [and re-attribution studies in general], well,
I have enormous respect for Professor Bentley and his work, but he is
not [nor is anyone] the absolute last word on everything. Time has shown
that in the Jacobean and Caroline Stage [published between 1941 and
1968] he was sometimes over-cautious almost to the point of being
reactionary. He heaped scorn on those who suggested the presence of for
example Webster in Middleton's Anything for a Quiet Life; Ford and
Webster in Fletcher's Fair Maid of the Inn; and Ford as sole author of
'Fletcher's' Laws of Candy.  But the latter two were later accepted by
Hoy and Bowers, who were not cranks but were pretty conservative
scholars, and the former is now generally accepted by both Webster and
Middleton scholars.

I agree with Jim Carroll that Fletcher's presence in Henry VIII can't be
regarded as "established fact" because I think so few things can be so
regarded. But I think the case has been made so often, so thoroughly and
so convincingly that for all practical purposes we should regard it as a
Shakespeare-Fletcher collaboration. He cites R. A. Foakes' Arden edition
of about 40+ years ago as a holdout. But people's minds change-- see
Jonathan Bate's apparent now acceptance of Peele in Titus. I wonder if
Professor Foakes is still skeptical of Fletcher in H8? Years ago I was
indignant that the Revenger's Tragedy was being torn from the Tourneur
canon, but I have long since been convinced that it is beyond question
the work of Middleton.  I can't 'prove' it, but I am convinced by the
enormous amount of evidence to the point of [dare I say it] firm belief.

As to Shakespeare being influenced by Peele and/or vice versa, well,
especially with the uncertain dates of the various works involved, it's
true that it's difficult to argue very definitively either way.  But
look at it this way-- why would young Shakespeare imitate or evoke Peele
ONLY in Act 1 and in 4.1? And not write like him in the rest of the
play, but there write in a style that has close connections with other
early WS works? For that matter why would the author[s] of 1 Henry VI
write like Thomas Nashe ONLY in Act 1, when it is apparent from the
Temple Garden scene that someone involved was capable of writing just
like Shakespeare?  As to the much-touted only-Shakespeare-could-do-it
dramatic construction of Act I of Titus, there are so many unknown
quantities in the theatre of the day that I would hesitate to make such
a claim. Just for one, it was said that Marlowe's friend Thomas Watson
"could devise twenty fictions and knaveries in a play, which was his
daily living" and Meres lists him as among the best for tragedy; but all
his English plays have perished [or are unidentified]. Maybe Shakespeare
learned plotting from Watson, and shortly before his death in 1592
Watson plotted out Titus, and James Burbage had Peele and Shakespeare
write it up for Strange's men. VERY speculative; but no more or less
provable than the statement that only Shakespeare among playwrights
c1592 could plot like that. Even without the ghost of Watson, as I
pointed out before, Brian Vickers' has suggested that Shakespeare
[perhaps with Peele] did plot out Titus, and then gave Peele part of the
play to write. Again unproveable, but it's not at all implausible, and
would dispose of the 'only Shakespeare could've written it because only
Shakespeare could've plotted it' business.

Well, I hope I haven't been overly vigorous in my arguing. I don't agree
with everything in Brian Vickers' book. Not all of the evidence he cites
is equally convincing, and I have some reservations about methodology at
a few points. His book aside, I am sceptical or not completely convinced
of some attribution or re-attribution arguments for various works made
by other scholars. But I find the arguments and evidence deployed for
Peele in Titus to be convincing, as well as for Nashe in 1H6, Middleton
in Timon, Fletcher in H8 and, along with Jim Carroll, Wilkins in

Bill Lloyd

From:           Brian Vickers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 19 May 2003 12:30:17 +0200
Subject: 14.0967 Re: King John, Titus, Peele
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0967 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

In reply to Sean Lawrence [is this the same Sean Lawrence who in EMLS 2
(1996) praised Donald Foster for having 'argued convincingly' that
Shakespeare wrote the Funeral Elegy and for having introduced 'a new
rigour to bibliographical studies'?], who doubts that Marlowe took part
in collaborative play-writing: there are at least four pieces of

(1) The Tragedie of Dido, Queen of Carthage was published in 1594 as
'Written by Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Nash. Gent'.

(2) Richard Jones, printer of Tamburlaine in 1590, announced in his
preface that 'I haue (purposely) omitted and left out some fond and
friuolous Iestures ... far unmeet for the matter' which 'some vaine
conceited fondlings greatly gaped at, what times they were shewed upon
the stage in their graced deformities' -- presumably referring to comic
scenes contributed by a co-author.

(3) Eric Rasmussen, joined by David Bevington in their 1993 Revels
Edition of Dr. Faustus, has argued that the comic scenes in the 1604
Quarto (the 'A-text') were written by Henry Porter on interleaved sheets
(there is evidence for co-authors writing their contribution on separate
sheets of paper), which would also account for some typographical

(4) Several scholars (Bullen, Fleay, Tucker Brooke) have suggested
Heywood as a co-author or reviser of The Jew of Malta: see N. W.
Bawcutt's Revels Editon (1978).

In reply to Bob Grumman's question why there are no recorded complaints
about Heminge and Condell having included approximately 3,862 lines in
the First Folio contributed by co-authors (excluding 1 Henry VI, of
which Act 1 is probably by Nashe; there are traces of other
non-Shakespearian hands): I don't know. There are many questions
concerning Elizabethan drama for which we will never have a definite
answer unless new documents turn up.

In reply to Jim Carroll: he is still relying on outdated and partisan
sources. G. E. Bentley, for all his vast knowledge, was notoriously
hostile to any suggestion of co-authorship, pouring undeserved scorn on
the outstanding scholarship of E. H. C. Oliphant's 1927 book on the
Beaumont and Fletcher canon. That 'Bentley believed [that word again! It
has a dying fall] that there were only three co-authors' is now
irrelevant. Oliphant's conclusions were validated and extended by Cyrus
Hoy in a famous series of articles in Studies in Bibliography between
1956 and 1962. Work by at least 11 dramatists survive in the 1647 Folio:
Beaumont, Fletcher, Massinger, Field, Jonson, Middleton, Rowley, Ford,
Shirley, Webster, and Shakespeare.

Similarly, Carroll relies on Frank Hook (not Hooks) in his 1961 edition
of Peele's Edward I for  the claim that its parallels with Marlowe's
Edward II are due to Peele's borrowing from Marlowe, Several scholars
have argued that the debt is actually Marlowe's: see Charles Forker's
outstanding Revels Edition of Edward II (1994), pp. 14-17.

As for Harold Metz's book on Titus Andronicus, several reviewers
expressed disappointment with it on publication, and no serious
attribution scholar has anything favourable to say about it. I have
drawn attention (Shakespeare, Co-Author, pp. 106-7) to Metz's naive
endorsement of A. Q. Morton's now discredited stylometric work, which
claimed that the probability of Peele's involvement was 'less than one
in ten thousand million'. This claim was (equally naively) endorsed by
Jonathan Bate in his Arden 3 edition (1995), but Bate has publicly
recanted and conceded that Act I is certainly by Peele (TLS, 23 April
2003). I hope that, on further reflection, he'll admit that the same
evidence implies that 2.1, 2.2, and 4.1 should also be assigned to

Carroll has contributed several long postings to this discussion, but he
has significantly failed to report any of the linguistic and
dramaturgical evidence I have brought together which points to Peele's
co-authorship. I can't summarize here the dozens of close verbal
parallels between Peele's scenes and his other plays and poems; the
amazingly detailed metrical analyses by Parrott, Timberlake, and
Tarlinskaja; the rhetorical analyses by R. F. Hill, Stefan Keller, and
myself; nor the grammatical analyses by Maxwell and myself. I'll just
mention four items, starting with MacDonald Jackson's demonstration
(Studies in Bibliography, vol. 49, 1996) that the stage direction in
Titus 1.1.69 includes the phrase 'enter ... others as many as may be':
this formula is found in Peele's Edward I, 1.1.40 ('Enter ... and others
as many as may be'), but nowhere else 'in the whole of English
Renaissance drama 1576-1642' (I have found one other instance from 1620,
but that doesn't weaken the point).

Secondly, Jackson pointed to a bibliographical idiosyncracy, that Q1 of
Titus has some curious stage directions serving also as speech headings,
the hybrid being centred, as in

            'Marcus Andronicus with the Crowne' (1.1.17).

No other speech heading is given: cf. also 'Enter a Captaine' (1.1.64),
who speaks 6 lines without a separate speech heading; 'Enter Lavinia'
(1.1.156), a cue followed by her 8-line speech; and 1.1.355, 357, 386.
Jackson established  that this curious hybrid is found neither in the
Folio nor in any of the Shakespeare Quartos, but occurs in exactly the
same form in the 1593 Quarto Edward I (I have provided plates of both
Quartos in Shakespeare, Co-Author, pp. 212-3), and in 20 other instances
from this play. This centred stage direction, doubling up as a speech
heading, occurs 11 times in Peele's Araygnement of Paris (1584), 6 times
in The Battle of Alcazar (1594), and 6 times in David and Bethsabe
(1599). In other words, the compositors of these five Quarto faithfully
reproduced Peele's time-saving practice.

Thirdly, Brian Boyd's analysis of 'Common Words in Titus Andronicus: The
Presence of Peele', Notes and Queries, 240 (1995): 300-07 showed that
Act I of Titus contains a remarkable amount of repetition, extending
Dover Wilson's demonstration of its mechanical echoing of stereotyped
formulae in a wholly unShakespearian manner. Carroll falls below
scholarly standards when he says that 'the writer of act 1 of Titus
partially repeats himself at a few points': it is in fact massive
repetition (see Titus, ed. John Dover Wilson, 1948, pp. xxviii ff.; my
book, 167-8). Boyd quoted 4 speeches from Act I of Titus and italicized
the repeated phrases, which amount to '57 repetitions in 38 lines, or
one in just over two-thirds of a line'; a comparable sequence in The
Battle of Alcazar achieves '42 repetitions in 29 lines, or again one in
just over every two thirds of a line', displaying several other Peele
stylistic tics. Speaking of Peele's 'repetition compulsion', Boyd
juxtaposed it with Shakespeare, who 'of all the writers in the world ...
is the furthest from the automatism here'. Does Mr.  Carroll disagree?

Fourthly, Boyd pointed to the variant forms 'brothers'/'brethren', a
peculiarly important choice in a play involving so many sets of
brothers.  Act I, he computed, prefers the form 'brethren' (4 times),
only once using 'brothers', while the rest of the play has 'brothers'
(7) and 'brethren' (1). MacDonald Jackson, in NQ, 242 (1997): 494-5,
corrected Boyd's figures and showed that they were even more significant
than he'd realized. The plurals actually occur 9 times, 8 'brethren' to
1 'brothers' in Peele's share, 1:8 in Shakespeare's, an almost clinical
separation. In other early Shakespeare plays the figures are 23:2, in
Peele 1:9, a clearly differentiated preference.

In conclusion -- I won't discuss Peele's dramaturgy, except to say that
Carroll has again not reported the detailed analyses by several
scholars, including myself, which show Act I of Titus to be very similar
to Peele's in many ways, and quite unlike Shakespeare -- I'd like to end
my contribution to this discussion on a personal note. I, too, used to
dismiss the idea of Peele being co-author of Titus, just as I had
rejected the notion that Middleton had contributed several scenes to
Timon of Athens -- after all, both the Arden and New Cambridge editors
had rejected that claim. It was only when I set out to review the
methodologies that had been used, and the results that they had
produced, that I came to realize that, in each of the five plays I
studied, the case for co-authorship had been made many times over, using
different methods but achieving the same results, and that the
observable variations in style and dramaturgy within these plays  could
not be explained by any other hypothesis. I also noticed that, in
generation after generation, serious Shakespeare scholars who had argued
their case had been dismissed as 'disintegrators', or put down among the
'anti-Stratfordians', such as Looney and Ogburn (as Carroll does in his
latest posting). I can only hope that some Shakespeare lovers reading
these exchanges may be encouraged to consider the evidence without the
reflex rejection we have witnessed once again in these columns by some
loyal but misguided 'Shakespeare Conservators'. Get used to the idea,

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