The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0578  Tuesday, 29 March 2005

From:           Michael Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 28 Mar 2005 08:43:39 -1000
Subject: 16.0561 Annotated Hall's Chronicle
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0561 Annotated Hall's Chronicle

The tantalizingly anonymous Annotator of an edition of Hall's Vnion of
the Two Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre & Yorke, was discovered
by Alan Keen and is discussed at length in Alan Keen and Roger Lubbock
(eds.): The Annotator: The Pursuit of an Elizabethan Reader of Hall's
Chronicle Involving some Surmises About the Early Life of William
Shakespeare (London: Putnam, 1954, New York: AMS Press Inc., 1971).
While  a comparison of Shakespeare's known handwriting and that of the
Annotator allows experts to say only that they indicate the
'probability' of but 'do not by any means prove' identity  (H.T.F.
Rhodes: 'Examination of the Handwriting' in Keen and Lubbock,  pp.
137-8, 163), the entries certainly indicate someone reading the text as
though for use elsewhere. 'A Tonne of tennes balls sent as ys reported,'
he/she notes inter alia of Henry V, and 'he that wyll fraunce wynne with
scotland he must begynne.'

In a letter to the TLS written some years before the publication of his
book, Keen observed of his discovery that 'The notes are those of a
careful reader or student. They seldom add anything to the text or
indulge in comment,'  ('Hall and Shakespeare,' TLS, April 26, 1947). The
few that do, however, are certainly suggestive. Shakespeare's signature
on the fly-leaf of a copy of Archaionomia (1568) may take on added
significance in this context.

--Michael Egan

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