The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0107 Friday, 3 March 2006
Date: Thursday, 2 Mar 2006 21:46:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Authentication
I have never met Professor Brian Vickers but I feel like a student of
his. By that I mean that I have worked my way slowly through his edition
of "Counterfeiting Shakespeare". I find his work immensely satisfying
and his voluminous notes and details tremendously enlightening and
informative, especially when they clarify matters of Shakespearean
attribution, a subject about which I feel woefully deficient. I'm
extremely grateful to him for having taken on such a challenging task
and for having executed it so successfully.
I am, however, puzzled by one of his conclusions found in Chapter 11
page 364 in which he deals with the Elegy by W.S. Dedication "---Just so
'W.S.' affirms that, in performing 'this last duty of a friend to
(*1) I am herein but a second to the priviledge of Truth who can warrant
more in his behalf, than I undertooke to deliver.
The language of the Elegye's dedication, with its denial of ulterior
motives, mercenary or sycophantic, echoes Ford's dedications in other
It would appear to my ear that in fact what' W.S.' is saying is- "That I
have no intention of telling the Truth"!
If you add to this point, the lack of an author's name, the failure of
the publisher Thorpe to have his name placed on the publication, the
lack of any correspondence between the facts set out in the poem and the
actual life of Peter and the other matters all dealt with by Professor
Foster in his contra arguments in favor of a private work intended for
the family and friends of the deceased then you will come to the same
conclusion that I came to-the Elegye is in fact a satire.
Elliott H. Stone
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