The Proving Shakespeare Webinar of April 26, 2013.
One of the first attempts of representatives of the two sides discussing the dispute, and that’s connected to the current “Shakespeare Beyond Doubt” publications, has taken place in a webinar involving Paul Edmondson, Stanley Wells and Marlovian Ros Barber who has written a novel of Christopher Marlowe as the hidden Shakespeare. The transcript is an interesting read.
Barber became interested in the dispute after watching the film “Much Ado About Something” and since then has become another skeptic.
Here are some things said in the webinar:
RB: “…but I think that it’s actually important to look at the evidence that is argued, that is put forward on both sides…” “So I actually welcome the absorption of this question into professional academic circles.
PE: It’s interesting, isn’t it, how many academics try to avoid this issue…
They all think the authorship discussion should be participated in by the academic community.
[Note: There’s a mention of an unusual argument:]
PE: Now in our book there is a chapter by Matt Kubus which sort of mops up, at the last count, seventy-seven of the nominees, in which he says ‘Mathematically, each time an additional candidate is suggested, the probability decreases that any given name is the true author.’
RB: I want to query that, because I want to know is that mathematically true? Do we have any mathematicians listening in to the webcast who could actually tell me whether that’s a true statement or not?
Note--My own first thought is this idea is senseless. Would it follow that if a crime was suspected in a hotel, that the greater the number of hotel guests, then the less likelihood that any crime actually was committed? That seems to be what the argument is implying. How is that logical?
There is much time in their discussion trying to get the other side to see their evidence, or to see their interpretation of the same evidence. This is especially true in regards to the idea that another person could be used as a front for another, and that what appears to be his name, and references to him or his name, aren’t strong enough evidence to many people that he actually wrote the works attributed to him. So the very idea of what constitutes evidence is debated. Is it possible for two opposing sides to agree on the validity of posthumous evidence?
This is a good beginning to this new stage of the debate and if the two sides can continue talking we may see some progress toward a broader appreciation of the amassed evidence that is yet to be satisfactorily explained.
Here’s the link to the webinar discussion: