Sunday, June 7, 2015

Offensive Article Removed from Royal Shakespeare Company Website

News from the front:

There was an important announcement this week from the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition (SAC). Its Chairman, Behavioral Scientist John Shahan, naturally felt personally compelled to persist in a lengthy battle with the RSC about their continued posting on their website of egregiously false claims about authorship doubters, even to the extent of labeling them psychologically ill. It’s interesting though, that as far as I can tell, all those with actual expertise in psychology, psychiatry and mental health, and that have examined the authorship question, seem to be in the doubter camp!  If there are any others that happen not to be so, then I’m sure they would enjoy discussing the question with these doubters over tea sometime. In any case, for those interested in the ongoing developments, here is the announcement at the SAC website:

Note that the effort even required the engagement of RSC President The Prince of Wales and even after that, further prodding from renowned Shakespearean actor Mark Rylance.

The SAC also announced new notables to the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt:

Eliot Slater, M.D., was one of the leading psychiatric researchers of the 20th century. He published some 150 scientific papers and co-wrote several books, including Clinical Psychiatry, long the leading textbook. From 1961 to 1972, he was Editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry, which he made into a leading European journal. He was also an avid Shakespeare scholar, best known in that field for his detailed statistical analysis of The Reign of King Edward III, which provided strong support for Shakespeare’s authorship. His analysis earned him a Ph.D. in English at King’s College, London, at age 77. It was later published by CUP as “The Problem of The Reign of King Edward III,” under the supervision of his daughter, Ann.

Here is Dr. Slater’s excellent 1969 essay on the Authorship question:
A Psychiatric View of Shakespeare's Sonnets

Also, his daughter:
Ann Pasternak Slater, Ph.D., is a literary scholar and translator and was formerly a Fellow and Tutor at St. Anne's College, Oxford. She has written and lectured on her uncle Boris Pasternak's translations into Russian of Shakespeare's plays, and she is the author of "Shakespeare the Director." While a notable doubter in her own right, she is also the daughter of psychiatrist Eliot Slater and granddaughter of economist Gilbert Slater -- two other notable authorship doubters and both outstanding in their respective fields. In that sense one might say that we are, in effect, adding three Slaters to the notables list at this time.

And then also her grandfather:
Gilbert Slater, Ph.D. (1864-1938), was a British economist and social reformer of the early 20th century. He took one of the first Ph.D.s at the London School of Economics. He served as Principal of Ruskin College from 1909 to 1915, and then as Professor of Economics at the University of Madras. He is also known for theorizing that the works of Shakespeare were written by several different authors.

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