Saturday, April 9, 2016

News - 3 non-Stratfordian articles in the Journal of Early Modern Studies - Price, Barber, Leahy

And now for some real news on the Authorship front, of which there is much:

The biggest news seems to me the publishing or three articles by non-Stratfordians in the Journal of Early Modern Studies.

Diana Price has extensively examined “Hand D and Shakespeare’s Unorthodox Literary Paper Trail” showing that the current push to just declare Hand D to have handwriting that is a certain match with Will Shakspere’s signatures is not justified by the accepted standards of handwriting analysis and authentication. In other words, it’s just another finding that was manufactured to try and bolster the belief in Stratfordian theory.

The second article is by Ros Barber who wrote about the claimed evidence for “Shakespeare and Warwickshire Dialect”. Barber found that the claims were either a) errors of fact, b) well-known or widely-used words; c) poetic inventions, and d) those derived through circular reasoning.

There was also a very recent column on this in The Conversation that’s worth a read:

She notes here in the comments that:
“But if you haven’t time to read the academic article, you don’t need to take my word for it. Professor David Crystal, acknowledged as the world’s foremost authority on Shakespeare’s language, emailed me after the article’s publication, and though I have no right to quote our private correspondence, his response to another person has now been posted on a public forum, so I think it is probably okay to share it here. David Crystal said:

“Regardless of her position on the SAQ, she is totally correct in her analysis. This is precisely the reasoning that I did not include any references to Warwickshire dialect in Shakespeare’s Words. Anyone who has studied historical dialectology would see straight away that the attribution of words to Warwickshire alone has no basis in reality, and I would never recommend anyone using such a flimsy argument to support the Stratfordian argument. AFAIK, none of the scholars in question have any background in historical dialectology.”

So yes, the Stratfordians must stand down on this one. There are plenty of other (stronger) arguments that can be used in defence of WS of Stratford.”

Interesting, it seems that one of the top Stratfordian apologists has a Ph.D. in linguistics but was totally oblivious to the weaknesses in this evidence.

And finally, William Leahy examined the field of Shakespeare biographies and his article is “ ‘the dreamscape of nostalgia’: Shakespearean Biography: Too Much Information (but not about Shakespeare)


The other big announcement is from the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition which is celebrating its 10th anniversary along with its seminal Declaration of Reasonable Doubt. Its signatories continues to grow apace.  The announcement mentions that:

“The overall Declaration signatory count recently went above 3,300, including 1,265 with advanced degrees (551 doctorates, 714 masters degrees), and 560 current or former college or university faculty members. It is a very well-educated group, with 77% college graduates, and 50% of these also having advanced degrees.”

Several new “Notables” have signed on, including a President Emeritus of the National Press Foundation, a prominent award winning and very prolific author, the Director of the Walther-Schücking Institute for International Law, a bi-cultural poet and translator of literature, and the co-directors of a Theatre Company in Sydney, Australia.

See the full announcement and the names and detailed backgrounds of these new ‘Notables’ here (including various international celebrations of the SAC’s anniversary):

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