« Bradley Smith. Gone, But Not Forgotten. | Main | Evolution of Psychopathology Conference 2016 »


Did you write about Nulick & Mirbeau's books here earlier? Maybe I'm just forgetful.

I've been skeptical of non-orthodox takes on the authorship question, because it's my impression that hardly anybody believed them in Shakespeare's day. The first one to pop up was Bacon, and hardly anyone believes that now. Crowell's take is different, so it raises the question: what was different in Shakespeare's case that has led to him being thought of so differently, with "his" works preserved and remembered and associated with him? Crowell's answer seems to be that the compilers of the First Folio included an unusually large amount of material, and the question of authorship was not taken so seriously in that environment, so Ben Jonson would have no problem with just calling him the author in eulogy.

I promoted "In the Sky" and "Valencia" in 9BB subscriber newsletters, but I neglected to give them a proper treatment here. That was stupid of me.

I don't want to speak for Crowell on this (or any) subject, but I think it's clear enough that the Bacon-cipher business is/was a weird (yet fascinating) dead end -- and I think the attending funk of crackpottery remains an easy excuse for people who don't want to think further. My gut answer to your question is that Shakespeare was a maverick PR man -- that he was prescient in understanding the importance of authorship (or ownership) when the idea was just finding purchase. It's probably also important to distinguish Shakespeare in his time from the renaissance of interest that would take root long after, which goes to the whole business of sequential knowledge. In any case, There's a LOT in the book that doesn't get mentioned in this interview, perhaps especially with reference to Jonson. If you read it, I'd be very interested in your thoughts.

I imagine Crowell is feeling chuffed now that the New Oxford Dictionary is claiming Marlowe wrote most of Henry VI part 1, along with contributing to the other two parts.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Affiliated Sites

Blog powered by Typepad