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Brian Vickers addresses the fundamental issues of what Shakespeare actually wrote, and how this is determined. In recent years Shakespeare's authorship has been claimed for two poems, the lyric "Shall I die?" and A Funerall Elegye. These attributions have been accepted into certain major editions of Shakespeare's works. Through a new examination of the evidence, Professor Vickers shows that neither poem has the stylistic and imaginative qualities we associate with Shakespeare. He identifies the poet and dramatist John Ford as the actual author of the Elegye.Read more
- Highly contentious field and this is a hard-hitting book
- Rejects the ascription to Shakespeare of two poems which some have accepted into the canon
- Uses linguistic and stylistic methods of analysis
Reviews & endorsements
"The structure of Vickers's argument is indeed brilliant as it moves from refutation to confirmation. The innnovative historian of rhetoric displays how masterfully he can put the methodology of rhetorical persuasion to his own use. The book is thus a tour de force of considerable beauty. It is also a very useful guide for those wishing to do studies in attribution." Renaissance QuarterlySee more reviews
"[This book] is an impressive triumph of scholarship over marketing." New York Sun
"...an important book...persuasive..." Sixteenth Century Journal
"The book offers itself as a very convincing guide on how to conduct an attribution study, with Vickers, a major Rennaissance scholar and editor of Francis Bacon, drawing on his vast knowledge of early modern grammar, rhetoric, and culture. Recommended." Choice
"Vickers...has brought clarity to the old and hotly debated question of Shakespeare's work with co-authors. As a result changes will be made in some future editions of Shakespeare." New York Times Book Review
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- Date Published: October 2002
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521772433
- length: 598 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 38 mm
- weight: 1.04kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Prologue: Gary Taylor finds a poem
Part I. Donald Foster's 'Shakespearean' Construct:
1. 'W.S.' and the Elegye for William Peter
2. Parallels? Plagiarisms?
3. Vocabulary and diction
4. Grammar: 'the Shakespearean who'
5. Prosody, punctuation, pause patterns
6. Rhetoric: 'the Shakespearean hendiadys'
7. Statistics and inference
8. A poem 'indistinguishable from Shakespeare'
Part II. John Ford's Funerall Elegye:
9. Ford's writing career: poet, moralist, playwright
10. Ford and the Elegye's 'Shakespearean diction'
11. The Funerall Elegye in its Fordian context
Epilogue: the politics of attribution
1. The text of A Funerall Elegye
2. Verbal parallels between A Funerall Elegye and Ford's poems
3. Establishing Ford's canon
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