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Shakespeare beyond Doubt
Evidence, Argument, Controversy

$32.99 (P)

Paul Edmondson, Stanley Wells, Graham Holderness, Alan Stewart, Charles Nicholl, Alan H. Nelson, Matt Kubus, Andrew Hadfield, John Jowett, MacDonald P. Jackson, James Mardock, Eric Rasmussen, David Kathman, Carol Chillington Rutter, Barbara Everett, Kathleen E. McLuskie, Andrew Murphy, Paul Franssen, Stuart Hampton-Reeves, Douglas M. Lanier, James Shapiro, Hardy M. Cook
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  • Date Published: May 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107603288

$ 32.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Did Shakespeare write Shakespeare? The authorship question has been much treated in works of fiction, film and television, provoking interest all over the world. Sceptics have proposed many candidates as the author of Shakespeare's works, including Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe and Edward De Vere, the seventeenth Earl of Oxford. But why and how did the authorship question arise and what does surviving evidence offer in answer to it? This authoritative, accessible and frequently entertaining book sets the debate in its historical context and provides an account of its main protagonists and their theories. Presenting the authorship of Shakespeare's works in relation to historiography, psychology and literary theory, twenty-three distinguished scholars reposition and develop the discussion. The book explores the issues in the light of biographical, textual and bibliographical evidence to bring fresh perspectives to an intriguing cultural phenomenon.

    • A collection of essays by major authorities in the field discuss the authorship debate surrounding Shakespeare's work
    • Provides a wide range of discussions of all significant aspects of the topic in a readable and engaging style
    • Offers a comprehensive and grounded scholarly exploration of this hotly debated field
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This excellent collection, edited by Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells, assumes that it is possible to engage with the doubters in an honest, honourable, and constructive dialogue. The book features a rich array of nineteen essays, with an afterword by James Shapiro …"
    Around the Globe Magazine

    "… a most useful volume …"
    The New Criterion

    "The range of evidence, from dialect, through manuscript analysis, to stagecraft, makes it a wonderfully rounded introduction to the period, as well as to the playwright."
    The Times Literary Supplement

    "The achievement here is substantial. Edmondson and Wells have curated an impressive collection that leaves few stones unturned and sets out a weighty case that defies easy rebuttal."
    Cahiers Élisabéthains

    "All the essays are brief and accessible. Often summarising their own groundbreaking research, the contributors accomplish a two-fold task: they expose the feebleness of the anti-Shakespeareans’ contentions and simultaneously provide accounts of the most recent developments in various branches of Shakespeare studies, whose scope and interest go well beyond the authorship question."
    Laura Talarico, Memoria di Shakespeare: A Journal of Shakespearean Studies

    "The volume’s distinguished editors, Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells, have assembled a tight volume that both addresses the questions at the heart of the so-called authorship controversy and discusses the phenomenon in critically sophisticated ways."
    Curtis Perry, SEL: Studies in English Literature 1500–1900

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107603288
    • length: 298 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    General introduction Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells
    Part I. Sceptics: Introduction to Part One Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells
    1. The unreadable Delia Bacon Graham Holderness
    2. The case for Bacon Alan Stewart
    3. The case for Marlowe Charles Nicholl
    4. The life and theatrical interests of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford Alan H. Nelson
    5. The unusual suspects Matt Kubus
    Part II. Shakespeare as Author: Introduction to Part Two Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells
    6. Theorizing Shakespeare's authorship Andrew Hadfield
    7. Allusions to Shakespeare to 1642 Stanley Wells
    8. Shakespeare as collaborator John Jowett
    9. Authorship and the evidence of stylometrics MacDonald P. Jackson
    10. What does textual evidence reveal about the author? James Mardock and Eric Rasmussen
    11. Shakespeare and Warwickshire David Kathman
    12. Shakespeare and school Carol Chillington Rutter
    13. Shakespeare tells lies Barbara Everett
    Part III. A Cultural Phenomenon: Did Shakespeare Write Shakespeare?: Introduction to Part Three Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells
    14. 'This palpable device': authorship and conspiracy in Shakespeare's life Kathleen E. McLuskie
    15. Amateurs and professionals: regendering Bacon Andrew Murphy
    16. Fictional treatments of Shakespeare's authorship Paul Franssen
    17. The declaration of reasonable doubt Stuart Hampton-Reeves
    18. 'There won't be puppets, will there?': 'Heroic' authorship and the cultural politics of Anonymous Douglas M. Lanier
    19. 'The Shakespeare establishment' and the Shakespeare authorship discussion Paul Edmondson
    Afterword James Shapiro
    A selected reading list Hardy M. Cook.

  • Editors

    Paul Edmondson, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
    Dr Paul Edmondson is Head of Research and Knowledge and Director of the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival for The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. His publications include: Twelfth Night: A Guide to the Text and Its Theatrical Life, and (co-authored with Stanley Wells), Shakespeare's Sonnets, Coffee with Shakespeare, and Shakespeare Bites Back (an e-book about the Shakespeare Authorship Discussion, published in October 2011). His other publications include work on Shakespeare and the Brontës, the poetry of Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, and the musicality of Shakespeare's words. He is curator of, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's response to the authorship debate. He is also a priest in The Church of England.

    Stanley Wells, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
    Stanley Wells, CBE, is Honorary President and Former Chairman of the Trustees of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare Studies of the University of Birmingham, and Honorary Emeritus Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, of which he was for many years Vice-Chairman. He was for nearly twenty years the editor of the annual Shakespeare Survey, and writes for The New York Review of Books and many other publications. He has edited The New Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies and is General Editor (with Gary Taylor) of The Complete Oxford Shakespeare. His most recent books are Shakespeare For All Time; Looking for Sex in Shakespeare; Shakespeare and Co., and Is It True What they Say About Shakespeare?. His Shakespeare, Sex, and Love was published in 2010.


    Paul Edmondson, Stanley Wells, Graham Holderness, Alan Stewart, Charles Nicholl, Alan H. Nelson, Matt Kubus, Andrew Hadfield, John Jowett, MacDonald P. Jackson, James Mardock, Eric Rasmussen, David Kathman, Carol Chillington Rutter, Barbara Everett, Kathleen E. McLuskie, Andrew Murphy, Paul Franssen, Stuart Hampton-Reeves, Douglas M. Lanier, James Shapiro, Hardy M. Cook

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