Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Shakespeare Riots -- and the Shakespeare Debate


[Creative Commons image source]

As this blogger prepares to debate the authorship issue next week in Las Vegas, NPR's "Morning Edition" program today began a three-day series on Shakespeare disputes, including the authorship question.

Today's eight-minute segment concerned a riot in 19th century New York over two rival Shakespearean actors and the class warfare that it fanned.

Tomorrow and Friday, host Renee Montagne said, they'll be tackling the authorship question. (Last summer Montagne interviewed yours truly and a number of other Shakespeare heretics as well as defenders of the orthodox standard.)

"Groundlings," she said in her provocative teaser for the upcoming authorship segments, "Grab your tomatoes."

UPDATE 1 (Thursday): Here's the second Morning Edition segment on the Shakespeare heresy.

7 comments:

AgathaX said...

What are the odds even NPR can treat this topic seriously? We'll see I guess.

In the meantime, I see that your fellow anti-Stratfordian believes that Shake-speare was Sir Richard Neville. Who the hell was Sir Richard Neville? I checked your index and he's not there--at least not under that name. I checked the index of Who Wrote Shakespeare?Supposedly he shows up on page 181, but I read page 181 through twice and could not find him.

Grimblebee said...

Hey Mark, why weren't you front and center? Since when is "The Unorthodox Biography" the bible of doubters, and not your book.

Phooey!

Grimblebee aka Fred Baumgarten

Tom Goff said...

The candidate mentioned is actually Sir Henry Neville, I believe. He seems to have been tapped for the role in part because his name is connected with Shakespeare's by way of some mysterious scrawls on the so-called Northumberland manuscripts.

But the candidacy also is propped by Neville's worldly experience, including diplomatic service in France, by the fact that his lifespan accommodates the standard dating of the plays, by his scholarly interests--supporters labor unsuccessfully, though, to assert that he attended plays--and even by his apparent corpulence, making him a Falstaff figure.

Doesn't convince me, though. I still hold with the Earl of Oxford.

AgathaX said...

Thanks Tom. I realized after I posted that it was Sir Henry Neville and weighed whether the error merited a post for purposes of correction. Thanks for the summary.

And I'm right with you Grimblebee on the Unorthodox Biography being the supposed "bible" of doubters. I shall read it, but if I have any bible on this subject it would be Mark's.

Anka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anka said...

Really. Who ever heard of the Gospel according to St. Diana, huh?

C'mon now.....

[Corrected!]

Mark said...

Hello, Agathax, Grimblebee, Tom and Anka: Thank you very much for the kind words. I should add, though, that Diana Price's Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography is a very good starting point indeed. I felt I was able to dispense with much of the standard anti-Stratfordian warmup in "Shakespeare" By Another Name specifically because Ms. Price had done such a superlative job. No need to repeat ourselves.

As the best selling author and blogger Michael Prescott wrote earlier this year, Price's Unorthodox Bio and SBAN make a "devastating one-two punch to the conventional wisdom about the 'sweet swan of Avon.'"

As for Henry Neville, you can read a solid critique of the whole thesis here and here.

And that, to filch John Hodgman's signoff, is all.