Monday, April 23, 2007

Signing Statement

Today is St. George's Day in England, celebrating the patron saint of the nation—the great dragon slayer. It's also traditionally celebrated as the birthday of Stratford-upon-Avon's famous son—although we actually don't have any records of Will Shakspere's birth, just his baptism.

Anyone who writes about Shakespeare also recognizes April 23 as that most sacred 24-hour period, The Feast of The Holy News Peg. It's the one day on the calendar that no editor, no matter how committed their soul may be to the alleged necessity of a "hook" or "peg," can refuse to consider Bard-related copy because it's not "news." Perhaps it's because we were never invited to enough cool parties as kids, but for those of us in the media biz, birthday celebrations are always good enough excuse for copy.

Some savvy Shakespeareans time their publication schedule around this day. (The editorial staff at Gotham was certainly pushing for an April 2005 release date for "Shakespeare" By Another Name—but lordy, lordy did those edits and re-edits and re-re-edits take a long time. It's a far better book for the extra four months we occupied, but the schedule change did mean All News Peg's Day of that year was spent sitting on our hands.)

To celebrate the Shakespearean All News Peg's Day of 2007, then, a coalition of the ... oh, I can't resist... Willing have released their Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare. (Forgive me father, for I have punned.)

It says, in so many words, that the Shakespeare authorship question is a legitimate issue deserving serious research and inquiry. If you agree with this statement, please consider signing it.

1 comment:

TBrew said...

Yay!!! So glad you're on a forum that allows comments now.
Long live de Vere!