• “If the distinguished contributors to Shakespeare Beyond Doubt hope their book will place the traditional author of Shakespeare’s canon where the title claims, they are likely to be disappointed. In the hands of twenty-one orthodox Shakespeare scholars, the case for William Shakespeare of Stratford sounds plausible enough, and will reassure the already convinced as well as those who would like to be.”
    • “In many ways the book is a reprise of James Shapiro’s Contested Will, side-stepping recent scholarly work on the authorship question to focus on examining the ‘pathology’ and psychology of Shakespeare sceptics.”
    • “Though the belated entry of orthodox academics into this 156-year-old controversy is a welcome development, there are two major problems with Shakespeare Beyond Doubt. One is a blatant attempt to win the debate through semantics.”
    • “Throughout the book, the editors Stanley Wells and Paul Edmondson decree that those who don’t agree with them be described not with the well-established term ‘anti-Stratfordian’, but with the hackle-raising ‘anti-Shakespearian’. Their justification is that ‘to deny Shakespeare of Stratford’s connection to the work attributed to him is to deny the essence of, in part, what made that work possible … Shakespeare was formed by both Stratford-upon-Avon and London.’ Yet the contested connection between Shakespeare of Stratford and the work attributed to him *is* the authorship question.”
    • “But the most significant failing of Shakespeare Beyond Doubt is that it attempts to support the orthodox position using evidence the sceptics do not contest – that there was an author widely known as ‘William Shakespeare’ – while failing to address recent scholarship”
    • “Throughout the volume, and despite significant developments in non-Stratfordian research in the last fifteen years, only arguments advanced prior to 1960 are acknowledged.”
    • Paul Edmondson claims that those he perceives as his ‘antagonists’ ignore evidence, yet himself presides over a volume of essays that demolishes straw men while skilfully eliding the more challenging work of contemporary researchers

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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