Shakespeare, In Fact

Overview


"Written with wit and panache, this erudite tome dismantles the arguments claiming that someone other than Shakespeare wrote his plays."—Publishers Weekly
"The definitive study of the controversy."—The Shakespeare Newsletter
"Of interest to anyone fascinated by this master of word-music and stage-action."—Washington Post Book World
How could the son of a glove-maker, born and bred in an Elizabethan backwater,...
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Shakespeare, In Fact

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Overview


"Written with wit and panache, this erudite tome dismantles the arguments claiming that someone other than Shakespeare wrote his plays."—Publishers Weekly
"The definitive study of the controversy."—The Shakespeare Newsletter
"Of interest to anyone fascinated by this master of word-music and stage-action."—Washington Post Book World
How could the son of a glove-maker, born and bred in an Elizabethan backwater, have developed into the immortal William Shakespeare? How is it possible that someone with no formal education beyond grammar school wrote the world's most read and performed plays? This captivating exploration of the mysteries surrounding Shakespeare's life and work offers a persuasive case for the authenticity of his authorship.
Scholarly but readable, the study rests upon the surviving evidence of the playwright's family life and career, from his humble beginnings to the triumphant presentations of his dramas before commoners and royalty alike. Author Irvin Leigh Matus discusses the publication and dating of the plays, their performance in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the arguments favoring the Earl of Oxford as the true author. Reproductions of Elizabethan engravings, manuscript pages, and other illustrations complement this fascinating and accessible survey.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486490274
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 11/21/2012
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Dover Edition 1

Author's Preface 9

1 In the Court of Public Opinion 13

Is It Important?

Allusion and Illusion

This Book and Its Sources

2 Shakespeare of Stratford, His Record and Remains 24

Shakespeare-or "Shakspere"?

Hyphenated Shakespeare

Literacy and the Shakespeares

The Stratford Grammar School

Shakespeare: The Heel, and His "Achilles' Heel"

Shakespeare's Autograph

The Survival of Manuscripts

3 On the Paper Trail of the Player and the Playwright 52

The Records of the Player

The Lord Chamberlain's Man

The King's Man

Early Notices of the Playwright

The "Missing" Manuscripts

Author's Rights and "True Originall Copies"

Believe as You List

Afterwords: "Shakespeare ye Player by Garter"

"A Bend between Two Cotizes"

4 The Publication of Shakespeare's Plays 83

The Worshipful Company of Stationers

The Acting Companies and Publication

Give Them No Quarto

The Publication History of the Chamberlain's Men's Plays

From Sir George Buck to the First Folio

Pembroke and the 1619 Quartos

Heminges and Condell versus the Noble Brethren

The Publication History of the King's Men

5 Questions about the Writing of the Plays 127

Shakespeare, the Sole Begetter?

The Unkindest Cuts

"Worth the Audience of Kings"

Afterwords: "Hence Broker-Lackey"

6 The Dating of Shakespeare's Plays 145

The Problem of Cairncross

A Tale of Two-or Three-Lears

The Winter's Tale and Tales of The Tempest

Henry VIII and the Problem of John Fletcher

Questions for a Chronology

7 Shakespeare's Reputation in the Seventeenth Century 167

The Reputation of the Theater in Shakespeare's Day

The Reputation of Shakespeare in His Own Day

Shakespeare in the Restoration

Shakespeare Reformed

In Praise of Shakespeare

8 The Bard before Bardolatry 190

The Editions of Rowe and Pope

Theobald versus Pope-and Vice Versa

Johnson, Garrick, and Stratford I: c 1745

Johnson, Garrick, and Stratford II: 1756

Johnson, Garrick, and Stratford III: c 1765

The Scholars' Shakespeare versus the Actors' Shakespeare

Afterwords: A Painting of the Shakespeare Monument before Its Restoration?

9 The Claim for the Earl of Oxford 219

Of Pen Names and the Cob of Avon

Oxford as a Patron of Players

The Lord Great Chamberlain's Men?

The Case of the Missing 9th Earl

The Other Lord Chamberlain

The Counterfeit Presentment

The Courtier

The Soldier

The Scholar

The Glass of Fashion

A Resident Dramatist in Queen Elizabeth's Court?

The Thousand-Pound Annuity

In Regard to the Case for Oxford

10 Closing Arguments 264

Stratford in Shakespeare's Day

Shakespeare's Rarified Knowledge

Shakespeare's Classical Knowledge

Getting the Elizabethan Age Right

The Theater and Audiences of Shakespeare's Time

Getting Shakespeare Right

That New Old-Time Orthodoxy

Notes 295

Bibliography 310

Index 321

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