'Counterfeiting' Shakespeare: Evidence, Authorship and John Ford's Funerall Elegye

'Counterfeiting' Shakespeare: Evidence, Authorship and John Ford's Funerall Elegye

by Brian Vickers


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Brian Vickers addresses the fundamental issues of what Shakespeare actually wrote, and how this is determined. In recent years Shakespeare's authorship has been claimed for two poems, the lyric "Shall I die?" and A Funerall Elegye. These attributions have been accepted into certain major editions of Shakespeare's works. Through a new examination of the evidence, Professor Vickers shows that neither poem has the stylistic and imaginative qualities we associate with Shakespeare. He identifies the poet and dramatist John Ford as the actual author of the Elegye.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521120357
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 10/01/2009
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 600
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 1.34(d)

About the Author

Brian Vickers is Professor of English Literature, and Director of the Centre for Renaissance Studies at Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zürich. He is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. His publications on Shakespeare include The Artistry of Shakespeare's Prose (1968, 1979); a six-volume collection of early Shakespeare criticism, Shakespeare: the Critical Heritage, 1623-1801 (1974-1981, 1996); Returning to Shakespeare (1989); and Appropriating Shakespeare. Contemporary Critical Quarrels (1993).

Table of Contents

Prologue: Gary Taylor finds a poem; Part I. Donald Foster's 'Shakespearean' Construct: 1. 'W.S.' and the Elegye for William Peter; 2. Parallels? Plagiarisms?; 3. Vocabulary and diction; 4. Grammar: 'the Shakespearean who'; 5. Prosody, punctuation, pause patterns; 6. Rhetoric: 'the Shakespearean hendiadys'; 7. Statistics and inference; 8. A poem 'indistinguishable from Shakespeare'; Part II. John Ford's Funerall Elegye: 9. Ford's writing career: poet, moralist, playwright; 10. Ford and the Elegye's 'Shakespearean diction'; 11. The Funerall Elegye in its Fordian context; Epilogue: the politics of attribution; Appendices: 1. The text of A Funerall Elegye; 2. Verbal parallels between A Funerall Elegye and Ford's poems; 3. Establishing Ford's canon; Bibliography.

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