- File Size: 3098 KB
- Print Length: 140 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: February 9, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01BGAMI9S
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #452,284 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Contested Year: Errors, Omissions and Unsupported Statements in James Shapiro's "The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606" Kindle Edition
"Depth of Lies" by E. C. Diskin
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I initially read Shapiro’s “Contested Will” with uncritical interest when it was published. But I found “The Year of Lear” much more troubling. In this case, Shapiro has fabricated his conceit out of whole cloth, contriving timing and alleged purpose of Shakespeare’s literary output to fit into 1606, one horrifying year of religious and political paranoia, torture and beheadings. (1606, now 2016: what marketing genius!) Maybe in the Kingdom of English Literature, “scholars” can get away with this sort of fiction, but no respectable historian would risk his reputation by manufacturing such falsehoods. History colleagues wouldn’t cover his bare backside; they’d expose him in no time!
Amazon asked for a ranking at the conclusion of my “Contested Year” Kindle book. I hadn’t taken notes or anticipated doing so. In sum, however, I appreciate that the contributors to “Contested Year” are weary of being ridiculed and denigrated by Stratfordian assault, with James Shapiro notably in the forefront of the attackers. I respect them for their restraint, not wishing to engage directly in the authorship controversy, but to take their stand only on Shapiro’s turf, pointing out, with substantiated evidence, that it is riddled with sinkholes. However, I wanted to shout, “Get off Shapiro’s turf. Say it plainly: the true playwright was dead in 1606!” Also, given the contributors’ repeated references to “Dating Shakespeare’s Plays: A critical review of the evidence,” edited by Kevin Gilvary (Parapress, 2010), it would have been helpful to include a brief appendix explaining the scope and method of this scholarly work. Documentation in this volume distinguishes between first known performance dates, first reference to a work by name or similar name, or first publication date in any form. The arguments for each are not of equal merit, as some readers seem to think. Most of all, I wished for a fuller wrap-up by the impressive Mark Anderson (author, “Shakespeare by Another Name”) to assert authorship claim for the man concealed behind the William of Stratford mask, the genius who “became the very breath and soul of the English speaking world.”
But the topper is Waugh's use of an 1878 hoax newspaper fabricated from 17th century pamphlets, "The Weekley Newes, No. 19, for Munday 31st January, 1606", to correct Professor Shapiro's statement that no newspapers existed during the time of the Gunpowder Plot. Mr Waugh writes, "This newspaper is often referenced by scholars of the Gunpowder Plot, but Shapiro appears to be ignorant of it." Of course Mr Waugh names none of those scholars; perhaps he doesn't know any real scholars, but only Oxfordians. One thing is for sure, Mr Waugh is no scholar; Professor Shapiro is the scholar here.
Buyer beware is the word here. I'll edit my review as I read more chapters, but rest assured, I'm in no hurry. I've had lots of experience reading this type of "scholarship".
Most recent customer reviews
Like many others, I was frustrated by the wide-ranging speculations contained in Professor...Read more