Aemilia Lanyer as Shakespeare’s Co-Author
This book presents original material which indicates that Aemilia Lanyer – female writer, feminist, and Shakespeare contemporary – is Shakespeare’s hidden and arguably most significant co-author. Once dismissed as the mere paramour of Shakespeare’s patron, Lord Hunsdon, she is demonstrated to be a most articulate forerunner of #MeToo fury.
Building on previous research into the authorship of Shakespeare’s works, Bradbeer offers evidence in the form of three case studies which signal Aemilia’s collaboration with Shakespeare. The first case study matches the works of "George Wilkins" – who is currently credited as the co-author of the feminist Shakespeare play Pericles (1608) – with Aemilia Lanyer’s writing style, education, feminism and knowledge of Lord Hunsdon’s secret sexual life. The second case-study recognizes Titus Andronicus (1594), a play containing the characters Aemilius and Bassianus, to be a revision of the suppressed play Titus and Vespasian (1592), as authored by the unmarried pregnant Aemilia Bassano, as she then was. Lastly, it is argued that Shakespeare’s clowns, Bottom, Launce, Malvolio, Dromio, Dogberry, Jaques, and Moth, arise in her deeply personal war with the misogynist Thomas Nashe. Each case study reveals new aspects of Lanyer’s feminist activism and involvement in Shakespeare’s work, and allows for a deeper analysis and appreciation of the plays.
This research will prove provocative to students and scholars of Shakespeare studies, English literature, literary history, and gender studies.
1. Shakespeare’s Patron and Female Friend Collaboration Case Study 1: A Late Romance 2. Shakespeare’s Friends and The Go-Between, Humphrey Fludd 3. The Early Feminist Poet, Aemilia Lanyer 4. Miseries of Enforced Marriage 5. Conceiving Lanyer as Shakespeare’s Collaborator 6. Conceiving Lanyer as Shakespeare’s Dark Lady 7. Glimpses of Shakespeare’s Love Triangle Collaboration Case Study 2: Rewriting Rape 8. The Rape of Lucrece, and Willobie His Avisa 9. Locrine and Edward III 10. The Goth Queen Tamora/Attava 11.Deconstructing Titus Andronicus 12. Reconstructing Titus and Vespasian Collaboration Case Study 3: Immortalizing an Ass 13. A Collaboration to Satirize A Nashe 14. Two Asses in The Comedy of Errors 15. Two Asses in As You like It 16. The Rise of Mar-prelate 17. The Reckoning of Mar-prelate A Woman’s Imagining 18. Venus and Adonis and Two Noble Kinsmen 19. "Manly Genius"?