Francis Bacon’s Contribution to Shakespeare: A New Attribution Method, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Francis Bacon’s Contribution to Shakespeare

A New Attribution Method, 1st Edition

By Barry R. Clarke

Routledge

310 pages

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Description

Francis Bacon's Contribution to Shakespeare advocates a paradigm shift away from a single-author theory of the Shakespeare work towards a many-hands theory. Here, the middle ground is adopted between competing so-called Stratfordian and alternative single-author conspiracy theories. In the process, arguments are advanced as to why Shakespeare’s First Folio (1623) presents as an unreliable document for attribution, and why contemporary opinion characterised Shakspere [his baptised name] as an opportunist businessman who acquired the work of others. Current methods of authorship attribution are critiqued, and an entirely new Rare Collocation Profiling (RCP) method is introduced which, unlike current stylometric methods, is capable of detecting multiple contributors to a text. Using the Early English Books Online database, rare phrases and collocations in a target text are identified together with the authors who used them. This allows a DNA-type profile to be constructed for the possible contributors to a text that also takes into account direction of influence. The method brings powerful new evidence to bear on crucial questions such as the author of the Groats-worth of Witte (1592) letter, the identifiable hands in 3 Henry VI, the extent of Francis Bacon’s contribution to Twelfth Night and The Tempest, and the scheduling of Love’s Labour’s Lost at the 1594–5 Gray’s Inn Christmas revels for which Bacon wrote entertainments. The treatise also provides detailed analyses of the nature of the complaint against Shakspere in the Groats-worth letter, the identity of the players who performed The Comedy of Errors at Gray’s Inn in 1594, and the reasons why Shakspere could not have had access to Virginia colony information that appears in The Tempest. With a Foreword by Sir Mark Rylance, this meticulously researched and penetrating study is a thought-provoking read for the inquisitive student in Shakespeare Studies.

Reviews

"Bacon throws a weird shadow over it all, although the detailing is very attractive, and the RCP tests are quite persuasive. [The Tempest chapter is] a perfect account of the story. I’m sure that Bacon was a lot closer to Shakespeare than most current accounts allow him to be."

Professor Andrew Gurr, editor New Variorum Tempest

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Introduction

1.1

A new method of attribution

1.2

Overview of the work

    

PART 1: SHAKSPERE AND BACON

  

Chapter 2

A Shakspere biography

2.1

Birthdate

2.2

Education

2.3

Literacy

2.4

Access to source material

2.5

Marriage

2.6

Shakspere the businessman

2.7

The Ben Jonson model

2.8

Shakspere the actor

2.9

Shakspere’s exit

  

Chapter 3

Contemporary opinion

3.1

Shakspere the dramatist

3.2

The ‘War of the Theatres’

3.3

The Parnassus plays

3.4

Ben Jonson’s view

  

Chapter 4

A fraudulent First Folio

4.1

Misattributions to Shakspere

4.2

William Jaggard’s integrity

4.3

The First Folio

4.4

RCP results

  

Chapter 5

Bacon’s dramatic entrance

5.1

Contemporary opinion of Bacon

5.2

Early years

5.3

Debt, drama, and design

5.4

The fall of Essex

5.5

Bacon’s rise to high office

5.6

Bacon’s fall to low office

  

Chapter 6

A charge of brokerage

6.1

The Groats-worth letter

6.2

The letter’s meaning

6.3

Groats-worth and Vertues Common-wealth

6.4

Chettle, Greene, or Nashe?

6.5

The Malone–Alexander debate

6.6

RCP of the Octavo and Folio 3 Henry VI

6.7

The verdict

  

Chapter 7

Bacon’s Vertues?

7.1

History of Vertues Common-wealth

7.2

Content of Vertues Common-wealth

7.3

Apophthegmes: Crosse–Bacon

7.4

Rare phrases: Crosse–Bacon–Shakespeare

7.5

Further research

    

PART 2: BACON’S INFLUENCE ON SELECTED PLAYS

  

Chapter 8

The Comedy of Errors

8.1

The 1594–5 Gray’s Inn revels

8.2

Gray’s Inn connections

8.3

The identity of the players

8.4

RCP analysis of The Comedy of Errors

  

Chapter 9

Love’s Labour’s Lost

9.1

The Gesta Grayorum

9.2

Love’s Labour’s Lost

9.3

Parallels between GG and LLL

9.4

A play designed around the revels

  

Chapter 10

Twelfth Night

10.1

Dating Twelfth Night’s topical allusions

10.2

Twelfth Night and the Middle Temple

10.3

Middle Temple characters

10.4

Misrule at the Middle Temple

10.5

The acting company

10.6

A Middle Temple play

10.7

An RCP analysis of Twelfth Night

  

Chapter 11

The Tempest

11.1

The Virginia colony

11.2

The ‘True Reportory’ and The Tempest

11.3

Shakspere’s inaccess to the ‘True Reportory’

11.4

The Tempest and Virginia Company literature

11.5

‘True Reportory’ and A true declaration

11.6

The Tempest as a political tool

11.7

Francis Bacon’s rare parallels with The Tempest

    

PART 3: ATTRIBUTION METHODS

  

Chapter 12

A history of authorship attribution

12.1

A body of text

12.2

External and internal evidence

12.3

Non-scientific practice

12.4

Biographical delusions

12.5

The introduction of counting methods

  

Chapter 13

Modern attribution methods

13.1

Critique of modern methods

13.2

The Zeta test

13.3

The Delta test

13.4

Phrases and collocations

  

Chapter 14

The new method of Rare Collocation Profiling

14.1

The EEBO search engine

14.2

The RCP method

14.3

Non-equalization of author corpora

14.4

The running track

14.5

A test case: A Funerall Elegye (1612)

14.6

Summary of RCP conclusions

    

Epilogue

  

Appendix A

RCP results for 3 Henry VI

  

Appendix B

RCP results for The Comedy of Errors

  

Appendix C

RCP results for Gesta Grayorum

  

Appendix D

RCP results for Love’s Labour’s Lost

  

Appendix E

RCP results for Twelfth Night

  

Appendix F

RCP results for The Tempest

  

Appendix G

Full RCP analysis of Pericles Act 1

       

BONUS ESSAYS: RESPONSE TO COUNTRY LIFE MAGAZINE

1.

Alleged Shakespeare Portrait

2.

A Country Controversy

About the Author

Barry R. Clarke has a variety of interests. He has a Ph.D. in Shakespeare studies with peer-reviewed publications on The Tempest. His scholarly publications in quantum mechanics have led to an academic treatise The Quantum Puzzle: Critique of Quantum Theory and Electrodynamics (2017)which sets out a new theory of the mass vortex ring. There are also books on recreational mathematics for Cambridge University Press and Dover Publications, while Challenging Logic Puzzles Mensa (2003) is an amazon bestseller. He is presently puzzle compiler for The Daily Telegraph and Prospect magazine (UK). Viewers in the UK might have seen both his puzzle work and his comedy sketches broadcast on both the BBC and ITV.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Shakespeare

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering Shakespeare alongside topics such as religion, politics, gender, race, ecology, popular culture, and history, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General