Abstract

Abstract:

In the first half of the twentieth century, five scholars working in four different languages ascribed the anonymous 1592 tragedy Arden of Faversham to Thomas Kyd. Since 1963, however, attribution studies of Arden have been dominated by the influence of MacDonald P. Jackson, who has repeatedly rejected Kyd while attributing sections of the play to William Shakespeare. Thanks to Jackson, the play was included in The New Oxford Shakespeare, and a new search for potential coauthors has nominated a wide range of candidates. The New Oxford Shakespeare's general editor, Gary Taylor, has published two essays claiming Thomas Watson as coauthor of Arden, one based on stylometric evidence and another arguing from literary and theatrical history. In this essay, I evaluate the methods Taylor has used to reach this conclusion and reconsider the merits of the evidence he has deployed, arguing against Watson's authorship of Arden and offering a renewed case for viewing Kyd as the play's author.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0383
Print ISSN
0039-3738
Pages
pp. 308-341
Launched on MUSE
2021-03-31
Open Access
No
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