Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Double Falsehood" No Hoax, Scholar Says

Lewis Theobald always claimed his 1727 play "Double Falsehood" was based on a lost work of Shakespeare, "Cardenio." Critics disagreed, calling Theobald a hoaxer. But Shakespeare scholar Brean Hammond of Nottingham University thinks Theobald might have been telling the truth, and next week the publisher Arden Shakespeare will release an edition of the play attributing it to Shakespeare (though the original was co-written with John Fletcher, and Theobald is known to have made substantial changes to "Cardenio"). There are reports that the Royal Shakespeare Company might even perform a version of the play this summer.

Lots of news coverage on this: Guardian, Daily Mail, Times, Reuters, &c. One of the longest articles is from Australia's ABC (even though they use "cannon" for "canon" in an early paragraph, they're one of the only reports to include comments from skeptics, including Dr. Huw Griffiths, who argues that the play should be treated as an adapation, not a true Shakespeare creation).

Interestingly, several of the news articles about "Double Falshood" are illustrated with the Cobbe Portrait, which some claim is Shakespeare (a conclusion vociferously opposed by others). The Shakespeare Wars continue!

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