Monday, April 29, 2013

"Proving Shakespeare" Webinar Transcript

Click here for a transcript of the April 26 "Proving Shakespeare" webinar with our own Ros Barber, author of The Marlowe Papers, debating Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's Stanley Wells and Paul Edmondson.  Super job, Ros!

Editor's Note:  Congratulations to Ros Barber, whose "tour de force" The Marlowe Papers has made the Authors Club Best First Novel shortlist and Desmond Elliott Prize longlist.


Anonymous said...

Very much two against one of course, but Ros did extremely well, I feel, standing up for the cause of common sense and logic, as befits her sound scientific background. I don't think I would have been able to keep my cool so well.
What annoyed me most was the apparent attempt to 'pigeon hole' legitimate research and indeed artistic creation, as conspiracy theory. I think Ros was absolutely right to point out that conspiracies DO actually exist, common sense would suggest they do, but certainly NOT in the proliferation that some people believe. To try to make out that the Marlovian argument might be just another conspiracy theory merely illustrates the weakness of the attack. Yes, what is still lacking is documentary proof, but there is much circumstantial evidence. The truth is the most important thing, but some people are afraid of it – very afraid indeed.
Well done Ros.

RRaymo said...

Not impressed by Mssrs. Wells & Edmondson -same old argument with limited evidence. Their perspective is frustratingly narrow.

RRaymo said...

Not impressed with Mssrs. Wells and Edmondson; they operate from a very narrow perspective of the world.

Anonymous said...

You know their case is weak when all they can do is attack the personalities or histories of those who hold differing opinions on the authorship of the plays. Ros did very well.

Donna Murphy said...

Ros, thanks for making a transcription of your webinar available, and job well done! We should all vociferously reject, as you did, attempts to reframe “anti-Stratfordians” as “anti-Shakespeareans.” As you note, people who question whether the actor from Stratford wrote the works tend to LOVE the Shakespeare canon. And it was wonderful of you to point out that the cover of “Shakespeare Beyond Doubt” was based on a mythical portrayal of Shakespeare (the film “Shakespeare in Love”).

I appreciated how you questioned the quote, “Mathematically, each time an additional candidate is suggested, the probability decreases that any given name is the true author,” something that sounds impressive, but is actually hogwash…You gave a nice explanation for why you sidelined the actor from Stratford in your “The Marlowe Papers.”…Excellent introduction of the point by Professor David Schum, who said that where there is absence of evidence where you would expect evidence to be, that in itself is an important piece of evidence that needs to be accounted for by any explanatory narrative…Thanks for taking the stand that there is quite a difference between a conspiracy and a conspiracy theory.

My favorite part of the webinar is when Edmondson asked, “Why donʼt you want it to be Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon?” You turned the tables: It’s NOT about the psychology of why people doubt the man from Stratford (hah, hah, Delia Bacon ended up in an asylum, and another prominent doubter’s name was…snigger…Looney), it’s about the evidence: “that the evidence isnʼt sufficient, that the evidence doesnʼt add up, that there isnʼt the evidence for Shakespeare of Stratford as a writer, that there is for other writers of the period.” Amen!