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Please click on each play to find extensive study resources and fascinating details. First Performed Plays First Printed Bard Bites Dramatist and Shakespearean scholar Nicholas Rowe was the first to write a critical annotated edition of Shakespeare's works. With 4, lines and 29, words, Hamlet is the longest Shakespearean play based on the first edition of The Riverside Shakespeare With 1, lines and 14, words, The Comedy of Errors is the shortest Shakespearean play also based on the first edition of The Riverside Shakespeare.

The Two Noble Kinsman is also sometimes mentioned along side these other plays as a romantic comedy. The book has both assets and liabilities.

William Shakespeare - Chronology of Shakespeare’s plays |

The assets include the various authors' cautiously revolutionary perspective, which allows them to review the previous years worth of Shakespearean scholarship with respectful but skeptical eyes. Dover Wilson and others too numerous to mention. Suffice it to say that the scholars whose opinions are considered in this book are generally held to be the most respectable to have written on the question. Another asset of the book is that each of the essays considers the possibility that that particular play was written by the Earl of Oxford.

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Evidence for Oxfordian authorship, and for a range of dates for possible composition by him, is considered alongside the discussion for various dates under the orthodox, or Stratfordian, position, i. Another quality of the book, which the reader may regard as either an asset or a liability, is that none of the essays opine whether the author was the Earl of Oxford or the Stratford man.

Dating the plays by Oxford’s life

This is the book's greatest liability, in my opinion. Because the authors take no position on the question of who the author was, and therefore can espouse no view on how the development of the author's artistic talent may have lead him to compose this or that play in this or that year, the authors must fall back to the scant and inconclusive evidence found in the plays themselves.

Therefore, each play is assigned a chronological range of composition, ranging from the date of publication of the latest source used in the play, which is then offered as the earliest possible date of composition, to the date of the play's publication, or, if it wasn't published until the First Folio in , to the first known date of the play's performance, or to its mention in Meres' Palladis Tamia , or to its certain mention in other known sources, any one of which is then offered as the latest date that the play would have been written.

While intellectually honest, such a method leaves, in many instances, a window of thirty to forty years during which time the play could have been composed. Most of the plays, the authors tell us, could have been written in any year between and or This method doesn't tell us enough. Flute, the Bellows mender, could have told us as much. We do not know when the plays of shakespeare were written, or in what order. While I concur with much of what the previous reviewer says, both as regards the assets and liabilities of this book, I think his ultimate 3 star assessment is unfairly harsh.

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This is the first and only book of which I am aware, since E. As such, the book effectively disproves the commonly held belief that the 17th Earl of Oxford cannot have been the author because it is certain that several plays some claim as many as a dozen were written after his death. It is simply not true to claim that this is a fact. It is a conjecture, albeit one widely held, mostly by those with little knowledge of the actual evidence made available more or less comprehensively in this remarkable book.

Those who wish to consider asserting that Oxford's authorship can't be considered on chronological grounds must deal with the arguments presented in this book and show why they are wrong. I doubt they will be able to meet this burden off proof. The authors of the various chapters, and especially Dr. Gilvary himself, deserve congratulations for a fine work of scholarship. Finally, a research work comes along that starts with the sources behind Shakespeare's works, and works forward from there.

It also appears to be the first such work that avoids the many unsubstantiated "traditions" and myths that typically surround all things Shakespeare. How often have we heard that Merry Wives was written at the personal request of Queen Elizabeth? Never mind that this story was completely made up. Thankfully, this book relys on verfiable facts, and acknowledges what most scholars avoid - that the chronology of Shakespeare's plays is unknown and most chronologies are built on guesswork and circular reasoning.

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This book explains why. Every student of Shakespeare should read this. And every Professor should put aside their preconceived notions and biases, and consider what this book has to offer. See all 7 reviews. There's a problem loading this menu right now.

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