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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

The internet is so cool.

A letter written by Thomas Nashe

Secretary's hand. Heh.And a sloppy one, too. And he figured out halfway down he didn't have enough to say to fill the page, or he got in a hurry, or his hand got tired. That's a foul foul copy. *g*

There's some pages recently recovered that seem to be in Shakespeare's handwrighting--there's a facsimile in the Wood book, but it doesn't seem to be online. But I think all we have from Kit is that one signature, witnessing somebody else's will. (small w.) Fascinating stuff.


Wordcount today: 1111
Reason for stopping: I mean, really, you have to ask? Actually, Act I revisions are done and I'm doing the Act II line edits now.



Don't be lonely!


**loves da Bear**


Re: Don't be lonely!


Thank you, Ken.
I know what you mean about Secretary hand. At the Folger, I tried to decipher one of Elizabeth's letters on display, and could barely even make out the excerpted quotation they provided. They sell a book on reading period handwriting that sorely tempts me.

As far as Marlowe is concerned, has anything ever been determined about the "Collier leaf?" That was a scratched-up handwritten page from Massacre of Paris that appears more complete and is better written than the one in print. I read about it in Wraight (whose objectivity I completely distrust), but my old Penguin Complete Plays also mentions it, making me wonder.

Now that's interesting.

I've never even *heard* of it.


I sense research in my future.

Re: Now that's interesting.

Quoting my Penguin,
Massacre of Paris "survives in a much maimed and abbreviated form: it is only 1,263 lines long (compared with the 2,316 of Tamburlaine Pt 1 or the 2,670 of Edward II), and the verse has been badly mangled by publisher and printer." [I've seen comments elsewhere saying the printing may have been based on actors'/audience recollections, rather than a full script. To continue] "One possible indication of what has been lost is provided by the 'Collier leaf', comparison between the lines given there and the text as printed in the play suggesting that the passages omitted were precisely the more thoughtful ones and therefore, to us, potentially the most interesting. ... [T]he so-called 'Collier leaf', a sheet of paper that came into the possession of J.P. Collier who printed a transcription of it in 1831. It is still in existence and has been carefully examined, for Collier was a notorious forger. Modern opinion generally credits it as authentic, and the handwriting could well, in that case, be Marlowe's own (see Boas). The manuscript contains the speech of the Soldier, Mugeroun's death, and, most interestingly, the Guise's speech, sixteen lines long, as opposed to the mere four lines of the octavo."
If you can find a copy of Wraight's In search of Christopher Marlowe at a library to flip through, I seem to recall she had a pretty good illustration of it.

However, Wraight goes so far overboard in her praise of Marlowe (though this book stops just short of declaring he wrote Shakespeare, this giving it more legitimacy than her later works) that I wouldn't trust most of her research. [I believe she claimed another handwriting excerpt must be Marlowe's and not a forgery by comparing it to Marlowe's signature and to another forgery and showing it more closely resembled Marlowe; even I could tell that proved little, and they needed more contemporary handwriting examples for comparison.]

Re: Now that's interesting.

What, you mean Marlowe didn't write Shakespeare? My God!

Sorry, I have these moments.

I will look for this thing.

Well, maybe it's not Marlowe's hand

Getting curious, I posted to Usenet asking about the latest thinking on the Collier leaf. Here are the responses so far

Re: Well, maybe it's not Marlowe's hand

Gee, you got Peter Farey's attention. *g* That's pretty impressive.

You are truly a secret master of the universe.

Re: Well, maybe it's not Marlowe's hand

It's largely a matter of knowing where to look.
PF posts somewhat regularly to humanities.lit.authors.shakespeare; I don't think he's ever answered any emails I sent him, but he has responded to things I've posted to the newsgroup (along with other marlovians & stratfordians and oxfordians and baconians)

BTW, ignore lyra's response -- sie's clearly a netkook.

Re: Well, maybe it's not Marlowe's hand

With the librarians on my side I will become--

The book you mention (Preston & Yeandle) is good--reasonably reliable re: its printed transcriptions. Alan Nelson uses it for his late medieval / early early modern (as it were) palaeography seminar, and we found only a few typos. More importantly, the book offers a useful range of hands, which not all manuals seem to manage. One of the plates is that very letter of Elizabeth I; it gave us enough trouble that I remember it seven years later. :)
(Gratuitous link to Nelson's page because it's nearly on topic.)