Foul papers and other documents - where did they go?

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rast...@rogers.com

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Aug 14, 2005, 11:05:42 PM8/14/05
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Not to start a thread leading toward an authorship debate (I believe S
wrote S), but I can't get over one of the old enigmas regarding
Shakespeare: what happened to all his personal papers, correspondence,
writings, drafts, unpublished poems, etc.? THere have been some
interesting forgeries over the years that tantalizingly hint at what
some of these long lost documents may have contained. I suppose one
will never know, and maybe his son-in-law did dispose of them as one
legend holds, or an unthinking future tenant of New Place burned them
as another legend goes, but I can't help but ponder on what did in fact
happen to all that material. Did he dispose of it all himself before
dying (was some of the correspondence potentially incriminating to
himself or others)? Did he, like Kafka, leave instructions that it be
destroyed after his death? Any thoughts on this (within a "S wrote S"
scenario)?
Cheers.

David Kathman

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Aug 15, 2005, 1:20:16 AM8/15/05
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There's no need to postulate that anybody deliberately destroyed any of
that stuff, because very few such personal papers have survived for
anybody below the nobility from Shakespeare's day. It simply never
occurred to anybody to save such things, and even if they did try to
save papers, they would eventually get thrown away (or something
similar) unless they ended up in an institution such as a government
archive. Thus, the only surviving letter to Shakespeare only survived
because it happened to be among the personal papers of Richard Quiney
(the writer of the letter) when he died in office as bailiff of
Stratford, and those papers got tossed into the Stratford town archive
until they were discovered hundreds of years later. For those of us
who actually work with 400-year-old documents on a regular basis,
there's nothing at all unusual about the amount of material that
survives for Shakespeare. It's more than we have for several other
major writers of the time, such as Christopher Marlowe, John Webster,
and John Fletcher.

For more discussion on this, see "The Survival of Manuscripts" on the
Shakespeare Authorship web page:

http://shakespeareauthorship.com/survival.html

Dave Kathman
dj...@ix.netcom.com

rast...@rogers.com

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Aug 15, 2005, 9:03:20 AM8/15/05
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Thank you for clarifying this issue for me Dave. I suppose that in the
centuries following Shakespeare's time, it became easier (or more
fashionable) to conserve personal papers of individuals. I'm thinking
of voluminous correspondences of 18th and 19th century authors that
have been conserved and in many cases published. And today, the age of
electronic mail and documents, the conservation (intentional or
accidental) of personal writings (such as this email) takes on a whole
new dimension...
Thank you for the link, I'll read the information there. Cheers.

art

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Aug 15, 2005, 11:02:09 AM8/15/05
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rastlo...@rogers.com wrote:

>> I can't get over one of the old enigmas regarding
>> Shakespeare: what happened to all his personal papers, correspondence,
>> writings, drafts, unpublished poems, etc.? THere have been some
>> interesting forgeries over the years that tantalizingly hint at what
>> some of these long lost documents may have contained. I suppose one
>> will never know, and maybe his son-in-law did dispose of them as one
>> legend holds, or an unthinking future tenant of New Place burned them
>> as another legend goes, but I can't help but ponder on what did in fact
>> happen to all that material. Did he dispose of it all himself before
>> dying (was some of the correspondence potentially incriminating to
>> himself or others)? Did he, like Kafka, leave instructions that it be
>> destroyed after his death?

Dave Kathman wrote:

>There's no need to postulate that anybody deliberately destroyed any of
>that stuff, because very few such personal papers have survived for
>anybody below the nobility from Shakespeare's day. It simply never
>occurred to anybody to save such things, and even if they did try to
>save papers, they would eventually get thrown away (or something
>similar) unless they ended up in an institution such as a government
>archive. Thus, the only surviving letter to Shakespeare only survived
>because it happened to be among the personal papers of Richard Quiney
>(the writer of the letter) when he died in office as bailiff of
>Stratford, and those papers got tossed into the Stratford town archive
>until they were discovered hundreds of years later.

------------------------------­----------------------
John M. Rollett THE OXFORDIAN Volume II 1999
http://www.oxfordian.com/99-Rollet-Dedication.pdf

<<If you look at the acrostic poem by Anthony Munday,
you will immediately see that the 6-2-4 layout of the
Dedication corresponds exactly to the name
EDWARD DE VERE:

[E]xcept I should in freendship seeme ingrate,
[D]enying duty, where to I am bound;
[W]ith letting slip your Honour's worthy state,
[A]t all assayes, which I have Noble found
[R]ight well I might refrayne to handle PEN:
[D]enouncing aye the company of men.

[D]owne dire despayre, let courage come in place,
[E]xalt his FAME whom Honour doth imbrace.

[V]ertue hath aye adornd your valiant hart,
[E]xampled by your deeds of lasting FAME:
[D]egarding such as take *God MARS* his part,
[E]che where by proofe, in Honnor and in name.
------------------------------­------------------------------­------
Harvey's Apostrophe ad eundem (Ward's translation)

Courage animates thy brow, MARS lives in thy tongue,
Minerva strengthens thy right hand, Bellona reigns in
thy body, WITHIN THEE BURNS THE FIRE OF MARS.
THINE EYES FLASH FIRE, thy countenance SHAKES A SPEAR;
who would not swear that ACHILLES had come to life again?>>

<<[D]ANIEL calls Philotas: "the English ACHILLES>>
------------------------------­------------------------------­------
<<In Ginzberg's _Legends of the Jews_, archangels are
said to be "comptrollers" of the Sun, Moon & five planets.

http://www.greenheart.com/billh/angel.html

MARS' archangel is named "SAMUEL"
VENUS' archangel is named "ANIEL" >>

MARS + VENUS = SAMUEL [D]ANIEL
----------------------------­--------------------------
{[D]ANIEL}
----------------------------­------------------------
<= 3 x 3 =>

TOTHEON_ {L} I
EBEGETT___{E} R
OFTHESE___{I} N
SVINGSO__ {N} N
ETSMRWH {A} L
LHAPPINE _____ S
SEANDTHA ___ T
ETERNITIE
_- p(RO)mi(SE)_{D} B
YOVREVER___ L
IVINGPOE_____ T
WISHETHT____ H
EWELLWIS___- H
INGADVEN___- T
VRERINSE_____ T
TINGFORT____ H
------------------------------­-----------------------------
[D]ANIEL's *[S]hadrach, [A]bed-nego & [M]eshach,*

.......................................................................
we cast THREE MEN bound into the midst of the FIRE?
They answered and said unto the king, TRUE, O king.
He answered and said, LO, I see four men loose,
walking in the midst of the FIRE, and they have no hurt;
and the form of *THE FORTH* is like the [SON] of GOD.
-------------------------­­-------------------------­-­-----------
If one excludes the "T.T." in the [SONNE]TS dedication
then the Rollett 6-2-4 method generates:

THESE [SONNE]TS ALL BY EVER *THE FORTH*
------------------------------­­-----------------------------­-­---------

ACTS 19:19: "And a NUMBER of those who practiced magic arts
brought their *books together & BURNED them* in the sight of all;"
------------------------------­------------------------------­--------
End of [Don Quixote's] First Sally & the book burning:

<<"I should have shed tears myself," said the curate when he heard the
title, "had I ordered that BOOK to be BURNED, for its author
was one of the famous poets of the world, not to say of Spain,
and was VERy happy in the translation of some of Ovid's fables.">>
------------------------------­­----------------------------------
JOHN 19:19: Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross.
And the writing was,
JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.

[ IN*R*I ]
------------------------------­-------------------------------
Thou hadst bin a companion for a King;.
And, beene A KING AMONG THE MEANER SORT.
---------------------------------­­---­-------­-----------------­-­-----­---
<<[Free]Masons read the [ IN*R*I ] inscription as:

[I]gne [N]atura [R]enovatur [I]ntegra

meaning: "Through FIRE, NATURE is reborn whole"
or: "By FIRE NATURE is renewed whole",

symbolizing Humankind's spiritual regeneration
by the sacred FIRE of TRUTH & love.>> - From Wikipedia
-------------------------­­­--------------------------------------
If one includes the "T.T." in the SONNETS dedication
then the Rollett 6-2-4 method generates:

THESE SONNETS ALL BY EVER THE FORTH "T"
----------------------­---------------------------------------
Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, Baker's man!
Bake me a cake As fast as you can.
Pat it, and prick it, And mark it with a "T"
And put it in the oven, For peTer and me.
..................................................................
[The globe 'THEETR' burnt on St. peTer's day (1613)]
-----------------------------­------------------------------­--------------
<= 19 =>

_ T O T__ __H E O N L ___ i __ <E> B ___ E G E T T E R O
_ F T H__ __E S E I n ______ s __ U <I> __ N G S O N N E T
_ S M__ (R) _W h a L L ___- h _ A P <P> _ I N E S____ S E A
_ N D__ (T) __h a t E__ T___- [e] - R N <I> __ T I E <P> R O M
___ I S__ (E) __D B Y O U _ [r] _E V <E> R L <I>__V I N G
_ {P} O_ (E) __t W I S_ H __ [e] _T H [T] H <E> W E L L W
__ {I} S__ (H) __I N G A _- [d V e] - N [T] U _____R E R I N S
__ {E} t__ (T) __I N G F O _ *R* T H [T] T
------------------------------­­­------------------------------------------
"Singe CAPons, or POOR PIGS, dropping their eyes;
Condemn'd me to the OVENs with the <PIES>;

And so, have kept me dying a whole age,
Nor ravish'd all hence in a minute's rage."
...........................................­­...........................­.­.
After his library FIRE of 1623 Ben Jonson
wrote of his loss in "An Execration upon Vulcan"
------------------------------­------------------------------­-----------
22 P**'s => 4 PIE's
(22*21*20*19)/(4*3*2*1)

14 I's: (14/145)*(13/144)*(12/143)*(11­­­/142)
23 E's: (23/141)*(22/140)*(21/139)*(20­­­/138)

Probability of 4 oven PIE's ~ 1/4,300
------------------------------­------------------------------­--------------
TTENIBGT [EO-TEE(N)] VNSNESRHLH [PIES] ADHT TRIIP OIE
OHOLEEET RF HSIS IGONTMWALA PNSE NTAE [ENTER] MSD
------------------------------­­-----------------------------­-­---------
http://www.cd.sc.ehu.es/FileRoom/documents/Cases/155stubbs.html
http://mitglied.tripod.de/gruselberg/spdb/Judge/acttan.htm

<<In 1579 a middle-aged lawyer called John STUBBS (c.1543-1591) was
sentenced to public mutilation at Westminster for having written a
"lewd & seditious" pamphlet against Queen Elizabeth's proposed marriage
to the French king's brother ("The Discoverie of a Gaping Gulf Where
into England is Likely to be Swallowed by another French Marriage,").

Copies of the book were
BURNED IN THE KITCHEN STOVE
of Stationer's Hall.

It took the executioner three blows
to CLEAVE his right hand by means of a clEaVER
driven through the wrist by a mallet; before STUBBS fainted
he "put off his hat with his left & said with a loud voice,
'God save the Queen'".
Camden, who witnessed this appalling scene, records that.

"The multitude standing about was altogether silent,
either out of horror of this new & unwonted punishment,
or else out of pity towards the man".

(STUBBS regained Elizabeth's favour in later years,
and had a career in parliament.)>>
------------------------------­-----------------------------
JOHN 18:37 PILATE therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then?
Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born,
& for this cause came I INTO THE WORLD, that I should bear witness
unto the TRUTH. EVERy one that is of the TRUTH heareth my voice.

PILATE saith unto him, WHAT IS TRUTH?
---------------------------­­-­----------------------------­-­­-------
Art Neuendorffer

wate...@financier.com

unread,
Aug 15, 2005, 11:28:59 AM8/15/05
to
Could he have left most of his "work" papers/material in London,
as opposed to home? After all,
he did work and live for several decades in London,
did he not?
Stratford may have been primarily relaxation & family.

Didn't he also start to buy property in London,
towards the end of his life? If so,
this could be where it ended up, since he was only semi-retired.

So easy to speculate...

waterboy

mamo...@yahoo.com

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Aug 15, 2005, 1:33:40 PM8/15/05
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It is very simple, really. They were dumped in some trash heap
around the turn of the 17th century. Most likely they just rotted
down.
But, there is a slight chance that maybe they were compacted so
well in the trash that no moisture or oxygen could get to them, in
which case they would be as fresh as today's newspaper. What
we would need to do is locate and excavate all 17th century trash
heaps down to the strate levels concomitant with Shakespeare's
time.

Sometimes it is possible to find totally fresh newspapers dumped
in trash at the turn of the 20th century in areas of trash where no
oxygen or moisture exists. Papyri have survived from three thousand
years ago when they were stuffed into dry crocodile mummies. It
is not impossible. The greatest things can happen. You would only
need to find one single scrap of Shakespeare's play in the original
handwriting to pay for the estimated $1 billion it would need to screen
all that rubbish.

Andy68

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Aug 15, 2005, 1:38:41 PM8/15/05
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I'm usually a nice guy, but...

What the fuck is this idiotic crap and why are you posting it to a
discussion about the existance of foul papers? As you post this
ridiculous, meaningless insanity every fucking day, why don't you at
least have the courtesy of posting it in a separate topic so people can
ignore it?

art wrote:
> <moronic off topic bullshit snipped>
> Art Neuendorffer

Greg Reynolds

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Aug 15, 2005, 8:43:30 PM8/15/05
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This essay by Dawson and Kennedy-Skipton does not mention
Condel and Heminge, yet it is so common sensical to imagine
that the longtime professional colleagues of WS collected all of the
available Shakespeare material for their folio.

That explains the Shakespeare family not preserving it. Once it
was published, the FF superseded all of the collected material,
which was tossed out like a million early drafts are thrown out every
day of the year by writers of all types, even in your office and home
today.

I know--common sense doesn't work on Oxfordians, but it stands to
reason that Heminge and Condel used all of WS's MSS to publish
the works.

Look into their estates. They are seven years closer to us than
is Shakespeare.

Oh, you probably already thought of that.

rast...@rogers.com

unread,
Aug 16, 2005, 8:33:39 AM8/16/05
to
Greg, what you say makes a lot of sense with regards to the "foul
papers" being used by Heminge and Condel to come up with the text for
the published folio, then discarded.

In our present day, things are quite different: I just read about John
Lennon's handwritten lyrics for All You Need is Love recently sold for
600,000 UKP! Crazy...

p.s. sad indeed that an honest question and discussion should bring out
strange and insulting messages from lurkers who disbelieve
Shakespeare's authorship...

David L. Webb

unread,
Aug 16, 2005, 12:52:13 PM8/16/05
to
In article <1124127521.7...@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
"Andy68" <another...@gay.com> wrote:

> I'm usually a nice guy, but...
>
> What the fuck is this idiotic crap

It is typical of Art's posts.

> and why are you posting it to a
> discussion about the existance of foul papers?

That, too, is typical.

> As you post this
> ridiculous, meaningless insanity every fucking day, why don't you at
> least have the courtesy of posting it in a separate topic so people can
> ignore it?

Art is surely one of Usenet's most amusing trolls. He is clearly far
too intelligent actually to believe the idiotic crap that he posts day
after day, so one presumes that he is engaged in deft parody of some of
the most ridiculous excesses of anti-Stratfordian "research." From whom
else could one learn that Anne Hathaway was Shakespeare's mother? That
Virgil predated Herodotus? That the number nineteen is remarkable in
being both the sum of two consecutive integers and the difference of
their squares? That two men who share the same name *must* be the same
person, even though one is a quarter century older than the other? That
"weaved sleided silk" admits the anagram "I kill Edwasd de Vese"? That
Jane Austen was a Freemason? That a vast Masonic/Templar/Priory of Sion
conspiracy -- of which virtually all English language writers, including
Dr. Seuss, were or are members, as well as a good many participants in
this newsgroup -- is custodian of the explosive secret identity of the
author of the Shakespeare canon?

Art is a national comedic treasure! Indeed, one would be tempted to
undertake an Art Neuendorffer retrospective analogous to the Elizabeth
Weir "casual reading" retrospective, but this plan is infeasible owing
to the sheer volume of moronic material available.

> art wrote:
> > <moronic off topic bullshit

That is certainly as accurate and as succinct a description of Art's
posts as I have seen.

> > snipped>
> > Art Neuendorffer

Art Neuendorffer

unread,
Aug 16, 2005, 4:28:38 PM8/16/05
to
> "Andy68" <another...@gay.com> wrote:
>
> > I'm usually a nice guy, but...
> >
> > What the fuck is this idiotic crap

David L. Webb wrote:

> It is typical of Art's posts.

> "Andy68" <another...@gay.com> wrote:
>
> > and why are you posting it to a
> > discussion about the existance of foul papers?

David L. Webb wrote:

> That, too, is typical.

Normally it is the existENCE of foul papers

> "Andy68" <another...@gay.com> wrote:
>
> > As you post this
> > ridiculous, meaningless insanity every fucking day, why don't you at
> > least have the courtesy of posting it in a separate topic so people can
> > ignore it?

David L. Webb wrote:

> Art is surely one of Usenet's most amusing trolls. He is clearly far
> too intelligent actually to believe the idiotic crap that he posts day
> after day, so one presumes that he is engaged in deft parody of some of
> the most ridiculous excesses of anti-Stratfordian "research."

Dave is clearly far too intelligent
actually to believe the illiterate Stratford boob wrote Shakespeare.

David L. Webb wrote:

> Art is a national comedic treasure!

An enhanced AND augmented treasure!

> "Andy68" <another...@gay.com> wrote:

> > > <moronic off topic bullshit

David L. Webb wrote:

> That is certainly as accurate and as succinct
> a description of Art's posts as I have seen.

MOTS?

Art Neuendorffer

Greg Reynolds

unread,
Aug 16, 2005, 8:33:28 PM8/16/05
to


They're the worst!

After they destroy Shakespeare, they're eliminating
national holidays, crayons, and s'mores!

So it's a good thing that they can't back up their own
words (such as calling a person illiterate based on just
one sample--of handwriting--he he he!).


Greg Reynolds


Tom Reedy

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Aug 16, 2005, 9:49:35 PM8/16/05
to
"Greg Reynolds" <eve...@core.com> wrote in message
news:430285D8...@core.com...

Yes, using a signature as evidence of illiteracy has to be one of the most
ridiculous antiStratfordian tactics. What's really funny is that it is
almost universally posited by them, from Lynne all the way down to Crowley.

TR

>
>
>
>
> Greg Reynolds
>
>
>
>
>
>


LynnE

unread,
Aug 16, 2005, 10:22:03 PM8/16/05
to

I cannot remember ever saying that WS of Stratford was illiterate. If
you can find a place where I did so, I'll suggest that I must have been
sick/overworked/overwhelmed at the time. But it's more likely I said he
MIGHT have been illiterate, that signing one's own name is no guarantee
of literacy.

And please don't lump me in with Paul. He wouldn't like it either.

Regards,
Lynne, just dropping in for a moment.


>
> TR
>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Greg Reynolds
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >

Greg Reynolds

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Aug 16, 2005, 10:52:03 PM8/16/05
to


Paul... a dime a dozen

Lynne... high maintenance

Diana... Priceless!


Yes, antis dumb down the family with painsgiving innaccuracy.
All three of these antiStrats make a claim they cannot back.

I dare them to retract that they know the daughters to be illiterate.


Greg Reynolds

Greg Reynolds

unread,
Aug 16, 2005, 11:15:07 PM8/16/05
to

Lynne,
You claim that Susanna was illiterate.
She is the one with the signature.
Show your work.

Or is it your reading/writing deficiency and not Susanna's?

Greg Reynolds
(If you quote Price's website, you'll get a real good laugh)

LynnE

unread,
Aug 16, 2005, 11:54:20 PM8/16/05
to

Hi Greg,

How kind of you to remember me.

I claimed Susanna was illiterate? I'm sorry, Greg, I seem to have a
very bad memory lately. I probably said that her being able to sign her
name was no guarantee of literacy, and that there is an anecdote to the
effect that she couldn't recognise her own husband's work, but if I
actually CLAIMED she was illiterate, I apologise and certainly retract
that claim.


>
> Or is it your reading/writing deficiency and not Susanna's?

I don't think you'll find many people, even around here, who say I have
a reading/writing deficiency.


>
>
>
> Greg Reynolds
> (If you quote Price's website, you'll get a real good laugh)

Oh, what fun. I love to make people laugh. We take the authorship
question all too seriously, I always think.

Regards,
Lynne

Elizabeth

unread,
Aug 17, 2005, 12:35:14 AM8/17/05
to
Greg,

In the context that I respect you and
will nominate you as HLAS Moderator when
the time comes, it is I who called
Susannah illiterate. Please don't indict
Lynne (future prez of the intl Baconian
Society once I disprove the Oxfordian case).


I don't need evidence because the Strats
argue from argumentum ex silentio. The
argument from lack of evidence (absence,
silence). A logical fallacy.


I didn't make the claim that Susannah was
literate so I don't have the burden of proof.


Cordially,

Elizabeth

Tom Reedy

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Aug 17, 2005, 8:27:56 AM8/17/05
to
"LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:1124245323.3...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...

I was referring to his daughters, but you're right on that also: you only
opine that one of the daughters was illiterate, based upon her signing with
a mark, the same way other, provable literates did in the 16th and 17th
centuries. So I apologize; my memory was faulty.

>
> And please don't lump me in with Paul. He wouldn't like it either.

Sorry, Lynne, but you lump yourself in with him by being an
antiStratfordian. Differences in degrees and personalities don't count when
it comes to sorting the antis from the pros.

TR

David L. Webb

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Aug 17, 2005, 11:06:09 AM8/17/05
to
In article <1124250860.3...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
"LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote:

[...]


> Hi Greg,
>
> How kind of you to remember me.
>
> I claimed Susanna was illiterate? I'm sorry, Greg, I seem to have a
> very bad memory lately. I probably said that her being able to sign her
> name was no guarantee of literacy,

As has been mentioned numerous times in this forum, during the period
in question, reading was normally taught well before writing (in view of
the costliness and relative scarcity of writing materials, this practice
is not at all surprising), so being able to write at all is actually a
pretty good indication of an ability to read. Moreover, as has been
mentioned on numerous occasions, by Dave Kathman and others, some
demonstrably literate individuals sometimes signed with a mark in some
circumstances. In view of these data, a signature from the period in
question is actually quite strong evidence of the signer's literacy.

Indeed, as far as I am aware, the notion of an individual of the
Elizabethan/Jacobean periods who could not read or write but could sign
his or her name is purely an anti-Stratfordian fantasy. If you have
credible evidence to the contrary, please inform me, as I know of none.

> and that there is an anecdote to the
> effect that she couldn't recognise her own husband's work, but if I
> actually CLAIMED she was illiterate, I apologise and certainly retract
> that claim.

> > Or is it your reading/writing deficiency and not Susanna's?

> I don't think you'll find many people, even around here, who say I have
> a reading/writing deficiency.

There's always Mr. Crowley.... :-)

> > Greg Reynolds
> > (If you quote Price's website, you'll get a real good laugh)

> Oh, what fun. I love to make people laugh.

With all due respect, Lynne, while I do find you both charming and
amusing, you have a long way to go before you can make people laugh with
the godlike effortlessness of magisterial comedians like Mr. Crowley,
Mr. Streitz, Richard Ken-nada, and especially Elizabeth Weird. You do
VERy well for a quasi-Strat Yank, though. :-)

Paul Crowley

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Aug 17, 2005, 2:01:18 PM8/17/05
to
"Tom Reedy" <tomr...@verizon.net> wrote in message news:g3GMe.18746$Rp5.3150@trnddc03...

> "LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
> news:1124245323.3...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...

> > I cannot remember ever saying that WS of Stratford was illiterate. If


> > you can find a place where I did so, I'll suggest that I must have been
> > sick/overworked/overwhelmed at the time. But it's more likely I said he
> > MIGHT have been illiterate, that signing one's own name is no guarantee
> > of literacy.
>
> I was referring to his daughters, but you're right on that also: you only
> opine that one of the daughters was illiterate, based upon her signing with
> a mark, the same way other, provable literates did in the 16th and 17th
> centuries.

She signed a legal document with a mark under
conditions where -- had she been able to write
a full signature -- she'd have done so. It was
as a witness for a deed made by her sister-in-
law, Elizabeth Quiney and her son Adrian, who
both signed their full names.

> based upon her signing with
> a mark, the same way other, provable literates did in the 16th and 17th
> centuries.

All of us commonly sign with a mark -- when
we put our initials on some document. It does
not indicate illiteracy. But we put our full
signatures on important legal documents and
wherever else they are expected.

Judith Quiney (nee Shagsper) was manifestly
illiterate. So was her sister, Susanna. That
sister married an unusually learned man (quite
out of place in this backwater village) who
became the local doctor. With her rise in social
status, she learned how to draw her 'signature'.
That 'signature' is drawn as opposed to being
signed, as can be seen from its form. The lady
was unused to writing and drew each of the
three 'A's, the two 'N's, and the two 'L's of her
name (Susanna Hall) differently.

It necessarily follows that the father of these
two illiterate women (the Stratman) was almost
certainly illiterate. Of course, there is plenty of
other evidence, including his own, appallingly
drawn 'signatures'.


Paul.


Alan Jones

unread,
Aug 17, 2005, 4:22:13 PM8/17/05
to

"Paul Crowley" <slkwuoiut...@slkjlskjoioue.com> wrote in message
news:eZKMe.4007$R5....@news.indigo.ie...

That's what _we_ do, but perhaps it's not what _they_ did or expected. If
it's true that even one other "provable literate" signed with a mark, your
argument ("had she been able to write a full signature -- she'd have done
so") collapses. Not, anyway, that I think there's any significance in the
literacy or otherwise of Shakespeare's family. Anyone reduced to using it as
evidence in an authorship discussion must be desperate indeed..

Alan Jones

Alan Jones


Greg Reynolds

unread,
Aug 18, 2005, 12:31:09 AM8/18/05
to
Elizabeth wrote:
> Greg,
>
> In the context that I respect you and
> will nominate you as HLAS Moderator

Okay, but I get to be on top.

> when the time comes, it is I who called
> Susannah illiterate.

Lynne built it into her knowledgebase, too.

Here's a taste...

Lynne said 1/22/05...
We know precisely how relevant the question of Judith's literacy is.
Unfortunately she doesn't have any. Roger and I talked of it in our
response, and I've done so on this newsgroup. I've said over and over
again that it's unlikely that a daughter of the bard would be
illiterate as he had such enormous respect for educated women. Where
is your proof that Shakespeare of Stratford was a loving father and
brought up his daughters to be literate? Oxford may not have been a
loving father (who knows?) but his daughters were at least literate.

SO
Lynne calls Bridget, Elizabeth, and Susan Vere literate
BUT
Lynne calls Susanna and Judith Shakespeare illiterate.

We all have the same evidence, so we now note motive.

The motive of the anti is to discredit the Shakespeares.

And they don't need evidence, as Lynne, Paul, and Diana
have only writing as their evidence of nonwriting.

Oxfordianism in a nutcase--whoops, I meant nutshell!


> Please don't indict
> Lynne (future prez of the intl Baconian
> Society once I disprove the Oxfordian case).

I will serve as ewer.

> I don't need evidence because the Strats
> argue from argumentum ex silentio. The
> argument from lack of evidence (absence,
> silence). A logical fallacy.

Fascinating! Cancel history!

> I didn't make the claim that Susannah was
> literate so I don't have the burden of proof.
>
>
> Cordially,
>
> Elizabeth

Paul claims that Susannah already mastered three different
versions of the letter 'A' so she was well past drawing letters
and was now stylizing her own signature.

Paul hates Susannah so much that he calls her not just illiterate
but manifestly illiterate. Note his motive of destroying the
Shakespeares.

Paul's reading skills match Oxford's military skills--turn tail and run!


Greg Reynolds

Paul Crowley

unread,
Aug 18, 2005, 4:23:00 AM8/18/05
to
"Alan Jones" <a...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
news:V%MMe.10931$Wq4....@fe1.news.blueyonder.co.uk...

> > She signed a legal document with a mark under
> > conditions where -- had she been able to write
> > a full signature -- she'd have done so. It was
> > as a witness for a deed made by her sister-in-
> > law, Elizabeth Quiney and her son Adrian, who
> > both signed their full names.
> >
> >> based upon her signing with
> >> a mark, the same way other, provable literates did in the 16th and 17th
> >> centuries.
> >
> > All of us commonly sign with a mark -- when
> > we put our initials on some document. It does
> > not indicate illiteracy. But we put our full
> > signatures on important legal documents and
> > wherever else they are expected.
>
> That's what _we_ do, but perhaps it's not what _they_ did or expected.

It IS what they did, and what they expected,
as can be seen from their behaviour. It was,
in this respect, identical to ours. Those who
are known to have been literate signed (or
made 'their mark') in the same way as we do.

> If it's true that even one other "provable literate" signed with a mark, your
> argument ("had she been able to write a full signature -- she'd have done
> so") collapses.

Err . . . Not so. This is not an argument
about total and absolute certainty, but
about probability -- which, in this case,
is not far off 100%.

> Not, anyway, that I think there's any significance in the
> literacy or otherwise of Shakespeare's family.

A person, who maintains that the Great Bard
had (or might have had) illiterate children, can
only be described as profoundly ignorant, both
of history and of literature. They would not
dream of saying the same about any other writer.

> Anyone reduced to using it as
> evidence in an authorship discussion must be desperate indeed..

Do you know anyone with illiterate children?
What would you think if you discovered that
a well-respected middle-class friend had
brought up his daughters as illiterates?

OK, I know that it is near to unthinkable,
but how can you possibly accept it for the
greatest writer in the language?


Paul.


Paul Crowley

unread,
Aug 18, 2005, 1:09:06 PM8/18/05
to
"Greg Reynolds" <eve...@core.com> wrote in message news:43040F0D...@core.com...

> Lynne said 1/22/05...
> We know precisely how relevant the question of Judith's literacy is.
> Unfortunately she doesn't have any. Roger and I talked of it in our
> response, and I've done so on this newsgroup. I've said over and over
> again that it's unlikely that a daughter of the bard would be
> illiterate as he had such enormous respect for educated women. Where
> is your proof that Shakespeare of Stratford was a loving father and
> brought up his daughters to be literate? Oxford may not have been a
> loving father (who knows?) but his daughters were at least literate.
>
> SO
> Lynne calls Bridget, Elizabeth, and Susan Vere literate
> BUT
> Lynne calls Susanna and Judith Shakespeare illiterate.
>
> We all have the same evidence, so we now note motive.

Are you seriously claiming that one or more
of Ned Vere's daughters (Bridget, Elizabeth,
and Susan) MIGHT have been illiterate?
Are you claiming that aristocratic females at
that time were commonly illiterate?

[..]


> Paul claims that Susannah already mastered three different
> versions of the letter 'A'

She had not 'mastered' anything -- other
than the drawing of her 'signature'.

> Paul hates Susannah so much that he calls her not just illiterate
> but manifestly illiterate.

I have no reason to hate Susanna. We know
very little about her, but she seems to have
been a fairly ordinary wife of a country doctor.
Her illiterate father came into money when his
daughters were young adolescents, but he
never bothered to see that they were educated.
His money allowed them to 'marry up' with,
probably, the usual social consequences.

> Paul's reading skills match Oxford's military skills--turn tail and run!

You are the one who 'turns tail and runs'.
I asked you to try this last April and have
not yet got a response.

>>>> Ask a few friends to write out the
>>>> name: "Susanna Hall" carefully -- using
>>>> separate letters, and on an unlined
>>>> piece of paper. (Perhaps ask them
>>>> to add other names with multiple
>>>> instances of the same letters, e.g.
>>>> "William Kennedy", "Paula Stuart",
>>>> "Albert Roberts".)
>>>>
>>>> Then see how many:
>>>> (a) do different As, Ns, Ls, etc., within
>>>> the name, and (b) write the letters up
>>>> and down with little relationship to
>>>> the base line. (Try it yourself first,
>>>> and tell us the results -- of all tests
>>>> for each name.)

Alternatively, the task could be to write
out (in the same manner: separate letters
on unlined paper) words like 'banana',
'Mississippi', or 'Ngorongoro'.

None of this would constitute a difficult
or time-consuming experiment.

Of course, you never will attempt this.
You know the results in advance, and
they would disprove the Stratfordian case.


Paul.


Alan Jones

unread,
Aug 18, 2005, 6:10:40 PM8/18/05
to

"Paul Crowley" <slkwuoiut...@slkjlskjoioue.com> wrote in message
news:JAXMe.4037$R5....@news.indigo.ie...

That isn't what you said so confidently at first. Would your estimated
probability be the same if there were two, or three, or four such
mark-making literates? In any case, how does one estimate the probability of
someone's not having done what they could have done?

>> Not, anyway, that I think there's any significance in the
>> literacy or otherwise of Shakespeare's family.
>
> A person, who maintains that the Great Bard
> had (or might have had) illiterate children, can
> only be described as profoundly ignorant, both
> of history and of literature. They would not
> dream of saying the same about any other writer.

I wouldn't hesitate to "say the same about any other writer" of
Shakespeare's social standing in his time or earlier, or indeed a little
later. Is anything known about the girls in other writers' families?

And why your jibe of "ignorant"? What do you yourself actually know - as
distinct from intuiting - about the extent and degree of literacy among
(and here's a red rag to your bull) middle-class women in the 16th century?
I for one would be glad of a reading list on this topic.

>> Anyone reduced to using it as
>> evidence in an authorship discussion must be desperate indeed..
>
> Do you know anyone with illiterate children?
> What would you think if you discovered that
> a well-respected middle-class friend had
> brought up his daughters as illiterates?
>
> OK, I know that it is near to unthinkable,
> but how can you possibly accept it for the
> greatest writer in the language?

No, I have no acquaintances whose children are illiterate, but of course I
live in the early 21st century, when there has been compulsory basic
education for some 130 years. Supposing (which I don't think unavoidable)
that WS's daughters were indeed illiterate or semi-literate, why should even
the greatest writer in the language be blamed for not anticipating modern
notions of how girls should be brought up? It's curious that in some matters
(such as distinctions of social class) you scold us for seeing the 16th
century with modern eyes, and yet in this matter of education you imagine
the people of Shakespeare's day to be simply ourselves in fancy dress.

Alan Jones

LynnE

unread,
Aug 18, 2005, 6:43:46 PM8/18/05
to
David L. Webb wrote:
> In article <1124250860.3...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
> "LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote:
>
> [...]
> > Hi Greg,
> >
> > How kind of you to remember me.
> >
> > I claimed Susanna was illiterate? I'm sorry, Greg, I seem to have a
> > very bad memory lately. I probably said that her being able to sign her
> > name was no guarantee of literacy,
>
> As has been mentioned numerous times in this forum, during the period
> in question, reading was normally taught well before writing (in view of
> the costliness and relative scarcity of writing materials, this practice
> is not at all surprising), so being able to write at all is actually a
> pretty good indication of an ability to read.

You will forgive me, David, but the mention of something numerous times
on this forum doesn't necessarily make it true. It's my feeling that
many may have been taught to sign their names without being taught to
write anything else or perhaps even to read. It is impossible to prove
otherwise. It is particularly difficult with the daughters of
"middle-class" families where the cost of writing materials might not
have been considered prohibitive; in addition being able to one's name
on legal documents put one a cut above others. That said, I take no
position on whether Susanna was literate. Nor do I think it matters
that much, as I highly doubt her sister was (Really sorry, Greg. Don't
wish to hurt your feelings. It's just what I believe).

>Moreover, as has been
> mentioned on numerous occasions, by Dave Kathman and others, some
> demonstrably literate individuals sometimes signed with a mark in some
> circumstances. In view of these data, a signature from the period in
> question is actually quite strong evidence of the signer's literacy.

I'm sorry, I cannot agree. There is some evidence that a few people who
could sign their names signed with a mark on occasion, perhaps because
they were in a hurry and weren't very fast writers; however, the vast
majority of people who signed with a mark couldn't read or write. In
addition, examples of people who signed with a mark but could write
their names--of which, I believe, there are very few--don't tell us
much, if anything, about others who signed their name but never, to our
knowledge, wrote anything else.

>
> Indeed, as far as I am aware, the notion of an individual of the
> Elizabethan/Jacobean periods who could not read or write but could sign
> his or her name is purely an anti-Stratfordian fantasy. If you have
> credible evidence to the contrary, please inform me, as I know of none.

Since it's something we see every day, I assume it was the case then;
however, I don't know for sure and will be glad to research further
after I'm done with The Tempest, etc.

>
> > and that there is an anecdote to the
> > effect that she couldn't recognise her own husband's work, but if I
> > actually CLAIMED she was illiterate, I apologise and certainly retract
> > that claim.
>
> > > Or is it your reading/writing deficiency and not Susanna's?
>
> > I don't think you'll find many people, even around here, who say I have
> > a reading/writing deficiency.
>
> There's always Mr. Crowley.... :-)

Well, yes. That's true.


>
> > > Greg Reynolds
> > > (If you quote Price's website, you'll get a real good laugh)
>
> > Oh, what fun. I love to make people laugh.
>
> With all due respect, Lynne, while I do find you both charming and
> amusing, you have a long way to go before you can make people laugh with
> the godlike effortlessness of magisterial comedians like Mr. Crowley,
> Mr. Streitz, Richard Ken-nada, and especially Elizabeth Weird.

Rats. :(

> You do
> VERy well for a quasi-Strat Yank, though. :-)

Thank you, David.

Regards,
Lynne, just come home.

lariadc

unread,
Aug 18, 2005, 9:05:40 PM8/18/05
to
>Alan Jones wrote:
>Supposing (which I don't think unavoidable)
>that WS's daughters were indeed illiterate or semi-literate, why should even
>the greatest writer in the language be blamed for not anticipating modern
>notions of how girls should be brought up?

Considering that women had successfully managed households for
thousands of years without the benefit of literacy, it might not have
seemed necessary for a female to learn how to read and write, even
though we think of it as indispensable today. I don't know for sure,
but I don't think there were too many careers open to women at that
time---maybe midwife or seamstress.

We assume that perhaps Shakespeare would have
thought it important that his daughters learn about literature,
but I don't get the impression that plays were highly regarded
as literature at that time, at least not at first. Plus one can
hear and see them; one wouldn't have to read them because the language
was easy for people to understand then, being their
own(!)

Also, because Shakespeare was an actor, some of his focus might have
been oral, and his children might have shared that or learned it from
him. I did read somewhere that Ben Jonson once claimed that he was able
to memorize books.

C.

Paul Crowley

unread,
Aug 19, 2005, 8:30:31 AM8/19/05
to
"Alan Jones" <a...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
news:AH7Ne.3769$Il....@fe2.news.blueyonder.co.uk...

> >> If it's true that even one other "provable literate" signed with a mark,
> >> your
> >> argument ("had she been able to write a full signature -- she'd have done
> >> so") collapses.
> >
> > Err . . . Not so. This is not an argument
> > about total and absolute certainty, but
> > about probability -- which, in this case,
> > is not far off 100%.
>
> That isn't what you said so confidently at first. Would your estimated
> probability be the same if there were two, or three, or four such
> mark-making literates?

I'm sure that there were many more than that
-- as when a literate person was so ill and near
death that they could do no more than make
a vague mark on their will, etc., etc. It does
not depend on numbers, but on circumstances.
By far the most likely reason for Judith Shagsper
to put a mark on a legal document, when her in-
laws were signing it, is that she was illiterate.
It was nothing remarkable -- unless you happen
to believe that she was the daughter of the poet.
Illiteracy was the prevailing condition in that
town at that time.

> In any case, how does one estimate the probability of
> someone's not having done what they could have done?

Use your common-sense?

> >> Not, anyway, that I think there's any significance in the
> >> literacy or otherwise of Shakespeare's family.
> >
> > A person, who maintains that the Great Bard
> > had (or might have had) illiterate children, can
> > only be described as profoundly ignorant, both
> > of history and of literature. They would not
> > dream of saying the same about any other writer.
>
> I wouldn't hesitate to "say the same about any other writer" of
> Shakespeare's social standing in his time or earlier, or indeed a little
> later. Is anything known about the girls in other writers' families?

Yes. Literate in every known case . . . except
where mentally defective. But then the same
applies to all known daughters of literate
parents.

> And why your jibe of "ignorant"?

Because it is -- profoundly so.

> What do you yourself actually know - as
> distinct from intuiting - about the extent and degree of literacy among
> (and here's a red rag to your bull) middle-class women in the 16th century?

The "extent and degree of literacy" is not the
issue. It's much more the nature of the ancient
relationship between parents and children --
and those to other families of the same class.
The notion that you happily share (that a father
as literate as the poet, Shake-speare, would
allow his daughters to grow up as illiterates)
is no more conceivable now than it was then.

> >> Anyone reduced to using it as
> >> evidence in an authorship discussion must be desperate indeed..
> >
> > Do you know anyone with illiterate children?
> > What would you think if you discovered that
> > a well-respected middle-class friend had
> > brought up his daughters as illiterates?
> >
> > OK, I know that it is near to unthinkable,
> > but how can you possibly accept it for the
> > greatest writer in the language?
>
> No, I have no acquaintances whose children are illiterate, but of course I
> live in the early 21st century, when there has been compulsory basic
> education for some 130 years.

It is very easy to travel to numerous countries
where this is not the case (or has not been
until very recently), and where rates of illiteracy
are still very high. Many of those cultures
will be very different from the western (which,
in this respect, has scarcely changed at all
over the past 400 years) but educational
status will invariably be considered a major
consideration as regards the marriageability
of a girl or young woman.

> Supposing (which I don't think unavoidable)
> that WS's daughters were indeed illiterate or semi-literate, why should even
> the greatest writer in the language be blamed for not anticipating modern
> notions of how girls should be brought up?

We can see from the plays how Shakespeare,
in this respect, shared much of our 'modern'
attitude to the bringing up of girls.

> It's curious that in some matters
> (such as distinctions of social class) you scold us for seeing the 16th
> century with modern eyes, and yet in this matter of education you imagine
> the people of Shakespeare's day to be simply ourselves in fancy dress.

Rules about social status have scarcely changed
at all. Literacy and education (taken as a whole)
are intimately bound up in all that. A literate man
in English society would regard the literacy of
a potential wife (and mother of his children) as a
vital. He would want his own children, including
his daughters, to be brought up as literate so that
they would marry someone of his own social status,
at least, and preferably a higher one. Marriages
have long formed bonds of social alliance, where
both extended families share an interest in the
offspring of the couple.

How can you pretend to be so ignorant of such
mundane aspects of your own society?

Oh, I remember. You're a Strat. The adoption of a
set of profoundly ignorant attitudes is inescapable.


Paul.

John W. Kennedy

unread,
Aug 19, 2005, 9:11:34 AM8/19/05
to

This is all very true, bet us not forget that the claim that
Shakespeare's daughters were illiterate is a bare-faced lie in the first
place.

--
John W. Kennedy
"Give up vows and dogmas, and fixed things, and you may grow like That.
...you may come to think a blow bad, because it hurts, and not because
it humiliates. You may come to think murder wrong, because it is
violent, and not because it is unjust."
-- G. K. Chesterton. "The Ball and the Cross"

LynnE

unread,
Aug 19, 2005, 9:53:33 AM8/19/05
to

Brilliantly eloquent argument for their literacy, John.

Regards,
Lynne

lariadc

unread,
Aug 19, 2005, 11:47:57 AM8/19/05
to


I met a lady awhile back who signed her name with big loopy
letters--in fact, her writing was like that in general--and
of course she was not illiterate.

C.

Tom Veal

unread,
Aug 19, 2005, 1:58:09 PM8/19/05
to
Trying to enlighten or argue with Mr. Crowley is useless, because he is
confident that his own infallible intuition is all that one needs to
resolve any factual issue.

Given that literacy was much more common among males than females in
Elizabethan English, many literate men must have had illiterate wives
and daughters. There would be nothing odd about the Shakespeare
household if Anne, Susanna and Judith were proven beyond reasonable
doubt to have been illiterate.

To preempt a boilerplate Crowley response: Great writers do not
necessarily make wonderful parents who take pains over their children's
education.

Bianca Steele

unread,
Aug 19, 2005, 6:49:12 PM8/19/05
to
> This is all very true, bet us not forget that the claim that
> Shakespeare's daughters were illiterate is a bare-faced lie in the first
> place.

I'll bite: how do you know what you are claiming to know? Or did you
basically pick "bare-faced lie" out of a hat?

Like Lynne, though I come down in a different spot on this question, I
don't really find your rhetoric helpful for any purpose.

But I do think it's plausible that men have always wanted their wives
to know pretty much what they knew, and for the women to be able to
help out in all aspects of their lives. Shakespeare's actual position
at the time was surely equivocal, though, both because of social
changes and because of his own obviously somewhat irregular life.

----
Bianca Steele

Mark Cipra

unread,
Aug 19, 2005, 6:49:57 PM8/19/05
to
Okay, this is silly, but ...

"lariadc" <lar...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1124466477.2...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

I've never seen the offending signatures so I don't know how illuminating
the following will be.

You may want to browse over to ...

http://www.purplehousepress.com/sig.htm

Some authors signatures are of course well formed and beautiful. Others are
a mess. The same, I might suggest, is true of the Renaissance writing you
can see in places like Schoenbaum's "Documentary Life", and many or most of
the documents there are from people who wrote for a living. Some people,
including people who do a lot of it, are just sloppy writers.

For my part ...

I spent a few years in a box office initialing sometimes hundreds of
documents a day and ever since, the signature I normally use has turned out
to be an extended version of my steamlined initials - no one else can read
it (it looks like one of those glyphs you see on urban walls) but it's
recognizably the same every time.

My cursive writing is unreadable. (I blame this on the fact that I had a
broken my arm during the semester we learned cursive; possibly I'm just lazy
or uncoordinated. In any case, "Handwriting" is the only course I've ever
gotten a "D" in. One result is that "Personal Typing" was not an elective
course in my case).

Somehow in my everyday writing, I started using a mixture of cursive and
block letters, and the block letters are a mixture of capitals and lower
case, regardless of their position in the word or sentence. I don't use the
same style of letters consistently. An "E" might be a squared upper case,
or a near-cursive lower case, or a backwards 3. (Words that I write a lot
come to be regular - the same every time - but they often consist of one of
these mixtures of "fonts".) It looks like I'm functionally illiterate, but
at least most people can make out the message. For what it's worth, unless I
am writing on lined paper, I cannot write on a straight line unless I try
very hard.

Now, I am occasionally forced to write out my full name as a signature when
I can't convince someone "this scrawl *is* my signature", and when I do, the
letters, including the two Rs and two As, often look like they come from
different alphabets.

I imagine I am an extreme case, though.

Tom Reedy

unread,
Aug 19, 2005, 7:00:33 PM8/19/05
to
"Mark Cipra" <cipr...@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:pmtNe.3596$Z%6....@newssvr17.news.prodigy.com...

> Okay, this is silly, but ...
>

<snip>

> For my part ...
>
> I spent a few years in a box office initialing sometimes hundreds of
> documents a day and ever since, the signature I normally use has turned
> out
> to be an extended version of my steamlined initials - no one else can read
> it (it looks like one of those glyphs you see on urban walls) but it's
> recognizably the same every time.

My signature written as both first and last names together resembles a
capital "M," the result of having to constantly sign papers at one time in
my life.

>
> My cursive writing is unreadable.

Same here. If I wait more than a day or two to transcribe handwritten notes,
I'm reduced to guessing at least 30 percent of the time.

I'm sure antiStratfordians have very beautiful and readable cursive
handwriting. Otherwise they wouldn't make such stupid arguments based on
Shakespeare's signatures.

TR

John W. Kennedy

unread,
Aug 19, 2005, 7:12:24 PM8/19/05
to
Bianca Steele wrote:
>>This is all very true, bet us not forget that the claim that
>>Shakespeare's daughters were illiterate is a bare-faced lie in the first
>>place.
>
>
> I'll bite: how do you know what you are claiming to know? Or did you
> basically pick "bare-faced lie" out of a hat?

We /know/ that Susannah was literate, because we have her signature, and
all we know about Judith is that one occasion she signed with a mark,
which proves nothing either way, because we have many documents signed
with a mark by persons of the period known to be literate from other
sources. (Best guess -- such documents had been made out in advance to
be marked.)

The claim that they were illiterate is therefore a lie. Period.

--
John W. Kennedy
"The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have
always objected to being governed at all."
-- G. K. Chesterton. "The Man Who Was Thursday"

lariadc

unread,
Aug 20, 2005, 1:14:24 AM8/20/05
to
>Mark Cipra wrote:
>My cursive writing is unreadable. (I blame this on the fact that I had a
>broken my arm during the semester we learned cursive; possibly I'm just lazy
>or uncoordinated. In any case, "Handwriting" is the only course I've ever
>gotten a "D" in. One result is that "Personal Typing" was not an elective
>course in my case).

I had a few problems with penmanship class myself in elementary school
until I chanced to be seated near two girls who always got straight
A's. What they did was trace the letters very very slowly for almost
the whole hour. So after I had done that for a few sessions, my
penmanship got much better. I don't suppose it is as important as it
used to be.

>Somehow in my everyday writing, I started using a mixture of cursive and
>block letters, and the block letters are a mixture of capitals and lower
>case, regardless of their position in the word or sentence. I don't use the
>same style of letters consistently. An "E" might be a squared upper case,
>or a near-cursive lower case, or a backwards 3. (Words that I write a lot
>come to be regular - the same every time - but they often consist of one of
>these mixtures of "fonts".) It looks like I'm functionally illiterate, but
>at least most people can make out the message. For what it's worth, unless I
>am writing on lined paper, I cannot write on a straight line unless I try
>very hard.

Oddly enough, I started doing the same thing in college. It seemed to
me that cursive just had too many extra lines in it, so I just started
leaving some of them out and ended up doing something similar to what
you did. I know someone who even took notes in shorthand.

Differences with the same letter remind one of Susanna's signature. One
of the a's seems to have a flourish on it, and Diana Price notes that
the same letters are done differently. To me, it could possibly
indicate that Susanna was more experienced in writing rather than less
experienced, and was doing something similar to what you and I do, but
I guess we can't be certain.

>Now, I am occasionally forced to write out my full name as a signature when
>I can't convince someone "this scrawl *is* my signature", and when I do, the
>letters, including the two Rs and two As, often look like they come from
>different alphabets.

One of my relatives deliberately makes a mess of the signature so that
no one will be tempted to forge it.

C.

Mark Cipra

unread,
Aug 20, 2005, 1:42:26 AM8/20/05
to
"lariadc" <lar...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1124514864.8...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> >Mark Cipra wrote:

[snip]

>
> Differences with the same letter remind one of Susanna's signature. One
> of the a's seems to have a flourish on it, and Diana Price notes that
> the same letters are done differently. To me, it could possibly
> indicate that Susanna was more experienced in writing rather than less
> experienced, and was doing something similar to what you and I do, but
> I guess we can't be certain.

Which is why I prefaced the whole discussion with "This is silly, but ..."
:)

Paul Crowley

unread,
Aug 20, 2005, 3:06:53 AM8/20/05
to
"Tom Veal" <Tom...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
news:1124474289.3...@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...

> Trying to enlighten or argue with Mr. Crowley is useless, because he is
> confident that his own infallible intuition is all that one needs to
> resolve any factual issue.
>
> Given that literacy was much more common among males than females in
> Elizabethan English,

And what is the basis for that 'information'?

It's that males signed legal documents (as
against making marks) proportionately more
often than females. But _that_ assumes
signing is a reliable guide to literacy. Since
it's easy to establish, the investigators
concluded that it is good.

But it isn't, of course. They ignore the
likelihood that many 'signatures' were drawn
rather than being written -- such as we see
with the Stratman and his daughter, Susanna.
Males were presented with legal documents
_far_ more often than females. The pressure
on them to learn how to draw their signatures
was much greater. The Stratman would have
needed to produce a signature far more often
than his wife. There were similar pressures on
his eldest daughter (Susanna) -- she was the
wife of the local doctor.

> many literate men must have had illiterate wives
> and daughters.

So names should readily be available -- where
Mr X made some remark in a letter or his will
that Mrs X was (unlike him) illiterate, or where
mentioned it to someone else who wrote it down.
Yet, we have scarcely a word to that effect.
There is no such list of names. There is _no_
contemporary remark to the effect that female
illiteracy was higher than in males -- as there
are today about countries like Pakistan, or
about Muslim women who have settled in
western countries.

In fact, it is the opposite. Dr Cooke assumed
that Dr Hall's widow (i.e. Susanna) would be
literate. That was what was expected of a
doctor's wife in a small midland town in 1643.
Of course, he knew little or nothing about her
father -- or he might have had second thoughts.

There must be thousands (or tens of thousands)
of roughly similar accounts from ~1550 - ~1850.
In hardly any will we see a record (let alone an
expectation) of a literate man being married to an
illiterate woman.

Most of us will know plenty of people who have
'changed class', in that their children are in a
different one from their parents. Today that
mainly involves the size of cars and houses, and
where you go on vacation -- and, of course, the
wealth of those you mix with. It still does, by-and-
large, indicate the level of education you (or your
children) are expected to have. Between 1500 and
~1850 such a shift would often have involved
literacy.

> There would be nothing odd about the Shakespeare
> household if Anne, Susanna and Judith were proven beyond reasonable
> doubt to have been illiterate.

Except that they are supposed to be the wife
and daughters of the Great Bard.

> To preempt a boilerplate Crowley response: Great writers do not
> necessarily make wonderful parents who take pains over their children's
> education.

Except that you will not be able to find a
single record of a literate father with illiterate
daughters (failing a personal or family
catastrophe) let alone illiterate daughters
of an author.

Only a pig-ignorant Strat would be happy with
the argument that Shakespeare would not have
wanted his daughters to understand his work.

Is it possible to think of a better reason for not
being a Strat?


Paul.

Paul Crowley

unread,
Aug 20, 2005, 5:22:41 AM8/20/05
to
"John W. Kennedy" <jwk...@attglobal.net> wrote in message news:vHtNe.179$r97...@fe11.lga...

> We /know/ that Susannah was literate, because we have her signature, and
> all we know about Judith is that one occasion she signed with a mark,

Why did Judith make a mark, when her in-
laws signed? And if she and her sister
were literate, and proud of their father's
great achievements, wouldn't we have
heard more?

In the late 1630s (when the name of the poet
was nationally renowned) Susanna insisted
on an amendment to her husband's tombstone.
When it was first carved, someone had
forgotten to mention an important item of
information. Guess what it was.

HEERE LYETH YE BODY OF IOHN HALL
GENT : HEE MAR : SVSANNA YE DAVGH
& coheire
TER OF WILL : SHAKESPEARE, GENT. HEE
DECEASED NOVE. 25 An 1635, AGED 60.

And here's a test. Write out your name
"John Kennedy" on an unlined piece of
paper -- not as your usual signature -- but
writing each letter clearly and separately.

Is the second 'n' different from the first?
Is the second 'e' different from the first?
Is the third 'n' different from its neighbour,
and different from the first 'n'?

Then draw a line (or put a straight edge)
under the name. Do the letters go up and
down with respect to that line? (I.e. if you
had written this 'signature' on lined paper,
would it have been different in that respect?)

Tell us the results.

(Some chance!)


Paul.


Tom Veal

unread,
Aug 20, 2005, 10:27:17 AM8/20/05
to
An excellent example of Mr. Crowley's penchant for treating his own
guesses as fact. All students of the subject (okay, I haven't checked
them all but will be surprised if I'm wrong) agree that male literacy
was far more common than female in Elizabethan England, a conclusion
that is plausible on many grounds. That isn't convenient for Mr.
Crowley, so he simply declares it mistaken. He then goes on to tell us
how Shakespeare *must* have raised his daughters, again based solely on
intuition. He concludes with the standard crackpot demand that others
disprove generalizations that he hasn't bothered to buttress with fact.

Some anti-Stratfordians make efforts, occasionally quite
time-consuming, to find evidence for their theories. As Steven May has
noted and as Paul Altrocchi's recent discovery of a new reference to
Shakespeare attests, that diligence can add to the world's stock of
knowledge. Should Lynne Kositsky succeed in demonstrating that the
Strachey letter was not a source for The Tempest, that would be a more
spectacular example.

By contrast, purely a priori arguments like Mr. Crowley's are a waste
of good pixels. Happily, in this electronic age, trees don't have to be
sacrificed to record them.

lariadc

unread,
Aug 20, 2005, 1:48:21 PM8/20/05
to

>Tom Reedy wrote:
>My signature written as both first and last names together resembles a
>capital "M," the result of having to constantly sign papers at one time in
>my life.

I can't resist asking--is this a sly reference to Mary Magdalene?

C.

Bianca Steele

unread,
Aug 20, 2005, 5:05:47 PM8/20/05
to
> One of my relatives deliberately makes a mess of the signature so that
> no one will be tempted to forge it.

Wow, that goes quite a bit farther than anything I have direct
experience of! As for me, I just am not really visually oriented, so I
would have more difficulty trying to memorize and duplicate shapes like
that, and I'm amazed at people who seem to be able to (as people in
novels, etc., seem to, frequently enough).

----
Bianca Steele

Tom Reedy

unread,
Aug 20, 2005, 7:40:50 PM8/20/05
to
"lariadc" <lar...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1124560101....@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

I really don't understand your question in the sense you asked it (why would
I make a "sly" reference to Mary Magdalene?).

But to answer your question, no. The "T" in "Tom" gradually became a large
comma-like mark and combined with the loops of the "R" and the terminal "y"
to make a large "M," the rest of the letters long ago disappearing into
wherever letters disappear to. So TRy became a loopy M with a vestigial
upper cross of the "T" hanging out there to the left.

I know this is probably as fascinating to you as it is to me.

TR


LynnE

unread,
Aug 20, 2005, 7:43:13 PM8/20/05
to

Tom Veal wrote:
> An excellent example of Mr. Crowley's penchant for treating his own
> guesses as fact. All students of the subject (okay, I haven't checked
> them all but will be surprised if I'm wrong) agree that male literacy
> was far more common than female in Elizabethan England, a conclusion
> that is plausible on many grounds. That isn't convenient for Mr.
> Crowley, so he simply declares it mistaken. He then goes on to tell us
> how Shakespeare *must* have raised his daughters, again based solely on
> intuition. He concludes with the standard crackpot demand that others
> disprove generalizations that he hasn't bothered to buttress with fact.
>
> Some anti-Stratfordians make efforts, occasionally quite
> time-consuming, to find evidence for their theories. As Steven May has
> noted and as Paul Altrocchi's recent discovery of a new reference to
> Shakespeare attests, that diligence can add to the world's stock of
> knowledge. Should Lynne Kositsky succeed in demonstrating that the
> Strachey letter was not a source for The Tempest, that would be a more
> spectacular example.

Thank you very much, Tom. It's generous of you to say so. We're doing
our best to demonstrate that the Strachey letter isn't a source, and in
fact already have one traditional scholar very interested in what we've
written. And meanwhile we've found yet another source for the storm in
_Tempest_. So now we have three different (early sixteenth century)
sources that are all as close to Shakespeare as Strachey with regard to
the storm "cluster" of parallels.

Regards,
Lynne

Greg Reynolds

unread,
Aug 20, 2005, 8:17:31 PM8/20/05
to
LynnE wrote:
> Tom Veal wrote:
>
>>An excellent example of Mr. Crowley's penchant for treating his own
>>guesses as fact. All students of the subject (okay, I haven't checked
>>them all but will be surprised if I'm wrong) agree that male literacy
>>was far more common than female in Elizabethan England, a conclusion
>>that is plausible on many grounds. That isn't convenient for Mr.
>>Crowley, so he simply declares it mistaken. He then goes on to tell us
>>how Shakespeare *must* have raised his daughters, again based solely on
>>intuition. He concludes with the standard crackpot demand that others
>>disprove generalizations that he hasn't bothered to buttress with fact.
>>
>>Some anti-Stratfordians make efforts, occasionally quite
>>time-consuming, to find evidence for their theories. As Steven May has
>>noted and as Paul Altrocchi's recent discovery of a new reference to
>>Shakespeare attests, that diligence can add to the world's stock of
>>knowledge. Should Lynne Kositsky succeed in demonstrating that the
>>Strachey letter was not a source for The Tempest, that would be a more
>>spectacular example.
>
>
> Thank you very much, Tom. It's generous of you to say so. We're doing
> our best to demonstrate that the Strachey letter isn't a source, and in
> fact already have one traditional scholar very interested in what we've
> written.


Lynne unabashedly admits that she and Roger conduct their
research with their required conclusion already firmly established.

Oxfordian scholarship at work!

Greg Reynolds

Paul Crowley

unread,
Aug 20, 2005, 9:01:11 PM8/20/05
to
"Tom Veal" <Tom...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
news:1124548037....@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...

> An excellent example of Mr. Crowley's penchant for treating his own
> guesses as fact. All students of the subject (okay, I haven't checked
> them all but will be surprised if I'm wrong) agree that male literacy
> was far more common than female in Elizabethan England

It is quite possibly true that 'all other
students' think the same -- so long as
the word 'think' is put between quotes.
One guy came up with the bozo idea,
and the rest copied him.

Welcome to academe.

> a conclusion that is plausible on many grounds.

Except that you can't think of any.

> That isn't convenient for Mr.
> Crowley, so he simply declares it mistaken. He then goes on to tell us
> how Shakespeare *must* have raised his daughters, again based solely on
> intuition. He concludes with the standard crackpot demand that others
> disprove generalizations that he hasn't bothered to buttress with fact.

Hey, I'm just asking you (and anyone else)
to list some of these other 'many grounds'.
But I know, and you know, and everyone
around here knows, that we will never see
such a list -- not even a list of one.

Let's suppose, for a moment, that the situation
had really been as you set out:

>>> Given that literacy was much more common among males than females in

>>> Elizabethan English, many literate men must have had illiterate wives
>>> and daughters.

You don't claim (and neither does anyone
else) that there was a sudden jump in rates
of literacy around 1600. And, based on the
records of signatures of official documents,
Cressy, et al., maintain that THIS was the
prevailing situation from ~1500 until
compulsory schooling in the late 19th century:
namely that females were predominantly
illiterate, while males were literate.

It must logically follow from such a position
that, for generation after generation (and
usually for centuries) in many or most families,
a literate father would ensure that his sons
were taught to read and write, while his
daughters were not; the girls would emulate
the illiteracy of their mothers and grandmothers,
and of all the females as far back as could be
remembered. This division of the sexes, as
regards basic education, would have been a
fundamental part of the fabric of the society.
We would have had a situation not unlike
that in Muslim countries.

Yet there is nothing in the historical record
to support such a claim. It is not merely
nonsense; it is arrant nonsense. It flies in
the face of deep-rooted western traditions.
Females may have been regarded as the
'weaker sex' but they were never trodden into
the ground in such a manner. It is wholly
against everything we see in Shakespeare,
and in all other literature.

But when has that ever been a problem for
a Strat?


Paul.

lariadc

unread,
Aug 20, 2005, 9:50:44 PM8/20/05
to


I don't know if it's really worth the trouble because
forgeries can occur with signatures totally different
from one's own. In any case, one would have to be
consistent when signing in a messy way, which would
require some artistry in itself.

C.

LynnE

unread,
Aug 20, 2005, 10:22:59 PM8/20/05
to

Whether I did or not would not affect the outcome, Greg, but as a
matter of fact you appear not to have read carefully what I wrote, as I
said nothing to the effect that I conducted my research with my
required conclusion firmly established. In fact I started reading
Strachey in an idle sort of way, simply because we talked of it often
on hlas and I prefer to know what I'm talking about. It also caused
problems for me, because I thought that Oxford was the author of
Tempest and yet, unlike some, I could see clear parallels--although
some of them very weak--between Tempest and Strachey. So it was a
stumbling block to my beliefs. I never expected in my wildest dreams to
find the inconsistencies in the source that I did, nor was I looking
for them. I'm now much more interested in the sources I've read than in
how Strachey affects authorship.

If what we've done is Oxfordian scholarship at work, then I'm proud to
be an Oxfordian scholar. If you think that we've dovetailed our
research to our beliefs, you are very much mistaken--I have always been
anxious to pursue the truth about authorship, and change my mind if
necessary--But I'll be glad to discuss the subject with you if you feel
our conclusions are in error.

>
>
>
> Greg Reynolds

lariadc

unread,
Aug 20, 2005, 10:57:40 PM8/20/05
to
Tom Reedy wrote:
> "lariadc" <lar...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:1124560101....@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> >
> >>Tom Reedy wrote:
> >>My signature written as both first and last names together resembles a
> >>capital "M," the result of having to constantly sign papers at one time in
> >>my life.
> >
> > I can't resist asking--is this a sly reference to Mary Magdalene?
> >
> > C.
> >
>
> I really don't understand your question in the sense you asked it (why would
> I make a "sly" reference to Mary Magdalene?).


Ah, I thought you might have been joking, perhaps as a comment
on how we are obsessed with reading meaning into things.

I'm sure you've heard lots of discussion about DaVinci Code, etc.:

<http://www.lisashea.com/hobbies/art/marymagdalene.html>

Anyway, something to discuss at a cocktail party...


>
> But to answer your question, no. The "T" in "Tom" gradually became a large
> comma-like mark and combined with the loops of the "R" and the terminal "y"
> to make a large "M," the rest of the letters long ago disappearing into
> wherever letters disappear to. So TRy became a loopy M with a vestigial
> upper cross of the "T" hanging out there to the left.
>
> I know this is probably as fascinating to you as it is to me.


Saving space as well as strokes... (and using the
word 'cross' too, hmmm... :)

C.

> TR

Chess One

unread,
Aug 21, 2005, 8:51:21 AM8/21/05
to

"Paul Crowley" <slkwuoiut...@slkjlskjoioue.com> wrote in message
news:qoQNe.4212$R5....@news.indigo.ie...

> "Tom Veal" <Tom...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
> news:1124548037....@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...

>


> It must logically follow from such a position
> that, for generation after generation (and
> usually for centuries) in many or most families,
> a literate father would ensure that his sons
> were taught to read and write, while his
> daughters were not; the girls would emulate
> the illiteracy of their mothers and grandmothers,
> and of all the females as far back as could be
> remembered.

This is indeed our received understanding of Elizabethan education practice.

It is contradicted two-fold, both by Orme who states that the unofficial
[unavowable] circumstance for the past several hundred years were for
private gentlemen to be educated by female tutors, and indeed, even clerics
to have had female mentors in English, Latin, Greek and Hebrew.

In other intellectual activities it is also interesting to note that women
in the C14th and C15th were equivalent chess players, that is, in general
quality and overall quantity, and no longanimity was necessary to forbear in
that respect, since inherent in the practice was an accepted equivalency in
intellectual worth.

It seems that what differentiated those who could read from those who could
not was social eclat, status. In what public education there was, there
existed a prejudice against women's participation, including at times a
complete prejudice - but this public education only extended to a small
section of the middle-classes and above - the upper middle class and above
provided for themselves in a more equitable way.

Phil Innes

Bianca Steele

unread,
Aug 21, 2005, 2:02:18 PM8/21/05
to
Chess One wrote:
> "Paul Crowley" <slkwuoiut...@slkjlskjoioue.com> wrote in message
> news:qoQNe.4212$R5....@news.indigo.ie...
> > "Tom Veal" <Tom...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
> > news:1124548037....@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
>
> >
> > It must logically follow from such a position
> > that, for generation after generation (and
> > usually for centuries) in many or most families,
> > a literate father would ensure that his sons
> > were taught to read and write, while his
> > daughters were not; the girls would emulate
> > the illiteracy of their mothers and grandmothers,
> > and of all the females as far back as could be
> > remembered.
>
> This is indeed our received understanding of Elizabethan education practice.

But Paul Crowley claims that was really true up through the *end* of
the nineteenth century. He has somehow managed to fail to notice just
how *much* documentation we have (both written and pictorial) from
England between 1700 and 1900, both fictional and non. If that had
been the case, anyone reading this literature (or studying the
paintings) would be able easily to recognize the nature of the society
they depict.

I suppose I could turn Paul's argument on its head and claim the blame
accrues to the academics who have continued to tell us, just as they
told previous generations, how those texts are to be read.

>
> It is contradicted two-fold, both by Orme who states that the unofficial
> [unavowable] circumstance for the past several hundred years were for
> private gentlemen to be educated by female tutors, and indeed, even clerics
> to have had female mentors in English, Latin, Greek and Hebrew.
>
> In other intellectual activities it is also interesting to note that women
> in the C14th and C15th were equivalent chess players, that is, in general
> quality and overall quantity, and no longanimity was necessary to forbear in
> that respect, since inherent in the practice was an accepted equivalency in
> intellectual worth.
>
> It seems that what differentiated those who could read from those who could
> not was social eclat, status. In what public education there was, there
> existed a prejudice against women's participation, including at times a
> complete prejudice - but this public education only extended to a small
> section of the middle-classes and above - the upper middle class and above
> provided for themselves in a more equitable way.

Not unreasonable. (Whether accurate or solely your own opinion, I have
no way of knowing.) The upper classes, of course, commanded both the
social power and the self-consciousness of themselves as distinct that
were necessary for them to violate the expectations of the masses (if
only in private). But so did other groups in English society, even if
the commercial classes, at the time, were still only "rising."

----
Bianca Steele

Robert Stonehouse

unread,
Aug 21, 2005, 3:17:07 PM8/21/05
to
On 20 Aug 2005 18:50:44 -0700, "lariadc" <lar...@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>Bianca Steele wrote:
>> > One of my relatives deliberately makes a mess of the signature so that
>> > no one will be tempted to forge it.
>>
>> Wow, that goes quite a bit farther than anything I have direct
>> experience of! As for me, I just am not really visually oriented, so I
>> would have more difficulty trying to memorize and duplicate shapes like
>> that, and I'm amazed at people who seem to be able to (as people in
>> novels, etc., seem to, frequently enough).
>>

>I don't know if it's really worth the trouble because


>forgeries can occur with signatures totally different
>from one's own. In any case, one would have to be
>consistent when signing in a messy way, which would
>require some artistry in itself.

It's a mistake, really. A legible signature contains far
more information than a squiggle; there is far more in it
that can be recognised, or rejected.

Try for example turning a signature upside down and drawing
it. If it's proper, readable writing, the result will be
easy to tell from the original. If it's just a squiggle, a
stranger probably would not be able to tell them apart.
--
Robert Stonehouse
To mail me, replace invalid with uk. Inconvenience regretted

Paul Crowley

unread,
Aug 21, 2005, 7:39:20 PM8/21/05
to
"Bianca Steele" <bianca...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1124647338....@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

> Chess One wrote:
> > "Paul Crowley" <slkwuoiut...@slkjlskjoioue.com> wrote in message

> > > It must logically follow from such a position
> > > that, for generation after generation (and
> > > usually for centuries) in many or most families,
> > > a literate father would ensure that his sons
> > > were taught to read and write, while his
> > > daughters were not; the girls would emulate
> > > the illiteracy of their mothers and grandmothers,
> > > and of all the females as far back as could be
> > > remembered.
> >
> > This is indeed our received understanding of Elizabethan education practice.

That is most certainly NOT "our received


understanding of Elizabethan education practice".

That practice ensured that only males got the
education to become priests, lawyers, doctors,
etc., but most of the education in basic literacy
was informal and fairly evenly spread between
the genders. Our 'received understanding'
comes from Shakespeare's plays, and the like,
and does NOT work on the basis that males
were literate while females were not.

> But Paul Crowley claims that was really true up through the *end* of
> the nineteenth century.

Janet's misunderstandings are so thorough,
and so confusing, that I never know where
to start in any attempt to clarify. It would
probably be impossible. Whenever I try,
I always regret it.


Paul.

Bianca Steele

unread,
Aug 21, 2005, 8:26:02 PM8/21/05
to
Bianca Steele wrote:
> Chess One wrote:
> > "Paul Crowley" <slkwuoiut...@slkjlskjoioue.com> wrote in message
> > news:qoQNe.4212$R5....@news.indigo.ie...
> > > "Tom Veal" <Tom...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
> > > news:1124548037....@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
> >
> > >
> > > It must logically follow from such a position
> > > that, for generation after generation (and
> > > usually for centuries) in many or most families,
> > > a literate father would ensure that his sons
> > > were taught to read and write, while his
> > > daughters were not; the girls would emulate
> > > the illiteracy of their mothers and grandmothers,
> > > and of all the females as far back as could be
> > > remembered.
> >
> > This is indeed our received understanding of Elizabethan education practice.
>
> But Paul Crowley claims that was really true up through the *end* of
> the nineteenth century.

Sorry, this was apparently Cressy's claim, quoted by Paul, who was
denying this. You should try to be clearer when you write your posts.
:)

----
Bianca Steele

Chess One

unread,
Aug 22, 2005, 11:36:52 AM8/22/05
to
>>
>> This is indeed our received understanding of Elizabethan education
>> practice.
>
> But Paul Crowley claims that was really true up through the *end* of
> the nineteenth century. He has somehow managed to fail to notice just
> how *much* documentation we have (both written and pictorial) from
> England between 1700 and 1900, both fictional and non. If that had
> been the case, anyone reading this literature (or studying the
> paintings) would be able easily to recognize the nature of the society
> they depict.
>
> I suppose I could turn Paul's argument on its head and claim the blame
> accrues to the academics who have continued to tell us, just as they
> told previous generations, how those texts are to be read.

Perhaps you will know from Yalom's other writing [History of the Wife, &c]
her own sense of The Struggle & The Representation [those are my terms]
which she considers not to be in phase. For example, in chessic matters,
when women had achieved some level of equality both in social status and [as
measured by the increasingly potent, and gender-switched, status of the
Chess Queen ] as formal symbolic elements; then came the decline.

There are a few other points that might be contributed to the mix, without
attempting to determine anything special; but it is noted that it was a
woman who resurrected Shakespeare's [psychologically] 'modern' man, and that
author also contrasted this modern soul with the very pertinent life of the
times - as in Daniel Derrida particularly.

If you would accept that fact - even tacitly a moment, then consider what
other materials issued from writer's pens of the same and preceeding
periods, what pale stuff was published, and we should presume even more
unpublished.

I would say that upper classes were less likely literate than the emerging
middle class - why write at all when was has a secretary to do such stuff?
And I rather doubt that the upper classes gave the masses much thought - not
before Dickens anyway, and the thought of tumbrils in Tunbridge.

But I am not making serious observations or arguments, as much as on checks
and qualifications to received knowledge - and to those who proposed this
received knowledge as fact rather than as some need to assert a common
denominator on what constituted 'being British' [which is much of a C20th
invention of the 2 towers of Oxbridge].

Cordially, Phil

Paul Crowley

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Aug 22, 2005, 2:19:40 PM8/22/05