Shakespeare Hoax Play Turns Out To Be The Real Deal
March 17, 2010
The play, entitled “The History of Cardenio,”, was originally discovered by Lewis Theobald, who wrote his own work, “Double Falsehood” based on the piece.
But critics at the time mocked him, stating that the three copies he provided as evidence were forgeries.
Alexander Pope, Theobald’s rival, then wrote a work mocking the writer called “The Dunciad”, where he made a number of footnote references to the affair, and depicted him as King of the Dunces.
But Professor Brean Hammond or Nottingham University now says that the play may be genuine after all.
“When I did read it I thought there is certainly 17th century material in it. It’s not a straightforward literary forgery as I think people have been tempted to argue,” Hammond said of his reasons for studying the copies.
He gathered proof that Shakespeare wrote it with John Fletcher, each one taking a part of the play. The first had the unmistakable tones of the Bard, with elaborate speeches, while the second holds the plot development Fletcher is known for.
Says Hammond of the story,”… it becomes a ripping good yarn, as it were.”
The play has been published by Arden Shakespeare.