Ever since Edward Capell reprinted it in 1760 as ‘thought to be writ by Shakespeare’, the anonymously published play, The Reign of King Edward III (1596), has hovered on the edge of Shakespeare’s canon. He has been judged to be its sole author; its co-author; or to have had no part in its creation. By combining traditional literary analytical methods with some recently developed software programs designed to detect plagiarism, Brian Vickers can now define the extent of Shakespeare’s contribution and for the first time reveal the identity of his co-author.
Sir Brian Vickers FBA is a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the School of Advanced Study, London University. He has published extensively on Greek tragedy, classical rhetoric and its influence, Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, and early modern science and is the General Editor of The Complete Works of John Ford. His recent authorship studies include: ‘Counterfeiting’ Shakespeare. Evidence, Authorship, and John Ford’s Funerall Elegye (2002); Shakespeare, Co-Author. A Historical Study of Five Collaborative Plays (2002); and Shakespeare, A Lover’s Complaint, and John Davies of Hereford (2007).
Professor Laurie Maguire is Professor of English Literature at Magdalen College, Oxford. She specialises in Shakespeare but her dramatic interests are wide: from ancient Greece to contemporary theatre. In the Renaissance her particular passions are Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Heywood, and the period’s most prolific playwright, “Anon”. She has been a judge on the Laurence Olivier Theatre panel, and reviews theatre for the TLS. Her new book, Helen of Troy: From Homer to Hollywood appeared earlier this year.