The Canon of Thomas Middleton's Plays: Internal Evidence for the Major Problems of Authorship, by David J. Lake
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- ISBN: 9780521134620 | 0521134625
- Cover: Paperback
- Copyright: 3/11/2010
'Only numbers can annihilate.' This book sets out to solve by statistics the many problems of disputed authorship that surround the work of Thomas Middleton, one of the greater Jacobean dramatists. The internal evidence used is all of an objective nature: 201 items of linguistic evidence have been checked through a corpus of 132 plays by 35 playwrights contemporary with Middleton. Extensive tables make it clear at a glance which features are comparatively rare in the period, and which features link disputed plays to undoubted work. Strong evidence is provided for the authorship of 12 plays. Among other things, Dr Lake shows that there is 99 per cent statistical confidence for the conclusion that The Puritan and The Revenger's Tragedy were written by Middleton rather than by anyone else alive in the early seventeenth century; that, on the other hand, Blurt is by Dekker alone, and The Spanish Gipsy by Dekker and Ford; and that The Family of Love was probably revised by the pirate-poet Lording Barry.