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The Quest for CardenioShakespeare, Fletcher, Cervantes, and the Lost Play$
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David Carnegie and Gary Taylor

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199641819

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641819.001.0001

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A History of The History of Cardenio

A History of The History of Cardenio

Chapter:
(p.11) 2 A History of The History of Cardenio
Source:
The Quest for Cardenio
Author(s):

Gary Taylor

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641819.003.0002

This chapter re-examines and reinterprets key seventeenth-century documents concerning The History of Cardenio and its relationship to Cervantes, Fletcher, Shakespeare, Beaumont, the King’s Men, their composer Robert Johnson, the publisher Humphrey Moseley, and the scholar-writer Edmund Gayton. By this process it narrows the range of plausible candidates for the 1613 play, connects it to seventeenth-century English responses to Cervantes and Spain, and relates it to patterns in the transformation of prose narratives into drama. It also provides detailed new stylometric evidence for Fletcher’s authorship of a song by Johnson based on an episode in Don Quixote, and for the presence in Double Falsehood of writing by Theobald, Fletcher, and Shakespeare. It concludes that the ‘lost play’ is not entirely lost, but survives in fragments, which may be identified by careful historical and stylometric analysis.

Keywords:   Cardenio, Shakespeare, Fletcher, Cervantes, Theobald, Robert Johnson, Edmund Gayton, stylometrics

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