Sunday, June 12, 2011

Edmondson pitches a fit

The Sunday Mercury online edition published an article today titled "Row over new Shakespeare film which claims Bard did not write his plays" by Ben Goldby. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust education director Paul Edmondson is quoted throughout the short article railing against Anonymous, Roland Emmerich's forthcoming film about the Shakespeare authorship question. Edmondson, who took part in Monday's debate on the topic at the English Speaking Union, told The Mercury:
This may well provoke debate, but the point we are making is that there is no debate. It is historical fact that William Shakespeare wrote these plays. When I first heard about this film I thought, ‘we have to do something and get the real story of Shakespeare out there’.
Several questions occur to this reader regarding Edmondson's comments to The Mercury:

  • Does Edmondson find it odd to insist there is no debate after taking part in a high-profile debate?
  • Since when do academics take to the airwaves in concern that the public might be deceived by inaccuracies in a feature film?
  • How much more influence could the Shakespeare establishment possibly have over the hearts and minds of the public -- is world-wide icon status not sufficient?
  • Instead of repeatedly saying, "No, no, no, no!", why doesn't the Shakespeare establishment say, "Yes, yes, yes!" Even arch-conservative traditionalists admit information on the Stratfordian candidate is sparse -- perhaps not sparse enough, in their opinion, to doubt the attribution, but why isn't research on the topic of authorship useful and welcome? We study every other topic in the universe, why is Shakespeare authorship the only exception?
Resources:
June 12, 2011 report in Sunday Mercury:
http://www.sundaymercury.net/news/midlands-news/2011/06/12/row-over-new-shakespeare-film-which-claims-bard-did-not-write-his-plays-66331-28862194/
Oberon report on ESU debate: