Tuesday, December 27, 2011

McIntosh proposes Sarmiento as source of Tempest

Tasmanian Peter McIntosh, PhD, has published an article titled "Storms, Shipwrecks, and South America: from Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa's Voyages to Shakespeare's The Tempest" in the journal Colonial Latin American Review, Volume 20, Issue 3, 2011. The publication was released for retrieval online Dec. 13, 2011 by the Taylor & Francis Group.

McIntosh is the author of Who Wrote Shakespeare's Sonnets (Ginninderra Press, 2011) that McIntosh says presents " . . . the evidence for Queen Elizabeth's authorship of Shakespeare's sonnets." His article for the Colonial Latin American Review proposes Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa's journals as the source material for Shakespeare's The Tempest. McIntosh provided an abstract of the article for our readers:
The parallels between Shakespeare’s storm scene in The Tempest and the 1609 Bermuda shipwreck described by Sylvester Jourdain (1610), William Strachey (1610?) and by the Council of Virginia (1610) are of the general nature expected in accounts of sailing disasters, but there is little correspondence of detail, and this lack of correspondence extends to other details in the play. Historical and literary researchers, beginning with Malone in 1808 and Luce in 1901, appear to have overstated similarities between the description of the storm and the natural features of the island in the Bermuda accounts and The Tempest. There is no evidence for the circulation of the most detailed of the Bermuda accounts (Strachey’s) before 1611 and several lines of evidence, including Strachey’s own writings in 1612, indicate that his account was not written or in circulation by this date.
When the descriptions of the storm and the island in The Tempest are compared to the text of Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa’s journals covering his voyages to the Strait of Magellan in the 1580s, numerous detailed parallels are evident; it is considered unlikely that these parallels have occurred by chance. There is also documentary evidence for Sarmiento’s account circulating in London in 1586, the year Sarmiento was captured and received at the English court.
Although McIntosh's candidate differs from the 1555 source proposed by Roger Stritmatter, PhD and Lynne Kositsky in their forthcoming book A Movable Feast: Sources, Chronology and Design of Shakespeare's Tempest, both assailants to Strachey disarm the standard chronology of the Stratfordians. 

Personal Background: Dr Peter McIntosh has a PhD in Geology from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He has worked in publishing in Holland and New Zealand and as a geologist in New Zealand and Australia and has written over 50 peer-reviewed scientific papers. Apart from geology and Shakespeare his interests are sailing, bushwalking and social chess.