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New Book on The Tempest Coming Soon

By Richard Joyrich

I have just become aware (courtesy of Cheryl Eagan-Donovan's Shakepeare News [Controversy Films] e-mailing) that the new book by Roger Stritmatter and Lynne Kositsky is now available for advance ordering on Amazon. It is scheduled to be published July 15 by McFarland Press.

The book is titled: 

On the Dates, Sources and Design of Shakespeare's The Tempest

On Cheryl's announcement e-mail Roger and Lynne write:

This book challenges a longstanding and deeply ingrained belief in Shakespearean studies that The Tempest long supposed to be Shakespeares last play was not written until 1611. In the course of investigating this proposition, which has rarely been questioned and has not received the critical inquiry it deserves, a number of subsidiary and closely related interpretative puzzles have come sharply into focus. These include the plays sources of New World imagery; its festival symbolism and structure; its relationship to William Stracheys True Reportory account of the 1609 Bermuda wreck of the Sea Venture (not published until 1625) and the tangled history of how and why scholars have for so long misunderstood these matters. When some preliminary elements of the case were published in leading Shakespearean journals (starting in 2007), the sometimes intemperate responses they received became part of the critical history, and some scholars supposed that we had been answered. Our reply to these criticisms is here given in full.

Our book goes well beyond questioning whether or not Strachey is likely to have been Shakespeare's source, to show that the materials usually supposed to be derived from True Reportory are actually, in the main, derivative of Richard Eden's 1555 translation of Iberian travel narratives that date to the early 16th century. We also show thatThe Tempest is designed as a Shrovetide play, and was written in or before 1603.

More information can be obtained on Roger and Lynne's website:

The book is available for advance purchase on Amazon by following this link.

It is not yet available, as far as I know, in Kindle or other digital form.

This book will prove to be a remarkable addition to Shakespearean scholarship and I only hope it can get the attention it deserves (difficult in the wake of the "war" currently being waged by the Shakespeare Authorship Trust).

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