Shakespeare, Computers, and the Mystery of Authorship

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9780511605437: Shakespeare, Computers, and the Mystery of Authorship

In this book Craig, Kinney and their collaborators confront the main unsolved mysteries in Shakespeare's canon through computer analysis of Shakespeare's and other writers' styles. In some cases their analysis confirms the current scholarly consensus, bringing long-standing questions to something like a final resolution. In other areas the book provides more surprising conclusions: that Shakespeare wrote the 1602 additions to The Spanish Tragedy, for example, and that Marlowe along with Shakespeare was a collaborator on Henry VI, Parts 1 and 2. The methods used are more wholeheartedly statistical, and computationally more intensive, than any that have yet been applied to Shakespeare studies. The book also reveals how word patterns help create a characteristic personal style. In tackling traditional problems with the aid of the processing power of the computer, harnessed through computer science, and drawing upon large amounts of data, the book is an exemplar of the new domain of digital humanities.

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Book Description:

Using a computer-assisted analysis of style, this study addresses the vexed question about what Shakespeare did and did not write. Through close linguistic study, the authors show that Shakespeare worked in collaboration with other writers on a number of plays inside and outside what is generally accepted as his canon.

About the Author:

Hugh Craig is Professor of English at the University of Newcastle, Australia, where he also directs the Centre for Literary and Linguistic Computing. Arthur F. Kinney is Thomas W. Copeland Professor of Literary History at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Director of the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies.

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