Solving the Mysteries–Digitised Stylistics, Language and Shakespeare

This blog: Introducing the book  Shakespeare, Computers, and the Mystery of Authorship.

Co-authored by Hugh Craig and Arthur Kinney, Shakespeare, Computers, and the Mystery of Authorship, is a beautifully-written book that brings Shakespeare scholarship into a new era.

Craig and Kinney’s book is described in the various editorial reviews as below:

(Notes and Queries Review of the hardback): this exciting book “takes us into a world where probabilities are assessed with mathematical accuracy”; (The Book Collector): the study is “impressive in scope …. The authors’ aim of identifying an ‘authorial fingerprint’, mysteriously unique to a single writer, largely resistant to the passage of time or the constraints of genre, is appealing”; (The Times Literary Supplement): ‘It may contribute to the most exciting, and enduringly important, Shakespeare scholarship of our time”; [1](Thomas Merriam, Amazon Editorial Reviews): “”The outstanding achievement of Shakespeare, Computers and the Mystery of Authorship deserves to become a landmark in its field. Not least, it establishes Shakespeare co-authorship on firm grounds”; [2](Cambridge publisher review inside book): the book is “an exemplar of the new domain in digital humanities.” [3]

I also found the following descriptions by Amazon of Craig and Kinney’s book:

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. [4]

Shakespeare, Computers, and the Mystery of Authorship …

http://www.amazon.it/ShakespeareComputersMysteryAuthorshipCraig/dp/…

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…. 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.

Craig and Kinney’s book is a leader in Shakespeare scholarship; the work has huge ramifications for the body of  principles and practices used by scholars in the research of literature and authorship attribution. In turn, this has implications for the related academic fields. As I see it, Craig and Kinney’s co-authored book Shakespeare, Computers, and the Mystery of Authorship, would make a valuable addition to the compulsory reading list for Shakespeare studies.

Notes

[1]  Shakespeare, computers, and the mystery of authorship …

www.worldcat.org/title/shakespeare-computers-and-the-mystery-of

Editorial reviews list, Gary Taylor.

[2] Shakespeare, Computers, and the Mystery of Authorship …

http://www.amazon.com> History & Criticism › Genres & Styles › Drama

[3] Publisher’s editorial blurb, first page inside front cover of book, Shakespeare, Computers, and the Mystery of Authorship, by Hugh Craig and Arthur Kinney.

[4]  Shakespeare, Computers, and the Mystery of Authorship …

http://www.amazon.com >  History & Criticism › Genres & Styles › Drama

Works cited

Craig, Hugh, and Arthur F. Kinney, eds. Shakespeare, Computers, and the Mystery of Authorship. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

 

Image | This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s