Will's will is clue to identity of a long-lost tragedy of necrophilia
Tuesday 13 July 1993
Eight years ago a previously unknown poem, 'Shall I die', found in the Bodleian Library in Oxford, was authenticated by computer and included in the latest Oxford University Press complete works of the bard.
Now Charles Hamilton, 79, a New York handwriting expert and veteran of more than 100 court cases, claims he has found the original manuscript for Cardenio, a joint work by Shakespeare and his protege John Fletcher in 1612.
Based on the story of Don Quixote, published in English earlier that year, and known from court records to have been performed at least twice, it has been lost for at least 200 years. Mr Hamilton created a stir in 1986 by claiming in defiance of the universal academic opinion, then and now, that the handwriting of Shakespeare's will was the bard's own, not that of his solicitor, Francis Collins.
Now he is convinced, '99 per cent . . . enough to testify in court', that the manuscript of a play from 1612 in the British Library, known as The Second Maiden's Tragedy and attributed to Thomas Middleton, is in the same handwriting as Shakespeare's will, and must, therefore, be the lost Cardenio.
'I was fortunate enough to come across a facsimile in the rare book room of the New York public library, while I was going through a pile of old stuff,' he said.
Dr Martin Wiggins, fellow of the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford- upon-Avon, who is editing The Second Maiden's Tragedy for a new Oxford University Press edition, is deeply sceptical: 'Its plot is of a tyrant's sexual obsession with a lady. He pursues her, and she
is so chaste she commits suicide. He proceeds to dig her up and crown her his queen, and indulge in a spot of necrophilia. That is not the story of Cardenio.'
But academics should beware. Mr Hamilton was way ahead of them in spotting that the Hitler diaries were fake.
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The one chart that shows how George Osborne is almost certainly going to be our next Prime Minister
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...
£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...