Hand D home

The debate on authenticity is over

British Library Hand D pages

Unusually, for Oxfraud, the Hand D comments pages are closed. We have decided to gather the comments for the series of articles here, on a single page, where they will be easier to find.

Comments (4)

  • alfa-16's picture

    And I'll go first. What do we think of the new Featured Article format?

    Jan 31, 2014
  • alfa-16's picture

    Response to Round 1 - scorn on ShakesVere.

    Whilst it is enjoyable sitting here watching Oxfordians diving into a swimming pool with no water, especially when JDL goes off the high board, it may eventually attract the attention of the Emergency Services. Health & Safety demands a cautionary word.

    First off, JDL, you haven't read enough of E&V's work to determine what is and isn't a quote. And, of course, as an Oxfordian you cannot allow yourself to understand their method as it is so utterly fatal to you case. Stylometry is based on probability. E&V make no attempt to allow for the content of what they are measuring. Their blocks are random and their tests are normative not stylistic. Their tests work identically whatever they are comparing to Shakespeare, as long as it is verse and fits the period demographic. They look for discrepancies and eliminate what is discrepant beyond the bounds of possibility. Their method is therefore based on usage and statistics and calculates probabilities.

    Say we compare the E&V technique to a method of mapping the solar system, which calculates distances from earth based on long periods of telescopic observation (before adjustments like those proposed by Professor Jackson).  It places Oxford's proximity to Shakespeare out there on the rings of Saturn.  Hand D in Sir Thomas More is the closest thing not in the fold. It's already in Warwickshire and with a few more tests could be placed right into Stratford-upon-Avon. In non metaphorical terms, you are more likely to be struck by lightning than to discover Oxford wrote Shakespeare. The chance of him being the author of the Hand D additions to Sir Thomas More are similar to the chances of getting caught in the rain.

    Thomas Carlyle said "A judicious man uses statistics, not to get knowledge, but to save himself from having ignorance foisted upon him." E&V are the perfect Stratfordian foil for Oxfordian argument. ""Judging from their surviving writing, Shakespeare was not just 100 times better than Oxford, he was also 80 times more productive."

    Back to probability. Given that E&V think that Hand D in Sir Thomas More is the closest thing to Will that isn't actually Will, how is that probability affected when we find the 20c's top expert on Shakespearean imagery, Caroline Spurgeon, saying "of the twelve [major] images in the three pages, every one can be paralleled in Shakespeare's known plays'. Well that's a bit better than a few strained biographical similarities, isn't it?

    And how does the solid support from top palaeographer, Sir Edward Maunde Thompson, connecting the signatures and the Hand D handwriting affect the probability?

    And the fact that the three pages constitute a scene which will be familiar to Shakespeare's audience as a Shakespeare trademark, the mob manipulated by a skilful public speaker?

    And the fact that the writing contains characteristic technique, like turning nouns into transitive verbs, and characteristic rare spellings, like 'scilens'?

    Your chances of sweeping away the attribution using Oxfordian techniques are the same as your chances of winning the Euro-Millions lottery three weeks running.

    So the question you gotta ask yourself now, JDL is, "Do you feel lucky?"

    http://shakespeare-oxford.com/wp-content/oxfordian/elliott-oxford_candid...

    http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/pages/faculty/welliott/UTConference/2Tou...

    http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/pages/faculty/welliott/shakes.htm

    Feb 07, 2014
  • alfa-16's picture

    Email from J D Lavendoski,

     

    Mr. Leadbetter,
    Regarding the following page from your website:
    http://oxfraud.com/HND-macdonald-p-jackson
    In the section of this page marked "Briefly", you paraphrase some research by professors Elliot & Valenza as follows:
     
    “Their [Elliot & Valenza] opinion on Hand D was, therefore, eagerly awaited by Shakespeare scholars in anticipation of final conformation however, E&V refused to be conclusive. Shakespeare could have written it, they said "but not in 1593". It passed as Shakespeare after 1600 but exhibited a slightly poorer match for the Bard pre-1600."
     
    What Elliot & Valenza actually said in their August 2009 EMLS paper on the topic was this:
    "Our bottom-line estimate for Hand D…if it was written in 1603, and its discrepancies are not otherwise explained away, the verse portion of it is 7 to 26 times LESS likely to be Shakespeare’s than Shakespeare’s threshold block. If it was written in 1593, and its discrepancies are not explained away, the verse portion of it is 75 to 1,200 times LESS likely to be Shakespeare’s than Shakespeare’s threshold block."
    and this:
    “Shakespeare authorship for it [Hand D-Plus]....seems improbable, but not impossible."
    and also, this:
    “We depart from consensus [with Jackson] in doubting that Shakespeare is a likely author of Hand D-plus even after 1600.  Our problem is that we have found too much discrepancy to support a likely Shakespeare ascription, and, though Jackson has plausibly explained away some of the discrepancy, we don’t think that he has gotten it all.”
    As E&V never said it "passed as Shakespeare after 1600" AND their findings indicate a 1 or 2 order of magnitude difference between the pre and post 1600 possibilities (not "slightly poorer" as you claim) AND they ultimately reject Hand D as the work of Shakespeare:  Would you PLEASE formally consider changing the website to reflect the actual findings of E&V and post a CORRECTION NOTICE and an APOLOGY to your readers on the above web page ??
    IMO, you have grossly mischaracterized E&V’s finding with that particular paragraph on your website and intellectual honesty demands a formal correction and apology be made by you ASAP.
    Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
     

    Feb 09, 2014
  • alfa-16's picture

    Let's deal with matters of fact, first.

     

    If you had been more attentive, you would have discovered that not only are we aware of E&V's remarks on Professor Jackson's analysis of their tests on Hand D, we published them alongside Professor's Jackson's article.

     

    If you did not actually cut and past your extract from our own site, you are, perhaps, not being disingenuous but you aren't paying enough attention to an article with a serious point to make on the favourite Oxfordian subject of the cumulative weight of circumstantial evidence.

     

    You will note we have changed the wording of the paragraph you object to, but we have not changed the meaning,

     

    Say we compare the E&V technique to a method of mapping the solar system, which calculates distances from Henley Street based on long periods of telescopic observation. It places Oxford's proximity to Shakespeare out there on the rings of Saturn. Hand D in Sir Thomas More is the closest thing not in the fold. It's already in Warwickshire and with a few more tests could be placed right into Stratford-upon-Avon. In non metaphorical terms, you are more likely to be struck by lightning than to discover Oxford wrote Shakespeare. While the chances of Will being the author of the Hand D additions to Sir Thomas More (post 1600) are similar to the chances of getting caught in the rain in Bradford-on-Avon next Thursday afternoon.

     

    Another metaphorical paraphrase, to which, no doubt, you will object. But you clearly have not understood E&V's method or you would not still be using their data in support of your contention that Oxford wrote the work of Shakespeare . You cannot have read (or understood) this linked paper of theirs or this article on Oxfraud.

     

    You have not understood that their purpose is to prove that the Oxfordian poetical shoe is far too small for the Shakespearean foot (that's one of E&V's figures of speech). There can be no doubt about this. Elementary practical criticism is enough to prove it, which is why Oxfordianism will never be taken seriously by English University Faculties (at least by those not desperate for a few headlines). No one can take E&V seriously and believe there is anything of Oxford in the canon.
     

    They prove this conclusively.

     

    Twice.

     

    Once by analysis of the writing of the two individuals and a second time with analysis of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama which establishes trends in the development of blank verse which are present in the canon and extend beyond the death of the Earl.

     

    In other words, they DESTROY the idea that Oxford's orthograph is in any way related to Shakespeare's and they DESTROY the idea that he lived long enough to write the late plays.

     

    Not much of this has to do with Hand D, other than its bearing on the accuracy of E&V's method as they in turn bear on the accuracy of their assessment of Hand D. Far from misrepresenting them, I sought out Ward Elliott's last word on the matter and published it alongside Professor Jackson's article.

     

    Tom Reedy of this parish, in the spirit of accuracy and compromise, has suggested some alterations to the expression and I have made them. I do so in deference to Professor Jackson's academic rigour, whose knowledge and permission in that page was sought and granted. They do not, however, change the weights in the scales by a single milligram.

     

    If you want to reassure yourself that E&V's assessment does not rule out Hand D and their data indicates a positive result, then the Mac Jackson page is for you.

     

    If you want to reassure yourself that Hand D is Shakespeare's then all you need is the 1939 R W Chambers article. According to Professor Jackson. And according to me.

     

    And if you don't admit that the cumulative evidence on Hand D adds up to the fact that the Oxfordian position is now untenable, then why not argue that point rather than exercising yourself over what was only an attempt to simplfy a complex statistical calculation in an introduction to an article which contains the facts you are claiming to be misrepresented?

     

    Mike

    Feb 09, 2014