Posted By Roger Stritmatter on December 19, 2009
I am tonight starting a new series in the blog section of this website. It’s going to be called “unsung heroes.” Each brief entry will focus on a particular individual who has made some special contribution to our collective knowledge of Shakespeare or the Shakespearean question.
The entries will be short — there are quite a number of persons to mention.
When online resources created by the individuals in question are available, I will post the appropriate links as part of my blog.
The first person I would like to recognize in the series is Mark Alexander, a largely self-educated scholar who in the early days of the internet pioneered the website Sourcetext.com. Among other resources, Mr. Alexander made available on the internet almost all the major writings of the late Sir George Greenwood, the brilliant anti-Stratfordian debater whose encounters with the dedicated Stratfordolator J.M. Robertson to this day make such entertaining reading.
Alexander’s own essay, “Shakespeare’s Knowledge of the Law: A Journey through the History of the Arguments,” is destined I believe, to be a classic not only in Shakespearean studies, but in the larger field of law and literary studies.
As he says of himself in that context:
“My article does not address the issue of who the author is….I stick to the writer ‘Shakespeare’ and focus on what various people have argued over the decades, while avoiding questions of authorship.
“I am interested in the writer’s mind, what we can know about it regarding the law question, and what the better arguments might tell us about that mind.
“Anyone who knows me well knows that I am much more interested in ‘how’ we argue and decide on ‘the truth’ or the better argument, than I am in talking biography.”
If you haven’t already read Alexander’s article, I recommend it as one of the most lucid and provocative articles available in the emerging field of authorship studies.