Unsung Hero #1

Posted By on December 19, 2009


Dear Reader,

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.

For more than eight years now, Mr. Alexander has been a regular contributor to the enlightening debates on the Shakespeare Fellowship discussion forum.

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.

About the author

Roger Stritmatter is a native liberal humorist who lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Contrary to rumor, he does not live on North Avenue. He does, however, work on North Avenue. A pacifist by inclination, one of his heroes is John Brown. But he thinks that Fredrick Douglass, another of his heroes, made the right decision. Stritmatter's primary areas of interest include the nature of paradigm shifts, the history of ideas, forensic literary studies, MS studies, renaissance literature, and the history of the Shakespearean question, the latter a field in which he has published extensively.


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