01 February 2017

Attributed to George Peele [1993]


[1 February 1993]
S
amuel Schoenbaum writes, “Of unknown authorship and date, The Life and Death of Jack Straw (printed in 1593) limits itself to the Peasants’ Revolt. The play is short, but few can have wished it longer. It has been attributed to George Peele, mainly (one guesses) on the unstated grounds that any play, mediocre or worse, from the early nineties that happens to be knocking around without an author had better be ascribed to George Peele.” (Shake­speare and Others, p. 84.) The aptness of this observation needs no comment, though it reminds me of an observation by Helmut Koester (I think it was) about the tendency of dating un­ca­noni­cal gospels to 140 CE.
I also like “There is nothing like a hypothetical manuscript to resolve an awkwardness of chronology.” (p. 89)

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