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'As The Diall Hand Tells Ore': The Case for Dekker, Not Shakespeare, as Author

Hackett, HA; (2012) 'As The Diall Hand Tells Ore': The Case for Dekker, Not Shakespeare, as Author. The Review of English Studies: the leading journal of English literature and language , 63 (25 pp. 34-57. 10.1093/res/hgr046.

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Abstract

The manuscript poem beginning ‘As the diall hand tells ore’ (hereafter the Dial Hand poem) appears to be a court epilogue of 1599. It has provoked animated debate, with some scholars claiming it as a ‘new’ Shakespeare work; it was included as such in the RSC Complete Works (2007). Other candidates for its authorship, because of their use elsewhere of its trochaic metre, are Ben Jonson and Thomas Dekker. This investigation finds weaknesses in the case for Shakespeare, not least in the fact that there is no other occurrence of such hyperbolic panegyric of Elizabeth I in his oeuvre. Jonson’s case too is flawed. Dekker emerges as the strongest contender, for reasons including his recurrent preoccupation with dials and temporal cycles, his extensive composition of royal panegyric, the strong similarities between the Dial Hand poem and the epilogue to his Old Fortunatus (also performed at court in 1599), and a verbal echo of the Dial Hand poem in his Whore of Babylon (1605). The Dial Hand poem refers to Shrovetide, making Dekker’s Shoemaker’s Holiday (1599)—a play all about the inception of Shrovetide festivities—almost certainly the play to which the epilogue belongs.

Type: Article
Title: 'As The Diall Hand Tells Ore': The Case for Dekker, Not Shakespeare, as Author
Location: UK
DOI: 10.1093/res/hgr046
Publisher version: http://res.oxfordjournals.org/content/63/258/34.ab...
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of English Lang and Literature
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1340308
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