Arden of Faversham

The anonymously published play Arden of Faversham (1592) has been attributed to various authors, chief among them Shakespeare and Kyd. The case for Shakespeare has been made several times during the last 50 years by Professor MacDonald Jackson (University of Auckland), most recently in Determining the Shakespeare Canon. ‘Arden of Faversham’ and ‘A Lover’s Complaint’ (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014),  for which readers can now see my review: ‘The Shakespeare Reflex’, TLS 24 April 2015, pp. 9-11. The case for Kyd has been made by several scholars over the last century, in greatest detail by Charles Crawford (1903), Walter Miksch (1907) and Paul Rubow (1948). I have extracted from their publications the following three tables, which list collocations of three or more words in Arden that are found in identical form in Kyd’s The Spanish TragedySoliman and Perseda, and Cornelia (translated from Garnier’s Cornélie). I hope to publish a detailed study of Kyd’s authorship before too long.

The Arden of Faversham Database contains the following items:

  • 50 matches listed by Charles Crawford in an essay on ‘The Authorship of Arden of Faversham’ in Jahrbuch der Deutschen Shakespeare-Gesellschaft, 39 (1903): 74–86, republished in his Collectanea (Stratford-upon-Avon, 1906), pp. 101–30;
  • 80 matches listed by Walter Miksch between Arden of Faversham and Kyd, from his Die Verfasserschaft des Arden of Feversham (1907), pp.19–29;
  • and 95 matches between Arden of Faversham and Kyd listed by Paul Rubow in his Shakespeare og hans Samtidge (‘Shakespeare and his Fellows’), Copenhagen, 1948.

I should like to thank Valerie Hall, of the Publications Office, School of Advanced Study, for the remarkable skill and patience with which she typed and edited multiple versions of these tables over an unconscionably long period of research.

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