Chapter

‘Whether one did Contrive, the Other Write,/Or one Fram’d the Plot, the Other did Indite’: Fletcher and Theobald as Collaborative Writers

Tiffany Stern

in The Quest for Cardenio

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199641819
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191749025 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641819.003.0006
‘Whether one did Contrive, the Other Write,/Or one Fram’d the Plot, the Other did Indite’: Fletcher and Theobald as Collaborative Writers

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This chapter raises questions about Shakespeare and his two ‘collaborators’ on Cardenio/Double Falsehood, Fletcher and Theobald. It looks first at early modern habits of collaborative writing, concentrating on instances that cannot be captured by stylometrics: where one collaborator writes the ‘plot’ or scenario for the play, and the other writes the dialogue. Using this model, it asks whether we can ever be sure that Cardenio contained textual material written by both Fletcher and Shakespeare. Second, it considers the way Theobald co-wrote with scholars and playwrights throughout his life, working closely with people who chose to share material with him, but also relying on absent or dead authors whose work he translated or remoulded. How are Theobald’s collaborative practices reflected in Double Falsehood? Finally the chapter asks where, if anywhere, in Double Falsehood, Shakespeare can be found after collaboration with Fletcher and ‘collaboration’ with Theobald.

Keywords: Theobald; Fletcher; Shakespeare; collaboration; forgery; stylometrics; plots; scenarios

Chapter.  8284 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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