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The artist must make posterity believe he never lived Gustave Flaubert
Time, like a river, rushes on, wrenching familiar landmarks from their moorings and sweeping them away out of sight. This past year, it took one of the landmarks of authorship studies, Ruth Loyd Miller and her husband Minos. As must be true of a number of our readers, my own studies began in earnest some twenty years ago when I scraped together enough to send for their purple-bound books and stack of handouts. Among these were the basics for an education in the authorship question: J.T. Looney's discovery of Oxford and his collection of Oxford's poetry, Eva Clark's Hidden Allusions in Shakespeare's Plays, a photocopy of B.M. Ward's Oxford biography, and a great deal more. Happily the books are still available, now through the Miller family's website (see page 152), so Ruth's work will continue to inform generations of Oxfordian scholars. We are grateful to Bonner Cutting, Ruth's daughter, and to Oxfordian K.C. Ligon, for one last gift from Ruth's pen, an important insight into a touching personal connection between Oxford and the characters and plot of Love's Labour's Lost (page 35).
Thanks to Ruth Miller and also to Prof. Rima Greenhill of Stanford University, we now know a great deal more than we did about this buffo, rococo play. In the process, Green-hill gives us more ammunition for the theory that many of the plays, this one certainly, represent an accumulation of productions over the years, a theory that, while it enriches our understanding of the plays themselves, makes it difficult, perhaps impossible, to establish a traditional chronology. Some of the plays, this among them, contain language from periods that may range as widely as from 1578 to 1604, so that word studies based on fixed dates of composition can't help but yield ambiguous results, a problem discussed by John Shahan and Richard Whalen in their critique of Ward Elliott and Robert Valenza's Claremont College Shakespeare Clinic (page 113). This aspect of play-dating is raised as well by Eric Altschuler and William Jansen in their examination of links connecting Henry V with Henry VI, Part 3 (page 126).
In order to provide for important scholarship that doesn't require a full-length article we've inaugurated a new section at the end of the articles section for shorter pieces like this one by Altschuler & Jansen. The early section of this issue focuses to a large extent on Shakespeare's plays and poetry. Discussed are: Love's Labour's Lost, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Lucrece, Henry V, Henry VI, and Sonnet 107. The two latter are critiques that bear on our mission to provide the best in Oxfordian scholarship.
One of the functions of a journal like ours is to add to our knowledge of the biographies of Oxford and his colleagues as we continue to put together the puzzle of their lives. In addition to her contribution to …