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How ‘lost’ can a Shakespeare play be?

March 16, 2010

‘Lost’ Shakespeare play Double

Falsehood published (BBC NEWS)

BBC NEWS 15th March 2010

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare collaborated on two other plays with Fletcher

A play which was first discovered nearly 300 years ago has been credited to William Shakespeare.

The work, titled Double Falsehood, was written by the playwright and another dramatist, John Fletcher.

Theatre impresario Lewis Theobald presented the play in the 18th century as an adaptation of a Shakespeare play but it was dismissed as a forgery.

But scholars for British Shakespeare publisher, Arden, now believe the Bard wrote large parts of the play.

Researchers think the play is based on a long-lost work called Cardenio, which was itself based on Don Quixote.

“I think Shakespeare’s hand can be discerned in Act One, Act Two and probably the first two scenes in Act Three of the play,” Professor Brean Hammond told the BBC’s World Service.

Professor Hammond of Nottingham University is the editor of the latest Arden Shakespeare collection, which includes Double Falsehood.

“At least half of the plays written in the period were written collaboratively,” Hammond told Radio 4’s Today programme.

It is already established that Shakespeare wrote two other plays with Fletcher towards the end of his career, Henry VIII and The Two Noble Kinsman.

Professor Hammond believes Double Falsehood was written shortly after the translation of Don Quixote came out in 1612.

The play was performed at least twice in 1613.

Read Double Falsehood here.

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