This has been an interesting, even exciting week, for Shakespeare fans. A “Lost” play, called DOUBLE FALSEHOOD, has been found. Whether you believe this is the work of Shakespeare or not, it has once again raised the issue of authorship. If you listened to NPR earlier this week, then you heard Professor Brean Hammond make the case, however briefly, that DOUBLE FALSEHOOD is a play that Shakespeare certainly had a hand in writing. In essence, according to the piece on NPR, in 1727 Lewis Theobald staged a performance a play he claimed was a “lost” play by Shakespeare. It was called DOUBLE FALSEHOOD. The play was labeled a fake and dropped off the literary radar shortly after it appeared on stage. Now, Arden Shakespeare has published the play based on the research of Professor Hammond. The play is about love and betrayal, where one man tries to steal the affections of his best friend’s fiancee.
Professor Hammond was interviewed by Renee Montagne for the NPR piece. The interview is worth listening to, and it includes Professor Hammond reading parts of the play he says establish a clear link to Shakespeare’s style of writing and use of language. The play is available on Arden’s website. The question: Is it really a work of Shakespeare’s?