User talk:Alan W

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June Christy[edit]

I'm probably going to do the June Christy/Stan Kenton Duet CD next. One slight problem though with the 'Release Date' of 5 May 1955 which you might have been the one to have provided in the first place. I have the original recordings taking place over 3 dates: 7 May, 9 May and 19 May 1955. Thus the above 'Release Date' would seem to be in error.

My Capitol CD copy seems to have been released in 1993. It had 11 tracks on it. However when the album was re-released in 2001 an extra 2 tracks Body and Soul and You're Blasé (from the 19 May session) were added.

Any comments? Thumper2 (talk) 16:29, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

I was not the one who provided the May 5, 1955, recording date. That was Shamrox. I have a copy of the original LP, but that is of no help in verifying the date. But, after searching for maybe a half-hour and getting very confused, I think I have finally found what are likely to be the true recording dates. The Juergen Woelfer June Christy discography on the Misty Miss Christy website, which you reminded me of, had the answers after all (somehow I didn't see them at first), and it shows the following:
May 7: "Prelude to a Kiss" (added to 1993 CD), "We Kiss in a Shadow", "Thanks for You" (added to 1993 CD), "Lonely Woman"
May 9: "Come to the Party", "Baby, Baby All the Time", "Angel Eyes", and "Just the Way I Am"
May 19: "How Long Has This Been Going On" (added to 1993 CD), "Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye", "Body and Soul" (added to 2001 CD), "You're Blasé" (added to 2001 CD), and "You're Mine, You!"
Now that I've taken the trouble to type these titles in here, you can just use the names as I've typed them if you want to save yourself some trouble. Nothing like copy and paste. :^)
Now that I think of it, the dates that you say you have probably come from the same place. Duh. Though I don't think that Woelfer's discography is completely error-free, I think it's safe to use those dates. If Shamrox objects (but I doubt that he will), you can just cite the discography as a source, which looks generally like it was carefully prepared. Regards, Alan W (talk) 00:25, 28 December 2010 (UTC).
Thanks VERY MUCH for the help with the Four Freshmen album. I'm going to have a long rest away from Wikipedia for some time. Don't know when (or ever) I'll come back. It's just too much hassle.Thumper2 (talk) 10:22, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Happy New Year![edit]

Thank you, Alan! And a very happy New Year to you as well!

I think you've done a great job on that article! It really is an FA now. Which poem is next? Amandajm (talk) 10:44, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, Amanda! You did great on the parts you edited, too. This was truly a collaborative effort. If you look at the edit counts (though I don't think that just going by those numbers is a really accurate way of judging contributions, as so many do), we have made more edits to this article than anyone else over all the years it has existed.
Which poem is next? Well, it may be a while before I get to any other poem. If you want to do one, maybe I'll go over what you've done and offer feedback. Just as you are fanatically devoted to Leonardo (and nothing wrong with that; he's most worthy of the attention), my main interest, actually, is the prose of the Romantic period in England, most particularly that of William Hazlitt. My major effort over the past year has been the article on his Characters of Shakespear's Plays, and I'm still tinkering with it. To me, Hazlitt is as important as Leonardo is to you. In theory, I'd love to do it all, the poetry, the prose, everything. But in practice, there is only so much time. I can't believe I'm still up now, but I've had a lot of time off for the holidays. Soon, it's back to my day job on a regular schedule.
Keep up your own good work (I see you've begun a really interesting article on Leonardo, the controversies about him, etc.), and I hope we can still be in touch from time to time. It's been a pleasure working with you. --Alan W (talk) 08:07, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Hazlitt and Browne[edit]

Thanks for your kind message. And yes, definitely re-read Hydriotaphia — especially the last chapter. The best prose in English, in my view. Best, Hydriotaphia (talk) 03:28, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for correcting my screw-up about "through"! Good to learn about Wikipedia stylistics. Best, Hydriotaphia (talk) 14:50, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Your comments on SAQ[edit]

Hi Alan,

I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for chipping in on the SAQ article. Quite apart from the general dearth of editors on the Shakespeare related articles, this fairly controversial article in particular needs all the level-headed editors contributing that can be found. If for no other reason then because too few editors makes it impossible to determine consensus (it's just the same small group of people going back and forth on the same issues indefinitely); but also, as Tom mentioned, it's critical to get some fresh eyes on it from time to time. Anyways, I don't mean to guilt you into spending too much time on it—I'm sure the demands on your time are at least as bad as anyone else's—I just wanted to send you a note of thanks for taking a look and to emphasize that, the sheer volume of Talk page traffic notwithstanding, the article is in dire need of more editors to make further progress should your interests and available WikiTime allow. Cheers, --Xover (talk) 07:52, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for your kind words. I must say our collaboration on Characters… was among the more pleasant ones, and I've long regretted that I had not more time to devote to it, or more relevant expertise for that matter. You've done a splendid job on it, I must say! It was, however, a shock to discover Ottava was gone from the project. I didn't even find out until I started working on Edmond Malone and was in desperate need of his familiarity with, and sources on, Samuel Johnson. A very very sad outcome, and, I must say, quite inexplicable. I know Ottava could be a bit ornery at times, but as our collaboration eminently exemplified, he was also knowledgable, polite, humble (when called for), and with a capacity for reading and work which us mere mortals can hardly hope to match. If the alleged cooperation problems were accurate, I think I would have gladly suffered the occasional moody day in the sure hope of joyous collaborations such as ours.
I understand perfectly the reluctance to knowingly embroiling oneself in a controversial quagmire such as almost anything related to the Authorship issue, and in fact I share your reluctance. I involve myself there mainly because after years of suffering drive-by edits by editors of… questionable rationality, and certainly no comprehension of Wikipedia (but also, it must be admitted, some honest exceptions; none mentioned, none too offended ;D), Tom Reedy and Nishidani finally took on the herculean task of bringing it up to a standard we can be proud of; and the chance to have a stable and high-quality article on the subject is beguiling. I am also quite sympathetic to a priority of claims, when limited time is a given, and staying within one's fields of interest. It only happens that my interest, being Shakespeare in general, is not fixed in a specific time-period, while yours by definition is. But I would, for instance, much prefer to spend my time on biographical and historical topics, and I break out in hives when attempting to deal with literary criticism (which is why Hazlitt is an entirely blank page to me).
Incidentally, this does suggest a point of congruence: my Shakespearean interest has spilled over into the great biographers of Shakespeare, and the 18th century provides us with several of that description. As previously mentioned, my current project (and it is a long-term project, so no worries on that count) is the article on Edmond Malone. My readings on him have quite naturally led me to James Boswell and Samuel Johnson, George Steevens (I would, for instance, also quite like to put together articles on the three great variorum editions of Shakespeare from this period: Johnson, Johnson—Steevens, and Malone's), and even Joshua Reynolds; and, as I'm sure you're already familiar with, there are many more in this period whose paths intersect Malone's by way of Shakespeare or otherwise. A likely future project, springing directly from Malone, is the Ireland Shakespeare forgeries article, and possibly also on the two Irelands themselves. If you should have an interest in a collaboration, of the kind that of necessity is in no particular hurry, I am quite certain we could find some intersection of interest somewhere in the literary world of the 18th century. I will, of course, also perfectly understand if your plate is full or your interest lie in other directions; but do please feel free to stop by Edmond Malone when time allows, and comment or contribute as much or little as fancy takes you; it will be much appreciated in either case.
In any case… It was nice running into you again. Let's, do, hope that more such occasions will present themselves in the future. Cheers, --Xover (talk) 09:01, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Alan, I apologise for the brawl going on over there, and I hope you won't be driven off, although I must admit it's like trying to work next door to a toxic dump open 24 hours a day. Your perspective is much appreciated by me and a few others, and we hope you stick around. If you want, you can just comment on my talk page and I'll keep the discussion clear of any distractions or vitriol. Cheers Alan! Tom Reedy (talk) 03:02, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the note Alan, and I'm pleased you'll be around for a bit. I was a journalist for a medium-sized newspaper for a while during my chequered past, which is where I really learned to write, all formal training notwithstanding. I see you're also interested in jazz. I've long wanted to improve the Ward Pinkett article, and hopefully I'll have enough time left in my life when this SAQ page is done to do that. I have some ideas on the lede but I didn't have time today to propose them. All best. Tom Reedy (talk) 04:35, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Thank you Alan, that's very kind of you to say so. I believe this is one of the core points of assuming good faith: when someone appears to be behaving irrationally, consider what their perspective might be that would explain why they do so. In most cases you will find a perfectly plausible and rational explanation for it. For instance, I've long since concluded that the main problem in discourse with most of the anti-Stratfordian editors here is that they genuinely believe their own arguments, and are probably at least as frustrated with the mainstream as we are with them. That doesn't make the interactions any more pleasant in itself, but at least it allows you to attempt a constructive and collegiate debate rather than immediately devolving into confrontational and distrustful invective. Not that I always, or even usually, manage to live by it; but I would certainly consider it something to aspire to. --Xover (talk) 21:12, 24 January 2011 (UTC)


palk+mary!! Yes, I wuz gunna change that typo when the text went up and then thought, 'Nah, too many tweaks. They'll get it.' 'Palmary' has a specific meaning at least in the personal slant of my lexicon. It was frequently used to compliment a fine, or brilliant, 'emendation' of a manuscript reading in classical languages. But I shudda fixed it, ay! Thanks Alan Nishidani (talk) 09:17, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Main page appearance[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the main editors of this article know that it will be appearing as the main page featured article on April 23, 2011. You can view the TFA blurb at Wikipedia:Today's featured article/April 23, 2011. If you think it is necessary to change the main date, you can request it with the featured article director, Raul654 (talk · contribs). If the previous blurb needs tweaking, you might change it—following the instructions of the suggested formatting. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page so Wikipedia doesn't look bad. :D Thanks! Tbhotch* ۩ ۞ 02:44, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Orphaned non-free image File:Shelly-Manne-Best-Of.jpg[edit]


Thanks for uploading File:Shelly-Manne-Best-Of.jpg. The image description page currently specifies that the image is non-free and may only be used on Wikipedia under a claim of fair use. However, the image is currently not used in any articles on Wikipedia. If the image was previously in an article, please go to the article and see why it was removed. You may add it back if you think that that will be useful. However, please note that images for which a replacement could be created are not acceptable for use on Wikipedia (see our policy for non-free media).

Note that any non-free images not used in any articles will be deleted after seven days, as described in the criteria for speedy deletion. Thank you. Sfan00 IMG (talk) 12:10, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Re: West Coast jazz[edit]

Thanks for the feedback. I would have thought it exceeded "Start" class, purely on the basis of the amount of text, although I don't think it really works that way. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 21:36, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

It doesn't have to be someone from the WikiProject(s), just figured that was the best place to ask. Mainly, I wouldn't want to do the assessment myself, for an article that I had just worked on (except going from "Stub" (or no assessment) to "Start", which I think is pretty objective). I have trouble myself drawing the lines between "Start," "C," "B" etc. No worries, someone with a better idea of these will come along. Thanks again, -- Gyrofrog (talk) 01:45, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Your revert of Shakespeare authorship question[edit]

Thanks for your edit summary, Alan, I was hoping somebody would revert in just that way. It's not good to have the dumb-ass bots insulting the newbies. Bishonen | talk 08:55, 9 November 2011 (UTC).

And, thanks, Bishonen, for helping to keep things around here from becoming more chaotic than they have to be--and doing it with a much appreciated (by some of us, anyway) sense of humor. One thing about the dumb-ass bots, though, they're quick, and they never seem to need any sleep. :-) Regards, Alan W (talk) 02:20, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

To Autumn[edit]

Thank you for sorting that out. I was a little hesitant about removing it entirely. Amandajm (talk) 04:18, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Well, hello again, Amanda! It's been a while. I hope you're well. For someone who strikes me as very much a "no nonsense" kind of editor, you were, I thought, a bit too lenient in letting that last bit of the anonymous editor's editing stay there, and I agree entirely with your removing the other things you removed. I think because so many of Keats's other odes are titled "Ode to..." or "Ode on...", people sometimes remember, or misremember "To Autumn" as "Ode to Autumn"—or perhaps are even a little irritated that he was not consistent in the titling of his odes. But, though it is very much an ode, that is not, and never was, its title. To corroborate what I believe (and to feel certain that I wasn't misremembering this myself), I just consulted Bate's biography (and Bate is surely one of the great Keatsians). The index is extremely detailed, and nowhere is there an entry for an "Ode to Autumn". So I felt that, if "Ode to Autumn" might be justified much later in the article in an appropriate context (one source does remember it that way), that incorrect title is absolutely not justified in the lead of the article, certainly not in the very first sentence! Regards, Alan W (talk) 04:40, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Berowne Perowne[edit]

Reading Ian McEwan's Saturday this afternoon after years of dithering, I recalled our disagreement about the respective merits of the James' brothers' prose styles. I find, as a solace, on p.58 that the neurosurgeon Perowne is said to think that:-

'James had the knack of fixing on the surprising commonplace - and. . .wrote a better-honed prose than the fussy brother who would rather run round a thing a dozen different ways than call it by its name.'2005 p.58

Eureka, I chortled to myself quietly, while thinking that probably you can't, if you're normal, chortle quietly and perhaps I should have thought 'chuckled to myself quietly', only I'm not normal! So there you go Alan (as he abandons the keyboard and shuffles towards the hearth to continue reading, he muses:'Then again, that's ironical. Perowne is a neurosurgeon with no background in literature, unlike his brilliant daughter, who has to tutor his literary lackiness..Hmm. Cheers Alan Nishidani (talk) 14:00, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Well, hello there, Nishidani! It's been a while. I don't think I ever meant to disagree entirely, and thanks for that quotation. I have always favored Willy over Harry. Insofar as "the style is the man", Willy's style speaks more to me, at bottom. Even so, there is something in the individuality of Harry's style—like no other I know—that I find intriguing. He was groping for meaning in his own way, which was very much his own and worth some attending to. Yes, too often he ends by wandering lost in a hall of mirrors, or disappearing in a mist. Something is there in all that, though, that makes me admire his efforts, however much in vain they may turn out to have been. It happens also that recently I reread the delicious parody of Henry James by Max Beerbohm, "The Mote in the Middle Distance", in A Christmas Garland, and enjoyed it as much as ever. That James himself appreciated it and praised the author cannot but increase my respect for the man. He could be a good sport. In the end, I'm with you, and I find that Willy has more solid things to say to me about the world I know. But it's good to have both. I suppose that, in or out of Wikipedia, I've always been an "inclusionist". Cheers to you too, Nish! --Alan W (talk) 01:59, 10 November 2012 (UTC)


I'm not going to fight over the spelling. You can have your way. Just pointing out that your edit summary is a bit offensive. "Rooves" is a perfectly good word. Just try Googling it. Plenty of hits. It may be old fashioned, or there may be some other reason you haven't encountered it, but do be careful with absolute statements of what's correct and what's not. HiLo48 (talk) 06:12, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Final apostrophe in italic quotations[edit]

I am not sure if you found the way to clarify an end apostrophe by adding a nonbreaking-space " " afterward. Example:

  • Markup: "George Orwell: '' 'As the bones know' ''"
  • Results: "George Orwell: 'As the bones know' "

Alternatively, I often italicize the final quotation mark:

  • Markup: "George Orwell: '' 'As the bones know'"''
  • Results: "George Orwell: 'As the bones know'"

Either way, in many browsers, an italicized end apostrophe will be hidden by the final quotation mark, and so an alternate format (using   or italic quotation mark) should be used. -Wikid77 (talk) 23:25, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for this tip, Wikid77. I will search for places where this has been a problem and apply your solution. (I can't remember any now, but I do recall that, yes, I have found this to be a problem.) --Alan W (talk) 03:32, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Of course, now I remembered that the example you have given was exactly the place where I last had this problem, in the article on William Hazlitt. I have gone back and applied your solution (the first way looks the best to me). Thanks again! --Alan W (talk) 03:51, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

To Autumn[edit]

Yes, you're right. I don't know why I made that change! Amandajm (talk) 02:23, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. And also thank you, as I said, for indirectly getting me to think, Why don't you just go in there now and make the change you were considering for some time now? So I did, and once again, between us, we are improving the article.
Glad to see you have also continued to do other great things here. I just had a look at Gothic architecture. Very well done, to judge from the parts I have read. Maybe it will inspire me to visit more of the treasures of Gothic (Revival, at least) architecture in my own city. I pass Renwick's Grace Church all the time, reminding me of how many gems there are around here. Regards, Alan W (talk) 05:17, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Spelling article[edit]

Thanks for the message. I was never in favour of the change, but I wasn't that bothered about it. I couldn't just change it back at the time because of the technicality that the redirect had been edited. I just couldn't be bothered to go to the effort of making a request to change it, so I just piggy-backed on Tom's initiative. Paul B (talk) 13:27, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

And thank you for the additional background. Yes, some of us just want to contribute meaningful content here; the daunting tangle of bureaucratic procedures and annoying technical obstructions can lead to procrastination over minor but useful improvements. Reading some of the responses in the discussion on the Shakespeare's influence talk page does not make me feel any more comfortable about the situation. That one needn't be a "specialist" to recognize instantly who "Shakespeare" is without the "William" qualification is to me commonsense. I would think it would be so to anyone with even a secondary-school education in the English-speaking world. I could hardly believe that there would be opposition to this change (or, for that matter, that the change in the reverse direction would have been made in the first place); yet there it was. Oh, and your analogy with the titling of Shakespeare in Love, that was a good one, Paul! --Alan W (talk) 16:07, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps I spoke rashly. It turns out that the president of France can't tell the difference between Nicholas and William Shakespeare [1]. Paul B (talk) 22:19, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
Bizarre. Earlier I was musing that perhaps I too was overly confident about identification of the name "Shakespeare" by secondary-school students in English-speaking countries, given the degeneracy of public education these days (maybe private, too), at least what I know of it in my own country. I don't know what your experience is, but a friend of mine who teaches history at a nearby university has related plenty of disturbing stories along these lines. --Alan W (talk) 02:31, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Closing note[edit]

Just incidentally, Alan. If like me you think TV steals too much of our attention from the spoken word, I can highly recommend the site (ABC-Late Night Live) where Kate T. was interviewed. Ignore the politics interviews - far too rightwing, anyway, for my sense of sobriety - but it provides three solid interviews a day, four days a week. A better average of good hits than one gets if one frequents the TED list. I find at least two or three in a week, on major books and scholars particularly, enjoyable 'listens'. Adams casts a broad net world wide and over multiple disciplines, and most importantly, he's read the books whose authors he interviews. Mustn't blog on. Cheers.Nishidani (talk) 15:49, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, Nish. TV doesn't steal much of my attention, since I rarely watch any these days. In fact, I keep putting off replacing my broken TV set. I really don't feel I need it, since so much is now streamed over the Web, and Wikipedia and good old-fashioned reading (even, if I dare confess it, of paper books) occupy so much of my leisure time. If this Australian ABC-Late Night Live is available streamed over the Web (as apparently it is, since that is what I was watching yesterday), I will keep your tip in mind. That was certainly a nice interview with a young talent from your home city, of whom you may be very proud. Cheers, Alan W (talk) 23:19, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

middle east vs. the Middle East[edit]

Please note that I have reverted the capitalization change here. Not every appearance of the words "middle" and "east" in succession refers to the geographic region the Middle East! Please take note of this potential mistake in the future. --Alan W (talk) 05:38, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Alan, duly noted. CmdrObot (talk) 11:18, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

SAQ talk page[edit]

For the record I didn't just stride onto the SAQ talk page, it was a continuation of a discussion on the 17th E of Oxford talk page and on my own talk page. I've never done edits where I've been forced to go into all sorts of detailed rules. IMO it's a good way for certain editors to keep other editors away from these topics, which they will probably have done with me. Life's too short. Sceptic1954 (talk) 19:44, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Hurricane Sandy "damages"[edit]

Thanks for the catch; as a law student, I probably should've caught that mistake as I typed it. :P Inks.LWC (talk) 20:24, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

That's a good one, Inks! And it's funny, in that when I just saw that you left me a message, my first thought was, oh, no, now I'm going to have to argue about this. On the contrary! No digging up a half-dozen dictionary definitions to back up my change. You know better than I do. I'll add that you have quite an interesting background. First, training in meteorology, now law. I've worked with quite a colorful bunch of people in the nearly ten years I've been here. Makes Wiki-life that much more interesting. --Alan W (talk) 20:32, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
It has definitely been a benefit overall. My interest is environmental law, so having a science background of any kind puts me miles ahead in being able to understand the basics behind the laws (e.g. what SO2 and CO2 are and why you can't treat them the same). Plus, it's a great conversation starter, and I'd estimate that over half my job interviewers have opened up with something about my undergrad history. The downside is that everyone asks for forecasts, and I always hated that part of meteorology. I was much more interested in post-event analysis and research. Inks.LWC (talk) 21:39, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Funny again, that about the forecasts. But, on the serious side, you, who, if you're just starting out in this career, are probably a lot younger than I am (yes, don't know where the years go, and I'm moving into geezer territory :-), and it's good to see that influence over this world is passing into the hands of those like you who might yet save it. Regards, Alan W (talk) 22:01, 27 November 2013 (UTC)


The Feast of the Gods-1514 1529-Giovanni Bellini and Titian half crop.jpg Happy New Year, 2014
From Amandajm (talk) 10:13, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

On New Year's Day, 600 years ago, Giovanni Bellini began work on a rather large "Dejeuner sur l'herbe" but having set up the models and commenced the painting, he soon found that he was in no fit state to continue it.
At this point Titian stepped in. That's him on the extreme left. Bellini is sleeping it off under a bush.

About self-publishing and reliability[edit]

I understand the reason you removed my essay from the external links on the Shakespeare authorship question article, and I appreciate that wikipedia cares enough for the integrity of its service to exercise these principles. I only want to add that I regret no exception can be made when an article is itself very carefully documented and written painstakingly by someone knowledgeable in the field, though not yet published under editorial guidance. The guidelines you linked have a lot of words like "generally," "largely," and "usually," which seem to imply wiggle room if the page manager judged the article worth reading. --Still, it's better to have oversight than chaos, so keep up the good work and thank you for your efforts to uphold wikipedia's standards. GregB (talk) 03:55, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

I'm glad you understand. I know you put a lot of work into that article. I think it's very well written, and as far as I can recall now (don't have the time now to go back and read it again) I pretty much agree with what you wrote. As for oversight, you may be sure that if I hadn't removed that link, someone else would have. Also, please be aware that in a field as vast as Shakespeare, there is only room for so much. But I'm sure that with your knowledge and skills, there is much you could contribute to other Wikipedia articles, material that would not be removed and for which you would get credit—along with the satisfaction of having made valuable contributions. --Alan W (talk) 10:52, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

About Carolyn Spurgeon's thesis[edit]

Sorry for not discussing this here first. I'll leave it to you to remove, if you see fit, the phrase "marking the first time a recognised Shakespeare scholar has devoted a book to the topic." You reinstated it because "Spurgeon's book was not about the SAQ as such, it was about Shakespeare's imagery." It seems more accurate, though, to say it was about comparing Shakespeare's imagery with that of other writers. In her preface she describes her planned three-part project:

This first study deals chiefly with suggestions as to light thrown by the imagery (1) on Shakespeare's personality, temperament and thought, (2) on the themes and characters of the plays. The other [two] books [never completed -gb] will be chiefly concerned with question of authorship considered in the light of this freshly collected evidence, and with the background of Shakespeare's mind and the origins of his imagery. (ix)


[This method] enables us to get nearer to Shakespeare himself... throws light from a fresh angle upon Shakespeare's imaginative and pictorial vision... and it seems to me to serve as an absolute beacon in the skies with regard to the vexed question of authorship. (x)

The topic of this first book, the only part of the project she completed, I think should be understood as groundwork for her larger project. It is appropriate that she focuses on particulars, as no other scholar in her day appeared willing to do the necessary work of distinguishing these authors not by circumstantial, but stylistic evidence. The first authors she takes up for comparison are the two most commonly put forward by contemporary anti-Stratfordians as the true author of the works, in her Chapter II, "Shakespeare's Imagery Compared With That of Marlowe and Bacon." A few pages into that chapter she revisits her general thesis:

Shakespeare and Bacon are the two greatest men of their day, and the claim that Bacon is in truth Shakespeare and wrote his plays is still held to be a serious and well-founded one by a large number of people. It is natural, therefore, that one should be eager to ask, 'What does an examination of their images tell us?' (16)

The conclusion of that chapter returns to her general thesis:

These facts all point one way, and all seem to support the view that we have here, behind these two sets of writings, not one mind only, but two highly individual and entirely different minds. (29)

The first paragraph of the next chapter, "Imagery of Shakespeare and Other Dramatists Compared," repeats the thesis "that such analysis throws light on each writer's individual tastes or experiences" (30). Her chapter X, "Association of Ideas," concludes,

This curious group of images illustrates better, I think, than any other, Shakespeare's strong and individual tendency to return under similar emotional stimulus to a similar picture or group of associated ideas, and it is obvious at once that it forms an extraordinarily reliable test of authorship. (199)

Practically every page emphasizes "his most individual way of expressing his imaginative vision" (213), but occasionally, especially near the beginnings and endings of chapters, she explicitly mentions "the question of authorship. The fact that this metaphor is continuous, that it starts in 1 Henry VI and is developed in the two later parts, seems to me one of many proofs that the same mind and imagination has functioned through all five plays..." (224). On the next-to-last page of the book she is still emphasizing the comparison: "No other writer, so far as I know, certainly no other dramatist, makes such continual use of running and recurrent symbol as does Shakespeare" (354).

I think at least adding the phrase "with the exception of Carolyn Spurgeon in her unfinished project" is warranted. In the light of the stylometrics studies using neural networks etc., which are cited pretty widely and which date from the late 20th century, I think the entire statement is doubtful enough to delete.

A final question: Should I infer from your reply above ("there is much you could contribute to other Wikipedia articles, material that would not be removed") that I should not offer further contributions to this particular page?

A final note: I'm not very interested in credit, but I would like to contribute to accuracy where possible. GregB (talk) 13:27, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

If I may intrude on Alan's page regarding this? Alan's reasoning re Spurgeon is cogent, and your edit summary was defective. On the other hand, Frank W. Wadsworth certainly was an Elizabethan scholar, perhaps not stricto sensu a Shakespearean scholar, teaching-wise at least he was, and he did write a full-length study, The Poacher from Stratford whose precedence might give one pause over the words used of Shapiro's book. There is also Irv Matus's beautiful book to consider, but, lamentably, he was never a recognised Shakespeare scholar, though he was recognized by Shakespearean scholars as such. Perhaps it could be tweaked to read that (whereas Wadsworth surveyed the field of hypothesis). The crux would be resolved by writing : marking the first time a professional Shakespeare specialist has devoted a book to the topic (Schoenbaum doesn't count because his book only deals with this in a kind of appendix etc). Exit to boos from the galleryNishidani (talk) 14:58, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
First of all, Greg, no, I think I said what I said about what you could contribute mostly in view of the only thing I had seen you doing, which as I mentioned was a bit out of bounds, given Wikipedia rules. You are certainly as welcome as any to contribute to this page as long as it is done, again, according to those rules.
By the same token, no boos from me, Nish! This is well worth discussing, although I would think that most of this discussion is more appropriate for the talk page of the SAQ article itself. Although I think that the phrase I restored is basically correct, still, you are making a point worth pondering, Greg. As for being a recognized Shakespearean scholar, I do think that Spurgeon fits that category. It's just that the main theme of her book is not the Shakespeare Authorship Question as such, unless I am greatly mistaken (I have read selections, but not the whole book).
It seems to me in retrospect that, yes, several Shakespeare scholars before Shapiro have taken up the question of authorship at one point or another in their books and other writings. It's just that Shapiro may well have been the first to devote an entire volume on the authorship question as a sociological phenomenon, which modifying phrase, or words to that effect were added by, I think, Johnuniq, very aptly. But there are other contributors to this page who are much, much more familiar with all the background material than I am. And whether this mention of Shapiro's book should be modified is a topic I think might well be discussed by many others who care to participate, before any changes are made. So, again, I am going to copy much of this discussion to the article talk page. --Alan W (talk) 23:36, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Shakespeare Authorship Question: "Queen Elizabeth I" as a possible candidate?[edit]

Hi Alan,

I am new to Wikipedia, so I apologize for not talking about my edits before hand.

I just think we should include Queen Elizabeth I as a possible candidate for authoring Shakespeare.

As queen, it is certainly possible that the works of Shakespeare have been edited, or even written by her directly.

I have found a few others who think the same way.

Here is the best article I found:

I don't know how to get this discussion started.

Maybe you can help me on this.


Reedlander (talk) 20:37, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Invitation to join the Ten Year Society[edit]

Ten Year Society.svg

Dear Alan,

I'd like to extend a cordial invitation to you to join the Ten Year Society, an informal group for editors who've been participating in the Wikipedia project for ten years or more.

Best regards,  — Scott talk 19:48, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Could I congratulate you on your staying power, and, now that I think of it, I think you, like Tom, Paul Barlow, Peter Farey and Johnuniq, should gave your record graced by the Wikipedia:Million Award, since without your acute care and supervision at critical moments in the Shakespeare Authorship Question article, I very much doubt it would have got to FA and remained stable.Nishidani (talk) 20:40, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

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William Hazlitt[edit]

Good morning. I stand corrected and enlightened about your removal of William Hazlitt the essayist from the category list of English Unitarians. Did not realize he had renounced his faith neither did I know the list would have excluded defectors from it.Cloptonson (talk) 11:28, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

A defector he certainly was. In later life he was never clear in all his writings about what exactly he did believe, maybe in part in deference to his father, who was a distinguished Unitarian minister. Some biographers and critics have called Hazlitt an atheist, others agnostic, and if I recall correctly at least one a deist. He called himself only a philosopher, a "metaphysician," and he seems to have been heavily influenced by the skepticism of Montaigne and Hume. As you can see, I have a special interest in Hazlitt. Given that, I can appreciate what you added to the article on the Shrewsbury Chronicle last year about Hazlitt's first published piece of writing. Regards, Alan W (talk) 18:08, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year![edit]

Warmest Wishes for Health, Wealth and Wisdom through the Holidays and the Coming Year! Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 01:26, 25 December 2015 (UTC)

I wish instead of a bout of flu'[edit]

that I could be 'under the weather' in the sense of 'going on the shicker', dipping the vinous proboscis into an assortment of grogs and ending up 'four sheets to the wind.' But in my state, I'd only end up doing a Jackson Pollack (Blue Poles) by going for the big spit and painting the porch with a kaleidoscopic laugh, which wouldn't tickle my industrious wife's sense of serene order as the year spins on its axle and the preludial hours of the coming year are spent in making far-fetched promises to be a bit more tidy around the house! Cheers, Alan, and have a good evening, and an even better New Year, if that's possible.Nishidani (talk) 20:40, 31 December 2015 (UTC)

Thank you very much! Leave it to you to do everything to the hilt. For most people, three sheets are enough. For me, a much smaller taste after midnight as I celebrate the New Year with friends (over the phone; don't want to pass on my cold, which is what I have), will do. As for the New Year being better, well, it certainly won't be worse if we keep going as fruitfully as we have been on the Hazlitt article. You are the last person I have to remind of it (as the occasional glance over random parts of your talk page reminds me from time to time), but such pleasant collegial editing is not always the way things work out around here. A very Happy New Year to you too, and may your influenza soon turn to outfluenza. --Alan W (talk) 21:56, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
I've been feeling guilty, no edit for a few days. I have been on a research and reading splurge admittedly on things little connected with wiki, and even when editing here, distracted by nuisance stuff. Just a note to assure you that Hazlitt is one of the yearìs priorities for me, and I will get back to it, hopefully shortly. Hazlitt shakes one back into sanity, snd that, for me,is more than a sweet inducement to keep on the ball. These kinds of topics edit better when there is a certain momentum gsthered among editors, and I'm falling short in that regard. Cheers, Alan.Nishidani (talk) 20:46, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
No worries. I've been using the lull to poke around in other Wiki areas and also to do some prep work for other Hazlitt material I'm planning on adding. Some of it has to do with other articles, mainly one I've been building up for years on The Spirit of the Age (when I said I work slowly, I meant it; and yes, momentum: I have sustained a degree of momentum with that article, but it is the momentum of continental drift). I've also, though, been reading this and that on preparing to add to the section in this article on Hazlitt's "Posthumous reputation", which, as I said, not only doesn't say enough, what it says isn't even really correct. In short (and I know, sometimes it's hard for me to say anything "in short"), this apparent lull is not time wasted. Still, I appreciate the update of your plans regarding this collaboration. Regards (and I hope you've recovered well from the flu), Alan W (talk) 01:52, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

ArbCom Elections 2016: Voting now open![edit]

Scale of justice 2.svg Hello, Alan W. Voting in the 2016 Arbitration Committee elections is open from Monday, 00:00, 21 November through Sunday, 23:59, 4 December to all unblocked users who have registered an account before Wednesday, 00:00, 28 October 2016 and have made at least 150 mainspace edits before Sunday, 00:00, 1 November 2016.

The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to impose binding solutions to disputes between editors, primarily for serious conduct disputes the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the authority to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail.

If you wish to participate in the 2016 election, please review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 22:08, 21 November 2016 (UTC)