To Giorgio Melchiori
previously unpublished; © the estate of eric sams
6 August 1998
Dear Professor Melchiori,
Thank you for your letter of 30 July. I know it's often difficult to attain total clarity; and I don't wish to seem importunate. But the fact is that the words I quote on p. 191 of The Real Shakespeare, viz. 'suggests that [the anonymous play] Edward III was written by Shakespeare under considerable influence from Marlowe', are indeed quoted from the 1994 source I specify, namely 'A bard by any other name', Matthews and Merriam, New Scientist, 22 January 1994, 23-7. Those words appear on p. 27 of that article, and they are surely entirely explicit. So it seems to me that your footnote on p. 35 needs more correction than the omission of the last ten words, grateful though I am for that proposed amendment. I wasn't 'stating' what 'the two authors suggest'; I was quoting what they actually say.
I'm now engaged on a sequel to The Real Shakespeare, so I too can strive to set the record straight, for what it's worth.
I'm sorry, finally, to hear about your indisposition (which is now I trust wholly surmounted) and about the postal services. Ours have also their vicissitudes. In the hope of being helpful I'll copy this letter to Sarah Stanton.
Best wishes and regards,