26. 25 October 2001 (Graphology; Real Shakespeare II; Dark Lady)

Dear John,


   Thanks for your letter and enclosure. But (as I may have mentioned) I've given up graphology etc. as too difficult for a person of my advanced years; I'm even now awaiting delivery of my meals  on wheels (only £2.10 a time; perfect for those of us who aren't the cleverest of cooks, even when fully clothed). Still, I persevere with my Shakespeare sequel; and I'll keep the letter from Daniel Huw which you kindly sent me. Meanwhile an American Prof. (one Michael Egan) is preparing a fine new edition of Thomas of Woodstock, aka 1 Richard II c. 1590 which he's attributing (rightly, as I believe) to the young Shakespeare. I'm expecting various developments from this new work, which is to be published by Edwin Mellen. Other Shakespearean friends are working (rather to my distress) on Emilia Lanier, whom Rowse claimed to be the Dark Lady of the Sonnets; but I fear (the mot juste: he was always quite kind to me) that even her colouring was a mere pigment of his imagination.

   But no one else, so far as I know, is doing much with graphological studies; more power to your elbow, as they say. Regards to your bright and agreeable family; aren't you or they ever in London, where I go every Friday?

   Yours as ever