24. 28 September 2000 (Allies [Urkowitz, Bains, Egan]; spelling)

Dear John,


   it's nice to know that we're so much in accord. It was also good to hear, even as it were posthumously, from Charles Hamilton, whom I remember with affection.

   And I've heard again from other allies; Prof. Urkowitz of New York, Prof. Bains of Cincinnati (two great anti-reconstructionists, a position recently reinforced by many professionals, including Prof. Kreps of Pisa, who promises to be a leaning tower of strength); Prof. Egan now of Massachusetts but formerly Cambridge, who is publishing an edition of that fine early Shakespeare play Woodstock, and Richard Beaune of Toronto, who will soon be working at Stratford upon Avon, Ontario, (where I once lectured on Shakespeare); perhaps they'll doEdward III, or even Ironside.

   Yes, of = off is certainly a Shakespearean spelling; but no doubt it was widespread. I've often been accused of failing to disclose all the allegedly copious negative evidence; but, let's face it, no writing of the period is half so interesting as Shakespeare's. Besides, what is negative evidence? I can't find any trace of it in legal text-books; and it's like producing a sworn affidavit from somebody who did not see the defendant steal the watch.

   But perhaps I'd better be a bit more respectful in my sequel to The Real Shakespeare, on which, yes, I am starting, albeit slowly.

   Why don't you write and publish something on the subject? I'm sure your ideas are very valuable; and time is on your side - more, anyhow, than on mine!

   The best of good fortune in your search for Anne Stanley, and all your many other endeavours.

   Yours as ever