'That very great play, Pericles', as T. S. Eliot called it, poses formidable problems of text and authorship. The first of the Late Romances, it was ascribed to Shakespeare when printed in a quarto of 1609, but was t included in the First Folio (1623) collection of his plays. This book examines rival theories about the quarto's origins and offers compelling evidence that Pericles is the product of collaboration between Shakespeare and the mir dramatist George Wilkins, who was responsible for the first two acts and for portions of the 'brothel scenes' in Act 4. Pericles serves as a test case for methodologies that seek to define the limits of the Shakespeare can and to rdentify co-authors. A wide range of metrical, lexical, and other data is analysed. Computerized 'stylometric' texts are explained and their findings assessed. A concluding chapter introduces a new technique that has the potential to answer many of the remaining questions of attribution associated with Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
Mac Jackson is Professor of English at the University of Auckland. His publications include Shakespeare's 'A Lover's Complaint': Its Date and Authenticity (Auckland UP 1965), Studies in Attribution: Middleton and Shakespeare (Salzburg UP 1979). He is editor of A. R. D. Fairburn: Selected Poems (Victoria UP 1995) and Selected Poems of Eugene Lee-Hamilton (Edwin Mellen Press 2002), and is co-editor of The Selected Plays of John Marston (CUP 1986) and The Oxford Book of New Zealand Writing Since 1945 (OUP NZ 1986). He has contributed chapters to a further 16 books and has written over 150 articles for academic journals. He wrote the annual critical survey of Shakespeare editions and textual studies for Shakespeare Survey from 1984 to 1990.