1,0 su 5 stellePoorly reasoned and not to well written
16 giugno 2017 - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Since this field is full of bias, let me say that I generally think the likelyhood that oxford wrote the works of Shakespeare is high, and the likelihood that oxford either wrote or inspired the works is extremely high.
That said this book is unhelpful. The writing is awkward, the author took a chance on an interactive dialog style and it doesn't particularly work. That's fine by me, however, I read the book for his other experience in math and statistics, and it would be a shame if people with experience avoid writing or taking chances.
But it is in the math and assumptions that the book totally falls apart. Inputs are cherry picked...one comment on the Tempest, none on equivocation or names in Lear.
More oddly the very often mocked cryptography of other authorship debates is used here. It seems worthy of mockery here as well. The author calculates the odds of a random string of 5 letters being Henry, as low, but then calculates the odds of wriothsley split into here let's being low. What if Henry were split, what would the odds be there? What are the odds of a random word that this author could assume is a hidden text, since no pre-specified word was chosen?
What are the odds of you allow words to be broken up that you could find random words slit and then tie them in some way to a hypothesis, with no predefined screen?
I don't understand a tenth of the math in the book but I understand the assumptions are nonsense and he outpouring as well.
The author sets out to prove his point by putting his findings into scientific charts and graphs. While that part was a bit difficult for an English major, I understand why he did it, and he did a good job. It's a totally valid approach.
The problem: By making this a novel, he had characters speaking to one another. The conversations were contrived and written in such proper language I just never felt they were real conversations between real people. I was reminded of Mark Twain's critique of Fenimore Cooper's works and the falseness of his (Cooper's) characters' language.
I do believe that if the author had simply presented his theories in a nonfiction setting, this book could become a major sourcebook for the Oxfordian theory.
4,0 su 5 stelleAllowing people to come to their own conclusion when combining all the evidence
12 ottobre 2014 - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Previously, in reading the usual prior works on the Shakespeare-authorship question, I had concluded that the evidence for Stratford was uselessly small, the evidence for Oxford was all circumstantial and not convincing, and that all the conspiracy theories (like the hidden ciphers) were past dubious. But I could go no further, and was left with an unsatisfying lack of conclusion. The approach of this new book approach offers a way to break this no-conclusion, by putting everything together is a correct probability way. That is, Sturrock has his characters consider many pieces of evidence, and it is the combination of the evidence that accumulates to a robust conclusion. Critically, the author (and his on-line program called Prospero) has the readers putting in their own judgements on the evidence. So for example, I give zero credence to the hidden-ciphers 'evidence', and this leads to substantial differences from the characters' final evaluations. At the end for me, Prospero returns a XX-decibels for Stratford, YY-decibels for Oxford, and ZZ-decibels for every other author candidate. What I see is that Sturrock has provided a perfectly-correct way to combine evidences, the evidences one-by-one are not convincing, yet taken together they are convincing.
The Shakespeare authorship question will not be resolved until the 'English scholars' actually engage the question for real. Over the years, I have talked to many English majors and professors (like at intramural softball games and tailgate parties), and they all universally say something like 'Of course it was the person from Stratford, there is no need to look at the evidence, and it does not matter anyway.'. Hopefully, this new book will allow the English scholars to directly evaluate the evidence all together and come to their own reasoned conclusion.
The book is interesting because of the fairly easy to understand use of probability to do attribution analysis. Unfortunately, the characters dialog in a way that feels completely unrealistic and artificial. The other problem for me was that the charts seem to be stretching the material in an obvious way. The book essentially is twice as long (maybe three times as long) as it should be. Having read the book on De Vere, I was already a believer,but it was STILL interesting to see the probabilistic approach. I will probably do more reading about the issue since there were issues brought up in this book that I hadn't encountered before. I recommend the book, I just wish it were more concise and that the author wouldn't use the dialog approach.
AKA Shakespeare is a charming tale of four bright and inquisitive individuals living in Northern California - a scientist/engineer, his wife, a college professor and a mathematician- who set out to explore the question of who was the author of the body of literary work attributed to William Shakespeare by using the method of analysis propounded by Thomas Bayes. I am not a Shakespeare scholar and had little idea of the controversy and the clouded nature of the evidence bearing on this question. I also am not a scientist and had little prior knowledge of Thomas Bayes. So it was fascinating to me to see how Sturrock applies the Basin procedure to solving this literary mystery. He does so with keen writing skill, simple logic and a wry sense of humor, all the while inviting the reader to join in the process of evaluating the various strands of evidence and arguments in order to draw their own conclusion. It is an educational, absorbing and altogether rewarding reading experience. It has also inspired this reader to want to explore the question a little further.
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