A Wider Audience


After six months of stalling, I have finally gone public with the short interview I did on my PhD research. It was posted today on Carlo Dinota’s Marlowe Shakespeare Connection, and is now publicly listed on YouTube. I find the YouTube thing a little scary. I’ve seen YouTube comments. A lot of those people are very angry, and many of them can’t spell.

I’m not unaware of the emotive power of this issue, and how very upset some people get at the very thought one could seriously entertain the idea that our friend from Stratford didn’t write the plays attributed to him. I have taken four years to consider my approach to this, and several months to sit on this short video largely on the basis that that on the day in question I didn’t have professional hair or make-up. But since just before Christmas, I’ve had the video quietly embedded in my Research page to see if anything bad happened. Seems the sky didn’t fall in. So I have succumbed to private persuasion and released it into the wild.

I might as well; bigger things are on their way. In the next couple of months I will be the first of four Sussex postgraduates this year who will be filmed presenting their research as part of a University pilot scheme. The 20-30 minute film will, I’m told, be hosted on the University of Sussex website. It’s a complicated business, involving multiple cameras and all kinds of gadgetry. I’m currently re-designing my Globe presentation on Keynote (borrowing a Macbook on campus) and will need two days’ rehearsal before filming starts. Exciting, though. Looks like a lot of good things are kicking off in 2011. This time around, I’m definitely going to put a little more effort into the hair and make-up.

Shakespeare Authorship Questions (but no answers)


SAT conference 2010 flyerI’ve presented several somewhat unorthodox Marlowe-related papers at academic conferences over the last three years, but yesterday was my first appearance at the conference of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust.  Though I’m an old hand at presenting my work in public, and thoroughly enjoy the opportunity of doing so (whether reading poetry or giving a talk), it was a strangely nerve-wracking event.    The last time I felt so jittery in the run-up to speaking in public was at the Barbican ten years ago.  In the delivery, I don’t suppose my nerves were obvious to anyone except myself, and the handful of people who spent the tea-break in the lecture hall, and watched me enter and leave three times to rearrange the laptop and notes on the lectern.  Once I began, and the first joke got a laugh, it was easy to ride on the energy of an audience who were hoping to be entertained and engaged.

When I called home afterwards to report that I got plenty of laughs, my husband was worried.  Like many, he assumes that such a gathering must be deeply earnest and everyone who presents imbued with a sense of their own rightness and everyone else’s wrongness.    Well, one or two were.   But generally there was an air of

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