Since our last blog entry, four more 5-star reviews of On the Date, Sources and Design of Shakespeare’s Tempest have appeared on Amazon, along with one lone one-star “review,” by the well-known (at least on Amazon!) Oxford-basher BC Hackman, which follows his usual charming ethos by referring to the reviews of the 7 readers who have actually read the book as “crackpots.”
We are grateful for the new, thoughtful, and insightful reviews of Libby, Ricardo Mena Cuevas, the Bruce, and Frank David.
Questioned by another reviewer, Libby, Hackman admits, “true, I didn’t read [the book],” but promises to do so, “someday if I can get by inter-library loan.”
Meanwhile, in the absence of accurate information, Hackman opines that the book consists of a series of “embellished articles from Oxfordian journals,” with “a rehash of internet chatter when said articles first appeared.” Not having read the book, it may not be surprising that Hackman doesn’t know that the first half of the book is based on materials first published in three orthodox journals (Review of English Studies, Critical Survey, and The Shakespeare Yearbook), as well as The Oxfordian and Brief Chronicles). This has never been a secret, but somehow Mr. Hackman, a quintessential knee-jerker among the Amazon reviewer community, missed it.
Clarifying her earlier doubts regarding our exploration of the Shrovetide context for the play, Libby now acknowledges that “Based upon the fact that their essay “A Movable Feast: The Liturgical Symbolism and Design of The Tempest” was published in The Shakespeare Yearbook (Vol. XVII), a mainstream peer-reviewed journal, I must concede their arguments have obvious merit.”
At the same time, the first industry review has come across the transom from Reference & Research Book News, which “focuses on reference and scholarly works in the social sciences and humanities.” In a few brief and objective paragraphs the review credits the book with making a plausible and even “intriguing” case for the misdating of The Tempest.