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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The re-imagined content is seamlessly incorporated
Cardenio is, of course, the much discussed "lost play" of Shakespeare. There is plenty of academic debate about its authorship. A play by Shakespeare and his sometime collaborator John Fletcher is in the records of being performed in 1612 but it didn't appear in roughly contemporary collections of either authors' works. It was claimed that it was in the early 1700s that...
Published on 21 April 2011 by Ripple

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A text that never was
If you need to have a record of the modern debate about The Double Falshood you need to have this, but it has no status at all of its own. This is modern pastiche, without adequate methodology or rationale. Serious students need Brean Hammond's Arden edition.
Published on 24 Aug 2012 by M. WALSH


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The re-imagined content is seamlessly incorporated, 21 April 2011
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Ripple (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cardenio (Paperback)
Cardenio is, of course, the much discussed "lost play" of Shakespeare. There is plenty of academic debate about its authorship. A play by Shakespeare and his sometime collaborator John Fletcher is in the records of being performed in 1612 but it didn't appear in roughly contemporary collections of either authors' works. It was claimed that it was in the early 1700s that Lewis Theobald had a prompter's copy but he revised it according to his own whims to create a play known as "Double Falsehood". By taking this and also going back to the original source material of the story from Cervantes, Greg Doran has produced something that is at least more coherent than "Double Falsehood" which has what would appear to be some major missing scenes. That the result reads seamlessly is its major strength - but also perhaps academically a slight weakness as with this copy it's not clear what is sourced from where. But then again, this is a play text and not an academic book, so perhaps that's entirely forgivable. In fact, it's the very opposite of an academic approach - with this edition concluding with a letter written by Doran to Lewis Theobold, which is amusing and a nice personal touch.

There's no doubt that the story is Shakespearean in style. We see a lot of the characteristics that he used elsewhere - the inevitable girls dressed as boys, secret assignations that are both threatening and scary, people hiding in woods, and a final scene where all the unlikely threads are brought together.

Basically, Cardenio loves Luscinda. He gets called to court to help the wayward younger son of the Duke who is pining for a simple farmer's daughter and in doing promises marriage. Cardenio and the Dukes son end up outside Luscinda's house where the son falls, you've guessed it, hook line and sinker for Luscinda. He tricks Cardenio to leave and arranges to marry Luscinda. Luscinda runs away, but Cardenio and the farmer's daughter believe them to be married and set off into the wilderness to seek revenge in Cardenio's case or honour in the farmer's daughter's case. With twists and turns the Duke's elder son - the good one - discovers all and brings all to justice. It's Shakespearean with the added Spanish honour.

As for the text, for me it reads more like Fletcher than Shakespeare although there are the odd dashes of what one might deem characteristic Shakespearean humour. It's as if the younger Fletcher's work is edited by Shakespeare to spice it up a bit. But that's just my reading rather than an academic take. It does, for me though, lack the beauty of some of Shakespeare's best poetry.

For interest value, story and seamless - quite brilliant - incorporation of "new material" to "Double Falsehood" it would get five stars. For where it stands in quality against the rest of the Shakespeare pantheon, maybe three or four. It's a shame that there isn't more clarity on the source of material used on a scene by scene basis as you would get with the full Shakespeare modern day publishers (Arden, RSC's own etc). But there is an Arden version of "Double Falsehood" - I guess I'll have to get that and compare.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A text that never was, 24 Aug 2012
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M. WALSH - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cardenio (Paperback)
If you need to have a record of the modern debate about The Double Falshood you need to have this, but it has no status at all of its own. This is modern pastiche, without adequate methodology or rationale. Serious students need Brean Hammond's Arden edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cardenio, 6 Sep 2011
This review is from: Cardenio (Paperback)
Superb read and drama - also a must see if you ever get the chance. It's Shakespeare even 400 years on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 5 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Cardenio (Paperback)
I've also bought a sham copy of the alleged 'original script' which I subsequently read up on and found it to be fraudulent. So when I saw this at Stratford-upon-Avon and saw it was available I bought it immediately. I'm hoping to Direct a production in 2014. Wonderful writing both original drawn from many and varied contemporary source and created by Greg Doran. A work of genius.
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Cardenio
Cardenio by Antonio Alamo (editor) (Paperback - 21 April 2011)
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